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Verbs vs. Adjectives

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mteric
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Verbs vs. Adjectives

Postby mteric » January 13th, 2009 5:00 am

I'm a little bit confused by the difference between verbs and adjectives in Korean. In English, an adjective a generally pretty easy to identify because it either placed before a noun to modify it, or it is combined with the verb 'to be', as in 'to be red'. In Korean, the adjective would be 붉다. However, some words that appear to be used like adjectives are actually verbs, like 비다, 'empty, vacant'; '뱃속이 비다', 'have an empty stomach'. Why is this not an adjective?

Thanks!

SiEd
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Re: Verbs vs. Adjectives

Postby SiEd » January 13th, 2009 6:04 am

mteric wrote:I'm a little bit confused by the difference between verbs and adjectives in Korean. In English, an adjective a generally pretty easy to identify because it either placed before a noun to modify it, or it is combined with the verb 'to be', as in 'to be red'. In Korean, the adjective would be 붉다. However, some words that appear to be used like adjectives are actually verbs, like 비다, 'empty, vacant'; '뱃속이 비다', 'have an empty stomach'. Why is this not an adjective?

Thanks!


Ah, another subject on the Korean language that has linguistic papers and (perhaps) dissertations devoted to it.

In my mind, the question is this: does Korean have adjectives? And mteric has hit the nail on the head on the criteria of what makes an adjective in English:

1) That it is unchanged when it modifies a noun;
2) And more importantly, the adjectives are preceded by a copular verb (fancy way of saying a "to be" verb) and are unchanged. Verbs cannot do this (in English).

If we set up a basic comparison, you'll see that Korean does not show any distinction if we use these forms in sentence-final position:

Verb:
그 사람은 걸어가다/걸어가요.
'The man walks.'

그 사람은 걸어갔다/걸어갔어요.
'The man walked.'

Adjective (?!)
그 사람은 크다/커요.
'The man is big.'

그 사람은 컸다/컸어요.
'The man was big (but now has reduced in size for some reason).'

Now, is 'big' really an adjective here?
-It conjugates like the verb 'to walk'.
-It can take tense marking.
It looks like a regular verb.

However, there is one situation that could be argued to show the distinction between verbs and adjectives in Korean. This is when the forms modify nouns.

Verbs (into relative clauses):

학교에 가는 사람
'The man who is going to school'

학교에 간 사람
'The man who went to school'

학교에 갈 사람
'The man who will be going to school'

"Adjectives" (* = ungrammatical)

좋은 사람
'The good man'

*좋는 사람

?좋을 사람
'The man who will be good' [Can this be said? I have no intuitions about this case.]

Now we see some differences. However, I'm not entirely convinced that predicates like 좋다, 크다, and the like are true adjectives, as these predicates take the same noun modifying suffix (-은) as past noun-modifying verbs. For me, I'm satisfied with just calling 좋다 and the like "stative verbs" (i.e. a subclass of verbs), which captures the fact that these forms are conjugated much like their (action) verb counterparts, with some major exceptions.
"I'm trying to make a pun, but it's not punny."
-Mas Widiyanto

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yhenry
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Re: Verbs vs. Adjectives

Postby yhenry » January 13th, 2009 12:16 pm

mteric wrote:I'm a little bit confused by the difference between verbs and adjectives in Korean. In English, an adjective a generally pretty easy to identify because it either placed before a noun to modify it, or it is combined with the verb 'to be', as in 'to be red'. In Korean, the adjective would be 붉다. However, some words that appear to be used like adjectives are actually verbs, like 비다, 'empty, vacant'; '뱃속이 비다', 'have an empty stomach'. Why is this not an adjective?

Thanks!


I am so sorry for your ordeal in dealing with such a difficult language.
I didn't even realize that my own language is that complicated.

비다 to me seems adjective but our Korean Webster says it is verb.
What can I say?
I am not a scholar and have no say when it comes to the official definition of words.
Maybe one day we would be taught that 비다 is adjective like the corresponding word 'empty' in English.

