There are two ways to negate Korean verbs:
- By prepending 안 ("안 춥다")
- By appending -지 않다 ("춥지 않다")
Are there rules for which one to use? Or does the method used change the meaning of the sentence?
Korean Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, teachers and students of the Korean language. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
안 comes from the shortened form of 아니다
The negation 않 comes from the shortened form of 아니하다
Both work the same way in terms of negating verbs or adjectives, but the longer form ~지 않다 is used more in formal situations
But perhaps another common difference would be the fact that 아니다 can be used as a statement in itself as a negative response. For example,
가: 집에 있어요?
Prepending 안 is more casual while appending 지 않다 is more formal. But under many situations you can use them interchangeably.
One another trend is that for long verbs, appending 지 않다 is preferred. For example, the negate form of 거짓말하다 ('to lie') is usually 거짓말하지 않다. In this case 안 거짓말하다 seems really unnatural. On the contrary, short verbs such as 먹다 can comfortably take two forms: 안 먹다 and 먹지 않다.