kutsuwamushi: (Default)
[personal profile] kutsuwamushi posting in [community profile] korean_wotd
In the last post, 가 and 나 discussed classroom furniture. Here is another dialog from the same textbook on a similar theme: verifying that yes, you have successfully identified an everyday object.

If you understand the grammar in the last post, you should be able to read this dialog. Try doing so before looking at the translation.

가: 이것은 시계입니까?
나: 네, 시계입니다.
가: 이것은 구두입니까?
나: 아니요, 구두 아닙니다. 그것은 운동화입니다.

Vocabulary:
이것 this
그것 that
시계 clock, watch
구두 dress shoes
운동화 sneakers
아니다 is not
네 yes
아니요 no (polite)

This dialog introduces 그것. English has a two-way spatial distinction in its demonstrative pronouns (“this” versus “that”), but Korean has a three-way distinction, similar to Japanese. Typically, the distinction is explained this way:

이 is for objects that are close to the speaker
저 is for objects that are away from the speaker, but close to the hearer
그 is for objects that are away from both the speaker and listener

However, it’s a little more complicated than that. 그 is often used to refer to objects that have previously been mentioned. I personally think it’s something that easier to get a feel for through practice rather than trying to create a list of rules for when 그 is appropriate.

Highlight for translation:

[가: Is this a clock?
나: Yes, it is a clock.
가: Are these dress shoes?
나: No, they are not dress shoes. Those are sneakers.
]
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