Until then, it is adjective.
I am a forever ESL student.

yhenry
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Posts: 134
Joined: October 14th, 2008 8:52 pm

Re: Verbs vs. Adjectives

Postby yhenry » January 13th, 2009 1:44 pm

SiEd wrote:Ah, another subject on the Korean language that has linguistic papers and (perhaps) dissertations devoted to it.

In my mind, the question is this: does Korean have adjectives? And mteric has hit the nail on the head on the criteria of what makes an adjective in English:


Yes, we do but ours is not quite like English adjective.
Our adjective is used almost like verb, and hard to distinguish when it is placed next to verb, like 떠 있다. Even the same word can either be verb or adjective depending on the situation.
'있다' is a good case.

'있다'가 보조 용언으로 사용될 때 진행의 뜻을 나타내면 보조 동사이고, 상태

의 뜻을 나타내면 보조 형용사임.

Basically it says here that 있다 is verb if it comes in subordinate position assisting verb and states something that is 'in progress', and it is adjective if it states something about the subject.

[Ex} 풍선이 하늘에 떠 있다.(A balloon is up in the air. state of being, adjective)

주소가 적혀 있다 (there is address written, state of being , adjective)

즐겁게 노래를 부르고 있다.(singing happily, being in process, verb)

목적지를 향해 열심히 걷고 있다.(walking diligently toward the destination, in progress, verb)

That is what the Korean linguist scholar says.

1) That it is unchanged when it modifies a noun;
2) And more importantly, the adjectives are preceded by a copular verb (fancy way of saying a "to be" verb) and are unchanged. Verbs cannot do this (in English).


I like adjective in English a lot better.
Ours is very complicated even to us.

If we set up a basic comparison, you'll see that Korean does not show any distinction if we use these forms in sentence-final position:


Sometimes the comparison between Korean and English is like orange-apple comparison. So unlike in many cases.

Verb:
그 사람은 걸어가다/걸어가요.
'The man walks.'

그 사람은 걸어갔다/걸어갔어요.
'The man walked.'

In 걸어가다, we have two verbs, 걷다 and 가다
Shall I say 'compound verb'?


Adjective (?!)
그 사람은 크다/커요.
'The man is big.'

그 사람은 컸다/컸어요.
'The man was big (but now has reduced in size for some reason).'


Not that the man was big but now small but 'looked big'.
The adjective is conjugated just like verb.

Now, is 'big' really an adjective here?
-It conjugates like the verb 'to walk'.
-It can take tense marking.
It looks like a regular verb.


Yes, it is adjective, clearly.

However, there is one situation that could be argued to show the distinction between verbs and adjectives in Korean. This is when the forms modify nouns.

Verbs (into relative clauses):

학교에 가는 사람
'The man who is going to school'

학교에 간 사람
'The man who went to school'

학교에 갈 사람
'The man who will be going to school'

"Adjectives" (* = ungrammatical)


the verb simply is conjugated to be like adjective, modifying noun.
Just like infinitive phrase in English, placed after noun and modifying it, like 'something to eat.

좋은 사람
'The good man'

*좋는 사람

?좋을 사람
'The man who will be good' [Can this be said? I have no intuitions about this case.]


좋는 사람; 는 is not proper just because it cannot follow consonant sound.
좋은 is ok, consonant and vowel couple, like man and woman couple.
좋을 is ok too, because 을 implies something that can be ok to try.
만나도 좋을 사람 person would be ok to meet

Now we see some differences. However, I'm not entirely convinced that predicates like 좋다, 크다, and the like are true adjectives, as these predicates take the same noun modifying suffix (-은) as past noun-modifying verbs. For me, I'm satisfied with just calling 좋다 and the like "stative verbs" (i.e. a subclass of verbs), which captures the fact that these forms are conjugated much like their (action) verb counterparts, with some major exceptions.


If you take 은 as noun modifying suffix, you are making yourself more confused.
은 is simply a suffix that can be attached to noun, verb or adjective, to conjugate them function differently or adding more to the basic meaning.

