Explaining Korean Grammar Using the Love Chapter, Part 5

It’s Korean time again! People seem to really be enjoying learning Korean grammar using the Bible. I’m glad. One of the ways I have always developed languages that I have studied is by reading the Bible in that language. It took a lot of work for me to learn to understand the Korean Bible. It was harder than when I learned to understand the Romanian Bible or the Spanish Bible because Romanian and Spanish are Latin languages, and the grammar and vocabulary are just close enough to English that I didn’t have to be on a very high level before I could use the Spanish and Romanian Bibles and learn vocabular from context and recognize vocabulary words that were like English. However, English speakers don’t have that advantage with Korean or Japanese. My Japanese Bible is packed and will get out of storage soon, and then people who are interested in learning Japanese grammar using the Bible will be able to read bogs where I will explain the Japanese grammar using the Bible too. The nice thing is that Japanese and Korean grammar are similar just as Spanish and Romanian grammar are similar. However, Spanish and Romanian have more vocabulary words in common than Japanese and Korean even though they have some words in common. Now, let’s get on to Korean grammar using the love chapter. Today, we are in 1 Corinthians 13: 5.

Verse 5: 물례히 행하지 아니하며 자기의 유익을 구 하지 아니며 성내지 아니하면 악한 것을 생각하지 아니하며

Sometimes, every culture has a different definition of rude. Since coming to America, my daughter and I are noticing that the American guys are opening the doors for us, but in other countries, men don’t open the doors for women.(대대로내무화이 물례는 다려요. 우리는 미국에서 왔을때 미국의 남자는 우리을위하여 문을 열어요. 하지만 다른 나라에 남자는 여자을위하여 문을 열지 앟아요. Photo by Samarth Singhai on Pexels.com

물례히 행하지 아니며 – “it doesn’t act rudely, and.” 물례히 means “rudely.” You can tell it is an adverb because it ends in 히. Any word that ends in 히 in Korean is an adverb. It is like when we put “ly” on the end of our verbs in English. We know that all words ending in “ly” are adverbs. An adverb tells about a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. In this case, 물례히 (rudely) tells about “행하지 아니” which is a negative verb meaning “don’t or doesn’t do.” If you look in the Bible, you can find. 행 in the name of the book of Acts in Korean: 사도 행전. The whole name of “Acts” in English is “The Acts of the Apostles,” and in Korean, you have 사도 = apostle or apostles. 행 = act or acts. Anyway, you can see that they also call Acts of the Apostles the same thing in Korean, and 행 means “act.” 행하지 comes from 행하다 meaning “to do acts.” As I have told you before, that 지 on the end tells you a negative, 아니 (meaning no or not) is coming. 며 means “and.” You can’t actually find a pronoun in the Korean clause, and you have to think of it like the English “understood you.” The pronoun is there, but you can’t see it. Korean often leaves pronouns out, and we must guess from the context which pronoun is being used. In this case, it has to be “it” referring to “love” from verse 4 because verse 5 is a continuation of the sentence begun in verse 4 in Korean because verse 4 in Korean ended with 며 meaning “and.” “Love doesn’t act rudely.”

다른 사람들을 사랑 하면 모든 것을 당시자신을위하여 않아요. If you love other people everything is not just for you. (한국말로 상신을 사돋하면 조금 이상해요. 하지만 여어로 당신을 사용 해야한다. If you use “you” in Korean, it is a little strange, but in English, you must use “you.”.Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

자기의 유익을 구하지 아니며 – “It doesn’t ask for its benefit, and,” 자기 means “itself” 의 is the post position particle that is a possessive like the apostrophe “s” in English. In this sentence, is functions exactly the same as apostrophe “s.” 유익 means benefit, and the 을 tacked on the end of it is a post position particle that tells you that 유익 is the direct object. A direct object is a noun or a pronoun that receives the action of the verb. The verb in this clause is 구하지 아니which means ” not to ask for.” 구하지 comes from 구하다 which means “to ask for.” 구기지 has that 지 on the end signaling you that a negative is coming again, 아니. Again, this clause ends with 며 meaning “and.” The understood pronoun here is “it” referring to “love” again. “Love doesn’t ask for its benefit.”

사랑이 새재지 않아요. Love doesn’t lose its temper.Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

생내지 아니하며 – “it doesn’t lose its temper, and.” That 며 is “and” again. 생내다 means “to loose one’s temper.” Take the 다 off the end, and put 지, and you recognize a negative is coming, 아니. “It” is the understood pronoun inside of 생내지 아니 referring to “love” : ” Love doesn’t loose its temper.”

사랑이 좋은 것을 생각 해요. Love thinks good thing. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

악한 것을 생각 하지 아니하며 – “It doesn’t think wicked things.” 악한 comes from 악하다 which means “to do wickedness.” 악’ means “wickedness.” In fact, 악마 means “devil.” 하다, again means “to do,” but that verb is changed into an adjective by changing 하다 to 한. That 악한 describes 것 which means “thing,” so 악한 것 means “wicked thing.” In Korean, they have a post position particle that makes a word plural like our “s” does, but they don’t consider it important, and often, if it is plural, they just leave that post position particle out, and it is left out here. The specificity of English is really hard for Koreans to get used to because Korean is supposed to be non specific so they leave out pronouns, leave out 들 (s), and at times, other things we think that are important too. The 을 after 악한것 (wicked things) means that 악한것 is the direct object taking the direct action of the verb, 생각 하하지 아니 (meaning “don’t think.”) 생각 means “thought,” a noun, a thing. 생각 하다 means “to think,” and changing it to “생각하지” tells you a negative is coming, 아니 which means “no, not, don’t, or “doesn’t.” And again, this clause ends with 며 meaning “and” which means this sentence is going to continue on into verse 6. The understood pronoun here is “it” referring to “love” from verse 4: “Love doesn’t think wicked things.”

다른 사람들을 사랑 하면 하자님의 길을 가요. If we love other people, we are going on God’s path.Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush on Pexels.com

Putting it all together: “Love doesn’t act rudely, and love doesn’t ask for its own benefit, and love doesn’t lose its temper, and love doesn’t think wicked things, and..”

When we write in English, we think about the audience, so it makes what we write easier to understand. 영어로 써면 우리는 청중에대하여 상갈 해요. 영어로 써 면 일해라는 것을 더 쉬어요.Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

As you can see, Korean grammar is actually pretty logical even if it is complicated. One of the hard parts about this is the verses 4, 5, 6, and 7 in Korean are all one sentence, but in English, we have several sentences in those verses. In English, we are told not to make long sentences when we write because even if the grammar is correct, the reader will lose the meaning by the time they get to the end. When we write in English, some sentences are allowed to be a bit long, but never as long as four verses long. Had I not told you what the understood pronoun “it” in these clauses referred to, love, you would have easily lost the meaning. As an English professor, in my essay writing classes, I would write a sentence that was five lines long for my sentences. After that, I would let them read the sentence and see how hard it was to understand a sentence that long. Extremely long sentences in English writing is called “conversational style.” When we write essays or some formal document, like the Bible, we are never to use conversational style. However, it is just fine in Korean to make your sentences that long. It makes the reader really have to work to understand what they are reading even more. You will also notice in Korean that there is no punctuation used. You can only tell the beginning and ending of a sentence by the grammar. You can only tell the punctuation inside the sentences by the grammar. In many ways, that 며 could be thought of as a comma because it is a kind of “and” that is only used when you write.

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