“a red apple”
“A blue shirt”
“Delicious food”

One common feature of these is the use of modifiers by adjective.

Adjective and modifiers.

Adjectives are transformed when they come before nouns.

Adjectives are words that describe what it is like.

Modifiers by adjective.

커피가 뜨거워요.
The coffee is hot.
그는 머리가 노래요.
The hair is yellow.

Transformation by position.

뜨거운 커피.
the hot coffee
노란 머리.
The yellow hair

Adjectives change form depending on their position in the sentence; when they come before a noun, they become -ㄴ/은.

How to use “ㄴ/은” of adjectives.

The adjectives in the conjugative form should have -ㄴ/은 on the stem.

Dv + -ㄴ/은

싸다 + -ㄴ/은 =
슬프다 + -ㄴ/은 = 슬

좋다 + -ㄴ/은 = 좋
작다 + -ㄴ/은 = 작

길다 + -ㄴ/은 =
빨갛다 + -ㄴ/은 = 빨
뜨겁다 + -ㄴ/은 = 뜨거운

※Dv = an adjective

No patchum in the stem

고기는 맛이 없어요.
Cheap meat is not tasty.
이거는 비싼 가방이 아니에요.
This is not an expensive bag.
영화는 슬픈 이야기였습니다.
The movie was a sad story.

Words without a patchum in the stem are combined with -ㄴ.

Have a patchum in the stem

은경씨는 착하고 좋은 사람이에요.
Eun-gyeong is a kind and nice person.
테이블 위에 작은 상자가 하나 있습니다.
One small box on the table.
외출할 때 검은 색의 모자를 써요.
I wear a black hat when I go out.

If the word stem has a patchum, add -은.

Cases of irregular changes.


머리가 여성이 있습니다.
There is a woman with long hair.

The ㄹ of the patchum will drop out and -ㄴ will enter.


빨간 사과가 세 개에 5000원이에요.
Three red apples for 5,000 won.

The ㅎ of the patchum will drop out and -ㄴ will enter.


아빠가 매운 음식을 엄청 좋아하세요.
My dad likes spicy food a lot.

The ㅂ of the patchum replaces the 우, and the -ㄴ enters there.

Various patterns of modifiers.

The modifiers when talking about the past.

Even when talking about the past, the form remains the same.

평소보다 늦은 시간에 점심을 먹었어요.
I ate lunch later than usual.
시험에서 어려운 문제는 안 나왔습니다.
There were no difficult questions on the exam.
지하철에서 키가 작은 사람을 봤어요.
I saw a short person in the subway.

Just as “white is white” in both the past and present, this is because adjectives are basically time-independent words.

How to use “이, 그,저” of modifiers.

You can also use -ㄴ/은 for directives and interrogatives.

너한테는 이런이 안 어울릴 거야.
These clothes don’t look good on you.
그런 사람이 되고 싶지 않아요.
I don’t want to be that person.
기념일에 어떤 선물을 주면 좋을까요?
What gift should I give them for their anniversary?

In this way, you can also use 이렇다, 그렇다 or 어떻다.

Can nouns also be made in the modifiers?

You can also use -ㄴ/은 for 이다 or 아니다 to modify a noun.

요리사 친구가 있습니다.
I have a friend who is a cook.
세계 1등 이유가 뭘까?
What makes it the best in the world?
회원이 아닌 사람도 이용 가능합니다.
Available for non-members too.

We encourage you to practice these uses as well.

You may want to practice in different ways, switching the order of adjectives and nouns.