Yes/No Questions in Korean


You have been introduced to the be verb and general verbs in Korean and can now create simple sentences by following any of the conjugation methods. Now, we're gonna see how the so-called yes or no questions are done in Korean.

In English, it involves switching places of the subject and the verb in the case of be. Whereas for general verbs, we begin the question with do, does, or did depending on the tense of the main verb. If it sounds complicated, take a look at the patterns below.

BE:
(statement)
subject + is/are/am/was/were + noun/adj/verb, etc.

(question)
is/are/am/was/were + subject + noun/adj/verb, etc.

You are a doctor.
Are you a doctor?

GENERAL VERB:

(statement)
subject + general verb + extra words

(question)
do/does/did + subject + general verb + extra words

She ate the apple.
Did she eat the apple?

We often hear that Korean is more difficult than English, but no, not at all times and not in this sense. That's because when making interrogative sentences in Korean, there is no switching of places at all! You won't encounter mistakes like confusing do with does, and adding 's' to the main verb. By just changing the intonation, a statement can become a question in a blink of an eye. Let's translate the sentence above.

BE:

당신은 의사예요.
당신은 의사예요?

GENERAL VERB:

그녀가 사과를 먹었어요.
그녀가 사과를 먹었어요?


In spoken Korean, pronouns are not commonly used. Sometimes, it is dropped when the subject is already understandable. When two people talk to each other, they use their names or titles to mean "you". In the sentences above, we use 당신 and 그녀 only for translation purposes. It makes sense even when you remove them.