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Still confused about when to use 이/가 and 은/는 Recently I thought that maybe subject markers 이/가 are only used if there's an object to receive the effect of the verb (since subjects perform the verb) but then I realized that there are occasions where there is no object but the subject marker is still used, like this line I heard in a song: 시간이 없어 There's no object in the sentence but the subject marker 이 is still used. However, in an online lesson I saw recently, I saw 시간은 없어, and at this point I'm even wondering if it's possible to use the object marker in the same example, coming up with 시간을 없어. Is there any clear cut rule that will help in choosing which marker to use? Any help will be appreciated!
Jun 14, 2014 7:53 AM
Answers · 8
은 (eun) and 는 (neun): There are at least two applications for 은 (eun) and 는 (neun): contrast and topic marker. In short, contrast defines the sentence style (Question or answer) and topic marker defines the subject in a sentence. Just like before; if there is a final consonant, use 은, if not, use 는. In practice – contrast: The question uses 이/가 and the answer 은/는. 수나가 학교에 갑니까? (sunaga haggyoleul gabnikka) – Is Suna going to school? 수나는 학교에 갑니다. (sunaneun haggyoleul gabnida) – Suna is going to School. In practice – topic marker: Noun’s with a 은 (eun) and 는 (neun) in the end become the topic of the sentence. With every sentence about a persons action, use 은 (eun) and 는 (neun). Otherwise use 이/가 . http://www.weeklykorean.com
June 14, 2014
You probalby know about what aux particles are, and their function and meaning relationship in a clause, and the difference between the case particles and them. In general, the aux particle "-은/는" can be attached to a noun, an adverb, an adverbials, or a verb's ending, or a nominative clause, sentence. The aux particle "-은/는" can be thought in this way. In the subject or the object, the subject marker or the object marker is left out or hidden in that word. 시간이 없다. a normal clause 시간은(이) 없다. a topic clause or contrast clause 시간을 없다 (X, because the adjective 없다 cannot take the object directly) 수나가 학교에 갔어요. 수나는(가) 학교에 갔어요. (The subject marker '-가' is hidden in the subject) 수나가 학교에는 갔어요. (The adverbial 학교에+는) ※ Here are some examples for the aux particles. 저는 고기-를 안 먹어요. 저는 채식주의자(vegetarian)이에요. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism 저는 고기-를 안 먹어요. 그러나, 달걀과 우유-는 먹어요. (lacto-ovo vegetarian) 저는 고기를 안 먹어요. 달걀-은 먹어요. 하지만, 우유-는 안 먹어요.(ovo vegetarian) 저는 고기-를 안 먹어요. 달걀-도 안 먹어요. 하지만, 우유-는 먹어요. (lacto vegetarian) 저는 고기-도 안 먹어요. 달걀-도 안 먹어요. 그리고 우유-도 안 먹어요(vegan) 저는 고기를 먹어요. 하지만, 돼지고기-는 안 먹어요. (Are you Muslim?)
June 15, 2014
Also it seems that you are not 100% aware of the direct meaning of the verbs 있다/없다: to exist/to not exist. So direct ("grammatical") translation for 시간은 있어 and 시간이 있어 would be - time exists. That's why 시간 is a subject and cannot be an object when combined with 있다/없다 (시간을 없어 is wrong).
June 14, 2014
I'd say, this rule is compact and clear: attach 이/가 to make the word to the subject of the sentence, attach 을/를 to make it an object of the sentence. And apart of that - attach 은/는 to make the word to the topic of the sentence. The topic is something you are discussing at the very moment and something you are telling some new info about. Actually, you can turn anything - not just subject or object - to the topic; it's only that the particles 이/가 and 을/를 are being substituted by 은/는 when a subject or an object of the sentence is it's topic - while other particles remain. Compare: 시간은 없어. = By attaching 은 to 시간 you are making a statement: I'll speak about 시간 now. I'll tell you something new about 시간 now. And than you tell it: I don't have it. 시간이 없어. = You were not talking about time. And there was a question: What do you need? What don't you have? So you don't attach the topic marker as 시간 is not the topic - it's actualy the new information you are telling in the sentence. So the subject marker 이 remains where it was.
June 14, 2014
If the word has a final consonant, you have to use 이 (ex: 선생님이). And if there's none, then use 가 (ex:친구가).
June 14, 2014
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