It is important to learn that each verb and adjective has the syllable “다” at the end. This “다” will help you recognize what kind of word it is when you study them. If you see a word in your flashcards like “잡다”, you won’t necessarily know what it means. But you at least know it is a verb or an adjective because of the “다” at the end.
When you actually speak and write the word in a sentence, you won’t usually say and write the 다 at the end. We drop the 다 from the end and in the 다’s place, we add a different syllable or syllables, depending on what exactly you want to say. That is the basic process of Korean conjugation. But in the Learn Hangul flashcards, you’ll always see verbs and adjectives in their non-conjugated form: with the 다.
“Conjugation” is kind of a fancy word and sounds like a very complex process. “Change” might be an easier way to understand it. When you speak Korean, you are usually changing the verb or adjective from its original form to express your meaning more precisely.
Right now we’re going to teach you how to conjugate in the most common way: you’ll change verbs and adjectives into the present tense 요 form. This 요 form of Korean is considered casual and polite, and you use it when talking to people you’ve just met, friends older than you, your manager at work, your elders, waitresses, etc. It’s basically a nice way of speaking without being too overly formal.
On the next page I’m going to show you how you change the “다” form of a verb or adjective into the “요” form.