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  5. "도시의 불빛은 밝지?"

"도시의 불빛은 밝지?"

Translation:The city lights are bright, aren't they?

November 25, 2017



What makes this a question in the negative? Why isn't "Are the city lights bright" correct?


The 지 ending I think. You are staying a statement and then by adding the 지 ending you're asking for an agreement. Therefore "isn't it" or "aren't they" is added in English.


도시의 불빛이 밝지? Are the city lights bright?
도시의 불빛은 밝지? The city lights are bright, aren't they?

It will be helpful.


The first time I see this kind of meaning chabge with 은 / 이


Nice explanation.


The final particle 지 is the reason why the translations adds "aren't they". The final particle 지 is added when you are asking a question and expecting some degree of agreement.

"Are the city lights bright" would be 도시의 불빛은 밝아? The difference being the final particle 아.

The differences are very minute (but there is a difference).

Please note, this is all informal. To make these sentences formal you would add a 요 at the end.


The -지 at the end, I think?


It's not a direct translation. As most are it is just the closest english approximation of the meaning.


I thought 불빛 means 'fire light'.


In English, this structure is called "tag question" (~ ain't it?; right? etc.)


This isn't very accurate. Without the question mark "도시의 불빛은 밝지" would translate to "The lights of the city are bright". With that logic, adding the question mark would just change it to "The lights of the city are bright?".

Adding "...aren't they" would, be "도시의 불빛은 밝지, 그렇지 않아?"


In this example "도시의 불빛이 밝-지", -지 functions more or less as an Eng. 'tag question', i.e. turning a statement into a negative question

• Statement:

The city lights are bright -
도시의 불빛은 밝-다.

• Negative question / tag question

Are the city lights not bright? - 도시의 불빛이 밝지 않아요?


The city lights are bright, aren't they? - 도시의 불빛이 밝-지?

These kinds of question are used when both interlocutors share the knowledge of the matter discussed, and the Speaker just wishes to get reassurance/confirmation from the Listener to the fact stated.

The question mark "?" is used to indicate the given example is a question. This is to avoid any ambiguity.

As you pointed out punctuation marks are mostly optional in Korean because the conjugated verb ending already define the nature of the sentence.


"Aren't" is one word, not two. If you want to split it just don't use a contraction: "are they not?"


"The city lights are bright?"

Why isn't this correct?


My guess is "The city lights are bright?" is viewed as a colloquial form of "Are the city lights bright?" where a statement is turned directly into a question.

The city lights are bright? = 도시의 불빛이 밝습니까?

The -지 ending has 2 tasks. First, it negates a statement; then it turns this negated statement into a question.

Statement: 도시의 불빛이 밝-다 = The city lights are bright

Step 1 (negate statement): 도시의 불빛이 밝-지 않다 = The city lights are not bright

Step 2 (question form of negated statement): 도시의 불빛이 밝-지 [않습니까] ? = Are the city lights not bright? <=> The city lights are bright, are they not?


what an awful sentence is that??!


'are the city's lights bright' was not accepted. Seems similar to me


the 지 at the end makes it "isn't it", "aren't they", etc. It's a postposition that asks for agreement.

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