"제가 친구를 도와주는 것을 좋아해요."
Translation:I like helping my friends.
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Here's a breakdown of the sentence:
제가 ( (친구를 도와주는) 것)을 좋아해요. = I like (the act of) helping [my] friends .
- 제 = "I"
- 친구 = "friend"
- 도와주는 = "to help" (도와주다) in modifier form
- 것 = "thing"
- 좋아해요 = "to like" (좋아하다) in polite speech
The subject phrase is in blue, the object phrase is in green, and the predicate (an adjective) is in orange. The modifier sub-phrase in red modifies the object of the sentence and is part of the object phrase.
( (친구를 도와주는) 것)을 = (the act of) helping [my] friends
친구 is the object of the modifier phrase and gets marked with the object marker 를 . This is to reinforce its connection to its verb 도와주는 . Note that this verb is conjugated to its modifier form. This means that it acts like an English adjective modifying the noun it is adjacent to: 것 . Since 것 itself is the object for the verb 좋아해요 it also gets tagged with an object marker.
This object phrase is a common construction that turns an action into a situation. Here we can see this as turning the action "I help friends." to the situation "helping friends":
(저는) 친구를 도와주다 → 친구를 도와주는
This is very much the same process as taking a Korean adjective and using it as a modifier:
저는 여쁜 친구가 있어요 = I have a pretty friend.
Naturally when I think of friends in general I would say I like helping any or all of them, so I assume friend is plural. If I wanted to specify a particular friend, I might use the topic marker <sub>은/</sub>는, thereby putting emphasis on a particular friend.
Korean is vague like this, and context has to supply the rest of the story, where cultural assumptions can mean a lot in the spoken language, more than in American English.
Actually "I" or "제가" is the subject, because the action of liking is performed by "I" or "제가". "Helping" or "도와주는" is still a gerund, simply as the object of "like" or "좋아해요". But yeah, the tip of replacing the gerund with a pronoun works really for checking if it actually is a pronoun.