안/않 – Korean Grammar vs Grammar #5

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With Explanation

We are now covering confusing Korean grammars. Today, we will talk about 안 and 않. This is a bit simple, but even some native speakers don't know how to use them correctly.

If you want to add negation in front of a verb, then it should be 안. Grammatically, it is called 짧은 부정문, short negation.

생각보다 안 높아. 올라와 봐.
It's not higher than you think. Hey, move up here.

거짓말 같은 건 안 했어.
I didn't tell something like a lie.

안 가야겠다고 생각했는데 안 갈 수가 없었어.
I thought that I should not go there, but I had to go.

One more thing to note is that after 안, there is a space. Those who make mistakes about 안 and 않 usually don't make space between 안 and the verb. They write like 않간다, 않한다, 않먹는다, etc. All of these are wrong.

If you want to add negation in the back of a verb, then it should be 않. Grammatically, it is called 긴 부정문, long negation.

긴 시간 기다렸지만, 영희는 오지 않았다.
I waited for a long time, but 영희 didn't come.

저 건물은 높지 않아.
That building is not high.

나는 그런 실수는 하지 않아.
I don't make mistake like that.

나는 그렇게 말하지 않았어. 누군가 조작한 거야.
I didn't speak like that. Someone manipulated it.

As you can see, if you want to negate something with 않, you should use it like 않아, 않았다, 않았어, etc. It is definitely longer than just 안. That is why it is called 긴 부정문.

To sum up, 안 is in front of a verb and 않 is in the back of a verb.