"이걸로 아니면 저걸로?"
Translation:This or that?
이것 (igeot) can contract to 이거 (igeo). Thus, 이것은 can contract to 이건, 이것이 to 이게, 이것을 to 이걸, and 이것으로 to 이걸로.
The same for 저것 (that thing)
Why are the 로s there? At this point, I think they only confuse new learners.
Exactly. The translation is verfy poor, not really taking the "로"s into account. It could also be "by means of this or that" or "if not with this, then with that."
In addition to toward, ~으로/로 can also mark instrumental. When used after a place and with a verb of motion, it is "toward," but in other cases it is often translated as "with."
So we could also translate as:
With this or with that?
이걸로 ... with this - not as in "together with" but rather: i am going "with this" (decision), or "i do it by this way", "through this" like in 자동차으로 - "by car" 아니면 ... is not so much a "or" but a "if not then..." 저걸로 ... by that...
this is a classical sentence in which most information is ommited and the natural translation is much simpler than the words meanings make it look like
so the most accurate would be to translate it to "if not with this then with that", "if not like this, then like that", "this way or that way", "this or that"
Excellent explanation, and a far better translation than the one offered by DL.
이것 (igeot) can contract to 이거 (igeo). Thus, 이것은 can contract to 이건, 이것이 to 이게, 이것을 to 이걸, and 이것으로 to 이걸로
The same for 저것
I know this is something that would need to be learned eventually anyway, but this came up for me while "strengthening skills" and I don't think I've learned this use of 으로/로 on Duo yet (only knew it from studying elsewhere). I've noticed that a few times so far.
I also don't think I've encountered the contraction with the doubled ㄹ on Duo - at least not in this context. As I said, it all needs to be learned so it's not the end of the world, but I imagine it's discouraging for beginners who feel they're doing well to run into things that they shouldn't be expected to know yet because they haven't learned it.
This is another regrettable instance of where the translation hint is rejected when a learner uses it! After all the suffix is instrumental, so "with" as in "by means of" is logical to a learner. The hints ought to be edited more carefully with pedagogy in mind, not trickery.