This is my first time asking a question here so I hope I’m doing everything right. I’m wondering, what is the difference between these forms of the same word:

1) 깨끗 2) 깨끗다 3) 깨끗하다 4) 깨끗습니다

I know they all mean clean. It’s just an example word I picked. I know the first is the word stem. I have no idea what the second is. I think the third is the basic unconjugated word? I know (or I hope) the last one is the correctly conjugated present tense (eg. I/he/she/they clean.)

Could someone please explain the differences AND especially how these would each be used? For example, would an unconjugaed word or stem ever practically be used in the language?

I hope my question is easy to understand. I would be really grateful to anyone who could give me a comprehensive answer.

2 Answers 2


1) 깨끗 2) 깨끗다 3) 깨끗하다 4) 깨끗습니다

  1. 깨끗 comes from the word 깨끗하다, which means that something is clean, spotless, etc..
  2. 깨끗다 is wrong and is not a valid form of 깨끗 or 깨끗하다
  3. Same as nr. 1
  4. 깨끗습니다 is wrong and is not a valid for of 깨끗하다.

깨끗합니다 is a valid form, and so is 깨끗하다. 깨끗 is not really used alone, unless it is used in the on-screen text of tv-shows, or in texting to make a short remark. Otherwise, a form of 깨끗하다 is used, such as

깨끗하게: 깨끗하게 만들어 주세요 / Make it cleanly (without making a mess).

깨끗한: 깨끗한 방에 들어갔다 / I went in to a clean room.
etc. etc.

  • Thank you! I guess I was getting confused by words that don’t actually exist then! Sorry my conjugation needs some practice too. But good to know how the stems would actually be used because I’ve wondered for a while. Thanks again. :)
    – Amethyst
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 15:37

1) 깨끗 is origin of 깨끗하다.

2) 깨끗하다 (be clean) can be honored as 깨끗해요, 깨끗합니다.

3) 깨끗한 adjective (being clean) For example, 깨끗한 손 clean hand.

4) 깨끗해+서(reason), 깨끗하+게(way)

내 손은 깨끗해서 좋다 I like my hand because it is clean.

내 책상 깨끗하게 써라. Use my desk without a dirty.


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