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Episode 36: ~지 말다 Negative Commands!

안녕ㅇㅇㅇㅇㅇㅇㅇㅇㅇ 친구들~!

I still feel bad about posting last week's blog super late so I'm going to post this one super early :D Hope you guys don't mind ㅋㅋㅋ

Last week we went over how to make commands in Korean but we never discussed how to tell people NOT to do something, which is also a command, however, in Korean it is constructed a little differently.

~지 말다:

In order to construct a negative command in Korean we need to add ~지 말다 to the stem of a verb like this:

운동하지 말다

자지 말다

먹지 말다

However, it would be awkward to just use this construction as a sentence so we need to conjugate it to have it make perfect sense. The conjugation differs slightly depending on how polite you want your command to be. Head over to last week's blog post to brush up on the 4 most common ways to make commands.

Let's take 하다 first, make it negative and then add, one by one, the imperative endings in order from least polite to the most polite:

하지 말다 + 어/아 --> 하지 마 (NOT 하지 말아*)

하지 말다 + 어/아라 --> 하지 마라 (NOT 하지 말아라*)

하지 말다 + (으)세요 --> 하지 마세요

하지 말다 + 십시오 --> 하지 마십시오

*The verb 말다 is irregular in these cases and does not follow typical conjugation rules

Here are a few simple examples of negative commands:

택시를 타지 마요. - Don't take the taxi

복잡한데 나오지 마세요- It's too crowded, so please don't come out to meet me

앉지 마!- Don't sit down!

~지 말고

If you ever want to create a sentence with a negative and a positive command together, you can! Woo hoo :D All you've got to do is put the negative command first, add 고 to 말다 and let the positive command follow. It's that simple!

택시 타지 말고 지하철로 가세요- Please do not take the taxi and take the subway.

수업 시간에 졸지 말고 선생님께 들어요- Do not doze off during class and listen to your teacher

그렇게 하지 말고 내 말을 들어봐- Don't do it this way and listen to what I'm saying

If the ending of the last example startled you a little, that's fine. We've never talked about it and it may be new to a lot of beginner and even intermediate learners. Do not worry though! This is exactly what we'll be discussing next week! So hold tight until next week :)

Hope this was fun!

Let me know if you have any questions

Much love,


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