아주 (Aju) and 너무 (Neomu)

These two Korean words have the same meaning. 아주 and 너무 both mean very or too in English. For the longest time i am always inclined to use 너무 than 아주. Last Saturday in my Korean class, my 선생님 (seonsaengnim — yes this is how teachers are addressed in Korean) gave a tip on how to differentiate the use. 

According to my teacher 아주 is positive compared to 너무.  The latter tends to be negative and a bit exaggerated.  It may even sometimes sound sarcastic.  So when complimenting people it would be safe to use 아주 instead.

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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’.

Adverbs

As we all learned in our English 101, adverb describes how, where or when something is done.  It provides additional description on the manner, time or place of action.  This word function does not change in learning Korean.

I guess learning adjectives is likewise an introduction to a bit more complex Korean sentences.  So here are some of the adverbs I have learned:

  • Adverb of Time –  이찍 (iljjik) or early; 나중에 (najung.e) or later; 아긱 (ajik) or yet
  • Adverb of Place – 게다가 (kedaga) or besides~<place>; 가까이 (kakka.i) or near; 멀리 (mollie) or far
  • Adverb ofDegree – 잘 (chal) or well; 너무 (nomu) or too/very; 
  • Adverb of Manner – 빨리 (palli) or fast/quickly; 천천히 (chonchon.hi) or slowly; 흔자 (hunja) or alone/by oneself.

I think the fourth type will be the most challenging to learn as it will surely confuse a beginner like me in differentiating adverb from adjective but one thing is for sure Adverb will never become a subject/topic or object in a sentence so this will never be marked with particles 이/가; 은/는 and 을/를.