Intermediate Grammar #36: ~아/어지다 “is/was” (non-이/히/리/기 verbs)

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  • These are Passive verbs – either some indirect action caused them OR the action is the result/effect of another action
  • Equivalent to “is/was” in some state (for example “was written” = 써졌어요)


  • This form is used with ONLY non-이/하/리/기 verbs (but in recent years it can include some)
  • Change action verbs to passive (깼어요 => 깨졌어요)
  • Adjectives: (learned in Beginner level) – express a change of state (예뻐졌어요 = “became pretty”)



  • 과거: ~아/어졌어요
  • 현재: ~아/어져요
  • 미래/추측: ~아/어질 거예요

새로운 배트맨 (New Batman) Examples:


  • 정하다: 새로운 배트맨 영화에 밴아프렉이 새로운 배트맨 배우로 정해졌어요.
    Ben Affleck was appointed as the new Batman actor in the new Batman movie.
  • 쓰다: 크리스테리오가 스크립트에 써졌어요.
    The script was written by Chris Terrio.
  • 켜다: 배트맨이 어두운 방에서 싸우면 좋겠지만 이 방에 들어가자마자 불이 다 켜졌어요.
    Although Batman prefers to fight in dark rooms, as soon as he stepped into this room, all the lights were turned on.
  • 쏟다: 큰 돈이 든 가방이 범인들때문에 바닥에 떨어져 돈이 모두 쏟어졌어요.
    Because the criminals had a big bag full of money, it was spilled out all over the floor.
  • 꺼다: 그다음에 방 불이 다 꺼졌어요.
    After that, all the lights were turned off.
  • 깨다: 큰 개가 누구 잠에서 깨서 멍멍 짖자 배트맨은 두려운 생각이 들었어요.
    A big dog was awakened by someone and barked at a scared Batman.
  • 누르다: 하지만 문이 큰 개에게 눌렸어요.
    But the door was pressed by the big dog.
  • 고치다: 갑지기 배트맨의 고장난 휴대폰이 고쳐졌어요.
    Suddenly, Batman’s broken cell phone was fixed.
  • 지우다: “알프렛? 왜 내 스파이 정보에서 이렇게 큰 개 이야기가 지워졌어요?”
    “Alfred? Why was the story about a big dog like this erased from my spy information?”
  • 기다리다: “아, 죄송해요, 배트맨님. 나는 새로운 갓질라 영화가 정말 기다려졌서 연락을 안 했어요.”
    “Ah, sorry, Batman sir. I was just really waiting for the new Godzilla movie that I didn’t contact you.”
  • 믿다: “예전에도 안 믿어졌는데 오늘도 안 믿어져요, 알프렛! 웬 일 일까?”
    “I didn’t believe you before and I don’t believe you now, Alfred! What’s happening?”

**These are notes from Korean Grammar in Use: Intermediate. For more in-depth explanations, buy the book.