Sorry if it's a stupid question, I've picked up the Talk To Me In Korean Real Life Conversations E-Book as previously advised in my first question on here. There could just be several grammatical rules that I simply haven't learned about yet.

I understand that :

아요 - If the verb stem’s last vowel is ㅏ or ㅗ you add 아요.

어요 - If the verb stem’s last vowel not ㅏ or ㅗ you add 어요.

여요 - Add this to the verb stem that ends with 하.

But why does the 오 suddenly get a whole new vowel added to it?

Thanks to anyone who spends the time to help me on this :)

  • 1
    It first turns into 오아요, but people use 와요 only, which is the contraction of 오아요. No one uses 오아요 in real life, so Standard Korean does not allow the form 오아요. You should take it as an exception.
    – Klmo
    Jul 4, 2020 at 3:04

1 Answer 1


If the verb stem’s last vowel is ㅏ or ㅗ you add 아요

So, to 오 we would add 아요 = 오아요.

But remember that at the beginning of a character, ㅇ represents no sound - a 'null', if you like. So it makes perfect sense to remove that ㅇ in the middle...

오아요 = "오ㅏ요" = 와요

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