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I just started learning Korean today and I tried to do the review section of chapter 2 in Vitamin Korean 1 but got stuck in question number 17.

In this question, it asks to choose the wrong choice from the underlined part, which are:

  1. 할머니가 보세요.
  2. 어머니가 드세요.
  3. 할아버지가 자세요.
  4. 아버지가 말씀하세요.

The book shows that the answer is number 3, but I don’t get it. Because 자다 is a verb. So, why this choice is wrong when followed by -(으)세요 likes other choices?

Maybe I skipped some grammar rule? Could someone help me to clarify this for me?

Thank you in advance!

1 Answer 1

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  1. 할머니가 보세요.
  2. 어머니가 드세요.
  3. 할아버지가 자세요.
  4. 아버지가 말씀하세요.

The verb forms of the four are all correct. The reason #3 is not right is because there is a dedicated raised word for 자다: 주무시다 (conjugated as 주무세요). We always say either 자다 (plain) or 주무시다 (raised), and (almost) never 자시다. So it is a vocabulary question, and if you haven't learned this word, there is no way you could have answer it correctly.

Most words are raised with the simple -세요 (or -셔요) form, but there are a few special cases that have an entirely different word when raised. Only three or four are commonly used: 자다 (to sleep) -> 주무시다, 말하다 (to speak/talk) -> 말씀하시다, 먹다 (to eat) -> 잡수시다/드시다, 마시다 (to drink) -> 드시다.

Just remember these and simply add -세요 to the verb stem for all others, and you'll be fine.

By the way, Vitamin Korean is 비민 한국어 :-)

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  • I got it now! Thank you so much for your explanation☺️!!
    – Soo
    Mar 2 at 16:44

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