Clause Modifier for Sentence with Processive Verbs

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post. As I mentioned it’s abit different when you want to transform a sentence ending in a processive verb into a noun phrase (then subsequently use it as Clause Modifier.

What makes the difference?

  1. It can either be present or past
  2. In Korean it comes before the noun instead of the usual English order when it comes after the noun.
  3. The noun phrase from derived from a sentence with processive verb ending can have direct object.

Here are some examples:

With modified noun as original subject:

  • 밥을 먹은 사람 (Papeul meokeun saram) – the person who ate
  • 밥을 먹는 사람 (Papeul meokneun saram) – the person who is eating

With modified noun as original object:

  • 제인 씨가 사은 가방 (Jein sshiga saeun kabang) –  The bag that Jane bought
  • 제인 씨가 사는 가방 (Jein sshiga saneun kabang) – The bag that Jane is buying

With the use of particles to make the meaning unambiguous:

  • 나의 친구 본 사람 (Noui chingureul bon saram)  – The person who saw my friend
  • 나의 친구 본 사람 (Naui chinguga bon saram) – The person that my friend saw.

My nose is bleeding at this point of the lesson, noun phrase  from a processive verb is really one hard thing to  digest.

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Transforming Sentence into Clause Modifier

Complex sentences sometimes make you sound fluent and fluid. Although technical writers may not agree to this, joining two simple sentences that are somehow related creates an impression.

A simple Korean sentence can be tranformed into a clause modifier by using one of the modifier endings  -(으)ㄴ  or – 는 (attached to the final verb of the sentence) and then placing a noun after it.  The result of which is a noun expression and no longer a sentence.   This noun expression can then be used as a subject or object just like any other noun expression.

To give you an illustration on how this works:

  • He is  —> is my friend
  • Ms. Jane Reyes —> is my friend
  • The lady wearing a pink dress —> is my friend
  • The lady standing between Ms. Reyes and Atty. Cruz —> is my friend

For descriptive verb, it’s a bit simple just the way it works for English.  Here are some examples:

  • 작은 책 (chakeun chaek/ small book) <—- 책이 작아요 (chaeki chakayo / The book is small)
  • 예쁜 여자  (yeepeun yoja / beautiful lady) <—- 여자가 예뻐요. (Yojaga yeppeoyo/ She [the lady] is beautiful)

There is an exception though which is in the use of verbs 있어요 (isseoyo) and 없어요(opseoyo):

  • 가방이 있는 사람 (Kabangi ittneun saram) –> the person who has bag
  • 연필이 없는 사람 (Yeonpil opneun saram) –> the person who has no pencil.

For the case of processive verbs, its a bit different . There are some other things to consider when transfoming  sentence ending in processive verb into noun phrase.   This I have to read on…

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.

Another Modifier -는

Another modifier I learned today is -는 which is similar to topic particle used for words ending in vowel.  This new modifier is almost similar to -(으)ㄴexcept that it is specially used for processive verb. 

This modifier doesn’t mind the final character of the word whether vowel or consonant it is directly added to a processive verb.  Amazingly, unlike (으) ㄴ, this modifier cannot be used to descriptive verbs or adjectives.  Here are examples of its  application in certain processive verb:

  • 만나는 (manneun) from 마나 (manna) which means meet
  • 쓰는 (sseuneun) from 쓰(sseu)  which means write
  • 기다리는 (kidarineun) from 기다리 (kidari) which means  wait for
  • 가는 (kaneun) from 가 (ka) which means go
  • 먹는 (meokneun)  from 먹 (meok) which means eat
  • 보는 (boneun) from 보 (bo) which means look

This modifier added in a processive verb placed before a noun has a present meaning, that someone is verbing or doing.  This should somehow make this statement clear:

  • 쓰는 사람 (Sseunen saram) –> the person who is writing
  • 읽는 책 (ikneun chaek) –>the book that [he] is reading
  • 걸는 선생님 (keolneun seonsaengnim) –> the teacher who is walking.

So obvisouly for descriptive verbal nouns which takes auxiliary verb 해요,  one there is always the form descriptive verb+한 like this example: 깨끗한 방 (kkaekeuthan bang) would mean a room that is clean. 

However, for a processive verbal nouns with 해요, the verb 하 functions as processive so it taked the modifier 는. Such as 산보하는 사람 (sanbohaneun saram) which means a person who is taking a walk.  Comparing to the last modifier i learned -ㄴ when this is used on the example given –> 산보 사람 (sanbohan saram) it now means a peron who took a walk. Its meaning becomes past.

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.