"The book is a thing."
I'm catching an idea about those from the online Basics 1 tips and from observing the results of my answers.
~은/는 is subject, the doer of an action of a sentence.
~이/가 although mainly the object (of direct action or indirect), it can be subject as topic (main focus) in sentences of description, comparison, or negation.
Keep this in mind: Korean does not use "a" or "an", the indefinite articles. Sometimes going from Korean, the English translations only makes sense if we use "the".
Future lessons will teach Korean words and sentence structure that are specific and do not depend on context.
When there is no context clue or specific Korean article, when it does not matter in English or Korean, and especially if it is not a full sentence, I translate using the indefinite "a" or "an" into English.
If it is a phrase, not a full sentence, I do not use any articles.
While always reviewing the tips, l tested these ideas and so far have good results. I hope this helps.
To all: If any part needs correction or is not clear, please post. Thank you.
When you use 은 as a topic, you don't have to reuse the topic and it's marker in other parts of a sentence or other sentences, unless you want to speak about a new topic. 이 is a subject marker but it doesn't mean it has to be doing something. In a way 이 or 가 would be used as a once of thing, almost. An English example: "John takes a walk outside and John finds a dollar bill on the floor. John spent that money on a bar of chocolate that John liked alot later that day." It's tedious to keep saying John, so you wouldn't keep saying 책은 the whole time. In this case 책은 should be accepted, but it implies further conversation about it.
It's because we are talking about a specific book e.g. THE book is a thing. I.e:
- 는 - Topic marker, used after a vowel e.g. 여자는 - A woman. Used when making a general statement e.g. An apple is a fruit.
- 은 - Topic marker, after a consonant e.g. 연필은 - A pencil.
- 가 - Subject marker, used after a vowel e.g. 학교가 - The school
- 이 - Subject marker, used after a consonant e.g. 연필이 - The pencil. Used when you're talking about something specific e.g. THE pencil is a thing.
When you have ㅂ followed by ㄴ, the pronunciation of ㅂ changes to ㅁ. There are a few other cases where the pronunciation of letters chsnge based in the consonant thst follows. I found www.howtostudykorean.com really helpful for learning the alphabet and some of the basic pronunciation rules.
책이 물건입니다 : 책이, book (with subject marker "이") ; 물건, thing (i.e. an inanimate object) ; 입니다 is the formal polite form of the verb 이다, in the present simple tense, indicative mood (statement).
● "이" subject marker is used for identification.
책이 물건입니다 --> It is the book which is a thing (identifying "the book" as fulfilling the criterion of 'being an inanimate object/a thing') = The book is a thing
● "은" topic tag is used for characterization.
책은 물건입니다 --> A book is a thing ( 'being an inanimate object' is attributed to the books) = "books are things".
Note 1: Grammatically, the plural particle "들" should only be used for people and animals (animate objects). So, 책 can stand for both "book" (singular) and books (plural).
Note 2: "은/는" also carries a contrasting undertone (things, implied but not said):
책은 물건입니다 = A book is a thing (but ... )
They are used to open up a subject for further discussion; that's why the name "topic".
이 책은 것입니다 = This book is that / That is a characteristic ( 은, topic marker) of this book.
Note: 것 stands for abstract thing. It is often translated as the impersonal "that" or "what".
물건 stands for concrete, inanimate object = thing, object
The book is a thing => The book is "identified" (이, subject marker) as a concrete object => 책이 물건 입니다.
(1) Not all sentences end in 입니다
(2) 입니다 is:
(i) the present tense of the verb 이다, to be (~equal to). 이다 is used to describe the state or property of the subject of the sentence;
(ii) written in declarative form (a statement);
(iii) formal & polite style (business like: wider safe-space kept between interlocutors)
(iv) 입니다 = is /are
(3) The standard structure of a Korean sentence is: "subject - object - verb" [ vs. Eng. standard structure "subject - verb - object" ].
So, all Korean sentences should normally end with a verb.
책은 물건입니다 =
책은 (Books) + 물건 (things) + 입니다 (are) =
Books are things.
(4) The -요 ending: - 이에요/예요 (for 이다 verb), is just a different style/different level of courtesy [ ref: 2 (iii) above ]
이에요/예요: familiar & polite style (more friendly, welcoming: narrower safe-space kept between interlocutors)
책은 물건이에요 = Books are things
*이에요 is used when the noun attached ends in a consonant; 예요, if it ends in a vowel.
• Subject marker is used to Identify the subject
The book is a thing => "The book" is identified as what one calls "a thing" => 책이 일입니다.
• Topic marker is used to define/describe the subject
A book is a thing or Books are things => "book(s)" (being the subject) is defined as being a thing (or things). => 책은 일입니다.