TTMIK Level 9 Lesson 17 – -(으/느)ㄴ 이상

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By learning to use the structure -(으/느)ㄴ 이상 correctly, you will easily be able to say things such as “since I am already here, I should help”, “now that I’m at work, I need to work”, or even “Unless it’s something important, I can’t meet today.” There are a couple ways to conjugate this structure in order to say what you want, so be sure to check out this lesson to learn exactly how and when you can use -(으/느)ㄴ 이상.

You can download both the PDF lesson notes and the MP3 audio track for this lesson below, and if you want to learn with our various textbooks and workbooks, you can get them on our online bookstore at MyKoreanStore.com. If you have any questions about this lesson, please leave us comments below!

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Go to the Grammar Curriculum page to see all of our grammar lessons.

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Learning different expressions and sentences derived from a keyword is a very effective way not only to understand the word in the context but also to improve your sentence building skills, like you practiced with this lessons. Check out My Weekly Korean Vocabulary e-books with which you can learn 7 new keywords every week with 20 accompanying sample sentences followed by vocabulary note for each keyword!


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You can also learn some useful idiomatic expressions related to 기분. Check out this episode of Catch the Wave and learn what 돼지꿈 and 기분파 mean! Catch the Wave video.


TTMIK Level 9 Lesson 17 – -(으/느)ㄴ 이상
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  • Courtney

    Great lesson! But I’m confused as to when to use 수가 and when to use 수는. I think I only ever noticed 수가 before. Thanks for any help.

    • The difference between 수는 and 수가 is just the same basic difference between 는 and 가 : )

  • Jordan

    Thanks as always for the great lessons!

  • Rosa

    않은 이상, and 않는 이상 is both used – why the difference in spelling?

    • 태권도_마틴_불가리아

      Usually, 은/ㄴ is used for adjectives {descriptive verbs} (형용사), while 는 is used for verbs (동작동사) {action verbs}.
      But, 은 can mean an action in the past and 는 can mean an action in the moment.
      Eg: 내가 한 일 – the thing I’ve done
      내가 하는 일 – the thing I’m doing

      Adjectives
      예쁘다 – 예쁜 (예쁘는 X)
      좋다 – 좋은 (좋는 X)
      쓰다 (bitter) 쓴 (쓰는 X), but if you use it as ‘write, use, wear etc..” 쓴 and 쓰는 will be correct but in different tenses as I explained about action verbs.

      The same goes with the negation. 예쁘지 않은, 좋지 않은, etc… 쓰지 않은, 쓰지 않는, etc.

    • 태권도_마틴_불가리아

      Usually, 은/ㄴ is used for adjectives {descriptive verbs} (형용사), while 는 is used for verbs (동작동사) {action verbs}.
      But, 은 can mean an action in the past and 는 can mean an action in the moment.
      Eg: 내가 한 일 – the thing I’ve done
      내가 하는 일 – the thing I’m doing

      Adjectives
      예쁘다 – 예쁜 (예쁘는 X)
      좋다 – 좋은 (좋는 X)
      쓰다 (bitter) 쓴 (쓰는 X), but if you use it as ‘write, use, wear etc..” 쓴 and 쓰는 will be correct but in different tenses as I explained about action verbs.

      The same goes with the negation. 예쁘지 않은, 좋지 않은, etc… 쓰지 않은, 쓰지 않는, etc.
      Look at the examples again:
      계산기를 쓰지 않는 이상, 이렇게 복잡한 계산은 못 해요.
      = Unless I use a calculator, I can’t do such a complex calculation – 쓰다 – use – action verb
      아주 아프지 않은 이상, 저는 수업에 빠지지 않아요.
      = Unless I’m very sick, I don’t skip classes. – 아프다 – to be sick – discriptive verb

    • 태권도_마틴_불가리아

      Sorry for the two comments.. I just wanted to edit it.. xD
      제 설명을 이해할 수 있으면 좋겠어요. ㅋㅋ

  • Rigo

    Great lesson

  • Karena

    I really can’t tell you how happy I was to see the title of this lesson. This structure kept appearing everywhere, but I could never have guessed this. Great, thank you so much!

  • Eman

    이 집에 살은 이상, 청소해야돼요.

    바쁘지 않은 이상, 제가 매일 운동을 할 수는 없어요.

    친구가 아닌 이상, 제 비밀들 말 소가 없어요.