Level 1 Lesson 24 / Why? How? / 왜? 어떻게?

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안녕하세요 여러분! In this lesson, we are going to have a look at the interrogatives “why” “how” and also how to say things like “how much” “how fast” “how quickly” and so on. You can also review how to say “what” “who” and “where” in this lesson. Be sure to try making your own sample expressions and share them with us in the comment box! And if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask! Thank you! 감사합니다.



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.


  • 소피

    어떻게 했어요?
    How did you do it?

    • Seokjin Jin

      Correct! 잘 했어요.

    • 소피

      감사합니다!

  • 사린

    Just some clarifications: What is the difference between 어떻게 and 어때?

    • Seokjin Jin

      (이거) 어때 means “how is it?” and it is a complete sentence.

      어떻게 means “how” but it is needed to add a verb to make a complete sentence. like 어떻게 갔어? How did you go there?

    • 사린

      감사합니다 선생님!

  • MadMads

    Does this make any sense?
    얼마나 빨리 운동었어요? = How fast did you exercise?

  • Neoking

    얼마나 자주 한국어 드라마 봐요? (How often do you watch Korean drama?)

    언제 소녀시대 미국에 왔어요? (When did SNSD come to the U.S?)

    얼마나 똥똥한 김종운 이에요? (How fat is Kim Jong Un?)

    Are these correct? Thanks!

  • Sabrina Rocha

    if the verb “to find/to look for” doesn’t end with ㅗ or ㅏ, then why is the conjugation as 았어요 ?

    • Seokjin Jin

      Do you mean 찾다? Actually, the verb stem “찾” ends with ㅏso 았어요 is added when it is conjugated.

    • Juanis

      Remember that what you look for is the last VOWEL not the last letter itself, for 찾다 (to find/to look for) it does haveㅏas its last vowel so the conjugation is correct.

  • ChroniclesOfHigherAi .

    저는 아침부터 저녁까지 학교에 가 있어서 피곤해요.
    So this means, “I went to school from morning till evening, so I’m tired.”
    I am confused because 가 있어서 is stem of verb go + isseoyo.
    I suspected this would be present progressive, but there’s no -고.
    What is 가 있어서 exactly in this sentence? Thanks!

    • Samala

      가 있어서 might mean that you existed at school during that time. You went and existed at school from morning until evening, so you’re tired. I’m not sure though.

    • Seokjin Jin

      Well, it is hard to explain it grammatically, but we use the expression 가 있어서 to mean “to be there” and the meaning is almost same as -에 있어서.

      학교에 가 있어서 = 학교에 있어서

      가 is from 가다 that means to go, and it is often used to emphasize that you “went” somewhere. So 학교에 가 있어서 can be translated as someone “went” to a school and still stay there now. I hope my comment help you. :)

  • Ryan

    Why is 크다 changed to 커요??

    감사합니다!!

    • Seokjin Jin

      크다 is a dictionary form and when it is conjugated to present tense, it becomes 커요.

    • Seokjin Jin
    • Juanis

      안녕하세요!
      When it ends with “ㅡ” after dropping “다” from the dictionary form, you also drop the “ㅡ” when conjugating, and simply add 어요 so it becomes 커요. Hope i helped!

  • Chong Ying Fang

    why is무겁다 + eo-yo (since it doesn´t end with “o” or “a”) becomes 무거워요 ?

  • Juanis

    Hii!!
    So 어떻게 Is for verbs
    and 얼마나 is for adjectives and adverbs?
    Or what is the difference between those?

    감사합니다!

  • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

    Simply, you can consider that verbs is followed after 어떻게.

    어떻게 먹어요? / 어떻게 갔어요? / 어떻게 했어요?
    How do you eat it? / How did you go? / How did you do that?

    Likewise, adjectives and adverbs are followed after 얼마나.

    얼마나 많이 먹었어요? / 얼마나 빨라요?
    How much did you eat? / How fast is it?

  • esteru

    어떻게 is become a habit for me now, to express when I dont know what to do, what to say, something error etc. it’s really a simple word to express many things