Intermediate Grammar

Intermediate Korean grammar

After passing TOPIK level 2 you should continue with your grammar coursework. If you are using Talk to me in Korean or How to Study Korean, you can proceed up to say Level / Unit 6. If you are using the Korean Grammar in Use textbook, you can proceed to complete the Intermediate volume.
There will be a point where you feel that the things being taught do not seem to be used very frequently. This is normal because the commonly used grammar points are already covered at beginner level. It is still nice to study these materials, however it is definitely no longer sufficient to rely on them alone. This is now time to explore very widely othInter supplementary resources mentioned in subsequent sections.
I cannot stress enough the importance of choosing resources that you are interested in – it will hold your interest in continuing the journey and increase the efficiency of learning.

Grammar concepts to master

Verb conjugation

Surprise -네요
Seeking agreement -지요
Seeking agreement -잖아요
Giving reason -거든요
A pity that… -텐데요


Due to -로 인하다
It follows that -따라서
While doing something -다가
Even though -더라도
Whether or not -든지

Common expressions

To such extent that -도록
The more… the more…-ㄹ 수록
As soon as -자마자
I thought / I knew… -줄 알다/모르다
Decide to -기로 하다
Becomes -아/어지다
Get to (do something) -게 되다
No way but -수 밖에 없다
Sufficient reasons to -ㄹ 만하다


Changing verb into adjectives / Noun phrases e.g. -ㄹ 것
Causative form and passive voice
Reported speech / Quotations e.g. 라고 하다
Difference between 좋다 & 좋아하다
Changing noun into adjective e.g. -적이다 / -스럽다 / -롭다

Shall I expand my vocabulary using flash cards or similar tools?

Though one of the goals now is to increase your vocabulary, I do not recommend using flashcards because there is no context to the word or phrase you are learning. Therefore it is not meaningful and can be dangerous.
Let me give you an example, a very famous Korean actor who is reasonably fluent in English said in an award ceremony, ‘My heart goes out to my fans’ trying to express his gratitude. I was startled for one second instinctively thinking something bad has happened. No offence to that actor because I personally like him very much as well. I just think this is one prime example of learning a language out of context. If you have learnt the phrase “my heart goes out to” from daily usage, you would already have emotionally connected it to condolences and disasters. This way of learning is the most effective because it does not require any rote learning but by association. I have a blog post on some practical tips on remembering Korean vocabulary effortlessly.


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