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The Korean Language Question And Answer Thread
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thatkidpercy



Joined: 05 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joesp wrote:

why on earth do they feel the need to add 는 ? With or without the 는, I see no difference in meaning. Am I supposed to learn this, or this fall beyonds my capability given that my native language is English? Like, fixing articles for Koreans.


Adding 는 to 에 or 에서 isn't much different from adding it to simple nouns. Basically, you're marking the topic of your sentence or comparing 2 facts (comparitive usage of 는). Sometime the nuance is slight when rendered in English.

한국에서는 외국인등록증을 영어로 "alien registration card"이라고 하다니 참 재미있어요.

Using 는 in this sentence marks the topic as "In Korea", and it sounds like you're making clear that it's only Korea that calls the card "Alien Registration Card". Although you don't actually say it, using 는 sounds like you're comparing Korea to other countries "(다른 나라에서는 그렇지 않지만) 한국에서는 외국인등록증을....". By attaching 는 you remove the need to even say the first part as the comparison is suggested. When you see 는 used in this way it's often possible to assume that some information has been ommited - kind of like how the subject of the sentence is often ommited in Korean when it's obvious or implied, here too the implied information doesn't need to be implicitly stated.

To use your earlier example:
이 옷이 낡았을망정 내게는 특별한 의미가 있는 거예요.

By attaching 는 to 내게 (나에게), you're implying this:
이 옷이 낡았을망정 (다른 사람에게 특별한 의미가 없지만) 내게 특별한 의미가 있는 거예요.

A much simpler example with both elements being compared stated:
학교에서 공부를 많이 해요. 그렇지만 집에서는 안해요.

Without the 는 in this sentence it sounds very unnatural as you're making a comparison and must mark the new topic (in this case, "at home" in comparison to "at school").

Of course if you put this into one sentence it's very obvious how the usage is the same as the normal comparative use of 는:
학교에서 공부를 많이 하는데 집에서 안해요.

Sorry the explanation is so long, but does that make sense? I struggled with this when I studied Japanese but luckily the usage is the same in Korean. If you're comfortable with Japanese this link might help (I couldn't find a link explaining this topic in Korean) http://www.rose-hulman.edu/~hirotani/jp112/ch5/Ch5_GRV_DoubleParticles.pdf
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joesp



Joined: 16 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, percy, I got it, I got it. At least that much, I know how 는 can be used when drawing a distinction. I still cannot really tell though when it is required as opposed to optional. If I say 한국에서 or 한국에서는 doesn't seem to make such a big difference. Although I believe that although I learn the rules, I will never learn how to use 는 and 이 like native speakers and will always slip-up. If, however, it turns out to be optional, well, then I will feel slightly better^^

A better example that is harder to explain is :

2nd ex.) 저는 혼자서 맥주 마시는 것을 별로 좋아하지 않지만 맥주가 정말 땡기네요.

This is another entry from my lang-8 writing. The native Korean speaker corrects me and says 좋아지 ... this, again, I do not understand despite having the basic structure for 는 down to the point that I can get it right 90% of the time, and chalk the rest up to 'unavoidable error'.

Or, an affectation.

Hopefully, you will find it also useful to try and answer this question of why, in the second example, they say 는 ..

3rd ex.) 할 수가 없다 vs. 할 수 없다

These seem the same, too.
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Enigma



Joined: 20 Mar 2008

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a question about looking for something when you're shopping.
Let's say for example I go into a little supermarket and I want cucumbers.

Normally I would ask

오이있어요?

But I just came across this, which I've never seen before

오이있나요?

I'm just wondering what the difference is between the two and which would be more appropriate to use in the situation described above.

Thanks
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fermentation



Joined: 22 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joesp wrote:
2nd ex.) 저는 혼자서 맥주 마시는 것을 별로 좋아하지 않지만 맥주가 정말 땡기네요.


I don't know the in and outs of grammar as I just speak the language, but I'll try to answer as best as I can.

In the sentence you gave, the addition of 는 does give it a subtle change in meaning. Koreans would sometimes use 는/은 as sort of an emphasis. Like in the above sentence, the 는 emphasizes that you don't really like to drink beer alone but you crave it.

Or when talking about marijuana use in the states, I would say, "대마초가 합법 아니에요" meaning, "Marijuana is illegal, but." Emphasis on the "but" to imply that the illegality of it isn't taken seriously. As opposed to "대마초가 합법 아니에요" which just straight up means weed is not legal.

