Passive form

From Korean Wiki Project
Revision as of 12:51, 27 May 2019 by Morphone (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

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 still work as action verbs but now the object (that usually takes 을 or 를) has become the subject of the sentence (takes the particles: 이 or 가).

  • 막아요. [Traffic] blocks the road.
  • 막혀요. The road is blocked [by traffic]. (막히다 is much more common in this scenario)

Some active voice expressions in English should be translated to passive voice in Korean.

  • 괜찮아 보여요. [It] is seen to be fine. ([It] looks fine.)
  • 영어처럼 들려요. [It] is heard like English. ([It] sounds like English.)

The Korean passive and causative conjugations pose a lot of confusing aspects and many Korean materials don't even teach this part properly. This grammar part may even be hard for some native Korean speakers. For example, 굽다 has two meanings and their conjugation forms are completely different.

  • 굽다 : bend
  • 굽어지다 : to become (naturally) bent : (-어지다 is always passive. In this case, 굽다 follows the regular conjugation rule)
  • 굽히다 : to make something become bent , to bend something : (this -히 is causative)
  • 굽혀지다 : to become bent by someone : (causative + passive)
  • 굽다 : to bake
  • 구워지다 : to be baked : (-어지다 is always passive. In this case, 굽다 follows the ㅂ irregular conjugation rule)

In the example above, -히 is a causative particle, but it can be either a passive particle in many other verbs.

  • 먹다 : to eat
  • 먹히다 : to be eaten : (this -히 is passive)
  • 먹이다 : to make/let someone eat , to feed : (this -이 is causative)

In some cases, passive and causative forms are identical.

  • 보다 : to see
  • 보이다 : to be seen : (passive)
  • 보이다 : to make/let someone see , to show : (causative, to avoid confusion, 보여주다 is used in most cases)
  • 보여지다 : to be shown : (causative + passive)
  • 보여지다 : to be seen : (passive + passive, double passive is wrong)

There are some verbs that even most native Koreans fail to conjugate correctly.

  • 잊다 : to forget
  • 잊히다 : to be forgotten : (passive)
  • 잊혀지다 : to be forgotten : (double passive using both -히 and -어지다. This is wrong)
  • 잊게 하다 : to make/let someone forget something : (in this case, -게 하다 is the proper causative form)

Some verbs don't allow the passive particles at all. These exceptional verbs need special passive forms.

  • 죽다 : to die
  • 죽이다 : to make/let someone die , to kill : (causative)
  • 죽임을 당하다 : to be killed : (passive)
  • 살해당하다 : to be killed : (alternative passive in Sino Korean)
  • 살해되다 : to be killed : (alternative passive in Sino Korean)

In short, every verb has their own arbitrary conjugation rules without regular logics. That's why most Korean materials for foreigners skip or overlook this grammar part. Each form of every verb should be memorized.

