Mind Your Korean 7: Location, location, location

Orchid and Liz learn how to talk about location in their Korean language class while Rooster, who is currently back home in Malaysia (yay!), dreams of her return trip to Beijing. They now share with you their adventures and misadventures with the language in MYK 7!

Recap and role play

“안녕하세요. 오랜만이에요!” (an-nyeong-ha-se-yo. O-raen-man-i-e-yo = Hello. Long time no see!), said our 선생님 after a one-week hiatus from class. To help us refresh our memories on native Korean numbers, we did a little role playing exercise.

Below is a modified example:

Scenario: You are at a fruit stall and want to buy some lemons and Mandarin oranges. Let’s pretend the stall owner is an elderly man so we can call him “uncle” or 아저씨 (a-jeo-sshi).

Stall owner: 어서 오세요! (eo-seo o-se-yo = Welcome!)
You: 아저씨, 레몬 하고 귤 있어요? (a-jeo-sshi, le-mon ha-go gyul i-sseo-yo? = Uncle, do you have lemons and Mandarin oranges?)
Stall owner: 네, 있어요. (Ne, i-sseo-yo. = Yes, I do)
You: 그럼, 레몬 네개 하고 귤 두개 주세요. (geu-reom, lemon ne-gae hago gyul doo-gae juseyo = Then, please give me 4 lemons and 2 Mandarin oranges.)

We practiced the situation using various objects such as hamburger (함버거 = ham-beo-geo), pineapple (파인애플 = pa-in-ae-peul) and watermelon (수박 = soo-bak).

Subject marker – 이/가

We have been using subject markers all this while, but it is now time to officially learn about them. A subject marker does exactly what its name suggests; mark the subject in a sentence.

There are two versions of it and they are interchangeable depending on the subject word you are marking.

If the word ends with a batchim (받침) or the alphabets ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅅ,ㅇ, ㅈ etc. then the subject marker 이 (i) is used.

If the word doesn’t end with a batchim (받침), then the subject marker 가 (ga) is used.

And with that, can you tell me which marker is suitable for the respective sentences below?

1. 이 핸드폰___ 누구 거예요? (i haen-deu-pon__ noo-goo geo-ye-yo? = This handphone, whose is it?)

2. 이 의자 ___ 누구 거예요? (i ui-ja__ noo-goo geo-ye-yo? = This chair, whose is it?)

Try it out first before looking at the answers:

1. 이
2. 가

Location/place marker – 에

It might look like a minor addition to a word (에 = e), but it makes a whole world of difference. Let me show you an example using the word 회사 (hwe-sa = company).

A: with 에

선생님이 회사 있어요. (seon-saeng-nim-i hwe-sa-e i-sseo-yo = Teacher is at the company).

B: without 에

선생님이 회사 있어요. (seon-saeng-nim-i hwe-sa i-sseo-yo = Teacher has a company).

See how the two sentences have different meanings with just the addition of the location marker?

After learning that, we learned how to describe the location of a certain place like so:

Pic credit: malaysiabest.net

Petronas Twin Towers가 어디에 있어요? (KLCC-ga eo-di-e i-sseo-yo? = Where is the Petronas Twin Towers located?)
쿠알라 룸프르에 있어요. (Koo-al-la Loom-peu-reu-e i-sseo-yo. = It’s in Kuala Lumpur.)

쿠알라 룸프르가 어디에 있어요? (Koo-al-la Loom-peu-reu-ga eo-di-e i-sseo-yo? = Where is Kuala Lumpur located?)
말레이시아에 있어요. (Mal-lei-si-a-e i-sseo-yo. = It’s in Malaysia.)

말레이시아가 어디에 있어요? (Mal-lei-sia-ga eo-di-e i-sseo-yo? = Where is Malaysia located?)
동남 아시아에 있어요. (Dong-nam Asia-e i-sseo-yo. = It’s in South-East Asia).

Asking a person’s whereabouts

Now that we’ve learnt about locations, we can ask about a person’s whereabouts! Check out this situation that involves the K-popped! Trio.

리즈: 어깃 씨 여기에 있어요? (eo-kit-sshi yeo-gi-e i-sseo-yo? = Is Orchid here?)
루스터: *ZzzZzz ngup* 뭐?? 아, 아니오, 없어요. (mwo? Ah, anio, eob-seo-yo = What? Ah, no, she’s not here)
리즈: 그럼, 어깃 씨가 어디에 있어요? (geu-reom, o-kit-sshi-ga eo-di-e i-sseo-yo? = Then, where is Orchid?)
루스터: 화장실에 있어요. ㅎㅎㅎ (hwa-jang-sil-e i-sseo-yo = In the toilet. ha ha ha)

Next lesson, Chapter 1

Before we left, Teacher gave all of us a “surprise”:

Teacher: OK, that’s it for today. In the next lesson, we will go into Chapter 1 of your textbook.
Class: Huh?????
(The class has been using the textbook throughout the past 6 classes and is baffled by the statement).
Teacher: You’ve only been learning the introduction chapters of the textbook. We will only go into the textbook proper in the following class.
Liz: *pause* Bwah ha ha ha ha

See you for Chapter 1 in the next installment then, friends.

Mind Your Korean series:
MYK 1: I’m sorry (미안합니다) – You’re welcome (아니에요)
MYK 2: The one where 선생님 beats Liz to the punch line
MYK 3: The tale of the uncooperative tissue paper
MYK 4: From learning the alphabets to self-introduction
MYK 5: Simple conversations in Korean
MYK 6: 하나, 둘, 셋, 넷…come on and count in Korean!
MYK Quiz 1: The Match Up
MYK Quiz 1: Answers and winner announcement
Mind Your Korean Tidbits
MYK 8: 일, 이, 삼, 사…come on and count in Sino-Korean!