Sounds like you are really into dissertations on Korean linguist.
I am far from being a scholar so my explanation might sound like un-scholastic, even incomprehensible.
I just tried, the best I know how.
If you don't get it, just ignore.
I am a forever ESL student.

SiEd
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Re: Verbs vs. Adjectives

Postby SiEd » January 13th, 2009 3:26 pm

yhenry wrote:Yes, we do but ours is not quite like English adjective.
Our adjective is used almost like verb, and hard to distinguish when it is placed next to verb, like 떠 있다. Even the same word can either be verb or adjective depending on the situation.
'있다' is a good case.


Not really - 있다 and 없다 are existential verbs, which have special properties that lie outside the verb vs. adjective distinction.

yhenry wrote:Sometimes the comparison between Korean and English is like orange-apple comparison. So unlike in many cases.


But it IS still useful - we can't just rely on meaning to determine whether something is a member of a specific part of speech. (Believe me - I work with languages where even the status of noun vs. verb is in question.) We have to take a look at sentence and word structure as well. And 좋다 conjugates like a more "typical" verb such as 가다.

yhenry wrote:좋는 사람; 는 is not proper just because it cannot follow consonant sound.
좋은 is ok, consonant and vowel couple, like man and woman couple.
좋을 is ok too, because 을 implies something that can be ok to try.
만나도 좋을 사람 person would be ok to meet


Alright, how about a less ambiguous example, like 싸다 'cheap'

싼 옷 'inexpensive clothes'
I'm going to assume here that you can't really say *싸는 옷
Can you say 쌀 옷 'clothes that will be cheap'?
"I'm trying to make a pun, but it's not punny."

-Mas Widiyanto

SiEd
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Postby SiEd » January 13th, 2009 3:36 pm

I think this sums it up quite nicely:

http://tinyurl.com/8ut9gc
"I'm trying to make a pun, but it's not punny."

-Mas Widiyanto

yhenry
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Re: Verbs vs. Adjectives

Postby yhenry » January 13th, 2009 9:52 pm

SiEd wrote:
Not really - 있다 and 없다 are existential verbs, which have special properties that lie outside the verb vs. adjective distinction.


있다 has various use than just being existential verb.
Like I said earlier, it can be adjective or verb, in Korean view and mentality.
Maybe that is a reason why English is hard for us to learn because we learn English on Korean language mentality base.
Maybe the same thing goes with you- learning Korean with English mentality.
Just a thought.