이 Passive Verbs (Most verbs in this category end in ㅎ or a vowel)
Active verb Passive verb Examples
놓다 (to lay, to put, to build) 놓이다 (to be on, to be placed, to be built)
  • Active: 식탁에 그릇들을 놓았다 (I put dishes on the table).
  • Passive: 식탁에 그릇들이 놓였다 (Dishes were put on the table).
바꾸다 (to change) 바뀌다 (to be changed)
  • Active: 결정을 바꾸었다 (I changed the decision).
  • Passive: 결정이 바뀌었다 (The decision was changed).
보다 (to see) 보이다 (to be seen)
  • Active:
  • Passive:
쓰다 (to use, to write) 쓰이다 (to be used, to be written)
  • Active:그 책은 내 친구가 썼다 (My friend wrote that book).
  • Passive:그 책은 내 친구에 의해 쓰였다 (That book was written by my friend).
쌓다 (to pile up, to stack) 쌓이다 (to be piled up, to be stacked up)
  • Active: 상자를 쌓았다 (I stacked boxes up).
  • Passive: 상자가 쌓였다 (Boxes were stacked up).
차다 - to dump someone 차이다 - to be dumped
  • Active: 내가 여자친구를 찼다 (I dumped my girlfriend).
  • Passive: 내 여자친구가 나에게 차였다 (My girlfriend was dumped by me).
히 Passive Verbs (Most verbs in this category end in a ㅂ,ㅈ,ㄷ or ㄱ)
Active verb Passive verb Examples
꽂다 (to put in, to stick in) 꽂히다 (to be stuck in)
  • Active: 꽃을 꽃병에 꽂았다 (I put flowers in a vase).
  • Passive: 꽃이 꽃병에 꽂혔다 (Flowers were put in a vase).
닫다 (to close, to shut) 닫히다 (to be closed, to be shut)
  • Active: 문을 닫았다 (I closed the door).
  • Passive: 문이 닫혔다 (The door was closed).
읽다 (to read) 읽히다 (to be read)
  • Active:책을 읽었다 (I read a book).
  • Passive: 책이 읽혔다 (The book was read by someone).
막다 (to block, to clog) 막히다 (to be blocked, to be conjested, to be clogged up)
  • Active: 입구를 막았다 (I blocked the entrance).
  • Passive: 입구가 막혔다 (The entrance was blocked).
먹다 (to eat) 먹히다 (to be eaten)
  • Active: 빵을 먹는다 (I eat bread).
  • Passive: 빵이 먹혔다 (The bread was eaten).
묻다 (to bury) 묻히다 (to be buried)
  • Active: 땅에 관을 묻었다 (I buried the coffin under the ground).
  • Passive: 땅에 관이 묻혔다 (The coffin was buried under the ground).
뽑다 (to pluck, to pull off) 뽑히다 (to be plucked, to be pulled off)
  • Active: 잡초를 뽑는다 (I pluck the weeds out).
  • Passive: 잡초가 뽑혔다 (The weeds were plucked out).
잡다 (to catch) 잡히다 (to be caught)
  • Active: 경찰이 범죄자를 잡았다 (the police caught the criminal).
  • Passive: 범죄자가 경찰에게 잡혔다 (the criminal was caught by the police).
리 Passive Verbs (Most verbs in this category are irregular ㄷ verbs or end with ㄹ)
Active verb Passive verb Examples
걸다 (to hang) 걸리다 (to be hung)
  • Active: 그림을 벽에 걸었다 (I hung a picture on the wall).
  • Passive: 그림이 벽에 걸렸다 (The picture was hung on the wall).
듣다 (to hear) 들리다 (to be heard)
  • Active:노래를 들었다 (I heard the song).
  • Passive: 노래가 들렸다 (The song was heard).
물다 (to bite) 물리다 (to be bitten)
  • Active: 개가 나를 물었다 (the dog bit me).
  • Passive: 나는 개한테 물렸다 (I was bitten by the dog).
열다 (to open) 열리다 (to be open)
  • Active:창문을 열었다 (I open the window).
  • Passive: 창문이 열렸다 (The window was open).
팔다 (to sell) 팔리다 (to be sold)
  • Active:나는 장난감을 판다 (I sell the toys).
  • Passive: 장난감이 팔렸다 (The toys were sold).
풀다 (to untie, to solve) 풀리다 (to get untied, to be solved )
  • Active:문제를 풀었다 (I solve the problem).
  • Passive: 문제가 풀렸다 (The problem was solved).
자르다 (to cut) 잘리다 (to be cut)
  • Active:종이를 잘랐다 (I cut the paper).
  • Passive: 종이가 잘렸다 (The paper was cut).
기 Passive Verbs (Most verbs in this category end with ㄴ (ㄶ), ㅅ and ㅁ)
Active verb Passive verb Examples
끊다 (to cut off, to sever) 끊기다 (to be cut off, to be severed)
  • Active: 줄을 끊었다 (I cut the rope).
  • Passive: 줄이 끊겼다 (The rope was cut).
빼앗다 (to take, to steal) 빼앗기다 (to be taken, to be stolen)
  • Active: 돈을 빼앗았다 (I stole someone's money).
  • Passive: 돈을 빼앗겼다 (My money was stolen by someone).
안다 (to hold, to embrace) 안기다 (to be held, to be embraced)
  • Active: 아기를 품에 안았다 (I held baby in my arms).
  • Passive: 아기가 품에 안겨있다 (The baby is in my arms).
쫓다 (to chase) 쫓기다 (to be chased)
  • Active:경찰이 도둑을 쫓는다 (A policeman chases robbery).
  • Passive: 도둑이 경찰에 쫓겼다(A robbery was chased by policeman).
잠그다 (to lock) 잠기다 (to be locked)
  • Active:문을 잠근다 (I lock the door).
  • Passive: 문이 잠겼다 (The door was locked).

See also