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See also: -보다



  • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [po̞da̠]
    • (file)
  • Phonetic hangul: []
Revised Romanization?boda
Revised Romanization (translit.)?boda
Yale Romanization?pota

Etymology 1[edit]

First attested in the Yongbi eocheon'ga (龍飛御天歌 / 용비어천가), 1447, as Middle Korean 보다〮 (Yale: pwòtá). Cognate with Jeju 보다 (boda).


보다 (boda) (infinitive or 보아, sequential 보니) (transitive)

Korean verb set
Base 보다 (boda)
Causative보이다 (boida)
  1. to see, to look at, to watch (to perceive with the eyes)
    영화 보다yeonghwa-reul bodato watch a film
    그들 여러가지 화초 보고 있다.
    Geudeur-eun yeoreogaji hwacho-reul bogo itda.
    They are looking at various plants.
  2. to look after (a baby, child, house, etc.)
    아이 보다ai-reul bodato look after a child
  3. (of a food or product) to try, to examine (before the meal or purchase)
    미리 보다miri mas-eul bodato taste the food beforehand
  4. (auxiliary, with the infinitive) to experience; used very commonly with various verbs to indicate that one has had a concrete experience via the action of the main verb.
    한국 있어?
    han'gug-e ga bon jeog-i isseo-yo?
    Have you ever been to Korea?
    (literally, “Have you experienced going to Korea?”)
  5. (auxiliary, after the infinitive) to try, to try out
    한번 생각해 볼게.
    Hanbeon saenggakhae bolge-yo.
    I'll consider it.
    (literally, “I'll try thinking about it.”)
    이거 .
    Igeo jom bwabwa.
    Have a look at this.
    (literally, “Try looking at this.”)
  6. (auxiliary, with or 다(가)) Used to denote that the experience of the main verb has led to a certain conclusion or realization.
    살다 보니 인생 별거 아니더라.
    Salda boni insaeng byeolgeo anideora.
    Now that I've lived for a while, life really isn't something special.
  7. to consider, to regard
    Synonyms: 여기다 (yeogida), 생각하다 (saenggakhada)
    공산주의 좋게 본다.
    Geu-neun gongsanjuui-eul joke bonda.
    He has a favorable attitude towards Communism.
  8. to read (not out loud)
    Synonym: 읽다 (ikda)
    보는 신문boneun sinmunthe newspaper one is subscribed to
  9. to meet (for a prearranged purpose)
    Hypernym: 만나다 (mannada, to meet (in general))
    우리 며칠 볼까?
    uri myeochir-e bolkka?
    Which day should we meet up on?
  10. (of an examination) to take
    시험 보면 습니다.
    Siheom-eul jal bomyeon joketseumnida.
    I hope I do well on the test.
    (literally, “It would be good if I take the test well.”)
  11. (of divination or fortune-telling) to consult
    용한 만신 찾아가서 보다
    yonghan mansin-eul chajagaseo jeom-eul boda
    to seek out a powerful priestess and consult her divination
  12. to be in charge of
    Synonyms: 맡다 (matda), 도맡다 (domatda)
  13. (of profits or losses) to make
    이윤 장사 이유 없다.
    Iyundo mot bol pan-e jangsahal iyu-neun eopda.
    There is no reason to do business when you will even not be able to make a gain.
  14. (euphemistic) to relieve oneself
    소변 보다sobyeon-eul bodato urinate
  15. (of a child, grandchild, child-in-law) to get
    드디어 아들 보다deudieo adeur-eul bodaHe got a son at last.
Usage notes[edit]
  • When used as an auxiliary, the verb can be either spaced or not spaced from the main verb; the National Institute of Korean Language permits both spellings. Hence 보다 (haeboda) and 보다 (hae boda) are both permissible. In practice, shorter main verbs tend not be spaced and longer verbs tend to be spaced.
  • (to try): This verb does not mean "to try hard" (e.g., "I tried to pass the exam."), but "to try out; to sample". For "try purposefully", the constructions —려(고) 하다 (-ryeo(go) hada) or —려고 노력하다 (-ryeogo noryeokhada) are used instead. Compare Japanese () (miru).
Derived terms[edit]
  • 보고 (-bogo, to; towards)
  • 보다 (-boda, than, used to form comparisons)
verbs and nouns


보다 (boda) (infinitive or 보아, sequential 보니) (defective, auxiliary)

  1. (after the interrogatives 은가 (-eun'ga), 는가 (-neun'ga), (-na)) to seem (only in the present declarative conjugations)
    겨울 끝나가나 .
    Gyeouldo kkeunnagana bwa.
    It looks like winter is coming to an end too.
  2. (after the interrogative 을까 (eulkka)) to intend to; generally used to make a threat that one does not really intend on carrying out (only in the present declarative conjugations)
    계속 이러면 죽어버릴까 보다.
    Neoga gyesok ireomyeon hwak jugeobeorilkka boda.
    If you keep being like this, I'm going to kill myself.
  3. (after the interrogative 을까 (-eulkka)) to be out of the fear that (only in the conjugations (bwa) and 봐서 (bwaseo); the latter is rare)
    더울까 나시 입었어.
    Deoulkkabwa nasi-reul ibeosseo.
    I wore a sleeveless shirt because I was worried it might be hot.
  4. (after (-da), (-go)) to be given that (only in the conjugation 보니 (boni))

Defective; see above.

