More on the Korean particles 는 and 가

Sunday, June 29, 2008

One week ago I wrote a somewhat detailed post on the difference between the particles 는 and 가 in Korean, two particles that people learning the language often have a devil of a time trying to figure out. A Korean friend of mine read the post and had a few supplementary examples. He writes (my extra notes just for this post are in italics):

Yeah, I found the subjective particles confuse many learners. This thing caught my eyes:

올챙이가 개구리가 되었다. (the tadpole became a frog)
고래는 물고기가 아니다. (whales aren't fish)

Maybe we can give a thought to this...

나는 그녀가 좋다/싫다 (I like/hate her)
나는 그녀가 예쁘다/아름답다/귀엽다/사랑스럽다/...(my judgement on her.. however, we know not all adjectives are possible. For example, 나는 그녀가 작다 doesn't sound right.) (First sentence: I think she's pretty/beautiful/cute/lovely. Second sentence that doesn't sound right: To me she's small)
Then my response:
mithridates wrote: Yeah, isn't it because 나는 그녀가 작다 has no emotion, no feel at the moment? It's more like a standard description and has no feel. It's like ones like 김치가 먹고 싶다, 그 영화가 제일 보고싶었는데... (I want to eat kimchi, I wanted to see that movie)

Japanese has the same with ga and wa/(w)o. There too ga has more feel to it. (waは=, (w)o=を, ga=が)
And then his response to that:
Yeah, subjective feelings. Another example:

나는 김치가 맛있다/맵다/짜다 (I think kimchi is good/spicy/salty)
but 나는 김치가 빨갛다 sounds weird. (I think kimchi is red)


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