Learn Korean: 기 싫다 VS 는 것 싫다

The verb 싫다 means to hate or dislike and we can use it to express what we hate to do or doing. In English, we can use both gerund (verb-ing) and infinitive (to verb) with it. For example, we can say I hate to see him or I hate seeing him. There is a little difference in nuance. I hate to see him sounds futuristic while I hate seeing him is an everyday occurrence.

Similarly, we can express them in two ways in Korean language. The object of 싫다 is conjugated into either of the following: (1) by addingto the verb stem (2) by adding 는 것 to the verb stem. 싫다 comes at the end. For example, the verb 먹다 (to eat) becomes 먹기 싫다 or 먹는 것 싫다. They both mean eating something is undesirable, but just like in English, the difference is paper thin. 기 싫다 somewhat carries a futuristic nuance while 는 것 싫다 somewhat refers to an action that you hate doing all the time. You won't hear people say 것 exactly. Instead, they say 거 or 게. Take a look at the following examples.

쓸데없이 걱정하는  싫어.
I hate worrying about useless things. (that’s my character)

오늘 학교 가기 싫어.
I don’t want to go to school. (just today, not really all the time)

입에 넣는  싫어.
I hate putting it in my mouth. (that’s my general preference)

거기에 살기 싫어.
I don’t want to live there. (if you are thinking of moving there mom)

바닥에 자는  싫어.
I don’t like sleeping on the floor.