More on Modifier Clauses

일 삼월이에요… Yup its 1st day of the month of March and how time flies.  I am at lesson 19 of my Continuing Korean book.  It’s very fulfilling to read on this book as it clears so many questions i used to have in mind.

For the past days I have been reading about modifiers.  As you know, sentences are made complex by clauses joined together.  So this lesson is important in expressing longer sentences in Korean.

When I just started, I have always been reminded of the order of words in a Korean sentence.  Well unlike English which is rather not so particular in the order though usually follows subject-verb-object pattern, in Korean the verb is always at the end.  Reading this lesson makes me realized who different the order of the word is as in the comparison below:

English Order

Korean Order

Red flowersFlowers that are red  Red flowers
A nice, large bed

A bed that is nice and large

 Large-and-nice bed
The pasta I am eating I-am-eating-it pasta
The lady who is eating pasta Is-eating-pasta lady

Now this solves the mystery of a usually weird on-line translation application.  With sentence order totally different from English and even on the order of words in a modifier clause, its but noraml to get an abnormal on-line translation.

Uses of Clause Modifier (으)ㄴ

The simple modifier (으) ㄴ has two major functions in relation to the type of verb to which it is attached.   First, when attached to a descriptive verb or adjective and then placed before a noun, it becomes noun that is equal to adjective.  Here are some examples:

  • 큰 학교 (Keun Hakkyo) – Large school
  • 적은 눈물 (Cheokeun Nunmul) – Few tears
  • 좋은 사람 (CheounSaram) –  Good Man

The second use is that when it is attached to processive verb right before a noun it takes a past meaning.  Something like [someone] did or  has done as shown on samples below:

  • 앉은 사람  (Anjeun saram) – The person who sat or who has sat.  This is lifted from statement –> 사람이 앉었어요 (Sarami anjeosseoyo)
  • 걸은 여자 (Keoreun yoja) – The lady who walked –> 여자가 걸었어요 (Yojaga keoreoseoyo).

Since this form for processive verbs takes a past tense meaning, therefore, this modifier can neither be attached to past base nor future base.  As such you would hear or see 썼은 편지 (Sseosseun pyonji) written letter or 써겠은 편지 (Sseokesseun pyonji) letter that we/I will write.

Introduction to Modifiers

Just like English, the Korean language has its way of turning a sentence into  a clause that modifies a noun  or a noun phrase.  This is done by changing the final verb of the statement into the modifier form.  For to day, I am introduced to the (으)ㄴ  modifier.  Just like the subject and object particles the rules in adding this modifier are as follows:

  • Plain base of verb ending in vowel + ㄴ
  • Plain base of verb ending in consonant + 은

Below are some examples of verbs in modifier form:

앉은 Anjeun Sit
만난 Manan Meet
좋은 Choneun Be Good
기다린 Kidarin Wait
Gan Go

The following verb types are exceptions.  For L-extending verbs, the modifier is attached to the un-extended form as shown below:

산 (사-ㄹ) San Live
논 (노-ㄹ) Non Play
연 (여-ㄹ) Yeon Open

For w (우) type of verbs below are sample transitions:

도운 (도w-) Doun Help
구운 (구w-) Kuun Boil
더운 (더 w-) Deoun Hot

Ways to Say: Concerning, About

There are two ways to express what in English means about, with respect to, concerning etc.  This is through the use of the following postpositional phrase:

  • -에 대해서  (-e daehaeseo)
  • -에 관해서 (-e gwanhaeseo)

Of these two, the second one tends to mean more formal or bookish.  I just realized that my other site about my favorite Korean artist is actually using this postpositional phrase  in the tag line 왭사이트 휘성에 관한  at (   I wrote this tagline over a year ago using my dictionary and some early learnings on particles.

Here are some other examples:

  • 어빠는 자동차에  대해서 많이 알고 있어요.  (Oppaneun chadongcha daehaeseo manhi alko isseoyo.)  My brothers knows a lot about cars.
  • 필리핀사람들은 언제나 정부에 관해서 이야기를 해요.  (Pilipinsaramdeuleun onjena jeongbue gwanhaseo iyagi haeyo.)  The Filipinos always talk about the government.

Saying I’m Glad That… or Good Thing That…

The combination of verb ending in -서 followed by 좋아요 renders the meaning  [so and so happens] so it is good.  In English this commonly expressed as I am glad that… or It is a good thing that…

This expression is often used in English conversation especially when an event happened which turns out to your favor.  Below are some expressions that make use of this combination:

  • 어머니가 오셔서 좋아요.  (Eomoniga osyeoseo chuayo.) I’m glad that mother came.
  • 새 가방을 사서 좋아요.  (Sae kabangeul saseo chuayo.) I’m glad I bought a new bag.
  • 선생님 더라와서 좋아요.  (Seonsaengnim deorawaseo chuayo.) It’s a good thing that Seonsaengnim came back.

당신이 이 것을 읽어서 좋아요 ^^

Taking a Ride or Getting on a Vehicle

Yesterday i posted about the verb 가 (ka) and 와 (wa) which means go and come respectively.   Now this post is a simple follow through to this line of thought. 

When you travel, taking a ride or getting on  a vehicle the verb to remember is 태요.  It means to ride or gets on <vehicle>.  This verb takes a direct object marked by particles 을/를 (eul/reul). So, 기차를 태요 (Kichareul taeyo) means gets on a train or ride on a train.

A simple format can be made to structure sentence using this verb along with 가 and 와, see below:

[destination] vehicle을/를 타고 [destination] 가/와요.

This means that destination can either be place before the vehicle or after the verb form 타고. Vehicle should be marked with object particle 을 or 를.  The verb ending can either be 가 or 와.

학교에 바스를 타고 가요. (Hakyoe basureul tago kayo) would mean the same as 바스를 타고  학교에 가요 (Basureul tago hakyoe kayo).  That is,  I go to school by bus. 가 can be replaced by 와요 (wayo) to mean Come to school by bus. 

The same verb 타고  can be attached to a negated 가 or 와  like this:  택시를 타고 오지/가지 않아요 (Taekshireul tago  waji/kaji anayo).  This would mean ‘does not come/go by taxi’.

Expression: Going (가) and Coming (와) and Particle 로

The verb 가 (ka) and 와 (wa – infinitive form) are just two of the most commonly used verbs.  가 means go while 와 means come.  This post is a tip on how the particle 로 (ro) works perfectly with this two verbs.  As discussed in previous post 로 is a particle attached to noun which creates the meaning via, through or by means of the nound to which it is attached.

Vehicle+로 then destination and the verb does the trick.  Here are examples:

  • 기차로 학교에 가요  (Kicharo hakyoe kayo) Goes to school by train
  • 기차로 학교에 와요  (Kicharo hakyoe wayo) Comes to school by train
  • 바스로 가요 (Basuro kayo) Goes by bus
  • 택시로 왔어요 (Taekshiro wasseoyo) Came by taxi

내가 자동차로 사무실용 건물에 가요  (Naega chadongcharo samushilyong keonmure kayo).  I go to the office by car.