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  5. "게는 상어를 도와줘요."

"게는 상어를 도와줘요."

Translation:A crab helps the shark.

September 11, 2017



Crab and Shark. What a love story.


Still a better love story than...


What does 줘요 add to this sentence? The notes say that -주다 adds a sense of doing something for the benefit of another, but the verb is already "to help". Would this sentence have a different connation if it ended in just 도와요?


It does a couple things for any verb it attaches itself to. Such as:

1 It adds a sense of indirection. By this I mean think of the two English sentences:

Would you help me out?

Would you mind helping me out?

Most would agree the former appears to be more of a command whereas the second is softly suggesting the person being spoken to has more of a choice, and it's not a direct command of sorts.

2 It gives the idea that whatever the verb is a bit of a subtle favor to the asker. Don't take this to mean this word induces the idea of a favor to take place though because they have an entirely different word and concept for that.

3 It adds a sense of sincerity and politeness. This kinda falls in line with the first point, but more often than not you'll see this form on a lot of sentences which ask for an action to be completed by a common person (typically less in a more formal situation). When asking for things to be done, it's best to be as polite as possible for the audience and this grammar ending provides that extra push of courteousy expected in those situations.


The tips also say the 주다 ending is often not translated into English, so it's a subtle difference that might not make sense if we're thinking in terms of direct translations


Lesson: 상어 My brain: 아기 상어 뚜두두뚜두~~


Hey! Thanks so much for opening this course.

Does anyone know the basis for ㅡ는 은 being "a" and ㅡ를 을 being "the". I'm no expert but I feel it should be the other way around. To me, 는 and the are both used to emphasize and specify a noun, so I feel like the correct translation should be: The crab helps a shark.

Hope I made sense.


-는 은 and -를 을 do not mean the or a. 는 은 are topic markers and distiguish the topic of the sentence from the subject. 를 을 are object marking particles and distiguish the object from the subject. In Korean, there are no articles such as the or a, so we have to give it our best guess here.

I've found that the creators of this course seem to lean one way: If the subject of the sentence is directly acting on the object, it will more often be translated as The and not A, and vice versa.

Hope that helps a bit :)


Yup. Korean needs context to distinguish "a" from "the" in a translation. Since Duolingo doesn't have context, all variations should be acceptable in most cases.


This is my guess, but another reason for using "a/an" for 은/는 might be because for general statements it remains a general statement. E.g. 개는 동물입니다 can be translated as both "dogs are animals" and "a dog is an animal". They're the same general statement. Of course the translation could also be "the dog is an animal" but then that might require context since using 은/는 usually brings a stronger contrast with something else when talking about a specific dog.


I see where you're going with this, but truly and honestly there is no correlation that can be gleaned, contextual or otherwise, between 은/는 and a/the. Take the following conversations along with there translations for example:

A: 이 차는 너무 좋다

B: 빨간 차는 더 좋을 거 같은데요.

A: This car is good

B: I think the red car is better though

A: 고양이들은 작아요

B: 개들은 커요

A: Cats are small

B: Dogs are big

While its true many times 은/는 would dictate a slightly more specific subject, it's still too ambiguous for a strict translation to be given to it.

의사는 점원보다 더 일해요

Doctors work more than general workers

The doctor works more than the general worker

A doctor works more than a general worker

The doctor works more than a general worker

A doctor works more than the general worker

And as you can see in the above, even the/a can be attached to "점원" though 은/는 isnt used with it.


Hmm in your convo about the red car there is context though, specifically you're contrasting against the other car. Had there been no context it would've likely been understood as a general statement about red cars just as your general statements about cats and dogs. All your doctor example translations could also be understood as general statements too. But yes I understand "a/the" could be used for 은/는 but usually when we use "the" it tends to be a specific subject or topic where there's context.


I didn't mean to make it confusing in my explanation ^^;

Basically all I'm getting at (and I'm sure you see this after I clarified) is that you should make your best, educated guess when translating from Korean to English as to where to put the articles and that there isn't a hard an fast rule you can apply to make this any easier. Hopefully this comment thread will show others how bothersome this particular grammar point can be, even for intermediate learners!


There is no basis for it because the sentence has no context. It could any combination of definite and indefinite articles and it's impossible to know which is incredibly annoying when using app


If you use the browser version of Duolingo you can access the tips section.

Typically if 이/가 are used, then it makes the subject, specific. Meaning that in translation articles such as "The" will very likely be used. For example if we say 아이는, it could mean children, or it could mean a child. But if we say 아이들이, it will undoubtedly mean a very specific group of children, in other words "THE children". 은/는 are used for general statements as well, they also do not require the use of plural markers 들.


For the 100th time someone should really fix the whole "a" and "the" situation with these questions. It really makes this site look bad. Its a proven grammatical fact korean uses the situation not the article to portray the feeling.

[deactivated user]

    Crab Rave Starts


    I put 게가 상어를 도와줘요 and it's marked wrong. Any possible reason?


    How can we distinguish "a" from "the"?


    Namjoon would be proud of this lil crab (^-^)/


    Does 주다 always need to be paired with 돕다? I've never seen it used without 주다, but when I translate 돕다 alone, it translates the same as it would with 주다.


    No, they dont have to be used together here. Adding 주다 to a verb gives the feeling that something is being done (as a favor) for someone. Because that nature is kinda baked into 돕다, they generally and usually go hand in hand. But if I were to say something like

    "저는 친구가 공부하는 것을 도왔어요" (I helped my friend study)

    This would be acceptable


    Anyone who's played Ultimate Crab Battle would know that crabs and sharks are mortal enemies

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