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  5. "운동장에서 놀아요."

"운동장에서 놀아요."

Translation:Let's play at the sports field.

October 22, 2017



This sentence also works as an imperative.


That was my initial response. Context would sure be helpful.


Let's hang out at the sports field should also be taken.


Lets play? Where is the -읍시다


아/어요 is a multi-purpose ending. It can be used for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person, both singular and plural, and can also be used as an imperative or a suggestion. 가요 often is best translated "Let's go."

Korean is an extremely contextual language, which is why, like a broken record, I keep suggesting DL do something to add context to these examples.


Play at the exercise field..... your translation is wrong.


"at" is also correct, but has a different nuance from "on" or "in," both of which would probably be more common. "at" implies a different location from where the speaker is currently located.

A: "Do you want to play ball here in the street?"

B: "I always get scraped up on the asphalt. Let's play at the schoolyard/playground."

Of course, we could also say, "Let's play on the sports field at the school."


"at" implies a different location from where the speaker is currently located.

I'm not sure I agree with this as a native US English speaker. I regularly use "at" to describe my own location and I can't think of a single example where my choice of preposition would be different based on whether I'm talking about the speaker's location (that is, my own location) or someone/something else's location. I think it depends a lot more on what the noun is ("in the car" but "on the bus" is one of the most blatant inconsistencies in the English language--"on the car" and "in the bus" are both wrong).

In general (restricting to physical/spacial relational meanings of these words), "in" refers to a space surrounded by something or an environment, "on" refers to the external surface of something (usually with a connotation of physical support such as "on the table" but can also be clinging to a surface such as "a painting on the wall", or just part of the surface such as "rust on the armor" or "freckles on my face" or "a smile on your face"), and "at" refers to a location specified by something (but not necessarily the exact location of that something--maybe this is what you're thinking of?), similar to a landmark. Because "in" and "on" have these more specific meanings, they can often be used to specify locations very precisely, but their meanings aren't necessarily about location at all. For example, "in the street" or "on the street" is very specific about the fact that you're not on the grass next to the street, but "The children play in the street" isn't necessarily about which street or what location at all, but simply about what kind of environment the children are playing in. In contrast, "at" is almost always used to specify or to help specify a location, but "at X" doesn't usually mean "literally the exact space that X takes up" (again, more like a landmark). So for example, "at the stop sign" implies that the speaker is using the stop sign to specify a location but obviously there is some leeway. "On Main Street" implies a location (because it names a specific street) and generally means the person described is driving or walking on it (although it's actually common enough to say "on Main Street" or "on" + street name for someone who is walking on the side walk by the street rather than walking on the street itself--and buildings are often described as "on" + street name to specify the street for their address even though they are not physically on the street). "At Main Street" means Main Street marks the location or helps specify it, and would usually be used to help specify where you are on some other street. ("He's on 3rd Avenue at Main Street." That means he's driving or walking along 3rd Avenue and is located at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Main Street.)

So I think the general rules (only for physical or spacial meanings of "in/on/at") would be:

  • Do not use "in" or "on" except to describe something enclosed by the space and/or physically supported by the object (or located at or even part of the surface of the object for "on").
  • Do not use "at" if location is irrelevant and you only wish to specify the type of environment rather than the location. ("In the street" can be a good example of this.) Exception: if the words "on" and "in" are invalid for the above reason, it may be okay to use "at" (and even then, it can be because specifying a location is a way of specifying an environment). (Example: "at an intersection")
  • Use "at" when specifying a location by landmark.
  • Use in or on when specifying a location via relation to a larger object or environment or space (provided it is more or less surrounded by the object for "in" or located at the surface of the thing for "on").
  • Follow the exceptions! (Many use cases have idiomatic choices and you mostly just have to learn them on a case by case basis.)

I will continue to think about this and see if I can come up with any corrections or further rules or clarifications.


Wow! That is quite an essay. :) We CAN say "in the bus." Today I was sitting in the bus that took me to Costco. :)


Of course you are correct regarding the frequent use of "at" for one's location. I should have been more careful to point out I was referring to the example sentence, "Let's play at the sports field." which would never be used if the sports field was your current location.


Shouldn't it be: 놀아자 ?


That's also a possibility, yes.


Nvm, 놀자 is correct


Can this also be translated, "He plays /I play at the sports field"? If that sentence would be different, please tell me. Thank you! Nov. 2, 2019.


I am still wondering. March 21, 2020.


Could "schoolyard" also work for 운동장?


Certainly--schoolyard, playground, exercise field, sports field


Should work, but doesn't!


I have a strong preference for 놀아자 as let's play. 놀아요 is much better used for declarative mood.


https://en.dict.naver.com/#/search?range=all&query=%EB%86%80%EC%9E%90 놀자 or 놀읍시다 not 놀아자 play again, one more time. 한 번만 더, 또 놀자.


Ya missed my point. I have never heard a native speaker use 아요 as a suggestion or invitation in the 3000 hours of language training on the way to my AA in Korean language or in the 2 years that I lived in Korea.... I am unwilling to accept it now.


Your "point" doesn't change the fact that 놀아자 is incorrect. And though you might not have perceived it 가요 is frequently used to express "Let's go." or at least "I'm leaving, and if you know what's good for you, you better go with me."

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