Etymology 2[edit]

From 보다 (-boda, than, used for comparisons); see -보다 for more. A colonial semantic loan from Japanese より, itself calqued from European constructions, not very common in colloquial speech.


보다 (boda)

  1. relatively, more
    boda nopge
    more higher; relatively higher
    보다 열심히
    boda yeolsimhi
    more enthusiastically

Middle Korean[edit]


  • IPA(key): /pò.tá/, [pò.dá]


보다〮 (pwòtá) (infinitive 보아〮, sequential 보니〮) (transitive)

  1. to see, to look at, to watch (to perceive with the eyes)
    • 1447, 석보상절 / 釋譜詳節 3:11ㄱ
      ᄒᆞᆫ 玉女 ᄀᆞᄐᆞ시니ᄅᆞᆯ 보ᅀᆞᆸ고 와 ᄉᆞᆯᄫᅩᄃᆡ 執杖釋의 ᄯᆞ니미 겨시더ᅌᅵ다.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    • 1447, 석보상절 / 釋譜詳節 9:24 ㄴ
      아뫼나 ᄯᅩ 사ᄅᆞ미 모딘 ᄭᅮ믈 어더 구즌 相ᄋᆞᆯ 보거나 妖怪ᄅᆞᄫᆡᆫ 새 오거나 妖怪ᄂᆞᆫ 常例ᄅᆞᆸ디 아니ᄒᆞᆫ 荒唐ᄒᆞᆫ 이리라 잇논 ᄯᅡ해 온가짓 妖怪 뵈어나 ᄒᆞ거든 이 사ᄅᆞ미 種種 貴ᄒᆞ 거스로 뎌 藥師琉璃光如來ᄅᆞᆯ 恭敬ᄒᆞ야 供養ᄒᆞᅀᆞᄫᆞ면 머즌 ᄭᅮ미며 믈읫 됴티 몯ᄒᆞᆫ 이리 다 업서 분벼리 아니ᄃᆞ외며 믈블갈 모딘 것과 어려ᄫᅳᆫ 石壁과.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    • 1459, 월인석보 / 月印釋譜 18:21ㄱ
      이 經을 보ᅀᆞᆸ건댄 智로 體ᄅᆞᆯ 셰시고.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  2. (auxiliary, with 어〮 ()) to try, to try out
  3. (auxiliary, with 어〮 ()) to experience


