1.1 Summer 2019

July 18, Surprise

I have been waiting my whole life to learn this verb tense. An entire tense to express surprise. Also useful for insulting people (wow, you used to be handsome).

Korean grammar is incredibly different from English: verbs come last and pronouns are a luxury. Adjectives are actually verbs and the equivalent of “to have” doesn’t have a direct object in Korean, just a main and sub subject.

There are two counting systems that are not interchangeable but used together. Every number of items requires its own counter word (3 bottles of beer, 2 glasses of water, 5 animal-counter of animals, 4 persons of people, 1 line of sushi, 10 sheets of CDs). There is a counter that is for only a full pizza but doesn’t apply to slices of pizza or any other round food like pie.

The verb tense ending changes to match the politeness level required of the situation: is the listener older, younger, a friend, your manager? In fact, Korean has 7 speech levels; on a daily basis I use around three.

As such, Korean is listed by the US Department of State as a level 4 language: the hardest to learn for English speakers. This category only includes Arabic, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.

But to quote a meme, l just think it’s neat.

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