"사랑한다면 미안하다고 말하지 않는 거야."
Translation:Love means never having to say you're sorry.
Could someone break the sentence down for me, please? I feel like I have no idea whats going on here, grammatically speaking.
Ignore the English translation for now because it's a movie quote, so there's a lot of poetic license with translations like that. There are 3 main grammar points here, which are:
- The "-는 것" construction, used to make verbs into nouns.
- The "-다고 + 말하다" construction, used for indirect quotation.
- The "-ㄴ다면" construction, meaning "if" just like the regular "면" construction.
Let's start with a simpler sentence, such as:
사랑은 X이다 (Love is X)
Anything that I replace X with will be the object of the sentence, be it a single word or a whole clause. So if I use the "는 것" construction, I could say something like:
사랑은 '미안하는 것'이다 (Love is 'to be sorry')
Of course, I could also change it to a negative sentence, using the -지 않다 construction that you probably know by now:
사랑은 '미안하지 않는 것'이다 (Love is 'not being sorry')
Now let's make it more informal by changing the speech level to 해체, while also shortening 것 to 거, because that's how Koreans speak:
사랑은 미안하지 않는 거야 (Love is not being sorry)
And now let's change "not being sorry" to "not saying you are sorry" by using grammar point #2:
사랑은 미안하다고 말하지 않는 거야 (Love is not saying you are sorry)
But we're not talking about love (noun) here, we're talking about the act of loving (verb). So we have to change 사랑 to 사랑하다. We could just use grammar point #1 and say "사랑하는 것은 미안하다고 말하지 않는 거야" to mean "loving is not saying you are sorry", but if we want to make it a conditional sentence, to imply that "not saying sorry" is a consequence of "loving", we have to use grammar point #3:
사랑한다면 미안하다고 말하지 않는 거야 (If you love, it means you are not saying you are sorry)
And there you go. Now if we use some poetic license to change the translation a bit, you could go from "If you love, it means you are not saying you are sorry", to "Loving means not saying you are sorry", to the Love Story quote above "Love means never having to say you're sorry."
I think it is nearly impossible to get this right the first time going through this progression. 는 거야 has not been taught, and I dont think 다고 has been referenced yet either. The non-literal implied meanings doesn't help either (말하 as say, rather than speak/tell), and as overall as a phrase, it is a bit uncommon in usage. Add to that, the korean syntax, and its pretty much impossible unless one has other resources working off of, or have heard this before.
Yeah, it's extra frustrating because "say" is present, but "having to say" or "needing to say" just doesn't show up at all in the Korean phrase.
I think 'don't say sorry if you love' is not a complete sentence and requires a fixture maybe something like "if you love somone, dont say sorry" similar to that