1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Korean
  4. >
  5. "남자는 영어를 잘합니다."

"남자는 영어를 잘합니다."

Translation:A man speaks English well.

September 14, 2017



A more natural answer would be, "the man..." using "a man" in such a specifying way sounds weird


That is because the 은/는 suffix is usually used for general statements. So they arent talking about any man in particular.


I'd just use "men speak Korean" instead, then. "A man" just feels weird here.


English, not Korean. And what would be the logic of that sentence? It doesn't make sense to make such a general statement. Even the terrible "a man" is better.


Maybe he is a faceless man


Because it's the many faced god talking.


"A girl had no name" this type of speech should only be spoken in Game of Thrones


Just before this, the question was 남자가 영어를 잘합니다 . The translation was "The man speaks English well". I still don't get the difference between 가 and 는


The difference is specification. Just like "a" is an indefinite article, or in simpler terms less specific, "은/는" is less specific and can mean men as a whole, a man, or a group of men. Basically, it's more general. "이/가" is about equivalent to "the" in English. It's much more specific, meaning the man, this man, etc. It refers to one individual, where as "은/는" can be more than one or a group. At least, this is true in usage. If you try and define the particles, it becomes very difficult because there isn't anything like them in English or any Latin-rooted language. So keep in mind that they don't necessarily mean "a" or "the," but rather that when you use them, they have the same function. Hope this helps! 화이팅!


Not quite. I think of it like this:

What is A? A is B. A 는/은 B. If we're talking about A, I'll have you know it's B.

What is B? A is B. A 가/이 B. If we're talking about things that are B, A is one of those things.

Neun/eun adds emphasis to the thing after it. Ga/i adds emphasis to the thing before it.


Thank you!! 감사합니다!!!


A is clearly not B.... im certain of that. I may not know korean but i do know English


I thought 은/는 were topic markers while 가/이 were subject markers?


Aren't 은/는 이/가 topic/subject markers?


This translation is so weird. We dont know what thebman does well 잘합니다 Means you do something well. But in this case , it doesnt say what he does well. So do we just assume by context that he speaks well?


It says more than that. You are forgetting 영어를, so A man does English well. Now, what can you do with a language? In this case it is an expression for "speaks well". We just have to memorize expressions.


I would disagree because there are other components to using language, like reading or writing or listening. Sure in English we usually say "speaks", but in Korean if they meant literally only speaking I feel like they would be more specific than using the verb 하다 Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my understanding


Whats well in korean?


namjaneun yeongeoreul jalhabnida


Is this literally "the man does English well"?


I put "the man" and it was correct ^^

I do agree that 은/는 is used for general topics, but if you want to naturally translate it to english, we say "the man".

So in this context, "남자는" is correct in korean whilst "the man" is correct in english.

Just a note for native korean speakers


Not necessarily, it is like saying “As for the man, he speaks English well.” or “As for a man, he speaks English well.” So either can be used. Even more common would be “Men speak English well.” for the English generalization. “As for men, they speak English well.”


Why can't I say A man speaks English? Or what is the difference between speaks and speaks well?


Why 잘합니다 ? Why isn't it 잘말합니다?


now should I believe that there no such different between 은/는 and 가/이?????? this is confusing


Where do they get "well" from? Is it from context? If it is then why do they add it into the sentence if there is NO context.


The verb 잘하다 means "to do well or skillfully". This verb is constructed from concatenating the adverb 잘 ("well") with the verb 하다 ("to do"). In the context of languages, this verb conveys skillful speaking.

Edit: Not every adverb can be concatenated with any verb or even with 하다. This is just a special verb whose concatenation has been formalized.


Why is "a man speaks well english" not correct??


Wrong word order in English! You don't put the adverb between "speaks" and the language. You could say "A man speaks well.", but this is not about how he speaks in general. You must say "A man speaks English well." It is specific and does not include how he speaks in other languages.


This just makes me realise how bad my English grammar is. "The man speaks well English" XD I probably thought of good


Where is the "Well"


Easier to understand than to pronounce....


I'm still confused with 을/를, 은/는 and 이/가

Learn Korean in just 5 minutes a day. For free.