This next set of irregular verbs in this series on Korean irregular verbs are the ㄹ irregular verbs. This group is known as such because the verb stem ends in ㄹ. Among these verbs are: 만들다 or 살다. Just keep a few simple rules in mind when using these verbs.

Two rules for ㄹ Irregular Verbs

If you remember my post on the ㅡ irregular verbs, you probably remember that even though we are discussing irregular verbs, they still follow fixed patterns in Korean. The ㄹ irregular verbs have their own little rules by which they play. Luckily for us the rules are not that difficult to understand.

The first and major rule will have you know that the ㄹ will always be omitted whenever an ending starts with the following consonants: ㄴ, ㅂ, ㅅ. If you are going to attach endings that start with those consonants, you have to omit the ㄹ. All ㄹ verbs and adjectives do this without exception.

The second rule tells us that even though ㄹ is a consonant, we will treat it as a “vowel” if an ending normally ads 으 when the stem ends in a consonant. This might even might lead you to having to remove the ㄹ as you also have to then follow the first rule mentioned in this post. Let me show you:

살다 (to live) = 살다 + 세요 > 살 + 요 > 사세요.

Do not forget the normal Korean spelling rules when not adding the 으. Endings such as (으)ㄹ 거예요, will not only have you omit the 으, but also its ㄹ. Let me demonstrate this:

놀다 (to play) = 놀다 + (으)ㄹ 거예요 > 놀 + 거예요 > 놀 거예요.

ㄹ Irregular Verb Chart

Remember to keep all rules in mind; all the time.

A New Short List

As with the ㅡ irregular verbs there are many verbs are ㄹ irregular verbs. However, as I mentioned before learning them all at once is simply impossible. I will be learning a select few that I think will be pretty common and useful for beginners to learn. These verbs are: 살다, 팔다, 만들다, 열다, 놀다, 알다, 멀다, 달다,불다, 울다, 들다, 힘들다 and 길다. As with the ㅡ irregular verbs, I made a ㄹ irregular verbs Memrise course with these verbs for you to enjoy. Hope it helps you as it helps me.


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Nick is a someone who enjoys exploring new and different things. 2 years ago when he met his Korean friends he decided to go for it and learn Korean. Now he is struggling with the language while sharing an apartment with his Korean roomie.

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