Saturday, July 11, 2015

Negation (부정문)

Types of Negative Constructions

This unit discusses how to change verbs and adjectives into negatives. Korean has two ways of negating. The first is to use the negatives 안(not) and 못(cannot), and the use of these negatives has the short form and the long form. The second is to use the auxiliary verb 말다(stop).

The Short Form Negation [안/못 + Predicate]

The negative 안 is an abbreviated form of 아니(no), as in 아니에요, or 학생이 아니에요 “(I) am not a student”. In addition it is used for general negation. The negative 못 means “cannot” or “unable”, and it is used for negation where one’s volition or ability is involved.
One can make a short form negation by placing one of these negatives in front of the predicate, as shown below:

Since the negative 못 refers to one’s ability or volition, it cannot be used with the adjectives which describe states or quantity.
The short form negation is used for declarative and interrogative sentence types, but not for imperative and propositive sentence types. For instance, consider the deferential speech level that has four different endings for each sentence type:

Meanwhile, not all verbs and adjectives can be used in the short negation form. Few verbs and adjectives that have corresponding negation verbs cannot take the short negation forms. For instance, 알다(know) has the corresponding negation verb 모르다(do not know). Consequently, the short form negations with 알다 such as 안 알다 or 못 알다 are grammatically wrong. Other verbs that have the corresponding negation verbs include 있다(exist/have), 없다(not exist/not have), and 맛있다(delicious)/ 맛없다(tasteless).
When negating compound verbs that are made of [noun + 하다], one needs to place the negative 안 or 못 in front of 하다(do) not the whole compound verb.

To change the short form negation into the past, one needs to add the past tense marker 었/았 before the ending such as 어요/아요 or 습니다/ㅂ니다.

The Long Form Negation -지 않아요 and -지 못해요

The long form negation has the following constructions:

As seen above, the long form negation is created by adding 지 to the stem, which is followed by a negative auxiliary 않다 or 못 하다. Here are examples:

There is no meaning difference between the long form negation and the short form negation. Consequently they are used interchangeably. However, the long form negation tends to be more often used in written and formal communication.
Meanwhile, it was noted that the negative 못 is not used with the adjectives in the short form negation, since 못 involves one’s ability or volition. However, in the long form negation 못 can be used with a few adjectives that denote one’s desire, such as 충분하다(abundant), 행복하다(happy), 건강하다(healthy), and 유능하다(competent).

Just like the short form negation, the long form negation is used only for declarative and interrogative sentence types, but not for imperative and propositive sentence types.

To change the long form negation into the past, one needs to add the past tense marker 었/았 to the negative auxiliary verbs 않다 or 못 하다.

The Negative Auxiliary Verb 말다

For imperative and propositive sentences, the negative auxiliary verb 말다 is used instead.

Notice that the stem 말 changes to 마 as in 마십시오, and to 맙 as in 맙시다. This is due to the fact that 말다 is a ㄹ irregular verb. In ㄹ-irregular, the stem loses ㄹ when the stem is followed by one of the following consonants: ㄴ, ㅂ, and ㅅ. The verb 말다 is a ㄹ-irregular. Consequently, the stem 말 loses ㄹ, as it is conjugated with the deferential imperative ending -십시오, and -십시다(since the ending begins with ㅅ). The other ㄹ-irregular verbs include the verbs like 살다 “live”, 알다 “know”, 길다 “long”, and so on.
However, with the polite speech level 어/아요, the ㄹ of the ㄹ-irregular verb is retained. Consider the following examples:

+Melissa Brown
So the order is: OBJECT - VERB - negative COMMAND?
So, the equivalent of "Do not" in Korean automatically includes the speaker? Please clarify.
"Let us...", generally includes the speaker in English. However, I can say, "Do not..." to someone, but that does not imply that I will also refrain from said activity. To a minor (person under 18), I'd say, "Do not drink any soju." I can drink it because I am over 21 (US legal drinking age).
Therefore, I'm asking if they mean the same thing in Korean.
I get the 'negative" use, but you're showing 'or' between Do not and let's not as if they have the same meaning.

* Click to read related posts.
Grammar for Beginners
Predicates of Sentences
Endings of Sentences
The Deferential Speech Level
The Polite Speech Level

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