"Take this medicine every day."

Translation:이 약은 매일 복용하세요.

November 27, 2017

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So the object of a verb can be marked as topic?


Yes, topic particle can replace both subject and object particles.


This is one point of Korean that is pretty confusing . . .


Can I use 먹다 instead?


약을 먹다 seems to be a correct phrase according to endic.naver.com.


I'm a Korean and I know that topic particle can replace both subject and object particles. But 이 약을 매일 복용하세요 or 이 약은 매일 복용해야 해요 is more frequently used. (sorry for my grammar)


I don't think it is a question of frequency in usage.

• 이 약을 매일 복용하세요 - *Take this medicine every day. *

=> 이 약을 is used when speaking of just the one medicine (i.e. no other medicines to compare with)

• 이 약은 매일 복용하세요. - As for this medicine, take it every day. => 이 약은 [i.e. "this medicine", and not the other(s)] implies contrast (대조). It is used when there are two or more medicines involved.


Or, if you forget to take it, an undesirable outcome is expected. For example, high blood pressure medications.

So, ~ 해야 해요



  1. -해야 해요 indicates an obligation/instruction. Good point. Thanks.

  2. Could you help putting me right here,

이 약은 매일 복용해야 해요 - *Speaking just of this medicine, you have to take it every day."

이 약은 매일 복용은 해야 해요 - Speaking just of this medicine, you have to take it by mouth (and no other way) every day. => 복용은, another contrast put on 복용.

Is this an acceptable use of 은/는 ?


As a native Korean speaker, 이 약은 매일 복용은 해야 해요 (X) 이 약은 매일 복용을 해야 해요 (O) It's weird to have more than one identical conjunction in a sentence, and It is not grammatically correct. 복용은 can be used when you talk to someone who doesn't want to take medicine or the one forgetting it. 복용은 해야 돼. (Normal) 복용은 하셔야 해요. (Polite) (You need to take the medicine.)

복용(服用) is not only taking medicine by mouth, it includes other way to take the medicine

This Korean grammar is pretty confusing, but cheer up


Thank you. Your explanation is very clear. When I wrote the previous post, I should have mentioned that 복용 is a noun and the object of 해야 해요. Then it would have been obvious that if you wanted to continue the particle with 복용, it would naturally be 을, not 은.


Sorry for the late reply. I am not a native Korean speaker, so please read this as a chat. One point I would like to make is that the word 복용 (服用) is a Chinese character word. The Chinese character word + 하다 functions like a single verb, right? So I think it's unnatural to put 은 between 복용 and 해야 해요, although grammatically it might be possible.

Regarding asdf1127's point, here's my take on it. The only time you would use 약은 instead of 약을 is when you are encouraging the other person to listen carefully to what you are saying. That's when you need to distinguish it from other medicines, as you pointed out, or when you need to be careful not to forget to take it, as I pointed out. Therefore, in actual daily life situations, 약은 is often used with 해야 해요.

As sh030210 pointed out, I think a straightforward translation of the English original into Korean is to treat 약 as the object.If you want to treat it as a subject, I think the English sentence should be in the passive voice with medicine as the subject, or "You" as the subject. In that case, the English sentence would most likely imply obligation/instruction, as you pointed out regarding 해야 해요.


이 약을 매일 먹으세요 is marked incorrect. I don't understand why, since the translation is "Take this medicine every day."


I agree. There must be better way in English to express the topic tag, so as to distinguish it from the case markers. Maybe,

이 약은 매일 복용하세요 = This medicine here, take it every day

이 약을 매일 복용하세요 = Take this medicine every day


Mine looks different?


I am Korean I think 이 약을 매일 복용하세요.is correct


'이 약을 매일 복용하세요.' is correct.


Hello I'm Korean...So I'm here to tell you guys something 이 약을 매일 복용하세요 is actually correct. That sentence has wrong grammar :/


Now that I do use 복용하다 like they wanted me to, in a similar question earlier, they tell me that 복용하세요 is the right answer instead


The answer "이 약을 매일 드세요" is correct but not accepted


Can I say "이 약을 매일 복용하세요"?


이 약"을" 매일 복용하세요: Please take this medicine every day, but 이 약"은" 매일 복용하세요: This medication should be taken every day (so more descriptive about the medicine). That's the difference I feel as a native speaker but it's fine to use them interchangeably.


you're the best. TY


Yes both are fine :)


Lol i guess if your dr is korean


이 약을 매일 복용 하세요


Object should use 을 instead of 은. If you want to use 은 in this situation then english translation should be "This medicine sould be taken everyday".


은/는 are not subject markers.

They act like tags highlighting a theme of discussion.

