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  5. "약사에게 약을 사세요."

"약사에게 약을 사세요."

Translation:Buy the medicine from the pharmacist.

November 27, 2017



Why isnt it -에게서?


-에게 — Dative particle. Dative nouns indicate indirect objects. Context in case-rich languages provides a lot of nuance, negating the need for explicit phrasing including consistent use of pre/postpositions. Lative particle — "To" case. See below. It contrasts the Ablative. Where it can mean "to" it can be less cleanly the indirect object but clear direct objects are 를, 이/가, or 는. (in that order of frequency, from what I understand and can explain without making a dissertation level argument on some less settled points that one doesn't need to care about to be highly fluent but that you may find people disagree on)

-에게서 — Ablative particle specifically. "From" case. Here it adds specifity where the broader Dative isn't clear enough and pre/postpositions aren't wanted/in common use.

-에서 — Ablative particle more commonly. Locative particle — Where something takes place without directionality. (X is at/in/on Y{에서} but not X is going to/in/on Y)

-에 — In spoken Korean this can replace all of the above as long as things are clear enough without the finer distinctions. This is similar to particle dropping in the other cases.

Bonus examples from English: English Dative - whom? him/her/them etc. English Locative - where? here/there English Lative - whither? hither/thither English Ablative - whence? hence/thence


WOW! that's over my head, but thank you for the explaination. I bet if I translate 에게 as "from" in another sentence, Duolingo will mark it as wrong.


I appreciate this kind of case thinking.

I would like to note most importantly that -이/가 is not the direct object case, but subject case. (I know subjects as "nominative case" and direct objects as "accusative case" from Latin.) Direct object case is -을/를 but subject case (-이/가) is the opposite of the direct object case. That's really important and completely uncontroversial as far as I know; no dissertation level arguments required.

(-은/는 might require a dissertation level argument, so I'll just note that something thus marked can be the subject of the verb, a direct object, or even a locative, but the marking does not mark it as such--which is why I think it's something else entirely, but that's just my opinion.)

Below are some notes where I'm less certain about the correct terminology.

I would've thought Lative to be (usually) expressed with -에 (for verbs of motion). 저는 학교 가요. (I go to school.) Isn't that what Lative means? Regardless, -에 is often for destinations of verbs motion. (There are others like (으)로 - direction of verbs of motion, or 까지 - not sure how to describe it, maybe as a limit of motion or expanse.)

Then I would divide Ablative into opposite of Dative and opposite of Lative (or whatever -에 is in 학교에 가요). If it's the opposite of Dative (-에게) then it's -에게서, and if it's the opposite of Lative (-에) then it's -에서 (either way you add -서). In both cases it's an opposite similar to how English To/From are opposites. But one is more about motion, and one is more about possession change/giving.

집에서 헉교에 가다 - To go from home (-에서) to school (-에). 나에게서 너에게 선물 - A gift from me (-에게서) to you (-에게).

(한테(서) may be more commonly used than 에게(서) by people who aren't walking textbooks, but I don't recall Duolingo having taught that.)

What confuses learners such as myself (at first) and many who have commented is that, where context is clear, Korean can use the -에게 to mean what 에게서 means even though it's normally "the opposite." The exercise provides an example: if you're buying medicine and the marked noun is pharmacist, then it's clear that the medicine is leaving the possession of the pharmacist (that you're buying it from the pharmacist), and so the 서 is left off and so learners think it means "to" instead of "from" or they feel like the exercises keep changing it up on them.

Another point of potential confusion is that the Ablative 에서 that I described is different from the locative case that you mentioned. Even a verb like running can use it to mean the locative sense (running in the park) or an ablative sense (running from the park), although the impression I get is that unless there's a destination or direction specified outside the park, it will mean locative (in the park and not from the park). (You'd probably use 멀리 + 에 or 로 to express running "from" something although it would literally be running to/toward the far away. Or some similar construction with a different choice from 멀리 if you're not as desperate to leave quickly. But this is guesswork on my part.)

For locative, it's important to note that descriptive or stative verbs (e.g. "to be smart"/똑똑하다 or "to live" 살다) will require -에 as the locative case marker, while action verbs (e.g. to eat/먹다) will require -에서 (but often this will be just 에 in spoken Korean).

Not mentioned yet, only mentioning because this is one of my favorite: -(으)로 - Instrumental case (in Latin this falls under ablative). Example: 손으로 먹다 - to eat with your hands. Also, lative (?) case, indicating direction but not necessarily destination. 복쪽으로 가다, to go north; 타워로 가다, to go in the direction of the tower (not necessarily with any intention of arriving at the tower).

Finally, even with pronouns, English cases aren't are generally not distinguished in the form of the word, except between subject/nominative, possessive, and "oblique" (just about everything else). Thus whom/him/her/them can be any of the cases except possessive and subject/nominative.

  • "Whom did you see?" "I saw him." (Accusative/direct object)
  • "To whom did you give the money?" "I gave them the money." (Dative/indirect object.)
  • "By whom do you swear?" "I swear by her." "I swear... by Jove!" (I believe this would be Ablative in Latin but I think it's more specifically Instrumental case.)


I thought 에게 meant "to" but in this sentence it is translated to "from"? What's going on here?!



에 stands for "at"

게 is used to denote animate objects (people or animals). In this case, the pharmacist.

약사-에게 = at the pharmacist's

[Focus: the pharmacist, the person.

약국-에서 = at the pharmacy. Focus: the pharmacy, the store/inanimate object.]

약사에게 약을 사세요 = buy the medicine at the pharmacist's

=> buy the medicine from the pharmacist

에게 has a wide range of meaning which is determined usually by the verb in use.


Interesting to see -에게 meaning from in English.


Why is "buy (the) medicines from the pharmacist" wrong?


Medicine is the plural of medicine - kind of like sheep is the plural of sheep and fish is the plural of fish


I think medicine can be used both as a collective noun (uncountable) or as a singular noun (countable).

As a collective noun, medicine means "all drugs". Plural: medicine.

As a singular noun, medicine means "a specific drug". In this case, its plural will be medicines i.e. different/various drugs.


藥師에게 藥을 사세요.


"Buy 'A' medicine from the pharmacist" was also marked wrong. Flagged 12/5/20.


What kind of medicine? What is it supposed to cure? It should be "buy the medicine from the pharmacist" because the speaker is talking about that specific medicine


Just curious, could this also mean: "Buy some medicine FOR the pharmacist." ?


Buy some medicine for the pharmacist = 약사를 위해 약을 좀 사주세요 / 사세요

N를 위해 = for N

[See example: 아이를 위해 = For a child]


약사에게 약사 엌ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

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