[BOOK] 외국인을 위한 한국어 문법2 | Korean Grammar for Foreigners 2

DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that this review is not very reliable since the book is advanced and I’m still at this level where I may not understand about more than 75% of the book. And as always… skip the blurbs if you want to proceed to the review.

I don’t know why, but whenever I read ‘____이라고 합니다’ through about me’s and 자기소개s, I go dumbfounded.

There are two points to that first sentence. I didn’t put ” ” before and after the sentence because I don’t want it to appear like a “quotation” or something *boooooring*….. sooo (1) I never tried looking for its meaning (or… yeah once)… though I know that _____ is your name, but why not use ‘_____입니다’ instead? I mean (2) it’s complicating. I never heard that kind of introduction from anywhere else yet, or may not have noticed it, but… *fails at explaining*.

But then, after some years or months, when I read back my posts, maybe I’m gonna regret why I posted that first sentence because by that time, I may understand why they use it rather than the other one.

Grammar is as confusing as why kids have to sleep in the afternoon. *바보 metaphor, 죄송합니다* So I try to study them religiously, trying to compare the grammar patterns side by side, why use this rather than this, etc.

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법2 | Korean Grammar for Foreigners 2

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법2

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법2

See how good it looks? *dies* Well maybe not… but it’s in hardcover which is one of my book weaknesses.

Why 5 stars?

I don’t know… uhm maybe, I don’t know.

Or… I don’t know? 음… 몰라.. 아! 진짜 잘 모르겠는데!!!

Why 5 stars?

Why 5 stars? THERE.

Well… except for the fact that maybe every Korean grammar point/pattern/sentence ending, from the day they were born up to BIGBANG and 2NE1 era *sorry for that pointless* ARE ALL HERE, the book is just 100% complete for me to take. This book might lack a lot, but there are just too many stuff inside for me to even know what that missing stuff is.


I tried to count all the grammar patterns and there are about 1000+ of them. From the simple:






which is half-Korean, half-gibberish to me.

As for the book, it’s obvious that it’s the second book… well exception is 외국인을 위한 한국어 발음 47 which is also obviously NOT the 47th book from the series. *바보*. Anyway, for additional info about the book, click the link.

The first book is the ‘체계 편’. I’m not gonna focus on that book since… Well okay, I opened the book once because it looked very interesting, and very ‘for me’, but when I opened it, I didn’t understand a thing, and definitely ‘not for me’. I was looking for grammar pattern-esque book but it contained none. This is just a guess, but maybe the book explains a lot about the Korean grammar system. Theoretical, more more texts, etc, but not about usage. Which…

is left for the second book, *which I am very stupid why I didn’t open it in the first place*. I have been seeing this book for weeks in the library but I never bothered opening it. These past weeks, I looked for the first book again just so I can try very hard to understand at least what’s inside through the table of contents, but it’s missing from the shelves for so long, then I learned a teacher borrowed it. So I finally checked the second book WHICH IS JUST PURE HEAVEN.

This book series is like the grandparents of Korean Grammar in Use series but sooo much more. *without the English though*





The explanatory notes contain 9 parts.

1. 표제어 – which is the entry 것. The table of contents contains all the 표제어 arranged in 자모 order. -습니다 and -ㅂ니다 for instance are both listed, but the page containing -ㅂ니다 will just redirect you to -습니다 page.

2. 주요 용법 – which contains the primary use or function of the grammar. For example, the first of the first grammar pattern ‘‘ is ‘문장의 주어임을 나타내는 조사‘ ‘The particle that indicates the subject of the sentence.

3. 분류 – which indicates if it’s a 조사 (particle), 어미 (ending), or 표현 (expression), etc.

4. 관련어 – which lists related patterns with the entry grammar pattern itself. For ‘‘, it listed ‘-께서, , , , , ‘.

5. 형태 정보 – which contains morphological information about the entry. It explains the possible forms of the grammar, as for ‘-는데‘, it explains that -는데 is for verb stem or ‘있다/없다, -았-, -겠-‘, -은데 for ‘‘ adjectives… etc. etc. You got it right?

6. 가표제어 – okay I don’t know this one, but listed under ‘-는데‘ is ‘-ㄴ데‘, if that makes sense.

7. 용법 – this is the main part of every entry. For ‘‘ there are 9 usages. The first usage, it says [‘누가 무엇을 하다, 누가 어찌하다, 무엇이 어떠하다, 무엇이 무엇이다’ 구성에서’] which is *not very* easy to understand but word by word, it will eventually and surprisingly make sense. Oh and it says ‘어떠한 상황이나 상태의 주체나 대상임을 나타낸다.

After those explanations, you are presented with several sentences containing the grammar pattern. (1) 아이 밥을 먹는다. (3) 사과 너무 비싸요.

8. 결함 정보 – which presents examples where the grammar pattern is used incorrectly. For ‘‘ it says that it can’t be connected with another ‘조사’ like ‘도’. It looks like this:

(1) 철수 왔어요? (O)
(2) 철수도 왔어요? (X)

And finally…

9. 보충·심화 – which contains additional, deeper, and important information. For ‘‘, it explained that this is not to be used for higher levels, since there’s ‘께서‘ for use with 부장님, 아버지, 선생님…

More of the grammar lists

More of the grammar lists


See how thick this book is? The book starts with a Foreword (all books have, duh?), the Explanatory Notes *which I discussed earlier*, the exhaustive index of the grammar patterns and hoorah! The no frills, no ornaments, no ‘arte’, no gimmicks, no special effects, no dubbing, grammar patterns.

