결코하지 않다 (Another Way to Say “Never”) | [Grammar of the Week]

안녕하세요!

Okay so before we begin, I did think about doing a Weekend Kpop Update but I decided, why not wait? It is a new year after all! So new Kpop Update on Wednesday!

Let’s get started on the Grammar of the Week!

Today’s post will be really short as we’re talking about the usage of “never”. I know it doesn’t really sound like a grammar point but it is one. If you’re going to use it in a sentence you need to learn how to use it properly. So here we go!

We know that 절대 means “never”. It’s a more commonly used variation of the word. In fact, there are about three (or more) different ways to put emphasis on saying “never” in Korean. There’s also the word I introduced last week, 결코 which also means “never”. So there’s two ways listed already! However, we’re going to look at this from a verb ending standpoint.

First two ways:

  • 절대하지 않다
    • We won’t focus on this particle one because there are more variations that would be more commonly used. This was just an example of usage.
  • 결코하지 않다

Second two ways:

  • 절대 | “never”
  • 결코 | “never”

What do you notice about the two different sets? You may notice that in the first set it has -하지 않다 added as an ending, but why? We know that 하지 is derived from 하다 meaning, “to do” and -지 is a negative stem meaning “not” from 지마. And we also know that 않다 is a negative as well taking on the meaning of “no”. So 하지 않다 is saying “to not do” something. Added to 절대 or 결코 and we are ultimately saying I/She/He/We/You would “never do (x)”.

But again, we’re only going to look at 결코하지 않다 this week. Make’s it a little less complicated.

So let’s look at that example from last again.

i.e.,

  • 나는 아마 그것을 결코하지 않을 것 같아. | “I will probably never do it.”

So we’re going to stop here and look at some examples all this week during the WOTD series.

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