Passive form

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The passive voice is a grammatical voice in which the subject receives the action of a transitive verb. Passive voice emphasizes the process rather than who is performing the action. In Korean this form is called 피동. There are few patterns to help distinguish between active and passive voices in Korean verbs. This makes this more difficult to learn than a regular Korean grammar rule.


Passive verbs are often formed by adding 이/히/리/기 to a regular verb.


이 Passive Verbs (Most verbs in this category end in ㅎ or a vowel)
Active verb Passive verb Comment
놓다 놓이다
바꾸다 바뀌다
보다 보이다
쓰다 쓰이다
쌓다 쌓이다
히 Passive Verbs (Most verbs in this category end in a ㅂ,ㅈ,ㄷ or ㄱ)
Active verb Passive verb Comment
꽂다 꽂히다
닫다 닫히다
읽다 읽히다
막다 막히다
먹다 먹히다
뽑다 뽑히다
잡다 잡히다
리 Passive Verbs (Most verbs in this category are irregular ㄷ verbs or end with ㄹ)
Active verb Passive verb Comment
걸다 걸리다
듣다 들리다
열다 열리다
팔다 팔리다
풀다 풀리다
기 Passive Verbs (Most verbs in this category end with ㄴ (ㄶ), ㅅ and ㅁ)
Active verb Passive verb Comment
끊다 끊기다
빼앗다 빼앗기다
안다 안기다
쫓다 쫓기다
잠그다 잠기다

See also