Here are some usage examples of 있다 from dictionary;
있다
1【존재하다】be;there is[are];exist;be in existence
있는 그대로 말해 speak/talk/say/tell as it is, frankly/honestly/plainly/without exaggeration
산 위에 집이 있다 There is a house on the hill.
책상 위에 책이 있다 There is a book on the desk.
신은 있다 God is[exists].
그런 일이 어디 있냐? That is impossible. or How can such things be?(literally, where is such thing?)
옛날에 어진 임금이 있었다 Once there lived/was a compassionate king.
사실을 있는 그대로 말하다 state a fact just as it is;give an honest statement[account] of fact;tell[speak] the truth
나는 그에게 있는 그대로 말했다 I told him everything just the way it is.
네가 할 일은 네 자신의 있는 그대로를 그들에게 보여 주는 것뿐이다 All you have to do is to show them your real self.
2【머무르다】stay;stop;remain
좀 더 있어라 Stay a little longer.
너 어디 있었니? Where have you been?
그는 아저씨 댁에 있다 He is staying at his uncle´s.
어디 가지 말고 여기 있어 Don't go nowhere but stay here.
내 옆에 있어라 Stay next to me.
강을 보러 저쪽으로 가도 돼요?―안 돼. 꼼짝 말고 있어 May I go over there to see the river?─No. don't even move and stay.
3【위치하다】be;be located;be situated;stand(건물이);lie(도시·호수 등이);run(도로·강 등이)
강가에 있는 절이 멋있다 a temple situated by the river looks/is nice.
포토맥 강변에 있는 벚꽃 나무가 아름답다 the cherry trees along the Potomac is beautiful.
그 섬은 목포의 서남 100마일 지점에 있다 The island is[lies] 100 miles southwest of Mokpo.
중국은 한국 서쪽에 있다 China lies to the west of Korea.
학교는 어디에 있느냐? Where is the school?
산 뒤에 시내가 있다 Behind the hill there is a brook.
4【내재하다】consist 《in》;lie 《in》;reside 《in》
행복은 자기 본분을 다하는 데 있다 Happiness is in trying to do one´s duty.
성공은 노력에 있다 Success depends on labor.(literally, is at working hard)
주권은 의회에 있다 Sovereignty resides(is with) in the Assembly.
허물은 그에게 있다 The blame is on him. or He is to blame. or It is his fault.
5【소유하다】have;possess;own;keep;【부여되다】be endowed with;be blessed with(좋은 것이);be cursed with(나쁜 것이)
아들이 둘 있다 have two sons (there are two sons)
그는 좋은 기억력이 있다 He has a good memory.
그의 딸은 음악에 재주가 있다 His daughter is talented in music.
그는 천식이 있다 He has asthma.
6【팔다】sell;keep;carry;have
(이 가게에) 비누 있습니까? Do you carry/have soap?
(당신의 가게에) 미국 담배가 있습니까? Do you carry American cigarettes?
7【거행되다】be held[given];take place;come off;open;sit;meet(회의가)
학교에서 음악회가 있었다 There was a concert at the school.
다음 모임은 언제 있느냐? When is the next meeting?
곧 시험이 있다 have test soon
어제 수학 시험이 있었다 We had an examination in mathematics yesterday.(literally, there was math test yesterday)
8【발견되다】be found;be got
어디 있더냐? Where did you find it? Where was it?
전화 번호부가 어디 있었느냐? Where did you find the telephone book?
이 잡지라면 어디에나 있다 You can get this magazine at any shop. This magazine is at everywhere.
9【발생하다】happen;occur;arise;break out;take place;come about;there is[are]
무슨 일이 있든지 침착해라 Be calm no matter what happens;come what may
간밤에 화재가 있었다 A fire broke out last night. there was fire last night.
호우가 있었다 There was a heavy rain. or We had a heavy rain.
그 부부 사이에 무슨 일이 있었는지 나는 모르겠다 I don´t know what has happened between that couple.
그런 일은 있을 수 없어 That can't be.
10【경험하다】have experience
그를 한번 만난 적이 있다 I have met him once before.
거기에 한번 간 일이 있다 I have once been there.
학교에서 가르친 일이 있습니까? Have you ever taught at school?
11【포함되다】contain;bear;include
이수 과정 중에는 프랑스 어가 있다 French is included in the curriculum.
그 책에는 참고 문헌 목록이 있다 The book has a bibliography reference.
이 책에는 재미있는 이야기가 많이 있다 This book has many interesting stories.
12【부속하다】have 《a thing》 attached to 《it》;【설비가】be equipped[fitted, provided] 《with》
우리 학교에는 기숙사가 있다 Our school has a dormitory.
그 집에는 목욕탕이 있다 The house has a bathroom.
13【유복하다】be rich[wealthy]
있는 사람 the have
있는 집에 태어나다 be born rich;be born in a rich family;be born of rich parents
14【동작의 계속】be 《doing》;【상태의 존속】be;remain
독신으로 있다 being single
그는 독서하고 있다 He is reading.
그녀는 일을 하고[놀고] 있다 She is working[playing].
아버지는 장사를 하고 있다 My father is doing business.
담이 무너져 있다 The wall is fallen.
15【시간의 경과】time elapses
좀 더 있으면 a little bit later on
며칠 있다가 in a few days

But it IS still useful - we can't just rely on meaning to determine whether something is a member of a specific part of speech. (Believe me - I work with languages where even the status of noun vs. verb is in question.) We have to take a look at sentence and word structure as well. And 좋다 conjugates like a more "typical" verb such as 가다.


