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  5. When should I use 히 or 게?


When should I use 히 or 게?

January 24, 2018



Could you provide a little more info please?


From what I've read it looks like they mean the same thing?


Perhaps you mean this?

조용하+게= 조용하게 = 조용+히 = 조용히 = quietly

그녀는 조용하다 = She is quiet.

ex) 그는 조용히 일어났다 = He stood up quietly. = 그는 조용하게 일어났다

In a library, if someone is continuously making a noise. one can say

조용히 해 = Be quiet (literally "quietly do it") (Casual form)

조용히 하세요 = Be quiet please! (Polite form)

조용한 = quite (as an adjective)

조용한 하루 = quiet day

조용히 합시다. = Let us stay quiet. (polite form)

조용히 하자 = Let us be quiet. (Casual form)

우아하게 = elegantly


그녀는 항상 우아하게 말한다 = She always speaks elegantly.

항상 = always, all the time

우아한 여자 = elegant woman

그녀는 우아하다 = She is elegant.

꼼꼼하게 = 꼼꼼히 = meticulously

의사는 나의 상처를 꼼꼼히 검사했다 = The doctor examined my wound meticulously. = 의사는 나의 상처를 꼼꼼하게 검사했다

wound = 상처

꼼꼼하다 = meticulous

내 아내는 꼼꼼하다 = My wife pays attention to details. = She is meticulous.

However we do not say "우아히" nor "쉽히" - Am not certain why, sorry!


I read that for example 조용히 is conjugated from the core of 조용... so is it like it's used to say that an action is carried out in a certain way (with lack of noise)? It's like how you want to perform the action. I don't want to be late so I want to perform my walking in a fast speed (빨리). But 조용하게 is a conjucation of the combination 조용+하다 (which kind of already includes the idea of "to be silent"). So is it more like an observation of in what manner the action is done? The bus moves 빠르게 or 누리게 but it's not a decision unless the driver makes the decision to perform the act of driving 천천히.

Could it be that 쉽히 is not used becase for example if you make something (like breakfast) you can make your action of making fast or slow 빨리/천천히. But you can't make the action of making easy. If you can make it then you can make it, it's not a desicion. You can only be so used to making it that you can perform the action easily 쉽게.

What do you think?


Yeap! You have the right idea about words such as 조용히, 조용하게, 우아하게, 시끄럽게, 빠르게, 느리게, 천천히

They are all adverbs meaning they further elaborate how, in what exact manner, an action an or event is carried out by a verb. For example

조용히 죽여! (Kill silently!)

천천히 운전해! (Drive slowly)

우아하게 사세요 (Live elegantly please)

쉽게 / 쉬이 (easily) - 쉬이 is a bit old-fashioned word meaning 쉽게

살인자는 쉬이 자백하지 않는다 = The murderer does not confess easily.

So with all those adverbs, I checked the relevant government agency site and it seems fairly convoluted grammar rules exist with exceptions. lol Guess one can play safe by using ~게 ending adverbs which exist in all cases rather than the other 2. For adverbs, ~게 ending form exist. Some have alternate ~이 ending version also. Others have ~히 ending alternate version.

1) ~게 ending only adverbs

우아하다 =>우아하게 (elegantly)

잔인하다 (cruel) => 잔인하게 (cruelly)

짧다 (brief) => 짧게 (briefly)

길다 (long) => 길게 (long)

크다 (large, loud, big) => 크게 (largely, loudly, big)

느리다 (slow) => 느리게 (slowly)

강하다 (strong) => 강하게 (strongly)

2) ~게 ~히 ending adverbs

과하다 (excessive) => 과하게 (excessively) & 과히

급하다 (urgent) => 급하게 & 급히 (urgently)

특별하다 (special) => 특별하게 & 특별히 (specially)

엄격하게 (strict) => 엄격하게 & 엄격히 (strictly)

솔직하다 (frank) => 솔직하게 솔직히 (honestly)

간편하다 => 간편하게 (conveniently) & 간편히

조용하다 = >조용하게 & 조용히

고요하다 = > 고요하게 고요히 (silently)

꼼꼼하다 => 꼼꼼하게 & 꼼꼼히 (meticulously)

쓸쓸하다(lonely) => 쓸쓸하게 & 쓸쓸히 (lonely)

명확하다 (specific, clear) => 명확하게 & 명확히 (specificaly, clearly)

3) ~게 ~이 ending adverbs

가깝다 (close) = >가깝게 & 가까이 (closely)

느긋하다 (laid back) => 느긋하게 & 느긋이 (slowly)

괴롭다 (painful) => 괴롭게 & 괴로이 (painfully)

의젓하다 (mature) => 의젓하게 & 의젓이 (maturely)

쉽다 (easy) => 쉽게 & 쉬이 (easily)

많다 (abundant) => 많게 & 많이 (abundantly)

빠르다 (swift) => 빠르게 (swiftly) & 빨리 (= 빨+이)


Thank you so much for finding this info! It'll all make sense now! I'll make good notes :D Thank you!


Very useful list. I’ve long thought that the was always somehow retained in some form, either unmodified or as a [w]. But 쉬이 shows otherwise.

I’m also willing to speculate that is actually a contraction of +, but it’s only my guess at the moment.


The pleasure was all mine! ;D

Even the well-educated native speakers of Korean can be confused with 이 ending adverbs & 히 ending adverbs.

When I googled it, there were already other native speakers, not the learners learning Korean as a foreign language, making the inquiry. lol

Observed findings & reflections are

1) adverbs derived from pure Korean adjective words tend to be more irregular in forms whereas adjectives derived from Sino-Korean words tend to be less irregular

2) 이 ending adverbs are mostly to accommodate more smooth pronunciation, liaison. For example,

느긋하다 (laid back) => 느긋하게 & 느긋이 (slowly)

느긋이 is pronounced in reality as 느그시 thus 느긋히(x)

의젓하다 (mature) => 의젓하게 & 의젓이 (maturely)

의젓이 is pronounced as 의저시

thus 의젓히(x)

3) future of irregular adverbs in Korean => My gut feeling is that they will eventually become obsolete, extinct as more and more people shun from using seemingly confusing 이/히 adverbs and stick to 게 adverbs which are always safer and easier to use. lol


What kind of more info do you need?


you may mean -히 and -게 that change an adjective word into adverb? like, 조용'히' 좀 하세요 and 쉽'게' 끝나겠는걸

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