“The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.” ― Michel de Montaigne
Good ol’ Michel was right. Grammar can indeed be troubling at times, especially for language learners.
But grammar is the backbone of all languages, including Korean. Sometimes the most important parts of life truly are the roughest.
Native Korean speakers have the privilege of learning the language’s grammar nuances as children. Getting it out of the way when you’re a kid can be a lot easier than figuring it out as an adult!
Still, as an adult Korean-language student, you can master Korean grammar. And even have a little fun in the process.
How? With 11 awesome resources that will teach you how to learn Korean grammar.
Why Is Korean Grammar So Important?
- Grammar is the foundation of any language. As we mentioned above, grammar matters. If you don’t have a clue how Korean grammar works, you won’t be able to understand a lot of what native speakers are trying to say.
- Grammar provides you with context so you can figure out how to express yourself in Korean. Understanding grammar makes having conversations in Korean a lot easier. Thanks to grammar, you’ll have a grasp on where basic Korean words should go in a sentence.
- To truly be fluent in Korean, one must master multiple aspects of the language: vocabulary, pronunciation, reading, writing, speaking, listening and—you guessed it—grammar. If you’re working your way toward fluency, you’ll need to have a core understanding of Korean grammar systems.
When learning Korean grammar, don’t forget the power of context!
Context is super important in Korean, especially considering that it’s defined by etiquette and politeness. The way you speak will be completely shaped by the level of formality you’re part of.
For example, saying something as simple as “thank you” needs to be modified depending on the situation, as seen in the following video from FluentU’s Korean YouTube channel.
Whether you’re saying thank you to a doctor, a stranger on the street or even a young child, the level of formality you use matters—and using the wrong one could get you weird looks or even someone thinking you’re rude.
Check out this video and many others like it on FluentU’s Korean YouTube channel!
How to Learn Korean Grammar: 11 Resources Every Student Should Try
Don’t feel like you have to stick with all 11 of these grammar resources. You don’t want to overload yourself with material and risk burning out.
But do feel free to try them all! Then choose one (or two or three) that are the best fits for you as you learn the Korean language.
Learn Korean – Grammar (App)
Available: iOS | Android
Learn Korean – Grammar is great for understanding different aspects of Korean, from the alphabet to greetings to numbers.
Grammar is the focus of this app, complete with nearly 200 grammar lessons and quizzes. It’s also free to use with ads. The grammar lessons more in-depth than you’d expect from a free app, and they completely explore the description and structure of various grammar scenarios.
Available: iOS | Android
Grammar isn’t exactly known as the most exciting part of learning a language. But videos make learning grammar way more fun than, say, textbooks or classroom lectures.
Each video features annotated subtitles in Korean and English. Hover over the Korean word to see the definition, part of speech and an associated image. This gives you the ability to see where certain words and parts of speech are placed in various example sentences.
Next, check out Quiz Mode, an interactive way to practice all the vocabulary you’ve learned in each video. Oh, and these quizzes are 100% customized to your study habits, so no two learners’ experiences are the same!
Access the full FluentU video library on your web browser or, better yet, learn Korean grammar on the go when you download the app at the iTunes store or Google Play store.
“Korean Grammar in Use” (Book)
Sometimes a good, old-fashioned book is the best resource for learning something as cut and dry as grammar. When it comes to Korean grammar, “Korean Grammar in Use” is quite the catch.
This textbook is the result of three experienced authors who have collectively been teaching Korean to foreigners for many years. The focus is 100% on Korean grammar, and the book implements study techniques that make it easier for foreign learners to concentrate on complex concepts.
There are beginner, intermediate and advanced versions of this book, so you can definitely find the level that’s appropriate for you.
Guide to Korean Pronunciation and Grammar Rules (Guide)
This brief guide from the website Glossika is surprisingly in depth and covers most of the Korean grammar basics. If you’re a beginning learner without any real language-learning plan, Guide to Korean Pronunciation and Grammar Rules would be a good first stop.
The guide includes a video lesson on learning the Korean alphabet, explores the Korean pronunciation and writing systems and dives into the basics of Korean grammar. It’s not too long of a read, either!
“Korean Grammar for Speaking” (Book)
You can buy this book on Amazon in paperback as well as for Kindle. If you’re interested in the speaking and conversational aspect of Korean, “Korean Grammar for Speaking” is the right resource for you.
The focus of this book is on the speech nuances in Korean and how to properly use grammar in a conversation. It’s quite organized and broken down into relevant sections, so regardless of your level, you can easily find a grammar concept to focus on.
Korean Grammar Guides and Language Lessons from Duke University (Digital Resource)
It’s always great when a high-quality university provides free resources for a course… but Duke University has taken it to another level with this in-depth list of grammar guides and language lessons!
In this list, you’ll find links to free online lessons for various levels, a complete online course from Berkeley University, audio clips of native speakers, tutorials, a student help forum and free audio and video lessons available for download.
It’s worth noting that this list is best suited for beginning and intermediate learners.
How to Make Long Sentences in Korean? Basic Korean Grammar (Video)
Do you learn best when sitting in a classroom? Not everybody can fit lecture time into their busy schedule, which is why this video guide from KoreanClass101 is so helpful.
In this half-hour video, the teacher will take you on a crash course through forming long sentences in Korean and which grammar elements should be used. It’s very clear and easy to understand, and it isn’t too different from sitting in a classroom with an actual instructor.
LingoDeer Korean (App)
Available: iOS | Android
You may have heard of LingoDeer in the past—and with good reason! This handy app is famous for teaching Korean, Japanese and Chinese to foreign learners.
The LingoDeer app uses attractive visuals and a very user-friendly interface to teach everything from grammar to pronunciation to the alphabet. The grammar notes in this app are very detailed and actually explain how the language works, rather than just throwing difficult concepts at you.
LingoDeer is free to use but also offers in-app purchases for more in-depth lessons and an ad-free experience.
“Korean Grammar: The Complete Guide to Speaking Korean Naturally” (Book)
This clear and concise book covers Korean grammar systematically in a way that even the absolute beginner can understand.
Mainly designed to help Korean language learners with their speech and grammar, “Korean Grammar: The Complete Guide to Speaking Korean Naturally” is a simple but effective textbook to use. It’s loaded with real-world examples, so you can use context to help you learn more complex grammar ideas.
The Korean Grammar Wikipedia Page (Website)
When all else fails, try Wikipedia!
This Wiki page on Korean grammar is surprisingly accurate, and it presents every nuance of Korean grammar in a way that’s extremely organized and thorough. If you’re responsive to online guides when it comes to learning new things, it’s worth using this Wiki page as a starting point for your Korean-learning journey.
Introduction to Korean Grammar (Video)
This is another video guide from KoreanClass101. It’s perfect for the beginner who may be totally baffled by the idea of Korean grammar.
This ultimate beginner guide focuses on super basic concepts, so newbies won’t be totally overwhelmed by difficult grammar. It’s also very short at only six minutes, so you can definitely use this resource on a tight schedule.
Sure, grammar can cause us a lot of problems when we don’t have the hang of it. But once you catch on, Korean grammar can open tons of doors into the language.
With the help of these 11 resources, you’ll pick up how to learn Korean grammar in a jiff. Which ones will you choose?
Em Casalena is a published author, freelance writer and music columnist. They write about a lot of stuff, from music to films to language.
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