아무 and ~ㄴ가 [“any” + “some” in Korean] | (Grammar of the Week) + [Word of the Day]

안녕하세요!

Quick WOTD:

The WOTD today is actually in line with our topic today. The word is:

  •  모든 (modeun) | every

We will be talking about “every” all this week! But before we do anything else, let’s get into the Grammar of the Week!


So last week we talked about the word 아무 (amu). Today, we’re going back over it as there are a few things that I didn’t talk about then that I’ll be talking about today.

**Note:: The previous post has been amended to reflect that determiners do not work the same way in Korean as they do in English and therefore this post will not be about determiners until I learn more about the topic and a better way to explain it.**

Let’s start 아무 (amu).

Review:

When used as a positive expression:

  • add the suffix -나 (-na) and it becomes, “anybody; anyone; anything; anywhere”.
    • 아무나 (amuna) = anybody; anyone
    • 아무거나 (amugeona) = anything
    • 아무데나 (amudena) = anywhere

When used as a negative expression:

  • add the suffix -도 (-do) and it becomes, “nobody”
    • 아무도 (amudo) = nobody; no one
    • 아무것도 (amugeodo) = nothing
    • 아무데도 (amudedo) = nowhere

You may have noticed that for each of these, even though it means, “any” the endings are different. This is because, as you probably figured out, the endings change the meaning of the word.

For example:

  • 아무거나 (amugeona) which means “anything” vs 아무것도 (amugeodo) meaning “nothing”

Where did that come from?

  • 것 (geot) means “thing”
  • 나 (na) is the suffix added to show that the phrase is positive
  • 도 (do) is the suffix added to show that the phrase is negative

This also applies to 아무데나 (amudena) which means “anywhere” and 아무데도 (amudedo) which means “nowhere”.

  • 데 (de) meaning “place”
  • 나 (na) is the suffix added to show that the phrase is positive
  • 도 (do) is the suffix added to show that the phrase is negative

And now we’ll move on to 누군가 (nugunga).

We’ve already talked about “anything”, “anyone”, and “anywhere” but what about “someone”, “something”, and “somewhere”? To express these, you add ~ㄴ가 to “누구 ~ㄴ가 | who’”, “뭐 | what“, “언제 | when” and “어디 | where“.

  • ~ㄴ가 + 누구 = 누군가 (nugunga) | somebody
  • ~ㄴ가 + 뭐 = 뭔가 (mwonga) | something
  • ~ㄴ가 + 언제 = 언젠가 (eonjenga) | someday/sometime
  • ~ㄴ가 + 어디 = 어딘가 (eodinga) | somewhere

Examples:

아무

  • 아무도 신경 안 써. | “Nobody cares”
  • 우리는 아무데나 만날 수 있어. | “We can meet anywhere.”

~ㄴ가

  • 뭔가 일이야. | “Something happened.” or “Something’s wrong.”
  • 누군가가 여기에. | “Somebody’s here”

So that’s it for today! That was a lot of information but hopefully you’ll be able to use this in your conversations now with no worries!

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