"A man speaks English well."

Translation:남자는 영어를 잘합니다.

October 6, 2017



I wrote "남자가 영어를 잘합니다", shouldn't it be accepted too? /// EDIT: 3 months later and this alternate translation still hasn't been added :/ I reported it so many times already

November 7, 2017


Me too. I thought 가 is more suitable as it says "A man", not "THE man", which more specifically points to a certain man. Since 가 is more general, "a man" could be any man, shouldn't 남자가 영어를 잘합니다 be more suitable? just my opinion. Although google translate tells me 남자는 means "a man". Maybe I should just memorize that xD

December 29, 2017


가 is a subject marking particle and 는 is a topic marking particle, and both have no relationship to the articles 'a' and 'the' in English. This course is unfortunately a little behind in fixing all of the translations to accept both articles, so lots of the answers only feature one or the other. In other words,

남자가 = man, men, a man, the man, the men

남자는 = man, men, a man, the man, the men

Think of 은/는 as something that talks about the relative idea of or relationship of the subject in regards to the rest of the following conversation and 이/가 is just simply telling the listener/reader who or what is doing the verb.

남자는 영어를 잘합니다

For instance, the feeling here is that the man is being compared to something else (presumably another English speaker) OR is being initially introduced as a talking point (whereas you might have been talking about women speaking English well previously).

남자가 영어를 잘합니다

Here, this is simply stating a fact that the man speaks English well.

It's a very subtle nuance and is pretty negligible when beginning to learn Korean, but potentially very useful once you reach a beginner/intermediate level.

December 29, 2017


Yes, that nuance exists in Korean, but there's nothing to indicate such nuance with this question. There's no context, so there's no way to know whether we're "comparing the man to something else" or "simply stating a fact that the man speaks English well." I agree that the 이/가 v 은/는 distinction is important and worth practicing, but it's frustrating to get penalized for what I know aren't mistakes.

March 20, 2018


Shouldn't they seperate 잘 which means well in the sentence when making up sentences? It'd be easier to understand seperate words this way.

October 6, 2017


Yes and no. Here they're emphasizing that something is done well, which is why I think they decided to put the two together. Technically, this sentence can be written completely together without change in meaning, i.e.:


But I do agree with you, it would be easier to decipher for beginners to the language.

October 6, 2017


The thing is: we should learn the grammar too. If they separate when it should be together, it can make the learning harder

October 7, 2017


so is jalhamnida the verb for doing something well, not just specific to speaking? also, everything in korean so far has been consistent with japanese grammar, so i was expecting the particle to be yongoGA, not yongorul. Any native insight here?

October 8, 2017


You should download a Korean keyboard xD

To answer your question, no 잘합니다 is not the verb for "to do well," but it does mean to do well. It's rather a mix of two words

잘 - well

하다 - to do

They wrote the two together here purely for emphasis, but I think it would be a lot less confusing if they just took them apart.

In terms of Japanese and Korean grammar:

이/가 are subject marking particles and 을/를 are object marking particles, which I believe would be respectively wa for subjects in Japanese, and wo for objects (correct me if I'm wrong please). So, if you said:

남자는 영어가 잘 합니다 - As for the man, the English does well

and if you say:

남자는 영어를 잘 합니다 - As for the man, the English is done well

The idea is the same as in English, whatever is doing the verb is the subject, and whatever is receiving the action of the verb is the object. In Korean and Japanese, and many other languages, whatever the overall arching idea of the sentence or conversation is, is the topic. For instance, if you're talking about a woman for a few minutes, and then shift gears and start talking about another woman, you would use 은/는:


A: 와! 저 여자가 참 예쁘네요!

B: 네 그렇죠! 그런데 저의 옆에 있는 아내는 더 예쁜 것 같아요.

What a good spouse ^^

October 8, 2017


Noun + 을/를 잘하다 means to do 'noun' well. In this case English language. -가 is subject marker. You need an object marker here.

October 15, 2017


Why 영어를 and not 영어으로? Could someone explain please?

February 12, 2018


What is the difference between the ending of the noun 가 and 는?

December 30, 2017


You can read my comment here; I think I gave a decent explanation ^^


December 31, 2017


But there is not the verb "speak"

October 18, 2018


In this instance, they use 하다 to describe the ability of a person doing a skill.

October 18, 2018


when talking about a language, when do you use ~으로 vs 를?

January 17, 2019
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