[Grammar] Present tense 아요/어요/여요


In Korean, the infinitive form of verbs and adjectives is -다.  For instance, 가(to go), 좋(be good), 먹(to eat) and 마시(to drink).

When you say these verbs and adjective as a present tense, you should add the present tense verb/adjective ending -아요/어요/여요.

The form is depending on the last letter’s vowel on the stem. The stem is the last letter after you take off ‘다’.

The steps are

1) Take off ‘다’
2) Look at the last letter’s vowel on the stem
3) If the vowel is ‘ㅏ’or ‘ㅗ’, add 아요.  If the vowel is not ‘ㅏ’or ‘ㅗ’, add 어요. If the verb stem is 하, add 여요.

1. verb / adjective(the stem’s vowel is ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’ ) + 아요
다 (‘가’ is the stem -> the vowel is ‘ㅏ’ ) + 아요 => 가아요 => 가요(combine 가and 아 )
다(‘오’ is the stem -> the vowel is ‘ㅗ’)  + 아요 => 오아요 => 와요(combine 오and 아 )
다(‘살’ is the stem ->the vowel is ‘ㅏ’)  + 아요 => 살아요

2. verb / adjective(the stem’s vowel is not ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’ ) + 어요
다(‘주’ is the stem -> the vowel is ‘ㅜ’)  +어요  => 주어요      => 줘요(주+어=>줘 )
다 (‘시’ is the last letter -> the vowel is ‘ㅣ’ ) +어요  => 마시어요 => 마셔요(시+어=>셔)
다(‘먹’is the stem -> the vowel is ‘ㅓ’) +어요  => 먹어요

3. verb/adjecitve ends with ‘하다’ + 여요  => 하(take off 다) + 여요
공부다 -> 공부하(take off 다)+ 여요 => 공부하여요(‘하여’ =>해)  => 공부해요
피곤다 -> 피곤하(take off 다) + 여요 => 피곤하여요 => 피곤해요


가다 : to go
오다 : to come
살다 : to live
먹다 : to eat
마시다 : to drink
주다 : to give
공부하다 : to study
피곤하다 : be tired


만나다 (to meet)
좋다(be good)
보다(to see)
자다(to sleep)
웃다(to smile)
울다(to cry)
운동하다(to exercise)
수영하다(to swim)



Click here for more verbs/adjectives 

24 thoughts on “[Grammar] Present tense 아요/어요/여요

  1. Thank you for the lessons..i have a question here…how about below verbs;

    1- 모으다 ..if using the rule up here, it should be 모으다 + 어요, but the answer should be 모아요

    Always thank you for your help

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.