Translation:I lie down.
누워요 comes from 눕다, a ㅂ-weakening verb. The ending [p] weakens to [w] in certain conjugations.
In most cases, -ㅂ verbs exhibit this behavior. This ㅂ is a phoneme that is realized as [w] (ㅗ or ㅜ) before vowels, [m] (ㅁ) before nasals (ㅁ or ㄴ), and [p] (ㅂ) in all other environments.
Some of the few exceptions to this rule:
- 입다 (to wear)
- 업다 (to carry)
- 잡다 (to catch)
- 접다 (to fold)
- 뽑다 (to pull out)
ㅂ becoming ㅁ is called nasalization, and it happens when the next letter is a nasal consonant (ㄴ, ㅁ). 눕다 - > 눕다 (stays the same) 눕는데 - > 눔는데 (ending ㅂ is pronounced like ㅁ due to the ㄴ following it)
The -ㅂ ending is variable for this verb.
For the formal, non-polite, non-past indicative form, 눕는다 is pronounced [눔는다] (root remains the same, sound is allophonic)
For the informal, non-polite, non-past indicative form, 누워 is pronounced [누워] (root changes, sounds as written)
For the informal, polite, non-past indicative form, 누워요 is pronounced [누워요] (root changes, sound as written)
For the formal, polite, non-past indicative form, 눕습니다 is pronounced [눕씀니다] (root remains the same, sound is allophonic)
I've lived in a primarily English speaking country all my life, and only now am I figuring out the difference. (Yes, because of this comment.) Usually I just used "laying down" as a substitution for "lying down" in fears I might think of "lie-ing down"
Why does the ending of the phrase sound like noo hwoh ya? Is it my ear or a special pronunciation rule?