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Archive for the 'Korean Grammar' Category

That’s a Negative

In this lesson, the speakers answer questions in the negative. 

Grammar Point #1 - Making negative statements - anida - 아니다 (anida)

  • The negative copula is 아니다 (anida). This means “to not be.” This is not a conjugation of the affirmative copula 이다 (ida),but is an independent word. In this lesson, the negative copula 아니다 (anida).


  • Just as most Korean verbs are conjugated, -다 (-da) is removed from 아니다 (anida) to get 아니 (ani), which is the verb stem of this word. 아니 + ㅂ니다 = 아닙니다 ani + mnida = animnida (verb stem + formal simple present tense conjugation = “am/is/are not̶ ;)
  • Here is an example of a negative statement:
    • “저는 학생이 아닙니다.” (jeon-eun hakseng animnida) “I am not a student.”
  • It is important to remember that to make negative sentences, you use the following sentence structure
    • Noun 1는(은) Noun2 가(이) 아닙니다.  (Noun1-neun(eun) Noun2-ga(i) animnida.)

Grammar Point #2 - Using the subject marker - i/ga - “이/가”

  • In this particular context, because the verb 아니다 (anida) is used, we use “이/가” (i/ga), the subject marker. This is because, generally speaking, they are part of a set. In most situations 아니다 (anida) is used, 이/가 (i/ga) is used as well. 이/가 (i/ga) marks what the topic is not. Also, it is used when introducing the subject for the first time during a conversation or discussion, among many other uses.
  • It is important to remember 가 (ga) is used when it is affixed to a word ending in a vowel. 배우가 아닙니다 (baeuga animnida) - 가 (ga) is attached to 배우 (baeu). ‘ㅜ’ (u) is a vowel and is what immediately precedes the subject marker (in this case 가).

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