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500 Basic Korean Verbs: The Only Comprehensive Guide to Conjugation and Usage (Downloadable Audio Files Included) Paperback – January 10, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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  • 500 Basic Korean Verbs: The Only Comprehensive Guide to Conjugation and Usage (Downloadable Audio Files Included)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Incredibly useful reference for anyone studying Korean. The index is perfect, making easy to find verbs in hangul or by english meaning. Verb pages are visually very clean and easy to find the right conjugation, as well as including sample sentences and sentence structure at the bottom of the page. Verbs with the same spelling but different meanings are given separate pages for separate meanings." —Goodreads

About the Author

Kyubyong Park works in the field of information technology, and has also been an editor at an educational publishing company focusing on language practice books for Koreans learning English. He is the coauthor of Korean for Beginners (Tuttle Publishing). He lives in Seoul.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; with companion CD edition (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804842051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804842051
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I worked for several years as an editor at an educational publishing company, before coming back to academia to pursue a graduate degree in linguistics. My current interests are phraseology, lexicography, and computational linguistics. I live in Honolulu with a beautiful woman who calls me husband. You can reach me at longinglove@nate.com if you have something to tell me, or want to know my home address that your generous present will be delivered to.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I already took Korean classes prior to this, but since Korean is so focused on verbs, I knew I needed a book like this. I've been working through this book slowly trying to memorize all 500 verbs to up my Korean skills.

That given, this book is very good for either the basic or advanced learner, though it's missing some of the more common verbs I'm used to hearing.

Pros: It provides the romanization (though not quite an explaination for how the sounds go since there are several romanizations of Korean, so it's worth knowing the hangeul). It provides several conjugations and tenses of the verbs. Then it also provides a few example sentences and notes about how it's applied.

The indexes are also very thorough and handled well.

Cons: For those that love Korean historical dramas and were really hoping to learn verbs that are part of the upper levels of speech and upper levels of verb endings, this book does not cover those verbs. While there are some deferential verbs (the few that are there are dutifully noted at least), the majority of those are absent. So there isn't much hope you'd be able to address a King. (I was secretly hoping to ace some of those verbs too.)

Despite that, the average user won't need the upper levels of speech, so it's understandable that they are absent, however, a basic explanation about this choice for the laymen not used to Korean might help to understand the intentions of the book. (Also something about formal, informal, dictionary form and deferential (lower end) usage culturally.)

But if you're like me and slacked on learning vocabulary, then learning verbs will help you a lot in communicating in Korean. So this will be a helpful book for you to have.
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Format: Paperback
This book is really great. It's in alphabetical order, has a good index, and the conjugation demonstrations are very helpful. Overall, I definitely recommend this book for the intermediate user.

However, I do have a bone to pick with this book. As an intermediate learner I understand that not everyone can read hangul. But if you can't read hangul then you really shouldn't be jumping straight to a verb book. I really needed a detailed essential verb book, and this is certainly that, but the romanization is, in my opinion, clumsy, distracting, and pointless for such a straightforward writing system. The book provides synonyms and antonyms for each verb but only provides a romanization instead of translating it for you, which is a shame. Although I would still recommend this book to others, I'll keep looking for other verb books.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So, as I said in another review, I own hundreds of Korean language learning books.
THIS book however is a MUST for anyone who wants to really learn Korean.
The power of the Korean language is in the VERBS since all sentences End in a verb.

For improving vocabulary and learning the proper conjugation of verbs, this book is THE BEST.

It is one of 4 books that I carry with me everywhere and refer to constantly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I definitely love the book. AND I DEFINITELY APPRECIATE THE ROMANIZATION. First of all, not everybody who buys this book is an advanced Korean language student. Therefore, some people will need help with the pronunciation of some verbs.

Of course I know Hangul, and I know the rules to read Hangul. However, many times I have run into words that I believe I am pronouncing correctly, based on the rules to read Hangul; but when I hear the actual pronunciation of the words by a native Korean speaker, it happens to be that I am completely wrong. Like the number 16(½ÊÀ°), why is it pronounced shimnyuk instead of shibyuk?...Well, you got me!!!...But that is the way it is. Later on I learned that the number 6 (À°) takes the form (·ú)when is not in the initial position, and in this case the rule that ¤© when preceded by a consonant other than l or n, should be pronounced like n applies.

My point is... 1)many times the pronunciation of a word does not abide by the Hangul rules, you just need to know how the word should be pronounced, period. 2) Even if you know the Hangul rules and these rules apply to the words, it is good to have the pronunciation at hand sometimes, and 3) If you definitely know how to read all the verbs to perfection, then FOCUS on the Hangul... I do not see what the problem is.

Now, there are 2 things that could be improved, in my opinion.

First, the Audio Files. As I said, no matter how well I read Hangul, I have noticed that if I had never heard the word before, my pronunciation sounds good, but different. In other words, sounds very "foreigner". So one of the things I was expecting from the audio files, was the pronunciation of all the verbs with its different endings; but that wasn't the case.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book. I’ve always found paradigms a very useful learning tool, especially in conjunction with rules for making the forms (which the author includes in his Guide to Conjugation, and concisely summarizes on the inside of the back cover). Paradigms are surprisingly rare in Korean textbooks. I’m not sure whether it’s because “everything is regular” once you know the rules so paradigms don’t add anything, or whether it’s because there are so many forms that it’s impossible to list them all in a limited space like a single page, so why even try?

The author does omit some forms. I know of their existence from linguistic descriptions. They include: (1) two speech styles used only by some older speakers and clearly in the process of disappearing; (2) the retrospective (perceived past); (3) forms with two or more tense markers including the past past (-ass/eoss-eoss- and two past futures (-ass/eoss-gess- and –ass/eoss-eul geo-); (4) some modal forms; and (5) forms with connecting particles other than the ones in the “blue box”. (And probably also some other items that I don’t even know about).

None of these omissions seem serious to me. And even if he doesn’t include them, he’s given you a framework that you can fit them into.

The one set of forms that I was concerned weren’t included even though they seemed quite important were those with the honorific suffix –si-. But then I found that they actually were there, even if not totally obvious. First, for every verb he gives the corresponding honorific stem in its dictionary form (ending in –sida). This includes honorific forms based on different roots (like deusida for meoktta ‘eat’ and jumusida for jada ‘sleep’, also gyesida as well as isseusida for ittta ‘be, be doing, stay, have’).
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