Seems or Looks Like Expression

I certainly love listening to Korean songs.  Although it is not a good way to learn the language due to some poetic license, it makes you recall phrases and words that you can actually hear being used in regular conversation.  Recently I am inflicted with LSS, short for Last Song Syndrome and the song that keeps on playing in my head these days is an OST from a reality show called ‘The Romantic’.  The song is entitled 사랑은 너인 것 같아 (Sarangeun Noin Kot Kata) by 나비 (Navi).   That part where she sings the lines 사랑은 너인 것 같아 feels like a big confession of a strange feeling that love brings.

The title of the song is typically translated as ‘I think My Love is You’.  I kept on wondering how the title has been translated this way because I only know  ‘think’ is 생각하다 (saenggakhada) in Korean plus 같아 (kata) as far as my little knowledge of the language means together with or like.   Finally, I saw answer to this.   Browsing on my Continuing Korean book, I saw this lesson on Modifiers with 것 같아요.  So this modifier actually means seems or looks as if, it literally means same thing as.

The book says it has been very popular expression to young speaker  (the book is published 2002 makes me think how young is young ^_^)  If I have to use what I just learned then the title of the song can be Seems You are My Love.  The book emphasizes on the use of this pattern even on situation where there is absolutely no doubt or question.  For someone who speaks English, ‘seems’ connotes a little uncertainty.  Typically used if the speaker is not so sure of a fact that he is stating.

Here are some examples of the use of this modifier.

  • 기차가 오는 것 같아요 (Kichaga oneun kot katayo) – The train seems to be coming
  • 감기에 걸린 것 같아요 ( Kamki-e kollin kot katayo) – I seem to have caught a cold
  • 내 책을 잊어버린 것 같아요  (Nae chaekeul ijeobeorin kot katayo) – I seem to have forgotten my book