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This is a part of the lyrics of a famous Korean song: Kim Haesol (Zion.T)'s <양화대교 (楊花大橋; Yanghwa bridge.)>.

행복하자, 우리. Let's be happy, let us.

행복하자, Let's be happy,

아프지 말고, not get sick;

아프지 말고, being okay,

행복하자. let's be happy.

행복하자, Let us be happy,

아프지 말고. not get sick.

그래, 그래. Right, alright.


A'ight, here comes the question: are ‘건강해라.’ and ‘아프지 말고 행복하자.’ grammatically correct? Can adjectives be modified with 어미 (endings) implying an imperative (commanding or suggestive) mood, in Korean?

  • 건강해라, 건강하여라: 건강하- (건강하다) + -여라. (Commanding)
  • 아프지 말고: 아프- (아프다) + -지 + 말- (말다) + -고. (Suggestive)
  • 행복하자: 행복하- (행복하다) + -자. (Suggestive)
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Originally and grammatically adjectives cannot be modified with 어미 implying an imperative (commanding or suggestive both).

However many Koreans are using that incorrectly when saying like:

건강하세요.

행복하세요.

But Korean grammar textbooks say it should be:

건강하시기 바랍니다.

행복하시기 바랍니다.

Because:

  1. Adjectives cannot have endings like -하자,-합시다,-해라, etc.
  2. It is rude to use imperative endings to elderly.

건강하다 and 행복하다 are adjectives. But you can use these instead.

건강해지자.

행복해지자.

건강해져라.

행복해져라.

Also -지 말다 can only be used behind verbs.

졸리지 마라.

Odd!

But these issues are okay in daily lives.

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  • Also 아프다 is also adjective. Apr 1 '18 at 6:10

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