Grammar of the Week | 잘하다 (Doing Something Well) + 수영하다 (suyeonghada) [Word of the Day]


This week, I decided to make things a bit more practical. Whereas it is probably super exciting to learn complex ideas, principles, and words… it’s not very useful if you don’t have enough of a foundation to actually use them. Consider this a Back to Basics with concepts we haven’t but should’ve gone over a little bit more… or haven’t gone over at all.

Let’s get started!

수영하다 (suyeonghada) [v] | “to swim”


  • 수영하러가요! (suyeonghaleogayo!) | “Let’s go swimming!” 
  • 나는 수영을 좋아해. (naneun suyeong-eul joh-ahae.) | “I love to swim.”

잘하다 (Doing Something Well)

We are all really good at something. Whether it’s cooking, dancing, sports…whatever it may be, we’re good at it. And we want to tell people. But how do you express that? 잘하다.

잘 | “good; well”

하다 | “to do”

잘 + 하다 = to do “something” well


This is actually really easy to use because all you have to do is place 잘하다 with a subject in the sentence. It does have to be conjugated but for now, we’ll only focus on usage.

i.e., (the words underlined are the noun form of each verb)

  • 나는 요리를 잘하다. | “I’m good at cooking.” / “I cook well.”
  • 을 잘하다. | “The book is well-written.”

And then there are things that we’re not so good at. We’ll get to that next week.

::Quick Note::

What’s a noun form of a verb?

  • This is when a verb is changed to a noun.
    • i.e.,
      • Government | Noun: person, place, or thing.
      • Govern | Verb: action word
    • A government is a thing or entity that consists of elected officials (persons).
    • To govern is an action and that action is to rule.
  • When we added, “-ment” to govern, we used the noun form of this verb.

English usage: Verbs Used as Nouns

Korean usage: Making Verbs into Nouns

Though the way to change a verb into a noun is different in each language, the concept is still the same. Check out both links for further explanation on this topic.


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