I am currently learning Korean with a textbook and a certain sentence left me confused:

할머니도 어렵게 살고 계시지만 가정 형면이 어려워(!) 대학교에 다니지 못하는 학생들을 위해서 힘들게 모은 돈을 기부한 것이다.

The translation would be roughly: Even though my grandmother lives in a difficult situation, she donated the hard-earned money for students who couldn't attend college because of a difficult family situation.

(!) But doesnt have the 어려워 need to be an 어려워서? Or is this a special grammar form? Can you just leave the -서 out? Or is it a priting mistake?

2 Answers 2


That's a common abbreviation for any verb that goes with -해서.


  1. 슬프다 -> 슬퍼 -> 슬퍼서
  • 슬퍼서 울었다.
  • 슬퍼 울었다.
  1. 어렵다 -> 어려워 -> 어려워서
  • 형편이 어려워서 학교 못 다니는 학생.
  • 형편이 어려워 학교 못 다니는 학생.
  1. 무겁다 -> 무거워 -> 무거워서
  • 너무 무거워서 놓쳤다.
  • 너무 무거워 놓쳤다.
  1. 넘다 -> 넘어 -> 넘어서
  • 밤 열 시가 넘어서 집에 도착했다.
  • 밤 열 시가 넘어 집에 도착했다.

(These sentences are all valid.)


Both are correct. '-어' and '-어서' are different connective ending (연결어미) but can be used to express reason. 어렵(다) is a root form of "어려워" and "어려워서":

  • 어렵- + -어 = 어려워

  • 어렵- + -어서 = 어려워서

There take a place ㅂ irregular conjugation. ㅂ changed into ㅗ/ㅜ.

I'm Korean and I can't use English well. I wish my words can reach you...


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