Level 1 Lesson 21 / Negative Sentences / 안, -지 않다, 안 하다, 하지 않다

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In this lesson, we are introducing how to form negative sentences in Korean. In Korean you can either add the word ‘안[an]’ before a verb or conjugate the verb into a negative form by using the verb ending ‘지 않다[ji an-ta]’ Find out how to do that and also practice with some sample sentences by listening to this lesson and as always, if you have any questions or feedback, we will be more than happy to hear them in the comment box!

Everyone, what do you NOT do? 뭐 안 해요?

Read about this grammar point at the Korean Wiki Project site

You can download a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here.

  • Salome

    우늘은안일해요. Today I don’t work.
    어제는앤일했어요. Yesterday I didn’t work.
    Are these sentences correct?
    Can I use 안 when I say “I don’t want to …”?
    Great job, you guys are so helpful!! 🙂

    • Kang Hankyul

      오늘은 일하지 않아요.
      Or 오늘은 일 안해요.
      => Today I don’t work
      어제는 일 안 했어요
      => yesterday I didn’t work.

      When you say ” I don’t want to~”,하고 싶지 않아요 or 안 하고 싶어요.

  • PenguinBeng

    밖에서 안 놀아해요.
    밖에서 놀아지(놀지?) 않아요.

    아직도 안 기억해요.
    아직도 기억지 않아요.

    Are these correct?

  • Marlee

    Thank you for these lessons, they are very helpful! I was wondering, in the second sample dialogue, does 배 안 고파요 literally translate to “stomach is not hungry?” Sorry if that’s a silly question!
    a: 오늘 학교에 가요?
    b: 아니요. 안 가고 싶어요.

    a: 숙제 끝났어요!
    b: 진짜요?
    a:네. 너는 숙제 끝났어요?
    b: 아니요. 숙제 안 끝났어요.

  • Faint Hymns

    버리지 않아요 [beo-ri-ji a-na-yo] = I DON?T throw it away.

    그거 안 버렸어요. [geu-geo an beo-ryeo-sseo-yo] I DIDN?T throw it away.

    in the second sentence we used 그거 for “IT” ….why there is no “IT” in the first sentence?

    • otteOK

      In the first sentence, the “it” is implied. You could add 그거 (“that” near the other person) to the beginning:
      그거 안 버렸어요 = I didn’t throw that away.

      Likewise, you could remove “that” in the second sentence:
      안 버렸어 = I didn’t throw it away.

      And it would still make sense. Korean doesn’t specify “it” like we do in English.

  • Maria Larsen

    Is there a difference between 진짜 and 정말? They’re both translated as ‘really’ in the sample convos.

    a: 이거에 고기가 있어요? – Is there meat in this?
    b: 아니요. 그거에 고기가 없어요. – No. There’s no meat in that.

    a: 읽어요? – Are you reading?
    b: 아니요. 읽지 않아요. 그림에 봐요. – No. I’m not reading. I’m looking at pictures.

    Are these correct?

  • otteOK

    In the sample dialogue, “I’m not hungry” is expressed as: 배 안 고파요. Why is 안 in between 배 and 고파 when the verb for “to be spicy, hot” is 배고프다? I understand how you could add 안 that way for 하다 verbs but don’t understand how it works for this non-하다 verbs.

  • Dania Freih

    오늘은 대학교에 안 갔어요 … good enough??

  • Jennifer Nolasco

    I’ve also heard that adding -지마 at the end of a verb makes it negative. What’s the difference? When do you use the ending -지마 instead of -안 or -지 않다?

    • alisu

      As far as I know, 지마 is used to say “Do not”.

      So for example:
      가다 –> 안 가요 (Not going) —-> 가지마요 (Do not go)

      먹다 –> 안 먹어요 (not eat, won’t eat) —-> 먹지마요 (Do not eat)

  • Marc Lester V. Dimal

    Hi Mariel. drop ‘였’. correct = 버리지 않았어요 🙂

  • Ella

    자지 않았어요

    I didn’t sleep

  • Brianna Sanders

    오늘은 내 숙제를하지 않았다

    I didn’t do my homework today.

    • JooyeonPark

      오늘은 숙제를 하지 않았어요. Or 오늘은 숙제를 안 했어요.
      You don’t really need “내” here.

  • Deepest Nightmare

    오늘은 커피가 안 마시었어요.

    I didn’t drink coffee today.*cough* lie *cough*

    (did i say it right?)

    • JooyeonPark

      Haha. You can say “오늘은 커피 안 마셨어요.”

