Presenting Options Using ‘Or’

This post is about two simple Korean words I learned which allows you to present two options.  This is similar to the English word ‘or’. These two words are 또는 (ddoneun) and 아니면 (animyeon).  Here are sample phrases:

  • 커피 또는 우유 (kopi ddoneun uyu)
  • 커피 아니면 우유 (kopi animyeon uyu)

Both phrases mean coffee or milk, the difference is that when you use 또는 you are presenting two contrasting ideas therefore  one of the choices will be excluded unlike 아니면 which presents two ideas that are both acceptable.

These words can occur at the beginning of the sentence.  As in the example below:

  • 기차로 갈까요?  아니면 택시로 갈까요?  (Kicharo kalkkayo? Animyon tekshiro kalkkayo?) Should we take the train? Or (else) shall we take a taxi?  In this sample, both options is of course acceptable to the speaker.
  • 영화관에 가지 않았어요. 또는 음악희에도 가지 않았어요. (Yonghwagwane kaji anasseoyo. Ddoneun eumakhui.edo kaji anasseoyo.) I have not been to movie theater [and I don’t like movies anyway]. Nor have I been [on the other hand] to any concert [and I do like concert].   This statement plainly states not being able to go to movie theater the second statement is the same  but with the use of 또는 in the beginning of the second statement the thought enclosed is considered in the overall context of the statement as such the second statement means not being able to go but would like to go.

As Soon As with -자 마자

The English phrase ‘as soon as’ is made by attaching -자 (-ja) to plain verb base.  However, the pattern is usually intensified in spoken language with addition of  마자. As such 가자 (kaja) or 가자 마자  (kaja maja) would mean the same ‘as soon as [someone] goes’.

Here is an example: 

내가 학교에 도착하자마자, 바스가  떠났어요. (Naega hakyoe dochakhajamaja, basuga tteonaseoyo.)  The bus left as soon as I arrived in School.

Note that even if the the second clause is past, the verb to which  -자마자 is attached remains to be plain base.  The verb at the end does the work to show it is past.  Here is another example:

숙제를 마치자마자, 집에 돌아갔어요. (Sukjereul machijamaja, chipe dorakasseoyo.)  She went back home as soon as she finished her homework.

More on -고 있어요

If you have read the post before this one,  you are aware that -고 있어요 (-go isseyo) is used to express an action in progress something similar to ‘verbing‘ like eating, dancing etc.

This verb ending can also be tensed (past progressive).  So if 쓰고 있어요 (Sseugo isseoyo) means ‘is writing’ then 쓰고 있었어요 (Sseugo isseosseoyo) means ‘was writing’.  Please note that the tense is applied not on the base of the verb but to the ending 있.

Negative expression can also be made in either on the verb used or on the  entire expression itself.  Using the example above, if you want to say is not writing then you can say 쓰고 있지 않아요 (Sseugo ittji anayo).  Sounds familiar right?  This has been discussed in my previous post on negating verbs.  This is the long negative form.   Now if you want to say something like ‘manage to get by without writing’ or ‘not writing at this time’ then you can say 쓰지 않고 있어요 (Sseuji ango isseoyo).

Is doing… using 고 있어요

This is another way of expressing actions.  The simple phrase ‘먹어요’ (meokeoyo) in a conversation can mean:

  • I am eating
  • is eating
  • let’s eat or
  • simply eat

Instead of the plain phrase above it can be stated this way — 먹고 있어요 (moekko isseoyo) with a subject or an object this phrase can mean is eating or still eating.   This verb endig can only be used in pair with a processive verb and it denotes an action in progress.  So it’s the base form of the processive verb +고 있어요 as cited in the example above, 먹, which is the base of the word 먹다 (meoktta- to eat). Other examples are as follows:

  • 가고 있어요 (kago isseoyo – is going)
  • 자고 있어요 (jago isseoyo – is sleeping or still sleeping)

Please note that this verb ending when attached to -ㄹ extending verb keeps the ㄹ instead of dropping it.  So for the word 살다 (saltta), which means to live, becomes 살고 있어요 (salko isseoyo).  Note how this verb ending behaves, it is  just like -고 싶어요 (-ko shipoyo) which has been discussed in my previous post.

