Korean Lesson 19: Someone, anyone, no-one.

In this lesson we are going to learn about the pronouns some…, any… and no-… which will help us build longer, more complicated sentences in Korean and also improve our fluency.

In brief there are 3 types of prefix in English for indefinite pronouns: some/any/no-.  In Korean it is similar but they are all suffixes (they come after the word).

They are: -n ga/-na/-do -ㄴ 가 / 나 / 도

Let’s look at them one by one in depth then compare at the end.



We must use the question words and add -n ga: -ㄴ 가

mwo = what / mwon ga = something 뭔가 (Long version: muøshin ga 무엇인가)

ønje = when / ønjen ga = sometime/someday 언젠가

ødi = where / ødin ga-e = (to) somewhere 어딘가에

nugu = who / nugun ga = someone 누군가

e.g. nugun ga-rûl pogo ship’øyo – I want to see someone / 누군가를 보고 싶어요

ødinga-e ga kal kka haeyo – I am thinking of going somewhere (-l kka hada – to think about doing something)

어딘가에 갈 까 해요

naeil mwøn ga hal køeyo – I will do something tomorrow 내일 뭔가 할 거에요



Use ‘amu’ + ‘na’ 나

amuna – anyone 아무나

amugona – anything (go(t) = thing) 아무거나

amudena – anywhere (te = place) 아무데나

e.g. amuna kago ship’ø hae haeyo? – Does anyone want to go? 아무나 가고 싶어 해 해요?

amugona-ga issøyo? – Do you have anything? 아무거나 있어요?

amudena kal køeyo – I will go anywhere 아무데나 갈 거에요



Finally, to say the negative, use the ones for ‘any’ and replace the -na with -do: 도

amudo – no-one 아무도

amugotdo – nothing (got/kot = thing) 아무것도

amudedo – no-where (te/de = place) 아무데도

e.g. amudo-ga øpsøyo? – Is anyone there? (When returning home to an empty house) 아무도가 없어요?

amukotdo an mokgo ship’ø haessøyo – She didn’t want anything to eat 아무것도 안 먹고 싶어 했어요

amudedo-e an kassøyo – We didn’t go anywhere 아무데도 안 갔어요

NB In English we shouldn’t ever have a double negative. i.e. I am not going no-where.

We say ‘I am not going anywhere’ or ‘I am going nowhere’.  This has led to difficulties for me to translate the sentences above.  Basically, if the meaning is positive: use the -na words.  If it is negative: use the -do words.

I am going no-where = amudedo an kassøyo / 아무데도 안 갔어요

I am not going anywhere = amudedo an kassøyo / 아무데도 안 갔어요

BUT I will go anywhere = amudena kal køeyo / 아무데나 갈 거에요

I have nothing = amugotdo-ga øpsøyo / 아무것도가 없어요

I don’t have anything = amugotdo-ga øpsøyo / 아무것도가 없어요

BUT I will have anything = amugona-ga issûl køeyo 아무거나가 있을 거에요

I know no-one here = yøgi amudo møllayo / 여기 아무도 멀라요

I don’t know anyone here = yøgi amudo møllayo / 여기 아무도 멀라요

BUT I will chat to anyone at the party = p’at’i-esø amuna-hante iyagi hal køeyo / 파티에서 아무나한데 이야기 할 거에요

I hope those examples have helped to clear that difficult point up.  In closing:

Some = -n ga / -ㄴ 가

Any (+) = -na / 나

No…/Any (-) = -do / 도

mwon ga-rûl sa-go ship’øyo – I want to buy something / 뭔가를 사고 싶어요

amugona-rûl sal køeyo – I will buy anything / 아무거나 살 거에요

amugotdo-rûl an sassøyo – I bought nothing / I didn’t buy anything / 아무것도를 안 샀어요

Leave a comment or a sentence of your own for me to check!

Annyøngi kaseyo! 안녕히 가세요!


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