When I was first learning Korean, I only used 고맙습니다 and 감사 합니다. When I'm at a restaurant, or talking to someone I don't know or who I want to be more formal with, I use these. But, I'm hearing 감사 해요 a lot more commonly these days-- even when talking to people I'm not that close with. I guess it's a small difference, but it's just that I've never heard 고마워요 used in conversation before. I saw it on the back of a cereal box once...
I don't really understand 고맙다 hyunwoo.
Could please explain a little bit more?
'Cause isn't the translation of 고맙다 = to be thankful ?
Or can it also be: Thankful/ Grateful
can i use it like this: 저는 고맙다 = I'm thankful/ grateful. ????????
And is this also another form of saying thank you ?: 감사... ??????
And this is out of the topic, but since you mentioned it in you're last post :
You said: 선배(someone who entered school before I did)
I guess that's the same word as 선배님 ???, i've heard that a couple of times, people say that to older people. Do they say that when they don't have a specific title?
감사합니다 in advance
Last edited by Jacqueline on September 26th, 2007 3:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
Thank you for the interesting question, Jacqueline.
고맙다 is of course, as you said, the infinitive of 고맙습니다 or 고마워,
but it is also a type of variation of the verb, so please think of it as a
set phrase that you can say to your close friends, it's the same meaning
This is not as complicated as it seems at first, and you will naturally
understand how it's different in nuance from the dictionary infinitive.
Again, practice makes perfect
You can't say 저는 고맙다,
and even 나는 고맙다 is unnatural.
The subject of "고맙다" is of course " I ",
but you don't say it. Just like you don't need "you" when you say
"Wait a second!"
고맙다 is 반말(infinitive casual), and 감사합니다 is 존댓말(polite, formal),
so 감사합니다 should always go with 저는
and 고맙다 should always go with 나는 ^_^
But simply 감사합니다 or 고맙다/고마워 is just good enough ^_^
In Korea, we have this interesting custom of just asking everybody their age. Haha. Nobody feels embarrassing about this actually, because this way the way to address someone is really quickly decided.
I prefer using 존댓말(polite speech) even to people who are younger than me if I met them for work or for the first time, but quite often I'm asked of my age and told to use 반말 because that would "make them feel more comfortable".
The logic behind this is :
You meet someone who's older or higher in social status than you, and you keep using 존댓말 and you know that you are younger and you act accordingly, but at the same time you feel bad that this person is acting with all the politeness and formality towards you, and you want to let this person feel at home and just feel free to call you by your first name only or 너 rather than attaching 씨 or 님 all the time.
So you tell him/her, "말 놓으세요" which means "please lower the level of politeness in your speech"
In this sense, if I am introduced to someone in school who's older than me, I automatically start calling him/her 선배 or 선배님. ^^ Or I also say 형 or 누나.
선배 is used to calling someone by instead of their names, but 후배(the opposite of 선배) is not.
For example, an older friend of mine is walking and I forgot his name or don't want to embarrass him by yelling out his name in public, and then I would start moving up to him and say "선배!!" or "형!!"
But I wouldn't call for anyone saying "Hey, 후배!!" It's just ackward. I would say their names ^_^
Do the terms 선배/후배 apply to people who went to the same school and the more general 형/누나 and 동생 for just about every other circumstance? Then there those that are your same age or 동갑. 현우씨, correct me if I am wrong but only people your same age you can call 친구 or friend, everyone else is either older or younger. In English, or perhaps this is just an American thing, but there isn't that ordered status so you can have "friends" who are much older or younger than you. Sure, you can in Korea too, but linguistically you can't.
Interesting (or not) aside: At the recent back-to-school night for my daughter (지혜 not 나래) my wife found out that her teacher had also graduated from UC Davis (where I did my undergraduate) and therefore was my 선배. (OK, way too much personal stuff...)
Jacqueline, the -님 is an "honorific" ending that elevates the status of the person the word refers to: 선배님, 형님, 누님, etc...
(edited to correct spelling )
Last edited by steved on September 26th, 2007 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Steve, yes, as long as you feel the sense of belonging to the same social group with someone and s/he is older than you, you can call that person your 선배.
But people tend to be more willing about calling someone 선배 then calling someone 후배 even when you know for sure that the other person is younger than you. So it's usually from the younger person's part that it starts. Personally I would just go about using 존댓말 and the appropriate way of addressing the person so that the other person would feel more comfortable about calling me a 후배 or using 반말 to me, and this way we can quickly decide the way we talk to each other.
Yeah, technically, if you say "친구" in Korean, it means that you are of the same age with the person, but gradually, Koreans are adopting the wider meaning of the word 친구, to mean the same thing as the English word 'friend' does.
If you were in Korea, the person you met at the back-to-school night would definitely be a 선배 or 선배님, but I'm not sure if that can apply to other countries ^_^
hyunwoo wrote:Yeah, technically, if you say "친구" in Korean, it means that you are of the same age with the person, but gradually, Koreans are adopting the wider meaning of the word 친구, to mean the same thing as the English word 'friend' does.
Last year during a lesson on asking how old someone is, I showed my Korean students some pictures for my friends from college. I'd ask, "how old do yo think his is"...
Well, some of those pictures are 5 years old..so at the time, my friends were like 18-20 years old. My students knew that I was 26, so to have a friend that was 6 years younger blew their mind.
They weren't guessing right about one of my friends, and then I told them, "he's 20 years old, " a student responded, "But you said he is your friend!"