Must-Know Korean Adverbs to Boost Your Vocabulary

An adverb is used to describe a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Korean adverbs (부사) work in much the same way as adverbs in English. They are a very important component in forming a sentence in Korean.

To understand the basics of Korean adverbs, you probably want to first take a look at Korean verbs and adjectives as well as their basic uses. Before we introduce you the details of Korean adverbs, please note that just as in any other language, there are certain rules for forming regular Korean adverbs and there are also some irregular adverbs you just have to remember!

By the end of the article, you’ll be able to: 

  • Identify 3 types of regular adverbs in sentences easily 
  • Know the rules to form regular Korean adverbs
  • Learn 50+ most commonly used Korean adverbs

Let’s get started!

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Forms of Korean Adverbs

The first type of adverb is formed by combining a word root with 이 (ee) or 히 (hee). This almost covers all the words ending in 하다 (hada). 

adverbs ending with -이

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Let’s take a look at them one by one.

이(ee) Adverb

The 이(ee) suffix is often added to the below 6 types of words to form an adverb:

(1) Word stem ending in ‘ㅅ’ + ‘하다’

ex: 

깨끗하다 (kkaekkeuthada) clean → 깨끗(kkaekkeus-si) cleanly

따뜻하다 (ttatteuthada) warm → 따뜻 (ttatteus-si) warmly

(2) Word stem ending in ‘ㄱ’ + ‘하다’

ex: 

촉촉하다 (cokcok-kada) wet; moist 촉촉 (cokcok-ki)  wetly; moistly 

두둑하다 (dudukada) quiet thick 두둑  (duduk-ki) quiet thickly

(3) Irregular verbs with stem ending in ‘ㅂ’ + ‘다’

ex:

(kagapda) → 가(kaga-i)

(jeulgeopda) (jeulgeo-i)

(4) Most of the adjectives ending in 다

ex:

(gatda) same; equal → 같(ga-chi) together; with

(nopda) high;tall → 높 (no-pi) high; height; level

(manhda) plentiful; many; a lot of→ 많 (ma-ni) much; in large numbers; 

(5) Superlative nouns

ex:

간간 (gangan) from time to time → 간간 (gan-gani) occasionally, sometimes

겹겹 (gyeopkkyeop)  being layered 겹겹 (gyeopkkyeobi) in layers; one over another

길길 (gilgil) long, lengthy길길 (gilgil-li) madly;to a great height

(6) Adverbs

ex:

곰곰 (gom-gom) pensively, musingly→ 곰곰 (gom-gomi)

생긋 (saenggeut) with a smile 생긋 (saenggeusi) with a smile

Now you’ve know a rather complicated type of Korean adverbs. The following will get easier!

히(hee) Adverb

Now let’s see 히(hee) adverbs. Except for the special cases mentioned above (하다  words with a “ㅅ” or “ㄱ” stem), most words ending in 하다 (hada) replace 하다 with히 to form adverbs. For example:

특별하다  (teukppyeolhada) special → 특별(specially, particularly)

솔직하다 (soljjikada) frank; honest 솔직 (soljjiki) frankly; honestly 

가만하다 (gamanada) be quiet가만 (gamani) quietly, motionlessly

Usage of 히(hee) in Korean

게 (Ge) Adverb

게 (Ge) adverbs are more oftenly seen in converting adjectives into adverbs. In a sense, it’s quite like the “ly” suffix in English. We can change an adjective to an adverb by replacing the word ending 다(da) with -게(ge).

Check out when we should use 게(ge)!

Usage of 게(ge) adverbs in Korean

1) To express purpose (translated as “in order to”)

Ex: 질서를 어지럽히지 않 줄을 서세요.

→ (In order) to not cause disorder, please line up.

2) To express a state or degree

Ex: 집을 예쁘 꾸미었어요.

→ The house is beautifully decorated.

