I've seen

너무 슬퍼 마시오 - don’t be too sad

which looks like an abbreviated form of '너무 슬프지 마시오'.

Do they mean the same thing? If they are the same, can 지 in the the '-지 말다' negative imperative generally be replaced with 어/아?

2 Answers 2


As a native Korean, I think two sentences are gramatically okay, but 슬프지 마시오 is a little bit wierd.

슬퍼 마시오 omits 하지 in the middle but it's ok.

슬퍼(하지) 마시오

  • So '너무 슬퍼 마시오' is an elision of '너무 슬퍼하지 마시오', and 슬프지 마시오 is unnatural/incorrect? Aug 3, 2016 at 6:35
  • Yes right. It's unnatural.
    – dextto
    Aug 3, 2016 at 21:45

'-지 말다' follows a verb (슬퍼하다), not an adjective (슬프다).

  • 2
    Hi, welcome to the site. Are you saying that 슬프지 마시오 is wrong? What about 슬퍼 마시오 ? It would be great if you could expand your answer to talk about both. Aug 2, 2016 at 7:03
  • Yes, it is wrong. For example, 기쁘지 마시오, 고맙지 마시오, 무섭지 마시오, etc. are wrong too because 기쁘다, 고맙다 and 무섭다 are adjectives. 기뻐하다, 고마워하다 and 무서워하다 should be used instead. As for 슬퍼 마시오, dextto's explanation is right. You can also say 기뻐(하지) 마시오, 고마워(하지) 마시오 and 무서워(하지) 마시오.
    – user357
    Aug 3, 2016 at 1:01

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