  • Kiaxet

    Are these correct?
    읽 안 해요.-I don’t read
    때리지 않았어요.-I didn’t hit it
    커피 안 마시어요- I don’t drink coffee

    • JooyeonPark

      “읽 안 해요.” –> “읽지 않아요.” or “안 읽어요.”
      “커피 안 마시어요.” –> “커피 안 마셔요.” or “커피 마시지 않아요.”
      Thanks! 🙂

  • Michael

    일 안 말. I don’t speak.
    러시아인 지안말어요 I don’t speak Russian.
    한국어 잭 안행 오 I don’t read Korean books
    Please correct. 감사합니다

    • Nana Atmaja

      안 말했어요 or 말 하지 않아요 (i didn’t speak)
      (I don’t know Rusian in korean, sorry)
      한국어 책 안 읽어요 or 한국어 책 읽지 읺아요 (i don’t read korean books)

      It just my opinion, correct me again if i’m wrong. Thanks

  • Em-ar

    How to say “I do not want to eat” ? Thanks.

    • normalppl

      i think its wriiten in the pdf file if im not wrong. 안 막어요(I’m not eating)

    • Em-ar

      Thanks for your reply normalppl. Yes that is the translation for “I’m not eating”, can I use that as well if I want to say “I do not want to eat?”

    • JooyeonPark

      You can say 안 먹고 싶어요 or 먹고 싶지 않아요.

    • Em-ar

      Thanks JooyeonPark.

  • Kharla Aquino


  • Suga Swag

    I don’t want to go.
    안 가고 싶어요. // 가고 싶지 않아요.

    I didn’t do it.
    자는 안 했어요. // 저는 하지 않아요.


    • JooyeonPark

      Good! 🙂

      I didn’t do it. = 저는 안 했어요. / 저는 하지 않았어요.

  • 지아

    요즘 운동 안 해요. ㅠ.ㅠ

  • MJ O.

    이 문제는 결심하지 않았습니다.

  • Harvey Rivas Potot

    선생님, 제가 만든 예문에서 틀린 부분이 있으면 고쳐 줄까요? —> 저는 어제 온종일 친구랑 같이 놀아서 일본어를 공부 안 했어요.

  • keiz

    I want to ask something discussed in lesson 22. How to say I’am not cooking yet in Korean?
    아직 요리안했어요
    요리 아직 안했어요?

  • Maria

    Does 오늘 일 안 했어요. 항국어는 겅부했어요! mean “I didn’t work today, I only studied Korean” or “I didn’t work today, but I studied Korean” ?


    • Kang Hankyul

      I didn’t work today, I only studied Korean -> 오늘 일 안 했어요. 한국어를 공부했어요 ^^

    • Maria

      okii thx ^-^

  • Bennett Seacrist

    저는 사무실에 있지만 일하지 않아요.

    I’m at the office but I’m not working. (hopefully that’s right 🙂 )

  • 어제 안 잤어요. (I didn’t sleep yesterday/last night.)

    학교에 안 가요. (I’m not going to school.)

  • 도미니크

    A: 너를 학교에 가요? (Did you go to school?)

    B: 난 학교에 안갔어요. (I didn’t go to school.)

    Is this correct? 감사합니다!

    • Declan Mayer

      네가/너는 학교에 갔어요?

      Don’t add 를 to 너 as 너 is not the object in this sentence.

  • Kaelah

    어제 나는 안 쉬었어요 (Yesterday i didn’t rest)
    Is this correct?
    나는 안 한국어 말할 수 있다 (I can not speak Korean)
    Is this correct?

    • Declan Mayer

      나는 한국어를 말할 수 없어요* I cannot speak Korean

    • Kaelah

      THank you!! 😀

  • Malori Green

    진짜, 안 말고 싶어요!
    I really do not want to talk!

    어제 저는 안 잘자요!
    Yesterday, I didn’t sleep well!

  • “어제 나는 돈 없어요 그레서 안 먹었어요.”
    I didn’t have money yesterday so I didn’t eat.

  • Sasha

    어제는 시간 없어요 그라서 안 먹었어요.
    I didn’t have time yesterday so I didn’t eat.

    맞아요? 🙂

  • Trinity Pate

    Could you please tell me if these are correct??

    이거 하지 않았어요 – I didn’t do this.

    그거 아직 안 보았어요 – I didn’t watch that yet

    집에 안 가고 싶어요 – I don’t want to go home

    Many thanks!! – 감사합니다!!

    • Nana Atmaja

      I think it’s 그거 아직 안 봤어요.
      보다 –> 보다 + 았어요 = 봤어요

    • Trinity Pate

      Hi, yes I think it is, 감사합니다!!

  • Nana Atmaja

    If the verb is 공부하다, 약속하다, 요리하다, etc.
    If i want to make a negative sentences with add 안 i must add 안 before the verb. It is 안 공부해요/ 공부 안 해요?
    Please help me because it’s made me confused. Thank you

  • Mary Wu

    사무실에서 안 일해요.
    어제 학교에 가지 않았어요. 🙂

    • Kyeong-Eun Choi

      사무실에서 일 안해요. Great job. 어제 학교에 가지 않았어요. is perfect sentence. 🙂

  • Semitic akuma

    how can you not be cute ma god hehe love you guys now i’ll write down the lesson in my notebook
    적어요 ㅋㅋ

  • Semitic akuma

    why you are sayin 가지 않았어요
    and not 가요지 않았어요

  • Semitic akuma