The Difference of Korean Adjectives vs. English Adjectives


Just like English, Korean verbs conjugate to reflect tense, nuances, etc. Unlike English, however, Korean adjectives also conjugate just like verbs with slightly different rules. For that reason, Korean adjectives are often called “descriptive verbs” in many textbooks for English-speaking students. You can think of Korean adjectives as a combination of a linking verb (is, am, are, was, etc.) and an adjective in English. For example,


  • 날씨가 좋아요. (The weather is nice.)

  • 날씨가 좋았어요. (The weather was nice.)

  • 날씨가 좋을 거예요. (The weather will be nice.)


In that sense, both verbs and adjectives conjugate in Korean.




Useful Adverbs (Basic)




  • 어제 Yesterday
  • 오늘 Today
  • 내일 Tomorrow
  • ~전에 Before ~
  • ~후에 After ~
  • 예전에 Long time ago
  • 지금 Right now
  • 방금 Just (before)
  • 아까 Before (today)
  • 이따 Later (today)
  • 나중에 Later (unspecific)
  • 일찍 Early
  • 늦게 Late



  • 항상 Always
  • 자주 Often
  • 가끔 Sometimes
  • 전혀 Never, Not at all
  • 거의 Almost
  • 보통 Usually
  • 매일 Everyday
  • 매주 Every week
  • 매달 Every month
  • 매년 Every year
  • 매번 Every time



  • 또 Again
  • 다시 Again



  • 혹시 By any chance~?
  • 아마 Maybe
  • 아마도 Maybe



  • 진짜 Really
  • 정말 Really
  • 아주 Very
  • 매우 Very
  • 되게 Very (colloquial)


Best / Most

  • 가장 the most
  • 제일 the best, the most
  • 최고 the best



  • 조금 A little
  • 많이 A lot
  • 거의 Almost
  • 더 More, Better


Already / Yet, Still

  • 벌써 Already
  • 아직 Yet / Still


Fast / Slow

  • 빨리 Fast
  • 천천히 Slow

Useful Adjectives (Descriptive Verbs)


Imagine you are traveling a foreign country.  You go to a restaurant, order food and are eating it.  The server comes and asks how the food is.  You want to say "Good!"  You go to a historic site, see a magnificent sculpture and want to say "Beautiful!" or "Amazing!" to your company.   All you need to say is those adjectives in that language. Don't worry about the subject, object, all that grammar stuff. 

A language is all about sharing your thoughts and feeling and for that very reason, learning basic adjectives is a great place to start. 


Below are some useful adjectives you can immediately use. 
These adjectives are placed at the end of a sentence.


It is cute.   귀여워요.   (귀여워요 = cute)
The puppy is cute.  강아지가 귀여워요.  (강아지 = puppy,  ~가 = subjective particle)

(For these adjectives to directly modify a noun, such as a "cute puppy", you need different conjugation rules, which we will cover later on.)


Human Description

  • 귀여워요     Cute

  • 아름다워요  Beautiful

  • 예뻐요        Pretty

  • 잘생겼어요  Handsome

  • 못생겼어요  Ugly

  • 멋있어요     Cool/Stylish

  • 친절해요     Kind/Friendly

  • 착해요        Nice

  • 나빠요        Bad

  • 미쳤어요     Crazy

  • 이상해요     Weird/Strange



  • 좋아요        Good

  • 나빠요        Bad

  • 괜찮아요     Ok/Alright

  • 아파요        Hurt/Sick

  • 무서워요     Scary/Scared

  • 피곤해요     Tired

  • 심심해요     Bored

  • 바빠요        Busy

  • 반가워요     Glad

  • 기뻐요        Pleased

  • 즐거워요     Pleasant/Fun

  • 행복해요     Happy

  • 슬퍼요        Sad

  • 섭섭해요     Sad/Disappointed

  • 외로워요     Lonely

  • 신나요        Exciting

  • 확실해요     Certain/Sure



  • 대단해요     Amazing

  • 중요해요     Important

  • 멋져요        Wonderful

  • 새로워요     New

  • 이상해요     Weird/Strange

  • 정확해요     Accurate/Precise



  • 재미있어요     Fun

  • 재미없어요     Boring



  • 짜요               Salty

  • 매워요            Spicy

  • 달아요            Sweet

  • 써요               Bitter

  • 셔요               Sout

  • 맛있어요         Delicious

  • 맛없어요         Disgusting in Taste

  • 배불러요         Full

  • 배고파요         Hungry



  • 추워요            Cold (Weather)

  • 더워요            Hot (Weather)

  • 차가워요         Cold (Touch)

  • 뜨거워요         Hot (Touch)

  • 따뜻해요         Warm

  • 시원해요         Cool//Refreshing



  • 힘들어요         Difficult

  • 어려워요         Difficult

  • 쉬워요            Easy/Simple

  • 복잡해요         Complicated/Crowded



  • 깨끗해요         Clean

  • 더러워요         Dirty



  • 조용해요         Quiet/Silent

  • 시끄러워요      Loud/Noisy



  • 위험해요         Dangerous

  • 안전해요         Safe



  • 싸요                Cheap

  • 비싸요             Expensive



  • 같아요             The Same/ Like

  • 달라요             Different

  • 비슷해요          Similar


  • 많아요              A Lot

  • 적어요              Few


  • 높아요              High

  • 낮아요              Low


  • 넓어요              Wide/Spacious

  • 좁아요              Narrow


  • 커요                 Big

  • 작아요              Small


  • 길어요              Long

  • 짧아요              Short


  • 밝아요              Bright

  • 어두워요           Dark


  • 멀어요               Far

  • 가까워요           Near/Close


  • 빨라요               Fast

  • 느려요               Slow


  • 좋아요               Good

  • 나빠요               Bad


  • 강해요               Strong/Powerful

  • 약해요               Weak


  • 무거워요            Heavy/Serious

  • 가벼워요            Light/Simple


Right / Wrong

  • 맞아요              Correct

  • 틀려요              Wrong/Incorrect


It is a book. 책이예요.

~이예요 is equivalent to the linking verbs: is, are, am.  
~이예요 is always placed at the end of the sentence.

[Noun] + 이예요 =   It is a  [Noun].

You can simply place a noun in front of ~이예요 to create sentences as follows:

It is a ~
These / Those are ~
She / He is a ~
I am a ~
You are a ~


책이예요.        It is a book.  (책 = book)
물이예요.        It's water.   (물 = water)
선물이예요.     It's a gift.    (선물 = gift, present)
학생이예요.     I am a student. or She/He is a student.  (학생 = student)


Now, if ~이예요 is like a linking verb in English and you place a noun you are indicating in front, where is the subject?
Well, in Korean, the subjects are often omitted and can be inferred from the contexts.

So, to be very precise, the above examples can actually be translated as follows.

책이예요.     Is a book.
물이예요.     Is water.
선물이예요.  Is a gift.
학생이예요.  Am a student.  (or)  Is a student.   


  • [Noun (ending with a consonant)] + 이예요.

  • [Noun (ending wit a vowel)] + 예요.

When the noun has a final consonant (which is called 받침 in Korean), just like:
ㄱ in 책
ㄹ in 물 or 선물
ㅇ in 학생 
you add ~이예요. 

When a noun ends with a vowel, however, you add ~예요. 

강아지예요.      Is a puppy.  (강아지 = puppy)
맥주예요.         Is beer.   (맥주 = beer)
여자친구예요.   Is (my) girlfriend.  (여자 = girl, 친구 = friend)