Back to Blog

Question Verb Endings in Korean: ~(으)ㄴ가요 and ~나요

learning korean May 01, 2024
Question verb endings ~(으)ㄴ가요 and ~나요

- Author: Good Job Korean team 
- Editor: Good Job Korean team

👍 Contents (Click to navigate instantly)

✅  ~나요


 Do you know how to make a sentence a question in Korean?


 In Korean, raising the tone at the end of the sentences would change a statement into a question. However, there are also special verb endings for question sentences. This blog post will introduce the question endings ~(으)ㄴ가요 and ~나요.




  ~(으)ㄴ가요 is a verb ending that is only for question sentences. Using this verb ending makes the question sentence sound more gentle and less direct. ~(으)ㄴ가요 is roughly translated to are you…? do you…? or is it…?


 Please note that we only use ~(으)ㄴ가요 verb ending with descriptive verbs (adjectives). We would conjugate the ~(으)ㄴ가요 as follows:


Consonant-ending verb stem + 은가요? 
Ex) 좋다 -> 좋은가요? : Is it good?

Vowel-ending verb stem + ㄴ가요?   
Ex) 행복하다-> 행복한가요? : Are you happy?

ㄹ-ending verb stem (drop ㄹ 받침) + ㄴ가요?   
Ex) 길다 -> 긴가요?: Is it long?

Nouns + 인가요?   
Ex) 사랑인가요? : Is it love?


 The rules may be confusing initially, but with enough practice, you’ll get the hang of it soon. Let us go through each rule with example sentences!


Example sentences:

Descriptive verbs (present tense)

이 책은 좋은가요? 
Is this book good?
*이: this
*책: book
*은: topic marker
*좋다: to be good


가방이 너무 작은가요?
Is the bag too small?
*가방: bag
*이: subject marker
*너무: too
*작다: to be small


한국 벚꽃은 예쁜가요?
Is Korean cherry blossom pretty?
*한국: Korea
*벚꽃: cherry blossom
*은: topic marker
*예쁘다: to be pretty


미역국이 짠가요? 
Is the seaweed soup salty?
*미역국: seaweed soup
*이: subject marker
*짜다: to be salty


머리가 긴가요?
Is my hair long?
*머리: hair
*가: subject marker
*길다: to be long


고향이 서울에서 먼가요?
Is your hometown far from Seoul?
*고향: hometown
*서울: Seoul
*에서: from (location particle)
멀다: to be far)



내일은 무슨 요일인가요?
What day is it tomorrow?
*내일: tomorrow
*은: topic marker
*무슨: what
*요일: day of the week


여기가 직장인가요?
Is this your workplace?
*여기: here
*가: subject marker
*직장: workplace


 Do note that we use ~(으)ㄴ가요 to ask questions in the present tense (descriptive verbs). For past tense, we would use ~나요 instead.


Example sentences:


어젯밤에 남자친구가 화가 났나요?
Was your boyfriend angry last night?
*어젯밤: last night
*에: time particle
*남자친구: boyfriend
*가: subject marker
*화나다: to be angry


부산에 갔을 때 추웠나요?
Was it cold when you went to Busan?
*부산: Busan
*에: to (location marker)
*가다: to go
*때: the moment (when)
*춥다: to be cold


거기가 학교였나요?
Was that your school?
*거기: there
*가: subject marker
*학교: school






 For action verbs, 있다 and 없다, we would use ~나요 regardless of the verb stem’s final consonant, except for verbs with ㄹ 받침.


Action verbs / 있다 / 없다 + ~나요 
Ex) 맛있다 -> 맛있나요? : Is it tasty?
가르치다 -> 가르치나요?: Do you teach?

Verbs with ㄹ 받침 (drop ㄹ) + ~나요 —> verb stem (without ㄹ) + ~나요   
Ex) 만들다 -> 만드나요?: Do you make it?


 Let’s see some example sentences below:


Action verbs

운동을 좋아하나요?
Do you like sports?
*운동: sports, exercise, workout
*을: object particle
*좋아하다: to like


김치를 먹나요?
Do you eat kimchi?
*김치: kimchi
*를: object particle
*먹다:to eat



불고기 맛있나요?
Is bulgogi delicious?
*불고기: bulgogi
*맛있다: to be delicious


우리 친구에게 잘해줄 수 있나요?
Can you be nice to our friend?
*우리: our
*친구: friend
*에게: to (preposition)
*잘하다: to be good, to do something well
*~(으)ㄹ 수 있다: can (ability to do something)



질문 없나요?
Don’t you have any questions?
*질문: question


그 영화 재미없나요?
Is that movie not interesting?
*그: that
*영화: movie
*재미있다: to be not interesting


ㄹ 받침

이곳에 사나요?
Do you live here?
*이곳: this place, here
*에: location marker
*살다: to live


펜도 파나요?
Do you also sell pens?
*펜: pen
*도: also
*팔다: to sell



Action verbs, 있다, and 없다 use the same ~나요 verb ending for the past tense. You just need to conjugate the verb stems into past tense, and attach ~나요.

(For descriptive verbs, you should use ~(으)ㄴ가요 for the present tense, and use ~나요 for the past tense as mentioned above)


Example sentences:


호텔에 도착했나요?
Have you arrived at the hotel?
*호텔: hotel
*에: at (location marker)
*도착하다: to arrive


갔다 왔나요?
Did you have a good time? (Did you go and come back well?)
*잘: to be good
*갔다 오다: to go and return


콘서트 재미있었나요?
Did you enjoy the concert? (Was the concert fun?)
*콘서트: concert
*재미있다: to be fun


카페 음식이 맛없었나요?
Was the food in the cafe bad?
*카페: cafe
*음식: food
*이: subject marker
*맛없다: to be not delicious


이 케이크는 누가 만들었나요?
Who made this cake?
*이: this
*케이크: cake
*누가: who (subject of the sentence)
*만들다: to make


친구 집에서 놀았나요?
Did you hang out at your friend’s house?
*친구: friend
*집: House
*에서: at (location marker)
*놀다: to hang out, to play


 Now, we have identified the separate usages of ~(으)ㄴ가요 and ~나요. We previously mentioned that we use ~(으)ㄴ가요 to ask questions with descriptive verbs. However, do note that Koreans also tend to use ~나요 for descriptive verbs that end with a consonant.


Example sentences:


제주도는 춥나요?   (추운가요? is also used) 
Is it cold in Jeju Island?
*제주도: Jeju Island
*는: topic marker
*춥다: to be cold


시험이 어렵나요?  (어려운가요? is also used)
Is the exam difficult?
*시험: exam, test
*이: subject marker
*어렵다: to be difficult


 Shall we quickly recap what we have learned so far?


 Using ~(으)ㄴ가요 and ~나요 when asking questions will not only make the questions sound more gentle and less direct, but it will also make you sound natural like a native Korean. Please keep practicing using these question-verb endings when speaking to your friends!


- Author: Good Job Korean team 
- Editor: Good Job Korean team