Teaching us sentences for the future
How can one tell the difference between "my" & "flying"? They're both 나는...
How can you tell the difference between bow and bow? Flat and flat? Fair and fair (and fair)? Context, duh. Don't act like Korean is unusually awfully difficult for having homonyms.
The problem here is there is NO CONTEXT. If you are looking at a single sentence alone, it is difficult to distinguish between a topic marker (~는) and a verb used as a modifier (also ~ㅇ는). And the problem for the student is compounded by Korean's weak use of word order (because it has subject/topic markers) and lots of overlap in the spelling of these grammatical markers (like 는 here, or 면 and 면서). And it doesn't help that Duolingo likes to construct unusual sentences - for example, I don't expect 'flying' to be associated with a car. So I think the criticism is valid.
I would accept all crazy answers as long as they are grammatical, but as @BobPancakes pointed out, 나는 does not mean my. What do you think this sentence would mean if "나는" was a topic?
As a non-native speaker, I obviously don't have the same instincts, but is there a way, easily, to tell "hey, it's not I, it's flying".
What tripped me up was less that they are the same spelling, but rather that for this sentence, both would appear in the same location quite often.
I was sitting here trying to reason how "I do not have an expensive car" would work with the grammar, but figured that made sense.
Perhaps my issue was not even thinking of "flying cars" as a thought in the first place :P
But yes, are there strategies to help disambiguate words? Every language is difference, and sometimes context isn't quite helpful enough for a non-native speaker. Tips are appreciated!
Are you a car?? 나는 (I) 자동차가 (car) 싸지 않아요 (be not cheap) = I, a car, am not cheap. Unless you're Bumblebee, this makes no sense. Here, -가 identifies a non-human subject, so 나는 must be a modifier. 나는 (flying) 자동차가 (car) 싸지 않아요 (be not cheap) = A flying car is not cheap.
Maybe I'm wrong but I think "I do not have an expensive car" would be "나는 비싼 자동차를 없어요".
"나는 자동차가 싸지 않습니다." would be, at best, "My car is not expensive." which is a very odd way of saying it.
Does this mean 나는 자동차가 있어요 mean both "I have a car" and "There is a flying car"?