How to Make a Korean Sentence (SVC)


In this lesson, we are going to learn how to construct a simple SVC sentence in Korean. SVC stands for subject-verb-complement which is a normal word order in English. A subject is what the sentence is all about and a verb is an action word. A complement is a noun or an adjective (but not limited to them) that describes the subject. Here are two examples: (1) Nanase is a woman and (2) Nanamin is lovely. The words woman and lovely are complements. The verb is is the linking verb. A linking verb links the subject and the complement and the be-verb is the most common example.

In Korean language, the noun-complement and adjective-complement are different. The case of noun-complement has been tackled in another note, so let's pay attention to the case of adjective-complement. Here are examples in English.

I am happy.
She is lonely.
They are bored.

The words happy, lonely, and bored are adjectives and they are complements. In Korean, they act as verbs so <is, are, am> is actually part of that verb form. It is then more appropriate to say to be happy, to be lonely, and to be bored in Korean language point of view. 

It doesn't matter whether the subject is singular or plural. All that matters is we know how to conjugate them in order to form a sensible sentence. Here they are in three levels of speech (formal, polite, and casual).

TO BE HAPPY
행복합니다
행복해요
행복해

TO BE LONELY
외롭습니다
외로워요
외로워

TO BE BORED
심심합니다
심심해요
심심해

S-V-C in Korean is S-V or most of the time V because it is possible to omit the subject in certain situations. In the examples below, it still makes sense even without the subject as long as the speaker and listener understands who is being talked about.


I am happy.
(나는) 행복해요.

She is lonely. 
(걔는) 외로워요.

They are bored.
(걔들은) 심심해요.