|# Posted: 2 Nov 2006 20:14 KST - Edited by: _joseph_|
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These particles are parts of speech which do note exist in English,French,German, or Spanish. Since these do not exist in English, there is lots of confusion concerning their use. So, an explanation of what they are is called for.
I have started this topic to introduce you to the difference between the subject marker and the topical marker.
topical marker 는
는/은 is used at the beginning of a sentence and introduces the subject/topic. 는 is used for verbs without a final consonant, and 은 for verbs with a final consonant. This is for the convenience of pronunciation. It is easier to say 나는 than 나은, and alternatively, it is easier to say 사람은 than 사람는.
나 = I
너 = You
그 = He
그녀 = She
* 나는 착하다 = I am kind
* 너는 크다 = You are big
* 그는 작았다 = He was small
* 하늘은 높다 = sky is high
* 사람은 영리하다 = human is intelligent
* 나는 먹었다 = I ate
* 나는 공부했다 = I studied
* 존은 떠났다 = John left
Inanimate objects can also be the topic of a sentence. And, it is important to remember how the topical marker just serves to single out what is being talked about, not in the sense of an agent. These are hard concepts for a foreigner to grasp, except for a Japanese. For English native speakers, thinking of it as As for .... is about the same thing.
Here are some examples of 는 and 은:
- 저분은 조셉티처 입니다. That person is joseph teacher.
# In this sentence 저분은 조셉티처 입니다 we are distinguishing joseph teacher from the other people which are around the speaker, so we use the 은 to set him apart.
- 나는 이 책상을 정말 좋아해요. I really like this desk.
# In this sentence, we could also say that 나는 is used to show that I am talking about my likes, not about yours, creating a different general topic. The same thing goes for the last sentence.
- 나는 밤에 늦게 잠자러 갑니다. I go to bed late at night.
Similarly to how the subject marker 가 can also be written 이 when it follows a consonant, the topical marker 는 also can also be written 은. It is written as 은 when the word which precedes it ends with a consonant ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄹ, ㅂ,ㅁ,ㅈ,ㅉ,ㅊ,ㅋ,ㅌ. It is written 는 when it is preceded by a vowel, i.e. 어 아 여 야 ㅛ ㅗ ㅜ ㅠ etcaetera.
Finally, 는 has one other form. That is the ㄴ form. This is spoken a lot and is not considered formal but it helps one speak quickly and intelligibly. In cases where it is preceded with a vowel 어 아 여 야 ㅛ ㅗ ㅜ ㅠ etc. It can be contracted into its new form. Here are some examples:
나는 -> 난
너는 -> 넌