Korean Course - 안

Lesson 7: 안

In this lesson, you will learn how to use the adverb 안 [an]. 안 is a ‘negative adverb’ that is similar to the English word ‘not’ and is used to make negative sentences. By the end of this lesson, you’ll be able to make sentences like “The weather is not good.“, “I do not drink coffee.“, etc.

Lesson 7:

Using the negative adverb 안 [an] to make negative sentences is really easy. All you need to do is place 안 in front of the verb or adjective in a sentence. Let’s look at some examples.

마시다 [ma-si-da] = to drink (verb)

아침에 커피를 마셔요. [a-chim-e keo-pi-reul ma-syeo-yo] = I drink coffee in the morning.
아침에 커피를 안 마셔요. [a-chim-e keo-pi-reul an ma-syeo-yo] = I don’t drink coffee in the morning.

좋다 [jo-ta] = to be good (adjective)

날씨가 좋아요. [nal-ssi-ga jo-a-yo] = The weather is good.
날씨가 안 좋아요. [nal-ssi-ga an jo-a-yo] = The weather is not good.

하다 Verbs

The way to make negative sentences with 하다 [ha-da] verbs is a little more difficult. You may remember from a previous lesson that 하다 [ha-da] is a verb that means ‘to do’. There are many verbs in Korean that end in 하다 and most of these are made up of a noun plus the verb 하다. For example, the noun for ‘work’ is 일 [il], and the verb ‘to work’ is 일하다 [il-ha-da].

So, when using 안 to make negative sentences with 하다 verbs, you must place 안 between the noun part and the verb 하다. To help you understand what we mean, here are some examples:

일해요. [il-hae-yo] = I work.
일 안 해요. [il an hae-yo] = I don’t work. (not 안 일해요)

요리해요. [yo-ri-hae-yo.] = I cook.
요리 안 해요. [yo-ri an hae-yo.] = I don’t cook. (not 안 요리해요)


안 is not used to make negative sentences with the verbs 있다 (to exist/to have), 알다 (to know), and adjectives ending in 있다 such as 맛있다 (to be delicious), 재미있다 (to be interesting). This is because the antonym (opposite word) is used instead. Here are some examples:

있다 = to exist / 없다 = to not exist

물이 있어요? [mu-ri i-sseo-yo] = Is there any water?
아니요. 없어요. [a-ni-yo eop-sseo-yo] = No. There is no water.

알다 = to know / 모르다 = to not know

그 사람을 알아요? [geu sa-ra-meul a-ra-yo] = Do you know that person?
아니요. 몰라요. [a-ni-yo mol-la-yo] = No. I don’t know him/her.

Wrapping Up

In this lesson, you learned how to use the negative adverb 안 to make negative sentences. There is another way to make negative sentences that we didn’t cover in this lesson. If you would like to learn this other way, you can check out our post on how to form negative sentences in Korean. To help you practice what we learned in this lesson, here are some more example sentences. Try and swap out the verbs and nouns to make your own sentences.

옷이 안 싸요. [o-si an ssa-yo] = The clothes aren’t cheap.
방이 안 깨끗해요. [bang-i an kkae-kkeu-tae-yo] = The room isn’t clean.
날씨가 안 좋아요. [nal-ssi-ga an jo-a-yo] = The weather is not good.
빵을 안 먹어요. [ppang-eul an meo-geo-yo] = I don’t eat bread.
고기를 안 좋아해요. [go-gi-reul an jo-a-hae-yo] = I don’t like meat.
일요일에 일 안 해요. [i-ryo-i-re il an hae-yo] = I don’t work on Sundays.