Thursday, November 19, 2015

Adverbs and adverbials (부사와 부사적 어구)

The primary function of adverbs is to modify verbs and/or adjectives. Consider the following examples:

In 1, 일찍(early) modifies the verb 일어났어요(got up), and 아마(maybe) modifies the verb 도착할 거예요(will arrive) in 2. In 3, 매우(very) modifies the adjective 맛있어요(delicious), and 약간(little) modifies the adjective 짜요(salty) in 4.

Three types of adverbs

Korean adverbs can be grouped into three types: sentential adverbs, conjunctional adverbs, and componential adverbs. Sentential adverbs modify a whole sentence. Conjunctional adverbs are those that connect two different sentences. Componential adverbs modify a specific part of the sentence such as verbs or adjectives. Consider the following sentences:

하여튼(anyway) is a sentential adverb since it modifies the entire sentence, 커피가 아주 뜨거웠어요(the coffee was very hot). 아주(very) is a componential adverb since it specifically modifies the adjective 뜨거웠어요(was hot). 그리고(and) is a conjunctional adverb since it connects two sentences.

Examples of sentential adverbs include the following:

Examples of conjunctional adverbs include:

There are three groups of componential adverbs depending on what kind of relation they modify, such as manner, temporal relations, and degree. First, manner adverbs express some relation of manner, for example:

Time adverbs that concern temporal relations include the following:

Degree adverbs include the following:

However, when there is more than one componential adverb in a sentence, the adverbs tend to occur in the following sequence: time, degree, and manner, as shown below.

Notice that the first adverb is time adverb 항상(always), followed by the degree adverb 아주(very), and the manner adverb 많이(much).


In Korean, adverbs do not take any morphological variation. Those adverbs that take morphological variations are called “adverbial”. Consider the
following examples:

In 1, notice that 맛있게(deliciously) modifies the verb 먹었어요(ate), and 아름답게(beautifully) modifies 피어요(blossom) in 2. However, 맛있게 or 아름답게 are not adverbs but adverbials in Korean, since they are the results of the morphological variations:

Notice above that the adverbial form -게 is attached to the adjective stems. In Korean, one can change an adjective into an adverbial form by attaching 􁻢 to an adjective stem. Here are some more examples:

* Click to read related posts.
Grammar for Intermediates
Nouns (명사)
Irregular verbs and adjectives (불규칙동사와 형용사)
Prenouns (관형사)

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