So when I talked about “starting over” with Korean some time ago I mostly meant making sure that all my basic knowledge is accurate and complete. This lesson was already some time ago, (as in more than a month ago), but still deserves a place here.

은/는 for contrast or comparison

So one of the uses of 은/는 has complete gone over my head on all the occasions I have learned it in the past. Not only can it be used to designate the main topic, issue or discussion point. It can also be used to compare or contrast two things.

I made some sample sentences and had them corrected on lang-8, (thank you hyoseok & felixhwang), just to be sure:

1. I can understand C++. However, I don’t understand Objective-C well.
저는 C++를 이해할 수 있습니다. 하지만 오브젝티브-C는 잘 모릅니다.

2. I like apples but I don’t like pears.
저는 사과를 좋아합니다. 하지만 배는 좋아하지 않습니다.

3. Noona has read the book “The yellow house” but has not read the book “Casino”.
누나는 “노란집” 이란 책은 읽었습니다. 하지만 “카시노”는 읽지 않았습니다.

4. Today I don’t have to work. However, tomorrow I do have to work.
오늘은 일을 안해도 되었습니다. 하지만 내일은 일을 해야 합니다.

은/는요

Another use, which I feel is related enough, was blogged about by koreanstudentblog and that is -은/는요.

He/She (Sorry M, it’s a little vague!) explained that it’s possible to add -은/는요 to a person’s name to avoid actually repeating a question asked to you first. I would imagine that this works with titles too. 형은요 / 누나는요? (It stood the test of Google!)

The most easy example I could come up with would be the obvious: “Have you been good? Yes, how about you Younha?”

윤하씨: 잘 지냈어요?
조르디: 네 잘 지냈어요. 윤하씨는요?

Isn’t that wonderful? ^^

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