Or you can say something like, "나는 그런거 싫어" "I don't like that kind of stuff" to emphasize that you don't like it but others might.

Here's a good example given by the naver dictionary. 아무리 바쁘더라도 식사는 해야지. If you take out the 는, it would mean, "You should eat not matter how busy you are." But with the 는, it would say, "No matter how busy you are, you should at least eat."

Another one. 비가 많이 오지 않았다 : It didn't ran a lot.
비가 많이는 오지 않았다: It rained, but not a lot.

Even if you don't use 는 most people will probably understand you, but you might not be able to express these subtle differences in meaning.

Enigma wrote:
Normally I would ask

오이있어요?

But I just came across this, which I've never seen before

오이있나요?

I'm just wondering what the difference is between the two and which would be more appropriate to use in the situation described above.

Thanks


It doesn't matter which one you use, but the second one could be perceived as more polite.

If I say, "펜 써도 돼?" It would mean, "Can I use (your) pen?"
If I say, "펜 써도 됄까?" It would be closer to "Is okay if I use (your) pen?"

줘: Give it
줄래?: Could you give it?

Hope this helps.
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out of context



Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Location: Daejeon

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you ask a question with the -나 ending, there's a bit of the sense that you expect the answer to be negative. It's kind of the difference between "Do you have cucumbers here?" and "You wouldn't happen to have cucumbers here, would you?"
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joesp



Joined: 16 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enigma,

My grammer book, 위국인을 위한 한국어 문법 2 from 국립국어원, says this about ~나
1) Used a lot to ask a question, in which case ~나 used a lot with 자네 or 여보게 (여보게: "you" in a close relationship)

example) 자네, 언제 떠나나?

2) used (A) to ask a question to a person of the same age or social status as the speaker, or (B) the person (recipient, listener) is lower in age or status. Examples given are: teacher to student, the parents-in-law talking to their son-in-law, an old teacher talking to an adult student, an older brother to his grown up younger brother, ... In these situations, it is used not to speak of them in a condescending way but to show them respect. In these situations, it can be used with ~시

examples:
장모: 김 서방 지금 오시나?
교수: 자네, 내일까지 준비해 올 수 있으시겠나?

It then has a whole different category of ~나 that is defined as being used in the following
1) in cases of rigid up-down social status (especially in the military) where the higher-up is being rigid and asking a stiff question to the person under him

example) 누가 그런 말을 했나?

2) when you want to make it sound as if you are talking to yourself

example) 어, 내가 한국어 책을 어디다 놨나? 생각이 안 나네.

Enigma wrote:
I've got a question about looking for something when you're shopping.
Let's say for example I go into a little supermarket and I want cucumbers.


In this situation, I would then have to say no. However, I am 36 years old and it would be suitable for me to use ~나 with a young girl working in the supermarket, but not with an 아주마.
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fermentation



Joined: 22 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joesp, in the situation Enigma wrote, I would say yes. Ending a sentence with 까요 or 나요 to the lady at the store isn't going to be perceived as condescending. Some people use it to sound more polite or careful. Of course if you drop the 요 and just use banmal like the examples your book gave then it's obviously going to sound rude.
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joesp



Joined: 16 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

나: 물음을 나타내는 어미
-- 용법 --
1. [일반적으로 말하는 사람이 웬만큼 지위가 있거나 나이가 든 경우 자신보다 아래이거나 허물없는 사이인 상대방을 대접하면서]질문할 때 쓴다. 이때 상대방을 '자네'나 '여보게'등으로 부른다
-- 결합정보 --
1. '는가(1)'는 '-나'와 같은 으미,기능을 가지고 동사 어간이나 '있다', '없다' 어간, '-았-', '-겠-' 뒤에 붙는다. 그리고 '이다'의 경우는 'ㄴ가' 가 사용되고 형용사 뒤에서는 '은가(1), '-ㄴ가'가 사용된다.
'ㄴ가'의 설명은 위에서 지적한 바와 똑같다.
2. '나'는 말하는 사람이 나이나 지위가 같거나 지신보다 아래인 상대방을 대접하면서 질문할 때 사용한다. 가령, 교수가 학생에게,ㅡ 장인이나 장모가 사위에게, 나이 많으신 선생님이 나이 든 학생에게, 형님이 나이가 든 동생에게 또는 나이가 든 친구 사이에서 상대방을 아주 낮춰 말하기보다는 존중해 주기 위해서 사용한다. 따라서 다음과 같이 높임의 '-으시''를 사용할 수도 있다.

