Talk To Me In Korean
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TTMIK Level 6 Lesson 25

In this lesson, let us take a look at how to say that something is easy or difficult to do. To say this, you need to use the noun form of verbs, ending with -기.

To be easy to + V = -기 쉽다
To be difficult to + V = -기 어렵다

"Verb stem + -기" is a noun form, therefore in principle, there has to be a marker after it, but in the forms above, the marker is dropped.

Which markers were dropped?
It depends on the context, but -기 쉽다/어렵다 can be either originally -기에 쉽다/어렵다 or originally -기가 쉽다/어렵다.

-기에 쉽다/어렵다
When you use the marker -에, it means that something is easy/difficult FOR + V-ing.

-기가 쉽다/어렵다
When you use the marker -가, it means that "DOING something" is easy/difficult.

Let's look at some examples.

Example #1
제 이름은 발음하기(가) 어려워요.
[je i-reu-meun ba-reum-ha-gi-ga eo-ryeo-wo-yo.]
= My name is difficult to pronounce.
= As for my name, pronouncing it is difficult.

Example #2
이건 만들기(가) 어려워요.
[i-geon man-deul-gi-ga eo-ryeo-wo-yo.]
= This is difficult to make.
= As for this, making it is difficult.

Example #3
이건 어린이가 사용하기(에) 어려워요.
[i-geon eo-ri-ni-ga sa-yong-ha-gi-e eo-ryeo-wo-yo.]
= This is difficult for a child to use.
= Using this is difficult for a child.

** In this example, since the subject of the verb 사용하다 is 어린이 and 어린이 is followed by -가, the subject marker, it sounds rather repetitive to use -가 again, so in this kind of sentence, people tend to use -에 instead of -가 before 쉬워요/어려워요.

Example #4
사용하기가 쉬워요.
[sa-yong-ha-gi-ga swi-wo-yo.]
= It's easy to use.

사용하기에 쉬워요.
[sa-yong-ha-gi-e swi-wo-yo.]
= Using it is easy.

** In this case, -가 쉬워요 and -에 쉬워요 both work because the sentences are short.

In all of the above sentences, you can drop -가 or -에 from -기가 or -기에.

1. 제 이름은 발음하기가 어려워요. --> 제 이름은 발음하기 어려워요.
2. 이건 만들기가 어려워요. --> 이건 만들기 어려워요.
3. 이건 어린이가 사용하기에 어려워요. --> 이건 어린이가 사용하기 어려워요.
4. 사용하기가 쉬워요. --> 사용하기 쉬워요.
5. 사용하기에 쉬워요. --> 사용하기 쉬워요.

Other words can also be used with "Verb stem + -기(가/에)".

-기(가) 편리하다 / -기(에) 편리하다
= to be convenient to + V / to be convenient for + V-ing

-기(가) 좋다 / -기(에) 좋다
= to be good to + V / to be good for + V-ing

-기(가) 불편하다 / -기(에) 불편하다
= to be inconvenient to + V / to be inconvenient for + V-ing

Direct download: ttmik-l6l25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm JST