How to Make Causative Form – Causative and Passive Forms #1

From today, we'll learn causative and passive forms in Korean. They are called 사동 and 피동 in Korean language. Causative form is used to help you express something that you made happen and passive form is used when something, some situation, or some other person made you do something. Both of them have almost the opposite meaning from each other. Interestingly, they are covered in the same chapter in many books. I guess that it's because they use the almost same grammar rules, adding special suffixes. Let's start with causative forms.

As I said earlier, causative forms are used when you made something happen. For example, in the sentence, "I made her happy", she became happy thanks to you. You did something and it made her happy. We're trying to speak something like this in Korean.

If you want to make causative forms, you should add some special suffixes like 이, 히, 리, 기, 우, 구, 추 at the end of the verb. Unlike English, you should remember which verb uses which suffix. For example, 먹다 uses the suffix, 이. If you append 리 or 기 at the end of the verb like 먹리다 or 먹기다, they are wrong.

OK, let's make some sentences.

아이가 과자를 먹는다.
The kid is eating cookies.

In this sentence, the kid is eating cookies with his own will. However, if his mother is feeding him some cookies, then the sentence becomes like this.

엄마가 아이에게 과자를 먹인다.
The mother is feeding cookies to the kid.

If we compare two sentences, the marker 가 has been changed to 에게 and 먹는다 became 먹인다. In some sentences, you don't have to change 이/가 to 에게. However, in this case, it's unnatural because of 2 consecutive 를 like 아이를 과자를, so I changed it.

Let's practice more with another example.

지효는 한복을 입었다.
지효 wore 한복(Korean traditional outfit).

코디가 지효에게 한복을 입혔다.
Stylist made 지효 put on 한복.

Unlike 먹다, 입다 should use 히. So, it became 입히다. Like the last example, the words and phrases are changed in the same way.

This is the case for transitive verbs, meaning that the verbs that need objects or require some phrases with "을/를".

Let's see some examples with intransitive verbs that don't require objects.

물이 끓는다.
Water is boiling.

명수가 물을 끓였다.
명수 boiled the water.

In this case, 물이 became 물을. The subject became the object. It's how it is done in Korean. Let's practice with one more example.

철수가 의자에 앉았다.
철수 sat on the chair.

철수를 의자에 앉혔다.
She made 철수 sit on the chair.

Like before, 철수가 became 철수를.