Word Order

Language has a structure. Look at the examples below :

1)         I             like        pizza.
       (Subject)      (Verb)      (Object)    
2)           I            pizza         like.
    (Subject)      (Object)      (Verb)

The obvious difference between them is the order of the words. Why don’t people say sentence (2)? English sentences follow a basic Subject-Verb-Object pattern as in (1). The Korean pattern is Subject-Object-Verb as in (2). The verb always comes at the end of the sentence.

Here are the Korean counterparts of ‘I’, ‘like’, and ‘pizza’ :

           I          like         pizza.
                좋아해요      피자.
          Jeo       joahaeyo         pija.

See, it sounds really weird. Now, let’s say ‘I like pizza’ in Korean. 저 (subject) comes first, and then 피자 (object) second, and 좋아해요 (verb) last. Therefore, ‘I like pizza’ in Korean is :

           Jeo         pija            joahaeyo.
            저         피자           좋아해요.
             I          pizza              like.

You may think you have learnt only one sentence, ‘ 피자 좋아해요’ (Jeo pija joahaeyo.). However, if we replace 피자 (pija = pizza) with other objects like 로버트 (Robert), 커피 (keopi = coffee) or 아이스크림 (aisekerim = ice cream) - just a few of the words you have learnt so far – you can already make lots of Korean sentences :

1)    로버트 좋아해요.                               I like Robert.                
      Jeo Robert joahaeyo.
2)    커피 좋아해요.                                   I like coffee.
      Jeo keopi joaheyo.
3)     아이스크림 좋아해요.                        I like ice-cream.   
      Jeo aiseukeurim joahaeyo.

Before we go on any further, we have to learn one more thing about the above sentence pattern. When we talk about ourselves, we usually add a particle 는 to 저 (Jeo = I) or 저희 (Jeo-hee = We). Therefore, all the above sentences could be changed as follows :

저는  (put any object here)  좋아해요.            I like (any object).
Jeoneun (put any object here) joahaeyo.

That's all about basic word order. If you have any confusion, don't hesitate to ask.

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