meaning of "다"?
I've learned that "다" can be used to mean "every" or "all", p.e. "학생들이 다 먹었어요" = "All students ate." But it can also be used differently, p.e. "저는 라면을 다 먹었어요" which means "I ate all the ramen." How do i know how to translate or how to use "다" if it has 2 possible functions? How would I say "the students ate everything" using 다? [ If that is possible. I know there are other possibilities of saying "everything" or "all"]
학생들이 다 먹었어요 - The students ate it all.
다 학생들이 먹었어요 - All the students ate.
Your first sentence is correct. But the second one should be "모든 학생들이 먹었어요". They use "모든" with people.
Ah, I see. I think I should have removed the pronoun for it to make more sense. My understanding is that 다 can be used as a noun as well as an adverb. I'm going off what I've learned from TTMIK (Level 2, Lesson 29). Their example was:
책을 다 읽다 - He/She reads all of the book.
다 책을 읽다 - Everyone reads a book.
I get what you mean :D i've learned that 다 can be placed after a noun, p.e. 사람들이 다 갔어요. But 다 refers to the noun instead of the verb which is confusing because, to me, it would make much more sense if 다 refered to 갔어요 arghh