Yes, I agree. I love to do that in my study of English. However, as I go into higher level of learning English, I get discouraged seeing comparison become kind of useless up there. The high level of expressions or usages are just too different from one another.
If I translate word for word, then I get awkwardness, if thought to thought, the translation can be smooth but lose similarity and original nuance.
Just tough.

Alright, how about a less ambiguous example, like 싸다 'cheap'

싼 옷 'inexpensive clothes'
I'm going to assume here that you can't really say *싸는 옷
Can you say 쌀 옷 'clothes that will be cheap'?

No, because it is adjective, it can't be conjugated and used like verb.
I think there is a certain way to conjugate adjective to place before noun and other way to go with verb.

In case of 'clothes that will be cheap', we use 되다 close to 'become' /be in conjunction with conjugated adjective 싸게.
It can go like this; 싸게(싸다) 될(되다) 옷 or 싸게 살 (사다) 옷

내년에는 싸게 되겠어요?
Will it become cheap next year?

Just too much study.
I hope my English is close enough to yours so that you would have no problem to understand.
Let me know.
I am a forever ESL student.

SiEd
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Postby SiEd » January 14th, 2009 7:37 am

Let's just agree to disagree at this point, since I think we're cross-talking. I will just say this: if you ever have the opportunity to take a linguistics course (not an ESL course, but a bona fide linguistics course), it would be to your advantage. Good luck.
"I'm trying to make a pun, but it's not punny."

-Mas Widiyanto

mteric
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Postby mteric » January 15th, 2009 1:15 am

Thanks SiEd and yhenry for your responses and discussion. It seems the issue between verbs and adjectives is more involved than I had first thought.

One thing is clear to me now: in Korean, adjectives that are in their noun-modifying form appear to work similarly to adjectives in English, regardless of whether it is a verb or not:

좋은 날씨 = good weather
빈 방 = empty room

What is still confusing to me is why certain verbs are not adjectives. Maybe to understand better, I should ask why adjectives are adjectives in Korean: What makes 좋다 or 싸다 an adjective? There must be a formula to determine this. If not, I will just have to resort to memorizing which are verbs and which are adjectives.

yhenry
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Postby yhenry » January 15th, 2009 12:44 pm

mteric wrote:Thanks SiEd and yhenry for your responses and discussion. It seems the issue between verbs and adjectives is more involved than I had first thought.


I didn't realize that our Korean adjective is that complicated until now.
No wonder my English is bad- I have hard time translating such complicated language into English!

One thing is clear to me now: in Korean, adjectives that are in their noun-modifying form appear to work similarly to adjectives in English, regardless of whether it is a verb or not:

좋은 날씨 = good weather
빈 방 = empty room


I agree.
It is so obvious since it is placed before the noun it modifies.
yes, verbal phrase can work as adjective but the way conjugated is different from adjective like 'something to eat' 먹는것 ,place to go 갈 곳 fishing 낚시하는것 etc.

What is still confusing to me is why certain verbs are not adjectives. Maybe to understand better, I should ask why adjectives are adjectives in Korean: What makes 좋다 or 싸다 an adjective? There must be a formula to determine this. If not, I will just have to resort to memorizing which are verbs and which are adjectives.


Here is the arbitration by our Korean scholars for what verb or adjective is; 동사'란 '동작이나 움직임, 작용'을 나타내는 말이고, '형용사'란 '성질, 상태, 모양' 등을 나타내는 말 verb shows the action and the adjective shows the character, state of being, form/look.

In English, expression of existence belongs to verb, but In Korean existence (state of being) is classified as adjective, like '있다'.

If adjective modifies noun, it is easy to be identified, but if it is used as predicate, then we have a problem to distinguish it from verb in Korean, because both can come at the end of a sentence and conjugated about the same.

But our Korean scholars say that if a word describe character, state of being or look, it is adjective.
I am in no position to go against their arbitration.

