Level 5 Lesson 4 / I guess, I assume / -나 보다

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In this lesson, we look at how to say “I guess …”, “I assume …” or “I suppose …” in Korean : -나 보다 [-na bo-da] Today’s key structure is somewhat similar to -것 같다 in meaning, but it has a stronger nuance of “I assume … based on this fact” or “I suppose … because …”. We hope you enjoy this lesson and thank you as always for studying Korean with us!

You can view 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.

  • Anna

    I’m 13 too! Yay! 감사합니다 for your lessons. I have really enjoyed learning Korean. :)

  • Sarah

    선생님~~~~ 안녕하세요! ^^

    1. 아무도 아직 안 오나 봐요.
    2. 어제 밤에 술을 많이 마셨나 봐요.
    3. 너무 많이 공부했나 봐요… 정말 피곤한가 봐요…
    4. 배 아파? 너무 먹었나 봐… 천천히 먹어야지…
    5. 전화를 안 받아요… 벌써 잠을 잤나 봐요…

    항상 감사합니다! ^^

  • Matt

    한국어를 공부하나 봐요…

  • Bella

    안녕하세요 선생님들

    1. 그는 정말 대박이야. 빨리 달릴 수 있나 봐
    (he’s really amazing.i guess he can run fast)
    2. 한국어를 아직 잘 못 말하는데, 많이 공부해야 되나 봐요
    (I still can’t speak Korean well, I guess i need to study a lot)
    3. 오늘 아침 너무 추워요. 어제 비가 왔나 봐요
    (This morning really cold, I guess it rain yesterday)
    4. 하나 씨는 너무 날씬해요, 매일 운동하나 봐요
    (Hana is very slim, I guess she exercise everyday)

  • Maomakara

    I want to study Korea with you.

  • AdmiralBurnsides

    Hyunwoo kind of acts like a humorless d*ck to her. Lighten up, man.

  • http://facebook.com/trickymitchell 지아나

    For situations where you go somewhere with a friend but you have no money and it’s time to pay for ~~~ and they look at you for money can you say:
    저는 고장났어요. I’m broke.
    돈 있었나 봤어요. I assumed you had money.

  • Diogo Souza

    오늘 아침에 눈이 내렸나 봐요!

    “눈이 오다”도 괜찮아요?

    오늘 아침에 눈이 내렸”다” 봐요! 는 어때요?

    • Greg

      You mean 내렸다고 봐요 – yes it also means “I think”
      About 오다 maybe 눈이 오고 있었나 봐요

  • ichinii

    i heard a song titled “바라보나봐”
    i quite confusing because when i see the English translation
    the word mean is “just look at you”??
    is “바라보나봐” using verb ending 나 보다?
    and what is actually the meaning of “바라보나봐”?


  • Cornelia

    Thanks for correcting these sentences!
    재일 좋은 옷이 다 팔리나 봐요 I guess the clothes I liked the most are all sold.
    정말 예뻐오, 미용실에 다녔나 봐요 Really pretty,I guess she went to the hairdresser’s.


  • eliza

    안녕하세요. 잘 지내셨어요? I have two sentences.
    1. 그 시람이 우체국 앞에서 기다리나봐요.
    2. 저 유명한 남자와 결흔했나봐요.
    레슨 너무 감사합니다… 화이팅 ^_^

  • corina

    어제 하루 종일 제 친구가 술을 너무 많이 마셔서 밤새 머리를 아팠나 봐요.
    여동생이 카메라를 떨어뜨릴 뻔 했지만 안 고장났나 봐요. (고장이 없었나 봐요).
    선생님, 제 실수들을 고쳐 주세요.

  • 장승은

    can you say
    “수고 많으셨나 보네요!”

  • Stujo

    사나 봐요 and 샀나 봐요 sound the same to me. Is it or am I just not hearing the ㅆ?

  • jose

    jessica was able to get her shoutout.

  • Claira


    지금은 집에 아무도 없나 봐요. (I guess there is nobody at home now.)

    제 오빠가 집에 아직 안 왔는데, 데이트 갔나 봐요. (My brother hasn’t come home yet, I guess he went dating.)

    그 거짓말을 벌써 알았나 봐요. (I guess they already knew the lie.)

    비가 올 것 같아요. 여기에 안 오나 봐요. (I think it will rain. I guess they won’t come here.)

    부산에 집이 샀나 봐요. (I guess they bought the house in Busan.)

    감사합니다! :)

  • Tim Cheng

    엄마가 오나 봐요.

    이 햄버거가 맛있나 봐요.

    민수씨가 창문이 열었나 봐요.

  • dong xian

    Would it make sense to say
    연습하고 있었나 봐요…??

    Also, I have a question.. Do Korean people ever use the was/were doing past continuous tense 고 있었다? Considering the fact they rarely use the present continuous 고 있다 and just use plain present tense… also, does the past continuous tense have the same connotation as it does in English??
    like “I did my homework (and completed the action)” as opposed to “I was doing my homework (but then i stopped because the phone rang or something)”??

  • Nicky


    I have a question. Would it make sense to to combine this lesson with Level 2 Lesson 20 to say:
    시작해야 되나 봐요 – I guess I should start / it seems like I should start …?


  • Dolsanria

    민정 씨는 저를 너무 미워하나 봐요.
    It seems like Min Jung hate me so much.

    Is this right? 감사합니다!

  • Winnie Zambo

    이번 방학에 아무데도 안 가나 봐요

  • Jeremie B

    이사람 재미있는 사람 이나 봐요

  • mariam

    이 친구가 열심히 공부하나봐요

  • Jo A

    아무것도 돌보지나 봐요.

  • Francesco Colléter

    촣은 소식을 가져에나 봐요.
    It seems that he’s bringing good news

    • KyungHwa Sun

      Correction : 좋은 소식을 가져오나 봐요.

  • Eman

    그 노래는 정말 어려네 가수가 열심히 했나 봐요.

    That song is really difficult. I assumed the singer worked hard.

    수고하세요 (:

  • Annie Chen

    내일 약속있어서 아침에 일찍 일어나야 나 봐요.

  • Jeeztiff

    민호 씨 선생님 한테의 태도를 보니,선생님 좋아하지 않나 봐요 .

    • Seokjin Jin

      민호 씨 선생님 한테의 태도를 보니
      > 민호 씨가 선생님한테 하는 태도를 보니

      선생님 좋아하지 않나 봐요 .
      > 선생님을 좋아하지 않나 봐요.

    • Jeeztiff

      감사합니다 !~

  • brad

    How do we use 비가 오나 봐요? When would it be acceptable to use it?

    • troy

      Imagine yourself inside a tin-roof building in a room with no windows. You and your friend are studying Korean when you hear 팟…팟…팟..팟..팟팟팟. You say to your friend “비가 오나 봐요” (“I guess it is raining” [based on the sound of raindrops hitting the roof]).

    • brad


  • 마틴

    앉나 봐야 돼요
    I guess I should sit down

  • 마틴

    비가 와서 내부에 머무르나 봐요
    It’s raining, so I guess I/we should stay inside.

  • César Duarte

    휴대폰을 고장나 나 봐요.

  • 하오라

    엄마는 갔나 봐요 ..

  • Desiko

    I was about 14 when I started learning Korean…. not that I have improved much though :D