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  5. "The man speaks English well."

"The man speaks English well."

Translation:남자가 영어를 잘합니다.

September 21, 2017



Let's take this one step further:

이야기 하다 - story + to do

말 하다 - word/speech + to do

대화 하다 - conversation + to do

So, next you get:

[ ]어 하다 - [country] language + to do

And here, 영국 is the Korean name for England, contracted to just 영 (as 국 means country).

So this sentence really is "The man does England language well."

So, to answer B. StarGirl's question directly, the reference to talking in this sentence is 어 (language).


잘합니다 implies that you also do it "well"? I see no adjective for "well".


The infinitive verb 하다 means to do and if you add the adjective 잘 to the front of it, it means: to do X를 well. In Korean, their adjectives can actuallybe verbs. For example a direct translation of this sentence is: Man goods English. But because in English we can't use an adjective as a verb, its hard to understand for native English speakers. Another example might be: 개가 나쁘다 (The dog is bad), but the direct translation in English would be "Dog bads."


잘 = means "well" "잘"합니다 = to do well


what is the difference between 를 vs 로 for languages?


Well, 를 marks it as the direct object what do I speak, but 로 as an instrument with what do i speak.


Theres no word for "speaks" in this sentence. "The man does English well" do you not need 말하다?


it's about the context, since you're talking about the language.


I'm wondering the same. Is it that it doesn't fit, or are we just saying "the man does english well"?


I wrote 남자가 영어 잘 말합니다 and it was right.


Is there a reason, why Korean is "Korean-Land-Language" 韓國語 (한국어), but English only "English-Language" 英語 (영어), although England is 英國 (영국), too? Or can you drop and add 國, as you like?


That is an astute question ... I will venture an answer. I think 韓 is ambiguous ... only one of several meanings for that character maps to Korea, according to a few references I looked at. Like so many Chinese-derived words, it is the combination of two or more characters that gets you from general concept to specific denotation. And in this case, it's 'close to home' ... in other words, 한 could reference a lot of familiar things (like, isn't there a Han Dynasty, and a Han ethnic group in China, and a Han surname?). So I'm guessing the foreign country references are less ambiguous?

A corollary question I would pose is: You hear 한국말 a lot, but I don't recall Koreans using 미국말 or 영국말. Are these forms correct?


미국말 and 영국말 are correct, but I've never heard or seen either used -- same with 오스트레일리아말. There's probably a historical reason why 영어 was chosen to represent the entirety of "English language" rather than geographically restricting the word to England (영국말).


Yes, 잘 is the adverb "well". And "to speak English" is 영어를 하다 ... literally "to do English". Duolingo is the only place I've seen the adverb mashed into the verb 하다 ... I've always wrote it as 잘 하다.


Yeah i got marked as a typo for separating the adjective from the verb.


According to dictionaries there is both the form with the adverb seperate and the compound verb 잘하다. I am not sure whether there is a difference between "to do something well" and maybe "be good at something".

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