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 …”?
    앤일하고싶어요.
    Great job, you guys are so helpful!! :-)

  • 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
    감사합니다!

    • 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

  • 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.