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Korean Lesson 73, Superlatives

Since I explained comparatives to you yesterday, I thought I should explain superlatives to you today. There is more than one way to express a superlative in Korean. Remember the words 제일 (jay-eel), 죄고 (jeykoh), and 가장 (kahjahng). These help you build the superlatives.

is good =좋아요 (joh-ah-yo) ….good = 좋은 (joh-un)

is better = 더 좋아요 (deo joh-ah-yo)… better = 더 좋은 (deo joh-un) (comparative)

is the best = 가장 좋아요 (gajahng joh-ah-yo)…..가장 조은 (kahjahg joh-un) (superlative)

is many or is a lot = 많아요 (mahnah-yo) …….many or a lot = 많은 (mahnun)

is more = 더 많아요 (deo mahnah-yo)… more = 더 많은 (deo mahnun) (comparative)

is the most = 가장 많아요 (gahjahng mahnah-yo)…the most= 가장 많은 = gahjahng mahnun) (superlative)

It would be easy if this were all there were to it. but this is Korean, and Koreans love to complicate things. Once you get to know more about Koreans and the way they think, they are some of the most complicated thinking people in the world, and their language reflects the way they think. There are several other ways. You can stop at the information above, but then you would only be communicating, but wouldn’t understand everything they say.

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Here are some more ways to make the superlative and examples of how to do it with 가장 (gahjahng). These are only the ways I know. There may be more. Here are six ways to say basically the same thing:

This is the best book. = 이것은 가장 좋은 책 이예요 (eegheosun gahjahng joh-un chehk eeyeyo)

This book is the best. = 이책이 가장 좋아요. (ee chehk ee gajahng joh-ah-yo)

This is the best book. = 이것은 최고의 책 이예요 (eegheosun chaygoh oo-ee chehk eeyeyo)

This book is the best. = 이책이 최고 이예요. (ee chehk ee chaygoh eeyeyo)

This is the best book. = 이것은 재일 좋은 채가 이예요 (eegheosun chey-eel johun chehk eeyeyo)

This book is the best. = 이책이 재일 좋아요. (eechehk ee jey-eel joh-ah-yo)

Vocabulary: 이것은 (eegeosun) = this// 이 (ee) = this, before a noun, and this is also the post position particle for the subject//가장 좋은 (gahjahng joh-un) = the best//최고의 (cheygoh-oo-ee) = the best// 재일 좋은 (jey-eel joh-un) = the best/ 책 (chehk) = book//이예요 (eeyeh-yo)//가장 좋아요 (kahjahng joh-ah-yo) = is the best//최고 이예요 (chaygoh eeyeyo) = is the best// 재일 좋아요 (is the best).

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Here are nine ways to say the same thing, and this isn’t counting the different levels of speech. This is only the “yo” form. If you included the different levels, this would be very long.

She is the prettiest. = 그녀는 가장 예뻐요. (kuyeonun gahjang yebeoyo)

She is the prettiest woman. = 그녀는 가장 예쁜 여자 이예요 (kunyeonun gahjahng yebbun yojah eeyeyo)

The prettiest woman is her. = 가장 예쁜 예자는 그녀 이예요. (kajang yebbun yojah nun kusyeo eeyeyo)

She is the prettiest. = 그녀는 재고 예뻐요. (kunyeonun jaygoh yebeoyo)

She is the prettiest woman. = 그녀는 재고의 예쁜 여자 이예요. (kuyeonun jaygoh oo-ee yehbbun yojah eeyeyo).

The prettiest woman is her. = 재고의 예쁜 여자는 그녀 이예요. (jaygoh oo-ee yebun yojah nun kunyeo eeyeyo)

She is the prettiest. = 근녀는 재일 예뻐요. (kunyeonun jey-eel yebeoyo)

She is the prettiest woman. = 그녀는 재일 예쁜 여자 이예요. (kunyeonun jey-eel yebun yojah eeyeyo)

The prettiest woman is her. = 재일 예븐 여자는 그녀 이예요. (jey-eel yebun yojahnun kunyeo eeyeyo)

Vocabulary: 그녀는 (kunyeonun) = she// 그녀 (kunyeo) = her// 가장 예쁜 (kahjahng yebun) = the prettiest// 여자 (yojah) = woman// 재고 의 예쁜 (jaygoh oo-ee yebun) = the prettiest// 재일 예쁜 (jayeel yebun) = the prettiest//가장 예뻐요 (kahgjahng yebeoyo) = is the prettiest// 재고의 예뻐요 (jehgoh oo-ee yebeoyo) = is the prettiest// 재일 예뻐요 (jey-eel yebeoyo) = is the prettiest

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Again, nine ways to say the same thing:

He is the tallest. = 그는 가장 키가 켜요 (kunun gahjahng keegah kyeoyo)

The tallest person is him. = 가장 키가큰 사람이 그 이예요. (kahjahng keegahkun sahrahm ee ku eeyeyo)

He is the tallest person. = 그는 가장 키가 큰 사람 이예요. (kunun kajang keegahkun sahrahn eeyeyo)

He is the tallest. = 그는 재고 의 키가 커요. (kunun jaygoh oo-ee keegah kyeoyo)

The tallest person is him. = 재고의 키가큰 사람은 그 이예요. (jeygoh oo-ee keegahkun sahrahm un ku eeyeyo)

He is the tallest person. = 그는 재고의 키가큰 사람 이예요. (kunun jeygoh oo-ee keegahkun sahrahm eeyeyo)

He is the tallest. = 그는 재일 키가켜요 (kunun jey-eel keegahkyeoyo)

The tallest person is him. = 재일 키가큰 사람은 그 이예요 ( jey-eel keegahkun sahrahmun ku eeyeyo)

He is the tallest person. = 그는 재일 키가큰 사람 이예요. (kunun jey-eel keegahkun sahrahm eeyeyo)

Vocabulary: 그는 (kunun) = he//그 (ku) = him// 가장 키겨요 (kahjang keegahkyeoyo) = is the tallest// 가장 키가큰 (kahjahng keegahkun) = the tallest// 재고의 키가켜요 (jeygoh keegahkyeoyo) = is the tallest// 재일 키가큰 (jey-eel keegahkun) = the tallest// 재일 키가켜요 (jey-eel keegahkyeoyo) = is the tallest// 사람 (sahrahm).

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