There are about a thousand grammar patterns in 906 pages, not sure up to which level. Not being very ‘know-it-all’ but this might just be up till 4급, or 5. Dunno. Less guess, less mistakes. Or this might be up till advanced.

The book is easy to navigate. There’s a sewn bookmark *similar with bible bookmarks* so you won’t forget the page of that grammar pattern that made you cry. The index is listed not by usage, or importance or level, but by 자모 order so if you know how to search printed Korean dictionaries, this is not different from it. Well actually, thinking about it, this is like a grammar dictionary.

Will I recommend this for first time learners?

No. Definitely not. I don’t recommend this for myself either *which is like a joke, lol*. But seriously, this is too advanced. This book will look like a joke if you’re still there at ‘안녕하세요’ or ‘감사합니다’ levels.

Why this one makes me think about other pure-Korean-written books, why they’re called ‘외국인을 위한’ ‘for Foreigners‘ when in fact, the book won’t make the language less ‘foreign’. Just last time, I checked my niece’s grade 3 English book, just to check which grammar patterns are being taught first (will be discussed on my other entry), so I half-asked myself, why is the book written entirely in English, when we speak Filipino?

Giving answer to myself just now, while writing this, There’s your first language, a second language, and a foreign language. Second language is the next language you speak most comfortably, next to your first (which is English, WHICH answers my question). But then, Korean is mostly a foreign language for a lot of nationalities, but why is the book in pure Korean? If it’s for ‘foreigners’ why is it so ‘foreign’? Please give me your two cents in this through the comments section. *To clear things, I’m not complaining why the book lacks English, I actually like it this way, but… yeah, my points.”


  • If ‘Korean language’ is a religion, this is the bible.


  • No English, so definitely ‘not’ for first time learners.
  • Pricey (but good for its quality).


I would definitely recommend this as a stock book if you’re planning to study up till you grow old or smell pungent. If you’re contented with basic Korean, this is definitely not for you since 1 year of learning Korean may still be inadequate to fully grasp the power of this book. The first book is also *or I don’t know* important since it’s the ‘first’ book, but I don’t know. I have to check it again.

Looking simply at the examples from the usage and mis-usage section of every grammar pattern is already a big help if you’re confused when and when not to use the grammar. The sample sentences are usually simple *for simple grammar pattern, that is*, but if it’s really hard, there’s a dictionary to check. And sometimes, not knowing the full meaning per word, just seeing ‘-에’ would give you a sense of it, if it’s a place or time, etc. There are magical things about Korean language that even if you don’t understand, you understand *winks*.

Technical facts about the book:

외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 2 | 용법 편
한국어교육 자료 총서2

초판 1쇄 2005년 11월 3일
초판 10쇄 2010년 9월 9일

Price: 45,000 원
ISBN 89-8499-489-8

As always, I hope this review helps.


16 thoughts on “[BOOK] 외국인을 위한 한국어 문법2 | Korean Grammar for Foreigners 2

  1. Oh, so this is what you borrowed this time! I’ve actually opened both 1 and 2 many times before. I just sigh at how much I don’t understand, but at the same time, my eyes sparkle at the thought of “Wouldn’t it be nice if I actually understand a complicated book like this?” But then again, I just put them back in the shelf and move on with other books ‘my level.’ ㅋㅋ

    As for your question, maybe it’s because the real targets of that grammar dictionary are the Americans, who already speak English as a native language, and therefore, may consider Korean as a second language instead of simply a foreign language. I don’t know if that makes sense. XD But anyway, I think this is really for foreigners who are around level 5 or 6 proficiency.. 😀 Or perhaps, they specified it as something for foreigners, because the explanations would’ve been different if it was presented to the Koreans.. I mean comparatively, maybe this book offers simpler explanations than those you’ll find in the normal Korean grammar dictionaries (for the natives).. 아 모르겠어!

    p.s. “I would definitely recommend this as a stock book if you’re planning to study up till you grow old or smell pungent.” That’s the most memorable line of this post (in my opinion). ㅎㅎㅎ

    • I know right, this book is just pure 한글 goodness so I want to buy it very bad, but then again… books ‘my level’ are most of the times, boring. *lol.

      Thanks for those thoughts. I never thought about that ㅡ.ㅡ. But then again, I think this book is included in Korean language classroom materials >.< Anyway never mind, ㅎㅎ.

      Lol, that part is just something that I was unconsciously typing as I think because I believe I'm doing this post way way past my bedtime, so I'm pretty 'sabaw'.

    • Me too, I was supposed to return this book yesterday but I extended my borrow time for another week. HAHAHA. I’m not reading it thoroughly though (since I can understand only bits), I mainly use it for checking.

      I wish to buy this book soon, I really want this.

  2. I wish I was at a level to use a book like this too 🙂 As for it being written in 100% Korean…. I’m Canadian, English is my native language, and French is my second. I remember when I was in grade 1 (french immersion ) there was no English spoken at all, it is kind of a sink or swim philosophy really. You need to learn quickly to survive (especially if you want to use the bathroom hahaha). It does work though, my french is as strong as my english 🙂 Maybe that’s what they’re kind of going for? Just a thought 🙂

    • I think so too, maybe it only boils down to the students’ age. The sink or swim philosophy may work wonders for younger students, but may be a bit harder for the older types since we tend to process words and sentences by translating them back and forth rather than inhaling the words as it is. Good material to learn from though 🙂

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