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Korean[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Particle[edit]

(neun)

  1. marks the topic of the sentence. The topic of a sentence is not to be confused with the subject of the sentence.
  2. depending on context, shows contrast with or adds emphasis to the preceding word or phrase in a sentence.
Usage notes[edit]

(neun) is used always after a word (a noun, a noun phrase, or a nominalized verb in form) ending in a vowel. Identical in meaning to (eun) which occurs after a word ending in a consonant.

  • (topic marker): The topic is what is being talked about in the sentence, it is the main point. This however is different in meaning from the subject which the predicate directly refers to. The topic and subject may be the same in a sentence. For example,
    • 매리 나의 친구다. (Mary-neun na-eui chingu-da.) — “Mary is my friend.”
    In this case "Mary" is the topic (and the subject) of this sentence and "is my friend" is the predicate. However, in many cases, the subject and topic are different.
    • (Complete form) 이 반에 있 학생들 똑똑하다. (I ban-e itt-neun haksaeng-deul-eun ddokddok-hada.) — The students that are in this class are smart. — Note the use of the first 는/은: function of 는/은 after verbs does not indicate nominative case but the adjectival form of the verb. See Etymology 3 below.
    • (Shortened form) 이 반 학생들이 똑똑하다. (I ban-eun haksaengdeul-i ddokddok-hada.) — "The students in this class are smart.”
    Compare the complete and shortened form. Here, the topic/subject distinction is a pseudo-grammatical distinction. All sentences that use both 는/은 and 가/이 can derive its expletive form as shown above.
    In the shortened form, the topic is "This class" while the subject is "the students".
    In cases like this, the topic can often be thought of as a range, or to what extent the sentence is applicable. In the example above, if "speaking of this class" was removed, the sentence would not be limited to "this class", and would talk about all students in general.
    Grammatically, this phenomenon is explained by the concept of predicate clause; that is, the sentence "학생들이 똑똑하다" (The students are smart) wholly works as an adjective (This class is 'student-smart.", so to speak).
  • (Contrast/emphasis marker): (neun), can be placed after most case markers (including (ga), (reul), (e), 에게 (ege), 에서 (eseo), (ro), (gwa)) to show contrast between two or more choices or add emphasis to a word or phrase, depending on the context. If used after (ga) or (reul), the (ga) or (reul) are deleted leaving only (eun).
    • 서울은 한국의 수도다. (seoul-eun hanguk-eui sudo-da.) — “Seoul is the capital city of South Korea.”
      If 은 (eun) is stressed, it might suggest "other cities are not."
    • 여름에는 덥다. (yeoreum-e-neun deopda.) — “It is hot during the summer.”
      If 는 (neun) is stressed, it might suggest "during other seasons, it's not."
    • 그는 나에게 책을 주었다. (geu-neun na-ege chaeg-eul jueotta.) — “He gave me the book.” (He gave the book to me.)
      If 는 (neun) is stressed, it might suggest "other people may have not."
      Variants: 그가 나에게는 책을 주었다. (geu-ga na-ege-neun chaeg-eul jueotta.) — “I'm sure that he gave the book to me, but I'm not certain if he gave it to others as well.”
      그가 나에게 책은 주었다. (geu-ga na-ege chaeg-eun jueotta.) — “I'm sure that he gave me the book, but I'm not certain if he gave me other things, too.”
      그가 나에게 책을 주기는 했다/주기는 주었다. (geu-ga na-ege chaeg-eul jugi-neun haetta/jugi-neun jueotta.) — “He gave me the book, but I'm uneasy about the way he did. (It was too late/seriously damaged/not the one I wanted/just half of it/etc.)”
Synonyms[edit]
  • (eun) (after a consonant)
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Inflectional suffix[edit]

(-neun-)

  1. a suffix indicating the present tense, appearing directly after a stem of a verb, ending in a consonant other than ㄹ (l), which is at the end of a declarative or exclamatory sentence or an indirect quotation clause.
Alternative forms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Inflectional suffix[edit]

(-neun)

  1. a present tense suffix used to help a verb or one of two adjectives 있다 (itda, “existing”) and 없다 (eopda, “not existing”) to act like a determiner.
    • 는다. (Ttari chaegeul ingneunda., “My daughter reads a book.”) → (ttari ingneun chaek, “the book my daughter reads”)
    • 내가 이곳. (Naega igode sanda., “I live in this place.”) → 내가 (naega saneun got, “the place I live in”)
    • 호랑이동물원있다. (Horang-iga dongmurwone itda., “A tiger is in a zoo.”) → 동물원 호랑이 (dongmurwone inneun horang-i, “a tiger which is in a zoo”)
    • 우리는 그곳 없다. (Urineun geugode gal su eopda., “We can't go to the place.”) → 우리는 그곳 (urineun gal su eomneun geugot, “the place we can't go to”)
Usage notes[edit]

The suffix - (-neun) is appended directly to the stem of the verb. In the process, if the stem ends in a consonant (l), the consonant (l) drops out.

E.g.이기다 (igida, “to win”) → 이기 (igineun nom, “the one who wins”)
얼다 (eolda, “to freeze”) → (eoneun jeom, “freezing point”)