They can be 'tagged' on to other markers (subject; object; complement...) in a sentence without affecting much its meaning.

In sentence construction, as the topic marker tends to override other markers, it causes some misinterpretation of the role of those topic tags.

The example given without omission of markers i.e. as a simple statement, would look like:

"이 약을 매일 복용하세요"

Here, 복용하다 (Take) is a transitive verb conjugated in imperative mode (active voice) and should be translated as such. So, DLG answer is correct.

Your suggestion: This medicine should be taken every day. is in the passive form.

Translated to Korean (without omission of markers), it would probably look like:

이 약이 매일 복용해야 해요 .


So 복용하다 means something like "use as directed?" As opposed to 약은/을 먹다 which would mean "swallow the medicine", 복용 would apply as well to topical creams, nasal sprays, eye drops, etc. Yes?


(1) 복용하다.

복용 is a hanja word where 복 means by mouth/orally; and 용, either have/consume or medicate.

Transliteration of Chinese words to Korean often creates many homophones. This is because Korean is not a tonal language.

Either ways, 복용하다 means take (medicine) by mouth/orally - a formal 약을 먹다 in other words.

To bypass the ambiguity caused by transliteration, Korean tends to add 약, medicine/drug to 복용하다 i.e. 약을 복용하다, which some academics may argue as a tautology. Still it is better be safe than sorry.

약을 복용하다 = Lit. to medicate the drug by mouth (orally)

(2) For non-oral medication, maybe just use 사용하다 or 쓰다, use or 투여하다 administer etc.


이 약'을' 매일 복용하세요 입니다 '은' 이 아니예요


Duolingo adds Korean language courses for native Japanese speakers. And I encountered a problem similar to this there.


"シャンプーはどこで買いますか?(Where do you buy shampoo?)", The model answer is "샴푸는 어디에서 사요?"

Actually, the subject "you" has been omitted from the sentence "あなたはシャンプーをどこで買いますか? (당신은 샴푸를 어디에서 사요?)"

As a result of omitting the subject, the object "shampoo" starts to act like the subject.

The reason why this happens is that the Japanese syntax is S+C+V, and when the subject is omitted, the object comes to the position of the subject.

Korean is a language very similar to Japanese, so it may be easier to understand the 을/를 and 은/는 problems if you think of them as similar phenomena.


Yes, That can be a rule :/

But in everyday life, we usually skip the subject. If the subject is omitted and the person you are asking or talking to clearly exists, the subject can be omitted, but the meaning is not so distorted.

'당신은' is kinda polite word, so this sentence have to be '당신은 샴푸를 어디에서 사나요?'

BTW! That one give some different feelings. '샴푸는 어디에서 사요?' = Where can I get shampoo? (Soft feels, looks like some kind people that wants 'shampoo') '당신은 샴푸를 어디에서 사나요?' = Where do you buy shampoo? (Hard feels) (Asking 'You' 'Where' do 'you' buy shampoo)

The sentence feels different with one subject, isn't it! More friendly with no subject, more unfriendly with subjects

So I don't think we need to change that :3 I think they're just teaching you more everyday words. I hope I can learn Japanese in Korean at Duolingo too!!

As you said, Korean and Japanese grammar are the same, so if you learn words and conjunctions, you can learn them easily! You are doing great, cheer up :3!!!!!!


Thanks for the detailed explanation about the change in nuance with/without the subject.

My intention is to show that when 은/는 is used where 을/를 should be used, it may be better to take it as a sign that the object is being treated like a subject, so that the meaning of the sentence can be understood more deeply. This is because foreign learners unfamiliar with S+O+V syntax may simply take 을/를 and 은/는 to be interchangeable topic markers.

Since the grammar is generally based on European languages, the subject is supposed to be the actor of the predicate, but in languages like Korean and Japanese, where the subject seems to be frequently lost, sticking to that principle can be difficult to understand. Shampoo (the person named) buys it? Or does he buy shampoo? Hahaha


Kkkkkk That's right It may be unfamiliar to people who are new to Korean or Japanese, but it will be okay because there is no problem communicating.

The guy named Shampoo So Shampoo buy shampoo and shampoos with shampoo lol

It can be a thing...

Q. Hey Shampoo where do you buy something?

A. Market


이 약은 is "this medicine is" 이 약을 is correct.


"이 약은" means "As to this medicine".

은/는 are topic markers, not subject markers. They are used to highlight (/putting emphasis on) the theme of the sentence and in this case, "약" - the direct object.

"이 약은 매일 복용하세요." = As to this medicine, take it every day. [ => Take this medicine every day. (By inference) ]

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