Selected conjugations of 보다〮 (pwòtá), Accentual class H!
Note that the majority of the forms below are unattested for any one verb. Orthography and pitch accent assignment can vary between sources.
Selected plain sentence-final forms
Declarative Interrogative Modulated
Polar question Wh-word question Second-person subject
Past 보다〮 (pwòtá)
보니〮라〮 (pwònílá)
본가〮 (pwònká)
보녀〮 (pwònyé)
본고〮 (pwònkwó)
보뇨〮 (pwònyó)
본다〮 (pwòntá) 보〯라〮 (pwǒlá)
Present 보〮ᄂᆞ다〮 (pwónòtá)
보〮ᄂᆞ〮니라〮 (pwónónìlá)
보〮ᄂᆞᆫ가〮 (pwónònká)
보〮ᄂᆞ녀〮 (pwónònyé)
보〮ᄂᆞᆫ고〮 (pwónònkwó)
보〮ᄂᆞ뇨〮 (pwónònyó)
보〮ᄂᆞᆫ다〮 (pwónòntá) 보〮노라〮 (pwónwòlá)
Conjectural 보리〮라〮 (pwòlílá) 보ᇙ가〮 (pwòlqká)
보려〮 (pwòlyé)
보ᇙ고〮 (pwòlqkwó)
보료〮 (pwòlyó)
보ᇙ다〮 (pwòlqtá) 보〯리라〮 (pwǒlìlá)
보〮더라〮 (pwótèlá)
보〮더〮니라〮 (pwóténìlá)
보〮던가〮 (pwótènká)
보〮더녀〮 (pwótènyé)
보〮던고〮 (pwótènkwó)
보〮더뇨〮 (pwótènyó)
보〮던다〮 (pwótèntá) 보〮다라〮 (pwótàlá)
Promissive/Hortative Imperative Exclamatory/Emotive
보〯마〮 (pwǒmá, promissive)
보져〮 (pwòcyé, hortative)
보라〮 (pwòlá, order)
보고〮라〮 (pwòkwólá, request)
본뎌〮 (pwòntyé), 볼쎠〮 (pwòlssyé)
보〮도다〮 (pwótwòtá), 보〮돗다〮 (pwótwòstá)
보〮애라〮 (pwóàylá)
Selected highly deferential sentence-final forms
Past 보ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwòngìtá)
보니〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwòníngìtá)
보니〮ᅌᅵᆺ가〮 (pwòníngìská) 보니〮ᅌᅵᆺ고〮 (pwòníngìskwó) no separate forms 보〯ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwǒngìtá)
Present 보〮ᄂᆞ〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwónóngìtá)
보〮ᄂᆞ니〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwónòníngìtá)
보〮ᄂᆞ니〮ᅌᅵᆺ가〮 (pwónòníngìská) 보〮ᄂᆞ니〮ᅌᅵᆺ고〮 (pwónòníngìskwó) 보〮노〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwónwóngìtá)
Conjectural 보리〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwòlíngìtá) 보리〮ᅌᅵᆺ가〮 (pwòlíngìská) 보리〮ᅌᅵᆺ고〮 (pwòlíngìskwó) 보〯리〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwǒlíngìtá)
Promissive/Hortative Imperative Exclamatory/Emotive
보〯마〮 (pwǒmá, promissive)
보사〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwòsángìtá, hortative)
보〮쇼셔〮 (pwósyòsyé, order)
보〮도다〮 (pwótwòtá), 보〮돗다〮 (pwótwòstá)
보〮애ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwóàyngìtá)
Selected honorific declarative forms
Past Present Conjectural Retrospective/
(-ke-) form
Plain subject-honoring 보〮시다〮 (pwósìtá)
보〮시〮니라〮 (pwósínìlá)
보〮시〮ᄂᆞ다〮 (pwósínòtá)
보〮시ᄂᆞ〮니라〮 (pwósìnónìlá)
보〮시〮리라〮 (pwósílìlá) 보〮더〮시다〮 (pwótésìtá)
보〮더시〮니라〮 (pwótèsínìlá)
보〮거〮시다〮 (pwókésìtá)
보〮거시〮니라〮 (pwókèsínìlá)
Deferential subject-honoring 보〮시〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwósíngìtá)
보〮시니〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwósìníngìtá)
보〮시ᄂᆞ〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwósìnóngìtá)
보〮시〮ᄂᆞ니〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwósínòníngìtá)
보〮시리〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwósìlíngìtá) 보〮더〮시〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwótésíngìtá)
보〮더〮시니〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwótésìníngìtá)
보〮거시〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwókèsíngìtá)
보〮거〮시니〮ᅌᅵ다〮 (pwókésìníngìtá)
Plain object-honoring 보〮ᅀᆞᆸ〯다〮 (pwózǒptá)
보〮ᅀᆞᄫᆞ〮니라〮 (pwózòWónìlá)
보〮ᅀᆞᆸ〯ᄂᆞ다〮 (pwózǒpnòtá)
보〮ᅀᆞᆸ〯ᄂᆞ〮니라〮 (pwózǒpnónìlá)
보〮ᅀᆞᄫᆞ〮리라〮 (pwózòWólìlá) 보〮ᅀᆞᆸ〯더라〮 (pwózǒptèlá)
보〮ᅀᆞᆸ〯더〮니라〮 (pwózǒpténìlá)
보〮ᅀᆞᆸ〯거다〮 (pwózǒpkètá)
보〮ᅀᆞᆸ〯거〮니라〮 (pwózǒpkénìlá)
Selected connective forms
Connective Causative Conditional/situating Contrastive/concessive Purposive/desiderative Infinitive
보고〮 (pwòkwó)
보며〮 (pwòmyé)
보〮다가〮 (pwótàká)
보니〮 (pwòní)
보〮거ᄂᆞᆯ〮 (pwókènól)
볼ᄊᆡ〮 (pwòlssóy, only in declarative)
보관〮ᄃᆡ〮 (pwòkwántóy, only in interrogative)
보면〮 (pwòmyén)
보〮거든〮 (pwókètún)
본대〮 (pwòntáy)
보〮건댄〮 (pwókèntáyn)
보나〮 (pwòná)
보〯ᄃᆡ〮 (pwǒtóy)
본ᄃᆞᆯ〮 (pwòntól)
보〮건〮마ᄅᆞᆫ〮 (pwókénmàlón)
보〯려〮 (pwǒlyé)
보고〮져〮 (pwòkwócyé, desires own action)
보과〮뎌〮 (pwòkwátyé, desires other's action)
보아〮 (pwòá)
Adnominal/gerundive forms
Past Present Conjectural
Unmodulated non-honorific (pwòn) 보〮ᄂᆞᆫ〮 (pwónón) 보ᇙ (pwòlq)
Modulated non-honorific 본〯 (pwǒn) 보〮논〮 (pwónwón) 보ᇙ〯 (pwǒlq)
Unmodulated subject-honoring 보〮신〮 (pwósín) 보〮시ᄂᆞᆫ〮 (pwósìnón) 보〮시ᇙ〮 (pwósílq)
Substantive forms
Plain Subject-honoring
봄〯 (pwǒm)
보〮샴〮 (pwósyám)


  • Jeju: 보다 (boda)
  • Korean: 보다 (boda)