나: (동사 어간이나 어미 '-았-', '-겠-' 뒤에 붙어) 강압적인 태도로 질문하거나 말하려는 내용에 대해 의문을 가지고 혼잣말하듯이 말함을 나타내는 어미
--용법--
1. 윗사람이 아랫사람에게 강압적인 태도르 질문할 때 쓴다. 친구가 관계나 그 밖에 아주 친한 사이에서 쓰기도 하지만 주로 군대와 같이 상하 관계가 분명하고 계급이나 지위 등을 고려하겨 말하는 집단에서 쓴다.
2. 말하는 사람이 말하려는 내용에 대해 의문을 가지고 혼잣말하듯이 말할때 쓴다
3. ['나 보다/싶다/하다' 구성으로 쓰여] 말하는 사람의 생각이나 추측을 나타낸다
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joesp



Joined: 16 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The above is just the Korean version of what I translated 3 posts up.

It doesn't say anything about using it with strangers in a supermarket or on the street. I just read from the book by the 국립국어원. It's not even my experience or opinion. It's just the grammar guide from the government branch that specializes in the Korean language.

I spent 45,000 won on it, I hope the book is providing me with useful information^^
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fermentation



Joined: 22 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you add a 요 at the sentence then it won't be perceived as rude. Trust me, people aren't going be offended because you asked, "수박 있나요?"
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joesp



Joined: 16 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I conducted a little study last night reading the sub-titles.
Basically, the book was confirmed.

For example, when Jason Bourne was talking to his murdered girlfriend's brother in the second Bourne movie, the translation used ~나요? This is when you are showing intimacy, because they had the connection of a serious relationship with the lover/dead sister.

In the movie 야차 people would use ~나요 when talking to people of a different social status who they were familiar with. This is where you use it to bridge a social status gap while yet acknowledging the gap.

I also heard it used a lot in 야차 with '여보게' and '자네' as they said.

I also saw the 역사 teacher (I watch 중교 2, 역사) on EBS say "오늘의 공부는 재미있었나요?" at the end of her lesson. Here, again, she was bridging the obvious gap in status between teacher-middle school students in a friendly way.

I saw about 5 or 6 times it was used in sub-titles, but in no case was it used between strangers.

I can say that my confidence in my purchase has been confirmed so far!

fermentation wrote:
If you add a 요 at the sentence then it won't be perceived as rude. Trust me, people aren't going be offended because you asked, "수박 있나요?"


As for the difference between 나 and 나요 my book says the following:
'요'가 붙어 높임 표현 '-나요'가 된다. 이때 '-나요'는 명령, 책망 등의 뜻이 약해지고 혼잣말로도 쓰이지 않는다.
1) 누가 그런 말을 했나요?
2) 지금 뭣들 하나요?
3) 빨리 못 움직이나요?
4) 무슨 일이 생겼나요?
5) 벌써 시간이 이렇게 되었나요?

translation: If you add '요' then you get the respectful form '나요'. When you do add '요' to make the '나요', the sense of issuing an order or censuring (reproaching, scolding) becomes weaker and it is not used as if you were talking to yourself.

I interpret this to mean that it is just another replacement for ~어/아요 to use in a close relationship or in a top-bottom hierarchy status relationship.

fermentation wrote:
If you add a 요 at the sentence then it won't be perceived as rude. Trust me, people aren't going be offended because you asked, "수박 있나요?"


So, yes, it is a polite form, but there has to be either (a) a close relationship or (b) an up-down social status to use the 나 part.
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fermentation



Joined: 22 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People use it all the time when talking to strangers. You could go out and try it and observe how people react to it. I doubt people will think it's wrong or weird or rude.

Quote:

a close relationship or (b) an up-down social status to use the 나 part.


Perhaps its use indirectly establishes a relationship. And that's why it sounds more polite.
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joesp



Joined: 16 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fermentation wrote:
Perhaps its use indirectly establishes a relationship.

what? I suppose if I assume that I already know somebody that they will play along, is that it? the "haven't I seen you before?" ?

People don't correct you because nobody corrects our Korean, period, right or wrong. I'm telling you, this book is better than even a girlfriend or wife.
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joesp



Joined: 16 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my gilrlfriend said that "있어요"and "있나요" are the same.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My wife also said that "있어요?" and "있나요?" are functionally identical. She also commented that "있어요?" tends to be indicative of a Seoul dialect. This is one thing to bear in mind when trying to make absolute statements about Korean: it's still got a noticeable amount of dialectical variety.
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