Many Ways to Say 'How' in Korean


HOW is kind of special because unlike other question words, it is derived from a verb- 어떻다. The formation is different when we ask how something is and how something is done. For the first type, we normally conjugate 어떻다 and for the second type we use 어떻게. Let’s take a look at some examples.

요즘은 어떻습니까?
How are things with you?

오늘 기분은 어때요?
How are you feeling today?

한국 생활은 어때?
How is your life in Korea?

학교를 어떻게 갑니까?
How do you go to school?

이걸 어떻게 먹어요?
How do you eat this?

 문제를 어떻게 풀어?
How do you solve this problem?

This analysis does not work at all times though if we try to mirror the two languages more closely. It is actually possible to use ‘어떻게’ with a combination of ‘how and be’ and we can also use ‘어떻다’ with a combination of ‘how and do’.

아버님은 어떻게 지내세요?
How is your father?

  신발이 어때요?
How do you like my shoes?

Even the question ‘how do you like’ does not always require the verb 어떻다. Say for example the sentence ‘How do you like my friend?’ You can say ‘ 친구가 마음에 들어?’ Interestingly, we can actually form how-questions without using 어떻다 or 어떻게. Here they are as follows.

HOW MANY + NOUN

  잔을 넣어야 돼요?
How many glasses of water should I put?

사과  개가 필요해요?
How many apples do you need?

가족  명이 있나요??
How many people are there in your family?

HOW MUCH + VERB

당신의 가족을 얼마나 사랑하나요?
How much do you love your family?

술을 얼마나 마실  있어요?
How much liquor can you drink?

돈이 얼마나 필요해요?
How much money do you need?

HOW + OFTEN

얼마나 자주 영화를 보러 가세요?
How often do you go to the movies?

하루에 얼마나 자주 커피를 마셔요?
How often do you drink coffee in a day?

얼마나 자주 한국 드라마를 봐요?
How often do you watch Korean dramas?

HOW + ADJECTIVE

김치는 얼마나 매워요?
How spicy is Kimchi?

천국은 얼마나 아름다울까요?
How beautiful do you think heaven is?

시험은 얼마나 어려웠어요?
How difficult was the exam?

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