Vocabulary Power

I am adding a new page to keep track of the words that I learned.  I called it vocabulary power.   You can check it out from the side bar.  The entries are still few , I may have to spend time updating this offline plus I am thinking of ways on how to make it more flexible for updates. 

I am likewise thinking of attending a formal class in a university to see if what I have been doing all alone are fine.  I think I reached a point when I wanted to hear it from a credible person if my interpretation of what I learned are correct.

제인 바이팅!

More on Particle 이나 (ina)

Last of the three uses of the particle 이나 (remember to drop 이 when attaching to a word ending with vowel) is similar to how 도 (do) is used in a sentence. 이나 can also be used twice in a sentence to show tandem agreement.  도 as mentioned on previous post when used twice after two nouns in a sentence means just the way either-or and neither-nor tandem in English.  However, in sentence essence or meaning, 이나 shows freedom or indifference.

The use of 이나 in this manner has two patterns.  first is the <noun1>이나 <noun2> pattern.  This shows tandem agreement:

  • 연필이나, 볼펜이나 다 돼요. -Yonpirina, bolpenina da dweyo.  (Either pencil or ballpen will do.)
  • 연필, 볼펜 안 돼요.  – Yonpildo, bolpendo an dweyo.  (Neither pencil nor ballpen will do.)

Whereas 도 is definite when it comes to tandem choices (as seen on comparison above), 이나  this way tends to be vague or inspecific:

  • 이 것도 저것도 다 좋아요 –  I kotdo chokotdo da chuayo (This thing and that thing are fine)
  • 이 것이나 저것이나 다 좋아요 –  I koshina chokoshina da chuayo (This thing or that thing is fine)

The second patter is <noun>이나 that means noun or something, noun or the like.  So there is just one noun and then the 이나 is a choice that is ‘something’.  See examples below:

  • 영화나 볼까요? – Yonghwana bolkkayo? (Shall we watch a movie or something?)
  • 술이나 마실까요? – Suina mashilkayo? (Shall we have something [alcoholic] to drink or something?)

Particle 이-나 (i-na) as Generalizer

There is more to the particle 이나, my previous post deals with this particle as used in numeric expressions.  This particle is added at the end of the word which requires generalization, 이나 (ina) for consonant ending words and drops 이 (i) when added to vowel ending words.

Here are some of its uses as generalizer; mostly are question word:

and here are some of its practical applications:

  • Question: 누구를 부를까요? (Nugureul bureulkkayo? / Whom shall we invite?)
  • Answer:   누구나 좋아요. (Nuguna chuayo. /Anybody is fine.)


  • Question: 주말에 어디에 갈까요?  (Chumare odi.e kalkkeyo?; Where shall we go this weekend?)
  • Answer: 어디나 좋아요  (Odina chuayo. /Anywhere is fine. )

Since 이나 is a particle, that it is attached to a word without a pause, the rules in pronunciation applies.  Notice how 무엇 (mueot) became mueoshina when it became 무엇이나  at the first cell of the table above, see also last cell.

Particle (이) 나

Introducing another two-shaped particle (이) 나 — (i) na.  Some of the particles that I have previously discussed are subject particle 가/이, topic particle 는/은,  object particle 를/을 etc. This new particle has the following functions when used:

  • Means about or approximately when used along with numeric expression
  • Its a generalizer
  • It also means ‘or’

이나 is added for words ending in consonants and drops 이 if the word ends in vowel.  Like any other particles, 이나 once added in a word form part of it as if its the original word.  The pronunciation should be smooth without the unnecessary stop right before the particle.

For this post, i will be discussing the first function.  Koreans are said to be less precise when it comes to numbers specifically numerical expression.  See examples below:

  • 몇 시간이나 걸려요? (Myeot shicanina kollyeoyo?) – About how many hour does it take?
  • 몇 개 살께요? (Myeot shicanina kollyeoyo? – About how many should we buy?

This particle behaves like 도 (do – added to word to mean too or also) when added to the word that is the topic or object of a sentence, there is no longer a need to added the topic or object particle.  As such the second bullet above will never be 개를이나.

More on Particle 도 (do)

As mentioned in my previous post, 도 (do) is a particle attached to a noun or noun expression that would mean also, too or and.  This particle may also be found twice in a sentence.  In such cases it is used just as how these English words are:

  • either – and (for affirmative sentences – both choices is okay)
  • neither – nor (for negative sentences)

Here are some examples:

  • 못 가요. 돈도 시간도 없어요. (Mot kayo.  Dondo shicando opsoyo) – I can’t go.  I have neither the time nor the money.
  • 네 갈께요. 나는 버스도 택시도 태워 줘요 (Ne kayo. Naneun bosudo taekshido taewo juwoyo) – Yes I will be going.  I will either take a bus or taxi.

