Explaining Korean Grammar, After the Birth, Part 4

We have been talking about, first, the Korean grammar in the Christmas story from Matthew chapter one. After that, we have gone into chapter 2 of Matthew. We talked about the wise men showing up from the east, from India, and about King Herod, a very evil King. They have been able to pinpoint the year Christ was born because there were only two great registrations in history, and one was during the time of King Herod. That is why Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem. The book of Matthew was written between 50-70 A. D., after the death of Jesus. Jesus was born in 4 B. C. These dates are important to remember as we read. You see, Matthew was putting everything its proper time frame for a reason. He wanted the reader to know that Jesus was the one that the prophets had talked about in the Old Testament. Matthew had mentioned Isaiah 7:14 in verse 23 of chapter 1 about Mary being a virgin because Isaiah was written in 740 B. C. many, many years before Jesus was born. He didn’t finish there. He has more to tell us. Herod unwittingly helps us with his actions in the next verse. He was upset because the wise men were asking where the new born king of the Jews was.

We know from history that these people needed to be careful when King Herod was around, but they didn’t know what he was going to do. 억사에서 우리는 돵해롯이 니빴어요. 하지만, 이 사람들이 안 알았어요. Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

마테복음 2:4: 왕이 대제사장과 백성의 서기관들을 모아 그리수도가 어다서 나곘느냐 물으니

왕이 = “The King.” There is no “the” in Korean, but if “king” all by itself is the subject, in English, we are going to need “the.” “King” is the subject because 이 (ee) follows 왕 (wong). 이 is one of the post position subject markers. If it has an 이 after it, it can only be the subject. 이 is used rather than 가 (ga) because 왕 ends with ㅇ (ng). 이 comes after a consonant, and 가 comes after a vowel.

왕이 대제사장을 말고 십었어요. (The king wanted to talk to the high priests. )Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

대제사장 과 = “High Priest and..” In Korean, there is no 들 (dul) after 애제사장 to tell us there was more than one priest, but Koreans often leave out 들 even if there is more than one. 대 (deh) comes from 대한 (deh-han) which means “great.” 제사장 (cheh-sah-jahng) means “preist.” If you just had 사장 (sah-jahng) it means the man in charge, like a boss or a president and the usually add 님 (neem) to the end of it for extra respect saying: 사장님 (sah-jahng- neem). 과 (koh-ah), pronounced glided together, is a post position particle that means “and.” There are many ways of saying “and” in Korean, so don’t use this one every time. It is only used between two nouns, and the noun before it must end in a consonant. If the noun before it doesn’t have a consonant, use 와 (wah). Never use these between verbs or other parts of speech, only between two nouns.

백상의 – “the people’s.” 백상 means “people” like the population. That is why I put a “the” in front of it in English. If it were only any “people,” they would say in Korean, 사람들 (sah-rahm- dul). “The” means a specific people group like 백상 give you the impression of. 의 (oo-ee) means apostrophe “s.” It is the possessive post position particle.

.서기관들의 직업은 성겅을 손로 베꼈어요. (The scribes’ job was to copy the Bible by hand. )Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on Pexels.com

서기관들 을 – “scribes.” If you want to say “to write” or “writing,” in Korean, you must say, 쓰기 (sooghee). I have no doubt that at one time, 서기관 (sohgheekwan) and 쓰기 were related. If I knew the Hanmoon, they may have matching Hanmoon, the picture words because of their closeness in meaning. .서기관 (sohgheekwan) means “scribe.” The 들 (dul) on the end is the same as the English “s.” It makes it plural. The 을 (ul) after that is the post position particle meaning that 대제사장 과 백상의 서기관들 (deh-cheh-sah-jahng koh-ah behk-sahng oo-ee soh-ghee-koh-ahn dul) which means “the high priests and the people’s scribes” is the direct object. There are two direct object markers, and this one (을) is used only after a consonant. The other one: 를 (lul) is used after a vowel.

제사장들의 모임 있어요. (There was a priest’s meeting.)Photo by Redrecords ©️ on Pexels.com

모아 – “gather.” This is one of the ways a verb is used in the middle of the sentence. This comes from the verb: 모으다 (moh-u-dah) or 모이다 (moh-ee-dah). If you used it at the end of the sentence, you would say 모으요 (moh-u-yo). If you wanted to use it as a noun, 모임 (moh-eem) means a “meeting” or a “gathering.”

