Health Harbor

The Greatest Epiphany in Korean Language Learning History

When I study with my tutor we use a book called “Korean Grammar in Use- Beginning to Early Intermediary”. It’s been about 6 months… at least… And we aren’t even halfway done. Though that is because I only pay for 30 minutes a week, and sometimes 25 of those are spent correcting my faulty sentences that you heard about last week.

Regardless, I love the graphics of the TTMIK books, but this book is definitely a great tool and I recommend it highly to super beginners. The explanations and breakdowns are easy to follow and easy to look back on.

More importantly! It was while using this book, that my tutor inspired a great epiphany in me. And I have a lot of epiphanies, as I constantly relearn and realize different aspects of my own language while I learn another. And I definitely learn to appreciate the relaxed nature that is English language.

We’ll look at the particle in question,  “-만”. Man would be synonymous with the English “only” and “just”. Which is a great word in English. It can be put anywhere and the meaning would change slightly. There is the example that I’ve seen floating around the internet.

“She told him that she loved him.”

You can put “only” anywhere in that sentence and the meaning would change and it would still be grammatically correct. Now, when I had to write sentences using “-만” I wanted you translate this sentence:

“I only gave food to Deborah.”

So I thought for a bit and figured out that Deborah was the word that would get “-만” as she is the only person to get food. Easy enough, right? Nope!

Turns out that in this case, I would have to use the WORD that means “only” which is “오직”. And that is when I had an epiphany that for every participle I had struggled to learn, there were likely other ways to express the same idea and that I would need to learn the situations for each one.

Haha! Ah, I think I fell into a bit of a void after that one for a bit. I am not completely disheartened, but I certainly don’t think that I am as advanced as I thought.


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