안 Negative - Korean Negative Statements #2

We'll start our negative statement journey with 안 negative. 안 negative is about simply denying a statement or not doing something intentionally.

Denying statement

When you're denying a statement, it is used with 이다 verb.

나는 학생이다.
나는 학생이 아니다.
I'm a student.
I'm not a student.

여기는 우리 동네야.
여기는 우리 동네가 아니야.
This place is my village.
This place is not my village.

When you deny something, you should split 이다 from the noun and add 이/가 to the noun and replace 이다 with 아니다. In spoken Korean between close friends, you should use 아니야 rather than 아니다. The polite versions are 아니에요 and 아닙니다.

이건 제 신발이 아니에요.
This is not my shoes.

이 분은 제 친구가 아닙니다.
He is not my friend.

Intentional inaction

안 negative is also used for verbs. In this case, 아니다 is not used but -지 않다 or 안. -지 않다 is called long negative and 안 is called short negative.

철수가 우유를 마신다.
철수가 우유를 안 마신다.
철수가 우유를 마시지 않는다.
철수 is drinking milk.
철수 isn't drinking milk. / 철수 doesn't drink milk.

In this case, 철수 is not drinking milk intentionally. It might be because he hates it or he is lactose-intolerent.

하늘이 파랗다.
하늘이 안 파랗다.
하늘이 파랗지 않다.
Sky is blue.
Sky isn't blue.

You can find that 는 is not added in descriptvie verb version. As we learned in tense class, it's the main difference between descriptive verbs and verbs.

Long Negative Only

Finally, some verbs don't accept short negative. You should only use -지 않다 for those verbs. In most cases, they are derivatives and compound verbs.


  • 하다 verbs: 이사하다(move to other place), 공부하다(study), 연구하다(research), 출발하다(start),
  • Prefixed verbs: 빗나가다(missed the goal), 얄밉다(nasty), 짓밟다(trample)
  • Suffixed verbs: -답다(아름답다(beautiful), 정답다(friendly)), -롭다(새롭다(new), 외롭다(lonely), 괴롭다(painful)), -스럽다(자랑스럽다(proud), 자연스럽다(natural), 조심스럽다(careful)), 깜박이다(blinking), 기웃거리다(peek)
  • Compound verbs: 앞서다(going ahead), 오가다(come and go), 다다르다(arrive), etc.

그것에 대해서는 연구하지 않았다.
As for that, I didn't research it.

다행히 예상은 빗나가지 않았다.
Thankfully, the expectation wasn't wrong.

그 사람의 행동이 무척 자연스럽지 않았어.
His action was really unnatural.

지금 경쟁사를 앞서지 않으면 영원히 앞서지 못할 것 같아.
If we cannot go ahead of our competitor, it seems that we can never do.

Long Negative Only Exceptions

Like in other grammar rules, there are some exceptions here. You can use 안 with some derative and compound verbs.


Compound verbs: 돌아가다(come back), 들어가다(come in), 내려오다(come down), 잡아먹다(catch and kill and eat), etc
Some 하다 verbs: 전하다(send message), 상하다(go bad), 독하다(strong smell, drug, alcohol), 연하다(soft, tender)
Causative and Passive verbs: 들리다, 보이다, 웃기다, 맞추다, 높이다, etc.

아직 화장실에 안 들어갔다.
She didn't entered the restroom yet.

고기가 안 익어서 안 연하다.
As the meat isn't done, it's not tender.

소리가 잘 안 들려.
I cannot hear the sound well.

I said that you shouldn't use some verbs with 안. But some native speakers use them in spoken Korean.

A: 안 공부한 학생이랑 공부한 학생 중에서 안 공부한 학생이 좋은 대학에 가면 말이 안 되잖아?
B: "안 공부한"이 뭐야! "공부 안 한"이라고 해야지.
A: Between the student who didn't study and the student who studied hard, if the one without study enters the good college, it doesn't make sense, isn't it?
B: Why "안 공부한"? It should be "공부 안 한".

You can find another exception here. You can put 안 between noun and 하다 like 공부를 안 하다, 이사를 안 하다, 거짓말을 안 하다, etc. You can remove 을/를 in spoken Korean.

영수는 우리한테 거짓말을 안 했어.
영수 didn't lie to us.

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