(으)로 (Eu lo) Adverb

Another type of Korean adverbs is (으)로 (Eu lo) Adverbs. The rules of (으)로 adverbs are quite simple: 

  • If the noun ends in a consonant, then add -으로
  • If the noun ends in a vowel or ㄹ, then add -로
  • 으로 can only be added after a noun

There are roughly four ways to use (으)로 (Eu lo) adverbs:

1) To indicate the direction of the action (like “to” and “towards” in English)

Ex: 후문으로 가세요.

→ Please go to the back door.

2) To indicate the means or method of behavior

Ex: 영어 쓰세요. 

→ Please write in English.

3) To follow a noun to express a person’s status or qualification

Ex: 저는 교장으로 이번 개교 기념식에 참석하였다.

 → I attended this school anniversary as the president.

4) To express a reason or cause, equivalent to “because; due to”

Ex: 저는 열이 나 출근하지 못했다.

→ I couldn’t go to work because I had a fever.

Check out this video to learn more examples of (으)로 (Eu lo) adverbs!

List of most used Korean adverbs

In this part, we’ll present to you 5 groups of commonly used Korean adverbs. Some of them are irregular adverbs that do not follow the rules we mentioned before, just like “well” or “little” in English. So save this article and take notes to remember them!

Korean Adverbs of Time – 시간부사

Korean Adverbs

Romanized Hangul

English Meaning

어제 

eo je

yesterday

오늘 

o neul

today

내일

nae il

tomorrow

지금

ji geum

now

그때 

geu ttae

then

나중에/후에

na jung ei/ hu e

later

오늘밤 

o neul bam

tonight

바로 지금 

ba ro ji geum

right now

지난 밤 

ji nan bam

last night

오늘 아침 

o neur a chim

this morning

다음 주 

da eum ju

next week

Korean Adverbs of Place – 장소부사

Korean Adverbs

Romanized Hangul

English Adverbs

여기 

yeo gi

here

저기/거기 

jeo gi geo gi

there

저기/저쪽에 

jeo gi / jeo jjog e

over there

모든곳/어디나 

mo deun go(s) / eo di na

everywhere

어디든/아무데나 

eo di deun / a mu de na

anywhere

안에

ane

inside 

밑에

mitte

below

뒤에

dwiye

at the back

위에

wiy e

above

앞에

a pe

in front

밖에

bakk e

outside

Korean Adverbs of Frequency – 빈도부사

Korean Adverbs

Romanized Hangul

English Adverbs

항상

hang sang

always

까끔

ka keum

sometimes

자주

ja joo

often

한번씩

han beon shik

once in a while

절대

jeol te

never

때때로

tte ttero

occasionally

규칙적으로

kyoo chik jeog eu ro

regularly

보통으로

bo tong eu ro

normally

습관적으로

seup gwan jeog eu ro

habitually

드물게

deumulge

rarely

항상

hangsang

always

Korean Adverbs of Degree – 정도부사

Korean Adverbs

Romanized Hangul

English Adverbs

아주, 매우

a ju / mae u

very

완전히 

wan jeon hi

perfectly

단순히

dan sun hi

simply

엄청

eom cheong

enormously

볼과

jol gwa

only

절대로

jeol dae lo

Absolutely, completely

정말(로) / 진짜(로) / 참(으로)

jeong mal (lo) / jin jja (lo) / cham eu (lo)

really

특히

teu ghi

in particular

상당히

sSang dang hi

fairly

Korean Adverbs of Manner – 양태부사

Korean Adverbs

Romanized Hangul

English Adverbs

좋게

joh ke

well

나쁘게

na pue ge

badly

귀엽게

kwe yeop ke

cutely

아름답게

a ruem dap ke

beautifully

비싸게

bi ssa ge

expensively

맛있게

ma shi ke

deliciously

크게

keu ge

largely

길게

kil ge

lengthily

짧게

dzab ge

shortly

넓게

neolb ge

widely

작게

jak ge

little

 

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