"책은 의미가 없습니다."
Translation:Books are meaningless.
이/가 is the subject marker; 은/는 is the topic marker. If a word ends in a vowel (ㅏ, ㅑ, ㅐ, ㅒ, ㅓ, ㅕ, ㅔ, ㅖ, ㅗ, ㅛ, ㅜ, ㅠ, ㅡ, ㅣ; eg. 고양이) it will be 는/가; if it ends in a consonant (eg. 동물) it will be 은/이. I do suggest finding a website that helps you understand it better, it is a bit hard for me to explain :)
의미 is just "meaning", 가 is a topic marking particle, so it indicates, that in this sentence the word "meaning" is a topic
then 의미가 없습니다 means something like "there is no meaning" therefore "meaningless"
and if it was 의미가 있습니다 it would mean "meaningful"
hope I explained it well :)
No, this would be confusing and have the translation of either "Meaning doesn't have books" or "Books have no meaning" If you want to specify a group of books and not all books, a specific book that is known, or a group of books that was mentioned earlier; you would need to use (그-Those) So the sentence would be "그 책은 의미가" In this way the listener may be able to infer which books you are saying have no meaning.
"Meaningless" is an adjective in English that does not have a direct translation without some knowledge of modifying Korean verbs.
Duolingo starts you with the noun 의미 ("meaning"). To form the sentence "The book is meaningless.", we construct 책은 의미가 없습니다:
- 책은 = [Regarding the book,]
- 의미가 = [the meaning]
- 없습니다 = [it lacks]
Together this means "The book has no meaning." or "The book is meaningless.".
In a later section (Modifier I), you will learn how to form noun modifiers like English adjectives from Korean verbs.
To break down the sentence for you: 책은 (the books) 의미가 (meaning) 없습니다 (there is not). Therefore, the sentence can be translated as: the books are meaningless. If you wanted to say 'books are not meaningless' or rather 'the books are meaningful, you would say ' 책은 의미가 있습니다'
은/는 is a topic marker. You use 은/는 to mark the topic of the sentence. In this case, the topic of the sentence is the book, and we want to indicate that it is precisely the book that is meaningless, therefore we add emphasis using 은/는. If you wanted to make a noun plural, you would add 들 at the end of it. For example, 여자들 means women, 남자들 means men, etc. However, in most cases, especially in everyday conversation, the 들 is dropped completely from the sentence. So, the sentence '책은 의미가 없습니다' could mean 'books are meaningless', or it could imply that 'the book (singular) is meaningless'.
The key distinction is the verb used in the sentence.
To say that someone has something, you use the verb 있다 (conjugated to 있습니다).
To say that someone lacks something, you use the verb 없다 (conjugated to 없습니다).
The sentence can be more literally translated as "Books lack meaning". Hence the words:
책 = book
의미 = meaning
없습니다 = lacks
are formed as "책은 의미가 없습니다".
Why is it that for some things, like having no meaning, you'll have a space between meaning (의미가) and not having (없습니다) while for other things, like being uncool, you won't have a space (멋없습니다)? How do I decide if my sentence will look like [thing]은/는 [what it isn't]가 없습니다 or [thing]은/는 [what it isn't]없습니다?
Plurality is usually determined from context, such as talking about multiple books previously in the conversation. This sentence can also be seen as a general statement about books as indicated by the "X은/는 Y이/가 Verb" structure.
You can also explicitly emphasize the plurality by attaching the particle ~들 to the noun.