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Understanding Korean Grammar Using the Ten Commandments, Part 5

Now, let’s do some Korean. Korean gets so complicated that I often wonder if I can sort through every verse, but if I take it slowly a word or a phrase at a time, it can make more sense. Let’s give it another try. Today, we will be doing Exodus 20: 9 & 10, further explanations about the Sabbath Day.

날들여섯 게 동안 힘다로 일 하세요. (Work hard for six days.) Photo by Vincent Tan on Pexels.com

Verse 9: 엿새 동안은 힘씨 네 모든 일을 행할 것이나

엿새 – “six days.” The “엿” part is actually “six.” “여섯” means “six,” and often, they only use part of the word, just enough for you to get the clue as to what it is.

동안은 – 동안 means “during.” They often use this word after a period of time when we wouldn’t actually use “during,” but “during” is the closest translation when you see this word. You could think of 엿새 당안 as meaning “during six days” or “for six days.” 은 after 동안 is a post position particle that tells you that it is talking about time.

힘씨 – “power” or “strength.” They could use just “힘,” and it would mean the same thing.

네 모든 일을 – “all your work.” 네 means “your.” 모든 means “all.” 일 means “work,” and 을 means 일 is the direct object of the main verb, 행할 것.

행할 것 – 행 means “act” or “something done.” 할 comes from 하다 which means “to do.” 하는 것 is the gerund “doing” which means it is a noun and not a verb even though it looks like a verb. 것 means “thing,” making “하는” or “할” which are the same thing into a noun meaning “doing.” All of this together becomes the verb, a complicated verb made up of many parts.

이나 – This is an ending used when there is a list being made. It means the speaker isn’t finished. In fact, in English, at the end of this sentence, there is a comma, and in Spanish a semi colon, which means we are using punctuation to show that this is not finished, but they are using 이나, an ending. Often, in Korean, instead of punctuation, they will use another ending to convey the same thing.

Putting al this together:” For six days, you work hard doing all your work.”

일겁의 날 은 하나님의 날 이예요. (The seventh day is God’s day.) 이 날에 사람들이 쉬야한다. = On that day, people must rest.) Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Verse 10: 일겁쎄 날은 네 하나님 여호와의 안식일인즉 너나 네 아들이나 네 딸이나 네 남종이나 네 여종이나 네 가축이나 네 문안에 머무는 객이나 라도 아무 일도 하지 말라

일겁쎄 날은 – “the seventh day.” 일곱쎄 means seven days, and 날 means “day.” 은 is the post position particle that says what is before it is time.

네 하나님 여호와의 안식일인즉 – 네= your. 하나님 = God. 여호와= Jehovah. 의 is a possessive meaning it belongs to God Jehova. 안식 = Sabbath. 일 = day. 인즉 is a strange Korean thing counting one thing, the day, in this case. Putting all this together, it means, “Jehovah your God’s one day of Sabbath.”

너나 = “your, continuing….” 너 is actually a type of “your” that only someone from above can use when they talk to you. The 나 means it is continuing.

네 아들 이나 – 네 아들 = “your son.” 이나 means there will be a list, and this is the first thing on the list.

네 딸 이나 – 네 딸 = “your daughter.” 이나 tells you this is another item on the list.

네 남종 이나 – 네 남종 = your man servant. 남 = man. 이나, again, tells you this is another item on the list.

네 여종 이나 – 네 여종 = your woman servant. 여 means “woman.” Again, 이나 means that this is another item on the list.

네 가축 이나 – 내 가축 = your livestock. 이나, again tells us that this is on the list.

네 문 안에 – “inside your gate” or “in your door.”네 means “your.” 문 means “gate” or “door.” 안에 = inside.

머무는 – “staying,” and adjective. You know because 모무르다 = to stay, a verb, and this is the adjective form. The 는 after it tells you it is an adjective. If you put the last few things together, it is an adjective phrase: 네 문 안에 모무는 = staying in your gate. In English, we would use this as a relative phrase after 객 because it describes, 객, but in Korean, they put it before 객 and make it into an adjective phrase. In English, 네 문인에 would be “that stays in your gate.”

객 이나 – 겍=”guest.” And again, 이나 means this is on the list.

라도 – “even” like in “even if” meaning, “even the guest that is staying in your gate.”

아무 – nothing, and this is always accompanied by a negative verb.

일도 – 일 = work. 도 = also.

하지 말라 = “don’t do.” 하지 comes from 하다, which means “to do.” The 지 on the end tells you that a negative is coming. 말라 is like 마 or 마세요. 하지 마 means “don’t!” as if you are correcting a child. 하지 마세요 means “please don’t,” a bit more polite. 하지 할라 is a command, coming form a higher place than an adult correcting a child. This is the main verb because it is at the end, but in English, it will go after the subject which is and understood “you” in English.

It is time to put these all together: ” On the seventh day, on Jehovah your God’s one day of Sabbath, don’t do any work, not your son, nor your daughter, nor your man servant, nor your woman servant, not your livestock, not even the guest that is inside your gate.”

하나님 의 생각이 동물 이라도 중요해요. (God thinks even animals are important.)Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Okay, we accomplished it again. Until now, I sorted through Korean verses only for myself. If I couldn’t figure part of it out, it was okay, but it is good for me to do it for a blog because I have to figure every part of it out. I am not really finding it that hard yet, just complicated and convoluted. Somehow, I seem to have all the grammar rules and vocabulary. I have read a lot of grammar rules, but haven’t used everything I read because to an English speaker, some of the things they do seem unnecessary, and probably some of the things we do in English seem unnecessary to them too.

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