The funny thing is that they argue among themselves about '있다/없다 being adjective.
They are not even sure.
Some want to call it a word of existence.
Bit it has been adjective, so adjective it is for now.

However, you don't have to go by their words.
Just find your own way that is suitable for you to learn to speak.
Good thing is that you don't have to take a test on that subject like the Korean students.

I don't have to take a test either, so I try to compare Korean expression with English to find a connection in my own way.

Like this; 내 my 배는 tummy 비어 empty 있다 is. My tummy is empty.

What do you think about that?
I am a forever ESL student.

mteric
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Postby mteric » January 16th, 2009 12:37 am

Thanks for your help, yhenry! I think both our languages are equally complicated, so it is challenging to learn either way! ^^

If adjective modifies noun, it is easy to be identified, but if it is used as predicate, then we have a problem to distinguish it from verb in Korean, because both can come at the end of a sentence and conjugated about the same.


That is exactly the problem I ran into. However, using this great description...

Here is the arbitration by our Korean scholars for what verb or adjective is; 동사'란 '동작이나 움직임, 작용'을 나타내는 말이고, '형용사'란 '성질, 상태, 모양' 등을 나타내는 말 verb shows the action and the adjective shows the character, state of being, form/look.


...I should have no problem identifying whether a predicate is a verb or an adjective.

yhenry
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Postby yhenry » January 16th, 2009 10:30 am

mteric wrote:..I should have no problem identifying whether a predicate is a verb or an adjective.


How about this one?
그녀는 숙녀가 되어 있었다

What is 되어 있었다, verb or adjective?

verb or adjective?

1.사랑하다./고백하다./노래하다.

2.착하다./훌륭하다.

3.슬퍼하다./기뻐하다./아파하다.

4. 사랑을 하다/공부를 하다/구경을 하다
I am a forever ESL student.

mteric
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Joined: October 1st, 2007 3:44 am

Postby mteric » January 16th, 2009 11:24 am

How about this one?
그녀는 숙녀가 되어 있었다

What is 되어 있었다, verb or adjective?


I think this one is an adjective because it is stating something about 그녀.

1.사랑하다./고백하다./노래하다.


Verb. (Actions)

2.착하다./훌륭하다.


Adjective. (Description of state)

3.슬퍼하다./기뻐하다./아파하다.


I think verb because they are the actions of being sad, glad, painful.

4. 사랑을 하다/공부를 하다/구경을 하다


Verb? Unless adding the object marking particle changes it to an adjective...?

yhenry
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Postby yhenry » January 16th, 2009 11:47 am

mteric wrote:
How about this one?
그녀는 숙녀가 되어 있었다

What is 되어 있었다, verb or adjective?


I think this one is an adjective because it is stating something about 그녀.


Good.

1.사랑하다./고백하다./노래하다.

Verb. (Actions)


Good. I gave you this example to show you how to convert noun into verb by adding 하다 to noun.

2.착하다./훌륭하다.

Adjective. (Description of state)

Good.

3.슬퍼하다./기뻐하다./아파하다.

I think verb because they are the actions of being sad, glad, painful.

Wrong. they express state of being, thus, adjective.

4. 사랑을 하다/공부를 하다/구경을 하다

Verb? Unless adding the object marking particle changes it to an adjective...?


In this case, 사랑/공부/구경 are object of the verb 하다.
The object marker 을/를 tells it all.

Now, you should know how 하다 is conjured into a joker with many faces
I am a forever ESL student.

manyakumi
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Joined: January 26th, 2008 3:49 pm
Location: Seoul, Korea
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Postby manyakumi » January 16th, 2009 1:09 pm

yhenry wrote:
3.슬퍼하다./기뻐하다./아파하다.

I think verb because they are the actions of being sad, glad, painful.

Wrong. they express state of being, thus, adjective.


I think these should be verbs.
And my dictionary agrees with me though...

Did you mean "슬프다/기쁘다/아프다" by any chance?

:roll:


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