To make the verb ending honorific, just change 있어요 with 계세요 (kyeseyo).  As we know 있다 (itta – dictionary form) or 있어 (isseo – infinitive form) means to exist or to stay this is the plain verb,  the honorific one is 계 (kye).   Reminds you of 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi kyeseyo) use to say goodbye to someone who is ‘staying’.

Probable Future with (으)ㄹ 거에요

Done with the present and past expression now its time to learn how to say things or events which you intend to do in the future or will probably do in the future.

The verb ending  -(으)ㄹ 거에요 [-(eu)l keoeyo can be added to plain base or honorific base to mean will probably <verb>.  Let’s take the word 바쁘다 (pappeuda – to be busy ) as an example.  The base word is  바쁘 (pappeu) so 바쁠 거에요 (pappeul koeyo) means ‘will probably be busy’ or ‘is going to be busy’.   So if you say 내일 내가 바쁠 거에요 (Naeil naega pappeul keoeyo), it means I will (probably) be busy tomorrow.

In earlier post, creating honorific base for of verb has been discussed.  This is done by adding -시 on the plain base form of the verb.  As such 바쁘 becomes 바쁘시 (pappeushi) in honorific form.  Remember you don’t use honorific verb in pertaining to your own actions, it is used when speaking to an esteemed person (someone older or of higher status than you — to show respect).  Therefore, you wouldn’t say 내일 내가 바쁘실 거에요 (Naeil neaga pappeushil koeyo).  The first form discussed is more appropriate.   내일 당신이 바쁘실 거에요 (Naeil dangsini pappeushil keoeyo) is saying ‘you will (probably) be busy tomorrow’ to an esteemed person.

This verb ending can also be added to past base form of verb.  It’s a bit weird that a verb in past form is added with a verb ending that is indicative of something that you will do in the future.  Anyway, in my previous post, changing verb in to past form is done by adding  -ㅆ어 (-sseo) to the infinitive form of the verb.  I know it’s a bit complex so i suggest you read the post on base and  infinitive forms of verb.   So let’s use the word 가 (ka)which means go, as an example.  This verb is base and at the same time infinitive in form, 갔어 (kasseo) is the past base form.  To use this verb in probably future form, simply add the verb ending to get this form 갔얼 거에요 (kasseol keoeyo).

For the plain base, verb ending in consonant should take the -을 거에요 (eul keoeyo).  This applies to verbs like 읽 (ik) which is base of the word 읽다 (iktta) which means to read.  To say ‘i will read this book’ you can say 이 책이 읽 거에요 (I chaeki ikeul keoeyo).  Same transformation can be performed for base verbs like 먹 (meok –  means eat) and 앉 (anj- sit).  Their probable future form  would be 먹을 거에요 (meokeul keo eyo) and 앉을 거에요 (anjeul keoeyo) to mean  ‘will eat’  and ‘will sit’  respectively.

Note:  을 거에요 will not happen for honorific form and past base form of verb as verbs will always end in 시 and -ㅆ어 which are both vowel.

Welcome 2009!

It’s 2009  and i have been running this blogsite for over a year but less than 2 years now.  There are times that I could barely update.  It doesn’t mean i have stopped learning but there are really moments when I am too busy with other important matters (like my work).

This year, i wanted to raise the level of my learning by being able to speak and not just read and write.  That would mean doubling the effort in reading and writing so i can master.  I wish to learn and keep in mind more korean words.  I am done with my Korean I class so i will probably enroll to Korean II if my schedule would permit. 

To all who bookmarked my site and have been dropping comments, 감사합니다!  Reading comments inpires me to go on in this journey.  Please keep me company…다시 감사합니다.