"There is a pencil inside the box."
Translation:상자 안에는 연필이 있습니다.
This sentence is sort of like saying "As for inside the box, there is a pencil" as opposed to other sentences in this section that are more like "There is a pencil in the box". The 는 marks "In the box" as the subject and focus of the sentence. Perhaps earlier we were talking about what is on top of the box, but now the focus is on what's IN the box. I hope that clarified it and didn't make it more confusing!
The Korean grammar books gave me so much grief. Calling it a “subject” is it common in educational literature, and I’ve fallen for the confusion for the longest time. It doesn’t help that when some sentences are translated to English, the noun marked with 은/는 is indeed a subject—even if only in English.
Yeah, it's kind of weird. But you need to remember that "subject" in one sentence might not be the subject in the translation. As in Spanish "me gustas" => "I like you".
Your sentence "even if only in English" is the key here. Trying to learn Korean grammar using English grammar is the wrong way to go here.
Hi Aira, sorry, but you may be under a misimpression. A "noun" doesn't require a "subject marker" ( 이/가) unless it is functioning as the subject of the sentence. You won't find any nouns in the language followed by both a location and a subject or topic marker. Both Winter and Nick seem to be quite knowledgable in Korean (I believe Nick still lives there) so, their posts are pretty reliable.
Check out the responses of Winter and Nick. As stated for 안에는 the "는" is a "topic" marker, and "need" is a subjective judgment. In the English sentence, "I don't want your darn help", the word "darn" is "unnecessary" with regard to comunicating help isn't wanted, but it creates quite a different feeling / nuance / interpretation of what the speaker is really trying to say. The topic markers can change the nuance, and often how a sentence is interpreted (Interpretation and translation are definitely not synonyms) quite dramatically.