"The dog swims to the island."
Translation:개가 섬까지 수영합니다.
-까지 marks the endpoint (to). It is the Korean terminative case marker.
-로 marks the direction (towards). It is the Korean orientative case marker.
If the dog was just swimming torwards the island, it doesn't necessarily mean that is his destination/goal. Maybe the dog is rescuing its foolish owner who tried to swim to the island with the intention of being on the island but almost drown in between.
I think so. Perhaps a native speaker can help us out, but I think there is a slight difference in meaning that can both be expressed as "The dog swims to the island" in English. 섬에 means the dog swims to the island, and the island is its destination. 섬까지 means the dog swims as far as the island, but the island isn't necessarily its destination, it may be turning around and swimming back.
-도 is not an independent noun, so no, you can’t use it instead of 섬. -도 is only used as a suffix to indicate “the island of …”, similar to other such suffixes such as -시 “… city”, -도 “… province” (this -도 is not the same as the island one as it comes from a different Hanja character: 道 rather than 島), -군 “… county”, -구 “… district” etc.
In the model answer it is: 개가 섬까지 수영합니다. In colloquial speech it is quite common for -가, -를 and-는 (where it doesn’t mark a contrast) to be omitted, though it wouldn’t feel quite as natural to me in this particular sentence. Maybe because 개 is just a single syllable? Not sure.
Well, unlike infinitives in English, Korean verb stems cannot be used alone and must be followed by any ending. Korean is an agglutinative language, i.e you have to glue together many elements, among them a lot of social cues. -습니다 is a verb ending for statements in the present in in a formally polite speech level. The verb swim her is a compound, its constituents are a Sino-Korean noun, 水泳 (수영) swimmimg with the verb stem 하 do, verb, so it means make a swim literally.
We are learning that a subject can also be the topic. So the particles are not always, on their own, a sure clue about which is the subject.
In this case, the dog is both topic and subject. But ultimately and grammatically, the dog is the doer of an action so it gets the 가 particle. If you see 은 는 on a subject, it more likely to be a comparison or descriptive sentence.
We'll find out in later lessons that these particles don't have just one use. The details we want for now, however, are spread across several tips and notes: starting with Basics 1, modifiers, and verbs (regular and descriptive).
PS: There's no definite articles in Korean for a or an. But sometimes 그 is used to indicate we are talking about a known specific person/animal/thing.
There is no word for " the " in Korean.
~이 / ~가 and ~은 / ~는 are markers that indicate the subject and topic respectively.
You can read more in the Notes from the Basics 1 lessons: