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I feel silly asking this, but I still don't 100% get it. What's the difference between 을/를 and 은/는? The way I understand it is, for example, 나를 would be "to me" or "with me (to a degree)" and 나는 "I am [blank]".

And I have a sound question. One one of the websites (teenkorean I believe), they pronounce the sound 외 and 왜 differently and I grew up pronouncing the two the same. Is there a difference or am I hearing wrong?

Biiiig difference.

을/를 = object markers

은/는 = topic markers

Adding 를 to 나 makes 나 the direct object -- the action is being done to that.

나를 먹어. Eat me.

나는 먹어. I eat.

너는 나를 미워하니? Do you hate me?

Sometimes you can replace the object marker with the topic marker to stress on the object.

사과를 팔아야 해요? Do you have to sell the apples?

사과는 팔아야 해요? (As for the apples,) do you need to sell them? / Do you have to sell the apples?

Does this make sense or should I explain a bit more?

Are you comfortable with the difference between 은/는 and 이/가 though?

왜, 외, 웨 all sound like "weh." There ARE differences, but nobody even differentiates everything anymore... like 애, 에...

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Thanks for making this thread, links and all. This is really helpful. ^^

I actually kind of have a small favour. I know I could probably look these up somewhere, but I think a real person who speaks Korean would be more accurate.

You know how in English there are slightly different connotations with words like "pretty", "beautiful", etc.?

Well how about in Korean? I was wondering if you could make me a small list of these words, these specific synonyms that coincide with their English counterparts... Does that make sense? :lol:

i.e.: cute < pretty < beautiful < gorgeous (some people can be pretty without necessarily being beautiful, y'know?)

I hope I'm making sense.

Thanks in advance. :lol:

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Lots of those in Korean... example:

Cute < pretty < beautiful

귀엽다 < 예쁘다 < 아름답다

I could make a list, but I don't really want to. lol Unless you make a list yourself for me to translate. :P

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Does this make sense or should I explain a bit more?

Are you comfortable with the difference between 은/는 and 이/가 though?

I think I got it. So would this be correct?

우리는 유미를 주길거야

We're gonna kill Yumi

"We" being the topic, talking about us and "Yoomi" being the object, the one we will kill. Correct? And when I say this, it's safe to drop the 를?

이/가 I just realized I don't fully get either lol. Does it show ownership or something? My mom says that when she's going to someone's house, like "하늘이 집에서..."

Thanks!

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This is pretty random..

My friend was writing my name in Japanese (Rashidah) the other day and i just wanted to know if its possible to write a foreign name in Korean.

I believe Rashidah = 라시다 (pls correct if I'm wrong!)

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I think I got it. So would this be correct?

우리는 유미를 주길거야

We're gonna kill Yumi

"We" being the topic, talking about us and "Yoomi" being the object, the one we will kill. Correct? And when I say this, it's safe to drop the 를?

이/가 I just realized I don't fully get either lol. Does it show ownership or something? My mom says that when she's going to someone's house, like "하늘이 집에서..."

Thanks!

우리는 유미를 죽일 거야 would be correct

It's safe to drop the object marker here.

---

하늘이 집에서... <- The 이 here isn't a subject marker. This 이 is used after names that end in consonants to show affection or people that are younger. It's like calling someone Billy instead of Bill.

Here's something I posted in the old Soompi Korean topic about topic markers and subject markers:

Roughly speaking, "은/는" is a topic marker, and "이/가" is a subject marker. The topic is often the same as the subject, but not necessarily. The topic can be anything that a speaker wants to talk about (It can be an object, location or any other grammatical element). In this sense, it is similar to the English expressions, "As for ~" or "Speaking of ~."

저는 학생입니다. I am a student.

(As for me, I am a student.)

한국어는 재미있어요. Korean is fun.

(Speaking of Korean, it's fun.)

Basic Differences Between 은/는 and 이/가

"은/는" is used to mark something that has already been introduced into the conversation, or is familiar with both a speaker and a listener. (proper nouns, genetic names etc.) "이/가" is used when a situation or happening is just noticed or newly introduced. See the following example.

옛날에 어느 할아버지가 살았습니다. 그 할아버지는 정말로 친절했습니다. Once upon a time, there lived a certain old man. He was very kind.

In the first sentence, "할아버지" is introduced for the first time. It is the subject, not the topic. The second sentence describes about "할아버지" that is previously mentioned. "할아버지" is now the topic, and is marked with "은/는 " instead of "이/가."

은/는 as Contrast

Beside being a topic marker, "은/는" is used to show contrast or to emphasize the subject.

사과는 먹지만 오렌지는 안 먹어요.

I eat apples, but I don't eat oranges.

The thing being contrasted may or may not stated, but with this usage, the contrast is implied.

그 책은 읽지 않았어. I didn't read that book

(though I read this one).

Particles such as "에," "에서," "에게" and etc can be combined with "은/는" (double particles) to show contrast.

서울에는 갔지만 부산에는 안 갔습니다.

I went to Seoul, but I didn't go to Busan.

이 방에서는 담배를 피우지 마세요.

Please don't smoke in this room

(but you may smoke in that room).

Whether "은/는" indicates a topic or a contrast, it depends on the context.

이/가 with Question Words

When a question word such as "who" and "what" is the subject of a sentence, it is always followed by "이/가," never by "은/는." To answer the question, it also has to be followed by "이/가."

누가 와요? Who is coming?

요코가 와요. Yoko is coming.

무엇이 좋아요? What do you like?

그것이 좋아요. I like that.

이/가 as Emphasis

"이/가" is used for emphasis, to distinguish a person or thing from all others. If a topic is marked with "은/는," the comment is the most important part of the sentence. On the other hand, if a subject is marked with "이/가," the subject is the most important part of the sentence. In English, these differences are sometimes expressed in tone of voice. Compare these sentences.

타로는 학교에 갔습니다. Taro went to school.

타로가 학교에 갔습니다. Taro is the one who went to school.

이/가 in Subordinate Clauses

The subject of a subordinate clause normally takes "이/가" to show that the subjects of the subordinate and main clauses are different.

나는 미카가 결혼한 줄 몰랐어요.

I didn't know that Mika got married.

what does "chi sa ha da" mean?

Chisahada (치사하다) = Disgraceful / shameful

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1. what does "mitchinya" mean? It's some form of "mit chuh suh" (i can't spell), meaning "crazy"? But what does ending with "nya" make of the meaning in this phrase? Thanks.

2. What does "maen nar hae[ss] janh ah" mean? What does adding "janh ah" at the end of phrases do or mean?

this needs to be pinned somewhere!

Well said!

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^ 1. 'michunya' means 'are you crazy?'.

(you wrote it kinda wrong..^^;;)

2. i dont really get what you're trying to say here..

but putting the 'janah' at the end of a phrase/sentence implies the 'i (already) did something'.

e.g. 'mal haet janah'

'i (already) said it'

'mo got janah'

'i (already) ate it'.

it's kinda hard to explain the korean language properly, but i did my best.

hopefully Jaeho can help further.

i'm no good at explaining.. i just KNOW.

haha.

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