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Verb + 기 : This nominalizes any verb. In English, we have the gerund which works by adding -ing. For example, we can turn eat to eating. This allows us to use the verb eat as a noun. In a sentence we use the construction I like [noun] or I like [infinitive]. So, it is acceptable to say both, I like eating and I like to eat. This works for every verb, try it! Korean does something extremely similar. Some constructions in Korean ONLY take nouns, so you can nominalize the verb simply by adding 기 to the end of it. For example, 먹다 turns to 먹기. To say I like to eat or I like eating, you can say, 먹기를 좋아합니다. Notice how you can now put 를 at the end of 먹기 as if it were a noun. This is now acceptable because you've turned 먹다 into a noun.

Example of constructions that require the verb to be converted to a noun via 기:


  • Note that the ending ㅁ/음 also nominalizes verbs (자다 to sleep becomes 잠 sleep, 싸우다 to fight becomes 싸움 a fight). They are both acceptable ways of creating nouns from a verbs. Some verbs prefer using ㅁ/음 to 기 like 자다 and 싸우다 but Koreans are not particular about what you do as long as the construction works.

Sentence Examples

Korean English Notes
여름에는 음식이 상하기 쉬워요. Foods spoil easily in summer. Polite informal form
철수는 놀기도 잘하고 공부도 잘 합니다. Chul Su is good at both playing and studying. Polite informal form
돈은 쓰기보다 벌기가 어려워요. It's more difficult to earn money than to spend it. Polite informal form
맵지 않아서 먹기가 좋아요. These are good to eat because they're not spicy. Polite informal form
감기가 빨리 낫기를 바라요. I hope your cold gets better soon. Polite informal form
철수는 공부하기를 좋아해요. Chul Su likes studying. Polite informal form
이 신발은 걷기가 아주 편해요.→ This shoes are really comfortable to walk. Polite informal form
떡볶이는 요리하기가 쉬워. Ddeokboki is easy to cook. Low form
우리 개는 목욕하기를 싫어해요. My dog doesn't like to take a bath. Polite informal form
일하러 가기 싫어. I don't want to go to work. Low form


  • Due to consonant assimilation rules, sometimes 기 gets pronounced as 끼.
    • 먹기 → 먹끼
    • 듣기 → 듣끼

See Also

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