Level 6 Korean Grammar

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1

How about …? / ~ 어때요?

2

What do you think about …? / 어떻게 생각하세요? / 어떤 것 같아요?

3

One of the most … / 가장 ~ 중의 하나

4

Do you mind if I …? / -아/어/여도 돼요?

5

I’m in the middle of …-ing / -는 중이에요

6

Word Builder Lesson 9 / -님

7

One way or the other / 어차피

8

I’m not sure if … / -(으/느)ㄴ지 잘 모르겠어요.

9

While you are at it / -(으)ㄴ/는 김에

10

Sentence Building Drill 6

11

I mean… / 그러니까, 제 말 뜻은, -라고요, 말이에요

12

What do you mean? What does that mean? / 무슨 말이에요?

13

Word Builder 10 - 과(過)

14

“/ (slash)” or“and” / -(으)ㄹ 겸

15

The thing that is called, what they call … / -(이)라는 것

16

Suffix -겠-

17

let me tell you… / -거든(요)

18

Either A or B, Or / -거나, -(이)나, 아니면

19

To improve, to change, to increase / -아/어/여지다 Part 2

20

Sentence Building Drill 7

21

Passive Voice – Part 1

22

Word Builder 11 / 무 (無)

23

Passive Voice – Part 2

24

I DID do it, I DO like it / -기는 하다

25

Easy/difficult to + V / -기 쉽다/어렵다

26

I thought I would …, I didn’t think you would … / -(으)ㄴ/ㄹ 줄 알다

27

Can, to be able to, to know how to / -(으)ㄹ 수 있다, -(으)ㄹ 줄 알다

28

It depends on … / -에 따라 달라요

29

Sometimes I do this, sometimes I do that / 어떨 때는 -고, 어떨 때는 -아/어/여요

30

Sentence Building Drill 8

What do you mean? What does that mean? / 무슨 말이에요?

안녕하세요! In our previous lesson, 경은 and 현우 explained how to say “I mean…” in 4 different ways in Korean. Now that you know how to explain what you mean, how do you ask someone else what he/she means? Have no fear, that’s why this lesson is here! Learn how to ask “what do you mean?”, “what does that mean?”, and “what’s that supposed to mean?”

In the previous lesson, we introduced the phrase “I mean...” and some various ways to use it in Korean. In this lesson, let’s take a look at how to ask someone in Korean, “what do you mean?”, “what does that mean?”, or “what’s that supposed to mean?” when you can’t believe what you’ve just heard or when you don’t understand someone’s remark or point very well.


무슨 말이에요?

= What do you mean?

= What’s that supposed to mean? 

= What does that mean?

= What are you talking about?


“무엇” and “뭐” mean the same thing, and if you want to make it into an adjective, you would say “무슨”.


무슨 means “what kind of” or “which” and 말 means “word” or “language”. Therefore, 무슨 말 means “what word”, “which word”, or “what kind of things (to be said or written)”.


무슨 말이에요? literally means, “what word/language is it?”, but it is more correctly translated as, “What do you mean?” You can use 무슨 말이에요? when you are in disbelief after you hear someone say something or when you have not clearly understood what they mean.


Between friends, you can say, “무슨 말이야?”


Ex)

A: 카메라 팔 거예요. (I’m going to sell my camera.)

B: 무슨 말이에요? 카메라도 없잖아요. (What do you mean? You don’t even have a camera!)



무슨 소리예요?


무슨 소리예요? is the same as 무슨 말이에요? but it is less formal and less polite. Therefore, it is not advised to use it with someone older than you or someone to whom you’re supposed to be polite. This is because 말 means “words”, but 소리 means “sounds”. You don’t want to refer to the words of the other person as mere “sounds”. You can use 무슨 소리예요? more safely, however, when you are literally saying “What’s that sound?”


무슨 말씀이세요?


In Korean, there are many ways of making a phrase “honorific”, and one of the ways is to use “honorific” nouns. 말씀 is the honorific version of 말.


How to Literally Ask, “What does this mean?”


As we’ve introduced in the previous lesson, when you want to LITERALLY ask what a certain expression means, you can use the expression “무슨 뜻이에요?”


Sample Sentences


네? 그게 무슨 말이에요?

= What? What do you mean?

= Huh? What does THAT mean?


그만둘 거라고요? 갑자기 무슨 말이에요?

= You are going to quit? What do you mean all of a sudden?


무슨 말이에요? 제가 왜요?

= What do you mean? Why (do) I (have to...)? 

= What do you mean? Why me?


무슨 말인지 잘 모르겠어요.

= I’m not sure what you mean.

= I don’t know what you are talking about.


무슨 말인지 알겠어요.

= I know what you mean.

= I understand what you are saying.

안녕하세요! In our previous lesson, 경은 and 현우 explained how to say “I mean…” in 4 different ways in Korean. Now that you know how to explain what you mean, how do you ask someone else what he/she means? Have no fear, that’s why this lesson is here! Learn how to ask “what do you mean?”, “what does that mean?”, and “what’s that supposed to mean?”
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