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. And after you learn the basics, try writing your own Korean sentences and get corrections from native speakers through HaruKorean, our 1:1 correction service.


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  • Liezl Mandap

    한국어는 어렵지만 재미있어요

  • Tom Marder

    From reading the examples (아파요? – Does it hurt?) I conclude that ‘아파다’ means ‘to hurt’. But when I looked it up in a dictionary I only found that ‘아프다’ means ‘to hurt’. So I am curious if both are correct?

    • Cha

      Hello, Tom ssi! I think 아파요 is the conjugation of 아프다; that 아파요 is in the present tense. Maybe you can check Level 1 Lesson 16. Hope it helps. :)

  • Cha

    안녕하세요, 선생님! I’m just curious. Why can’t 안 있어요 be used? Or it can be used but is unnatural to do so because there’s an opposite word–없어요–for it? 감사합니다! :)

  • Colton Hennick

    Are there any spelling rules for the infinitives: 아프다 & 맵다? (To hurt/be painful) & (To be spicy)

    Or are they just irregular and we have to memorize them?

    Thank you very much!

  • rosa

    Hi, I would like to know what 선현우 said after he learnt that it was a joke that 안효진 did not shower. I just heard this so many time in korean drama. Thanks in advance !! Such a great platform for korean self-lerning!!

  • Svea

    오늘 안자요. 시간은 없어요.

  • Lizzytfd

    I have a question.
    What about the question “이거 매워요?”

    Why did you add to the noun? why didn’t you write 이거 매워해요?
    I’m sorry, I’m a little confused. I swear 바보아니에요 >.<

  • Lizzytfd

    why does “매워” ends with “요” in this case?

    • 애슐리

      I think that it’s because korean adjectif are conjugated like verbs

  • Paradise

    안녕하세요! well I tryed to say I don’t eat at home but i’m not sure if it’s correct , anyway here’s my sentence: 집에 안 먹어요(1st method) 집에 먹지 않아요(2nd method) I hope it’s correct:) .Thank you already !
    감사합니다 !

    • Seokjin Jin

      The action of eating is done in the house, so it is good to say “집에서 안 먹어요”.

    • Paradise

      ok ,I was confused wether I say 집에 or 집에서 ,you made it clear now so thank you very much for correcting me . 감사합니다 !

  • Brianne

    I like how u guys make the lessons fun by joking around n’ stuff. It makes learning more relaxing! I was laughing the whole time xD

    • Seokjin Jin

      It will be best if you learn something while you are enjoying it. :)

      Thanks for your comment.

  • http://twitter.com/jetz531 jetz

    I have a question about one of the sample sentences:

    그거 아직 안 버렸어요. [geu-geo a-jik an beo-ryeo-sseo-yo] I DIDN’T throw it away yet

    Shouldn’t it be translated to “I haven’t thrown it yet”? Cause 버렸어요 is past tense. I think “I DIDN’T throw it away yet” is 그거 아직 안 버려요.

    • Seokjin Jin

      Well, “didn’t” was used, so it is still past tense so it can be translated as 그거 아직 안 버렸어요.

      Regarding the sentence “I haven’t thrown it yet”, it is the present complete tense. In Korean, it is quite subtle to differentiate the tenses. If I translated it in Korean, I would say “그거 아직 안 버렸어요” too.

    • http://twitter.com/jetz531 jetz

      I see. Thank you very much!

  • 애슐리

    난 내일이 학교에 가지 않아요

    • Seokjin Jin

      You should choose if you will make the sentence in a casual form or polite form. 난 is a casual form but 않아요 is polite form. When the forms are mixed, it looks weird. :)

      난 내일 학교에 가지 않아 or 전 내일 학교에 가지 않아요

    • 애슐리

      Ah yes! 맞아요! I didnt even realise x)

  • 애슐리

    why its 배 안 고파요?It’s not supposed to be 안 배고파 ? … :(

    • Seokjin Jin

      Actually, both sentences are okay. Regarding 배 안 고파요, 배 and 고파요 are
      seperated. 배 works as a subject and 고파요 works as an adjective. However,
      배고파요 in the latter sentence, it is regarded as a adjective.

  • 애슐리

    Why singers say “하지마 ” like “미안해 하지마 ” ? whats that?

    • hillary

      Dont be sorry

  • hillary

    Do i have to pay to have the account to download the pdf file? It seems as if I do.

  • Angella Elf

    안녕하세요. First of all, I’d like to thank you for your lessons because they’re really great and clear ! ^^ I’m French and I don’t speak English fluently but I’ve understood all your lessons so far ! ^^ Anyway, I’d like to ask my Korean penfriends “Have you gone to school yet ?”, is my sentence correct if I say :

    아직 학교에 가요 ?

    감사합니다 ! =)

  • MadMads

    Does this work?
    김치를 안 먹었어요 = I did not eat Kimchi
    I know the object particle is too much, I just did it for practice.
    Thanks!

    • Seokjin Jin

      Yes. It is correct! Good job.

  • Julie

    Hello, everyone. I want to say thanks for this site and lessons. It’s really intresting. 너무 재미있어요! 정말 감사합니다.
    And I have a question about -고 싶어요. For example 먹고 싶어요. If I want to say “I don’t want to eat” should I say 먹고 안싶어요? Cause if I say 안먹고 싶어요 doesn’t it “I want not to eat but smth else”? Thank you for attention.

    • Seokjin Jin

      First of all, we say 안 먹고 싶어요 but not 먹고 안 싶어요.

      In this case, I think we regard the phrase “먹고 싶어요” as a verb so 안 was added before it.

  • Daniella Bohler

    To say “I don’t want to watch TV” would it be 텔에비전 안 보고싶어요 ? or would 안 come before 텔에비전?

    • Seokjin Jin

      텔레비전 안 보고 싶어요 is correct. :)

  • Eugene Tan You Qing

    is this sentence phrased correctly? iam not too sure if the word suyeong is placed correctly:(

    Ryan ssi neun jeo suyeong bo da deo jal haeyo

    what iam trying to say: ryan is better than me at swimming

  • Chong Ying Fang

    annyeong ! may i know the verb for “to know” and the opposite “do not know” ? since it´s mentioned at the end of the lesson but not provided in the pdf ? kamsahamnida !

  • Jordan Lent

    Thanks for the great lessons!!! I have a question. The first two dialogues have different ways of saying “really?”. Dialogue one says 진짜안아파요? and dialogue 2 says 정말안먹어요?

    Could I say 진짜안먹어요? and 정말안아파요?

    갑사합니다!