그리수도가 = “Christ.” 그리수도 (kuh-ree-soo-toh) is how you say “Christ” in Korean. 가 (gah) is a subject marker. It is only used after the subject, and only used if the subject ends with a vowel.

어디서 – “Where” or “where at” or “exactly where.” Just 어디 (oh-dee) can mean “where.” When they put 서 (soh) on the end, they are pinpointing the place a little more. If I rode in a taxi and I wanted to say “right here,” instead of just “here,” I said, “여기서” (yohgheesoh) and not just “여기” (yohghee).

예수님이 어디서 나겠어요? (Exactly where will Jesus be born?)Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

나겠느냐 – “Will be born?” When you see 나 (nah) as part of the verb, it often means “born” as it does here. 겠 (geht) is one of the ways future tense is expressed in Korean. It is a verb ending. There are several ways to make future I know of. This was the first one I learned, but my students at the university taught me to used another one they thought was more common. If you want to say, “I go,” just say 가요 (gah yo). If you want to say, “I will go,” you can say 가겠습니다 (gahgehtsubneedah) or 가셌다 (gahgehtdah). The first of these, the longer one, is a formal “will go.” The second of these, is the kind of “will go” you find in books. 갈 거예요 (kahl koh yeh yo) is actually the best way to say “will go” for normal conversation. 나겠(nah ket) means “will be born.” 날거예요 (nahl koh yeh yoh) is the best way for conversation to say “will be born.” 느냐 (nuh- nyah) is an ending that means “will be?” It is not going to be used anywhere else, so don’t use it when you speak. If you want to say, “Where will it be?” say, “어디서 있을 거예요” (oh-dee-soh-ees-ul-koh-yeh-yo) or 어디서 됄거예요? (oh-dee-soh-doh-el- koh-yeh-yoh). The first one is basically, “Where will it be located?” The second one is “Where will it become?” The like the second one a lot, but we never use it like that in English. They think of that “become” as like “happen,” or “develop,” but that is not literally what they say.

질문 있어요? (Are there any questions?) Photo by 祝 鹤槐 on Pexels.com

물으니 – “asked.” 뭏으니 (mool-uh- nee) comes from 묻다 (moodah) which means “to ask.” There is more than one way to say, “to ask” in Korean. The other way is easier to deal with, but you will hear this one, so you need to know it. 질문 (cheel moon) means “question.” 질문 하다 (cheel moon hahdah) means “to ask a question.” If you know how to conjugate 하다 (hahdah), you are in business for conjugations. 하다 is used very often on the end of many verbs. It changes nouns to verbs. When you speak, 하다 (to do) for simple present tense becomes 해요 (heyo)(do or does). Simple past tense is했어요 (hesoyo) (did). Future tense is 할거예요 (hahl koh yeyo) (will do). Present perfect tense is 한 적이 있어요 (hahn jok-ee-eesoyo) or 한적이 있다 (hahn yok ee eetdah) (have or has done). Past perfect tense is 하돈적이 있어요 (hah don jok ee eesoyo) or 하돈 적이 있다 (hah don jok ee eetdah) (had done). If you want to make an infinitive, say 하기 (hah gee) (to do). If you want to make a gerund, say 하는 것 (hahnunkot) (going). If you want present progressive or continuous, say 하고 있어요 (hah ko ees oh yo) or 하고 있다 (hah goh-eetdah) (am, is, or are going). Recognize 묻다 or 물으니 as “ask,” but the easier one to use is “질문 하다 ” (cheel moon hah dah). Just learn to conjugate “하 다,” and you will take a big step in earning to communicate in Korean because you can tack it on the end of lots of things and turn them into verbs.

Let’s put this verse together: “The king gathered the high priests and scribes of the people, asking exactly where Christ would be born.”

박사님들 과 왕이 같인 질문 있었어요 (The wise men and the king had the same question.)Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Pexels.com

This is the exact information the wise men from India wanted. King Herod wanted the information too, but for a completely different reason. As we keep reading, we will earn what everyone’s reason were, and what they did what the information they had. The next verse will tell us where the prophets in the Old Testament said Jesus would be born. Matthew will, again, be pointing out that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies from the Old Testament down to the detail.

Enjoy the rest of your day, until next time…take care!

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