I am a native Korean from Jeju-do.
Majored in Linguistics and Law, both bachelor's degree, in Seoul University.

<Several Questions on the Markers>

Here are several questions I made for 이/가, 는/은, 을/를.

Just for fun, you might try to solve.

Some has only one answer and some has more than one answer.
Pick the correct answer and give a reason why.


1. 철수 came to the house and you heard him coming and you ask “Did 철수 come?”

a. 철수는 왔어?
b. 철수가 왔어?
c. 철수 왔어?


2. You had a blind date. He seems to be the one. So you approach him and say, “I am the one supposed to see you here.”

a. 저는 오늘 만나기로 한 사람입니다.
b. 제가 오늘 만나기로 한 사람입니다.


3. Someone did something wrong and you ask “Who did this?”
a. 누가 이랬어?
b. 누구는 이랬어?
c. 누구가 이랬어?


4. You meet an old friend after som many years.
So you say...

a. 이것이 누구야?
b. 이게 누구야?
c. 이 사람이 누구야?
d. 이는 누구야?
e. 이 사람은 누구야?


5. You failed to report to work yesterday and your boss asks you why.
You say...
a. 배가 아파서요
b. 배 아파서요.
c. 배는 아파서요.


6. Your son in the military service visits home during the rugular leave for soldiers.
And you ask...

a. 밥은 먹었니?
b. 밥을 먹었니?
c. 밥 먹었니?


7. You are a teacher and you ask your student.

a. 숙제를 했어?
b. 숙제는 했어?
c. 숙제 했어?


8. In an elevator, someone says to you, "Hi, It's been a long time", and you say,
a. 저를 아세요?
b. 저 아세요?

9. Your colleague wants to take you to a lunch. He says he will buy. But you already ate and not hungry. So you say...
a. 나는 사실은 밥 먹었어요.
b. 나 사실은 밥 먹었어요.
c. 내가 사실은 밥 먹었어요.

10. Many Korean lessons are teaching that in 토끼는 귀가 길다, it has to be 토끼는 not 토끼가.
Give a situation where 토끼가 귀가 길다 makes sense.

11. What does 그 사람이 좋아요 mean?
a. He is a good person.
b. I like him.
c. people say he is good person.

12. What does 그 사람은 좋아요 mean? 

Just a tip on the alphabet and sound.

ㄴ ㄷ ㄹ

Look at the shapes...

ㄴ and add one more stroke makes it ㄷ. And one more stroke makes it ㅌ, and one more, then ㄹ. and doubled, ㄸ.

What does this mean?

This means ㄴ ㄷ ㄹ sounds are all made in the same palate position in the mouth.


This applies also to ㅅ ㅈ ㅊ, and ㄱ ㅋ ㄲ, and ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅍ.


I personally think King Sejong was thinking to make ㄱ and ㅎ look similar, because the position in the mouth is almost the same.

So, I think ㅎ was made ㄱ + ㅇ.

<Distinction between Topic marker and Subject marker>


This distinction is sometimes difficult even to Koreans.

For example...

He has good voice. can be translated in Korean in two ways.
When 은 is used, it can easily be understood to mean, "He has good voice and that's it", thus meaning sarcastically.
When 가 is used, this means "He has many good qualities and also he has good voice.".

This is not difficult to Koreans, but there are cases very difficult even to Koreans.
Top professional writers have to give a lot of thought on simple sentences like "Flowers bloomed", between 은, and 이(가).

꽃은 피었다 and 꽃이 피었다 both means Flowers bloomed but the meanings can be vastly different.

Without much context, this may not be something every adult Korean will agree on. So this may be only my personal opinion.

꽃이 피었다 signifies, then what?, we should go out to see the flowers as some tourists do or for farmers, then it's time to begin to sprinkle pesticides.

So in 꽃이 피었다, the writer draws the attention to the future.

For example, 새벽 종이 울렸네(Dawn alarm bells went off) will mean, then we should get up and go out to work.

꽃은 피었다 signifies there had been some difficult situations for the flowers to bloom or the situation is not so favorable for people like war, then, even in that situation, the flowers bloomed NEVERTHELESS.

For example, 새벽 종은 울렸네 will generally sound weird but there can be situations where this can work.

Like, people agreed not to use Dawn alarm bells, or everything was so quiet as if in pin-drop situation, but in that situation, the Dawn alarm bells went off.

So basically 은 signifies something not expected, or different from what's generally expected.
이 means then what people should do from now/then.


So 은 is a topic marker and changes subjects or topic of dialogue, and this leads to the UNexpectedness.

이 is a subject marker and ONLY subject marker, so this leads to the attention on the future.


And also 은 can mean comparison.

If "A certain umpire gave a player a top point." is translated in 은, than this implies other umpires didn't.

This is a well known thing in Korean and Japanese...
Chinese doesn't have this kind of particles, like English.

This can express very subtle things, but that also means we are forced to choose among the two.
In many cases we just omit this particle, 은, or 이.
Or rather, the default may be omitting. We use 은 or 이, only when very much needed, specially in dialogues.

For example, 철수 왔어? Has 철수 come?
Here, we don't use the marker and this is more natural than using 은 or 이.


BTW, I study English watching and listening your videos.
Looking how what is familiar to me comes out through English brain and in English language teaches me English. So, I thank you so much.


제주어 관련...

못..
석죽이다.
훌륭하다.

우륵맞추다.

다른 카스테라의 제조법과 비교하는 기사가 제대로된 기사인데..
그런 기사가 별로 보이지 않는다.
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