Note that for 도 to function as above, you have to say the same thing about the two nouns involved otherwise use -지만 to show contrast.  (Please see previous post for more on its use).

Adverb 또 (Ddo)

This new word may look familiar if you have encountered the particle 도 (do).  Fortunately they have almost the same meaning. 또 (ddo) is an adverb that means the same as particle 도 that is– again, also or too.  The only difference is that particles need to be attached to a noun or noun expression, so 또 is independent and may exist as a word in a sentence.  See how these two are used in the following sentence:

  • 여기에 쓰레기 있어요 (Yogi.eh ssuregido issoyo) – There are litters here too.
  • 저기에 쓰레기는 있어요 (Chogi.eh ssureginueun ddo issoyo) – There are some more litters over there.

Since 도 is a particle there is no need to put markers 가/이 or 는/은 when it is attached to a noun that is subject or topic of a sentence.

또 like the word 그리고 (kurigo) may be used at the start of a sentence which means and further(more), and also or simply and.  You may likewise find is both at the start of the sentence 그리고 또 (kurigo ddo) thus it will then mean ‘and moreover’ or ‘and furthermore’.

Negative Commands and Suggestion 마-ㄹ (ma-l)

The polite verb ending 요  is versitile that it can be used to express statement, question, command or suggestion. The classic example, 가 (Ga which mean go) have the same form when used in varying form of expression.

  • 가요 (Gayo) – Let’s go
  • 가요? – Let’s go?
  • 가요! – Let’s go!

So in negative expression, 가  can be formed and would mean not going in these ways:

  • Both would mean ‘not going’
    • 안 가요 (an gayo)
    • 가지 않아요 (gaji anhayo)
  • All below would mean aren’t you going?
    • 안 가세요? (an gaseyo? — used with esteemed person)
    • 안 가요? (an gayo?)
    • 가지 않으세요?   (gaji anhuseyo?)
    • 가지 않아요? (gaji anhayo?)

However in a negative command, it is not right to say 가지 않아요!  A negative command or suggestion uses an auxilliary verb 마-ㄹ (ma-l), an L-extending verb.  As such to say don’t go would be:

  • 가지 마세요 (Gaji maseyo, drops ㄹ when followed by consonant) used with esteemed person
  • 가지 말아요 (Gaji marayo)
  • 가지 마십시오 (Gaji mashipshiyo) honorific formal style – command
  • 가지 마십시다 (Gaji mashipshida) honorific formal style  – suggestion, note that removal of 십 will make the statement very authoritative.

Long Negatives

Previously, I have posted the use of prefixes 안 (an) and 못(mot) to negate a verb.   When i was reading the book on this lesson, it says that there is another way to negate verb which is called long negatives.  This is done using the following:

  • plain base+지 않아요 or
  • plain base+지 못해요

To illustrate how this is done below are examples:

Q: 기타를 치세요?
Kitareul chiseyo?
Do you play guitar?

A: 아니오, 기타를 치지 못해요
Aniyo, kitareul chiji mothaeyo
No, I don’t know how to play guitar.

Q: 한나 씨, 언니가 결혼했어요?
Hannashi, unnika kyeolhonhaessoyo?
Hanna, is you sister married?

A: 아니오, 언니는 결하지 않아요.
Aniyo, unnineun kyeolhaji anhayo.
No, my sister is not married.

So long negative form uses suspective form of verb. 

Unlike the short negative, 못 occurs both in descriptive and processive verbs.  In short negative 못 cannot be used with descriptive verb so  못 좋아요 (mot chuayo – does not like) cannot occur 좋다 being a descriptive verb. However, this can be said 좋지 못해요 (choji mothaeyo).

Below is a comparison of short and long negative form of verb, the only difference between these two is that the long negative is already a phrase.

Base Meaning Short Negative Long Negative Past Tense
read 안 읽어요 읽지 않아요 읽지 않았어요
come 안 와요 오지 않아요 오지 않았어요
write 안 써요 쓰지 않아요 쓰지 않았어요
심심하 feel bored 안 심심해요 심심하지 않아요 심심하지 않았어요

Short negatives is not commonly used when verb has 3 or more syllables, long negative form is more approriate to use. As such, the word above in red is not likely to occur. Short negative is not likely used as well for complex verb form such as -고 싶.  Therefore 안먹고 싶어요 (anmokko shipoyo – doesn’t want to eat) is an awkward expression, this is rather expressed as 먹고 싶지 않아요 (mokko shipji anhayo).