뭐 (mwo)… [what] And Other Ways to Ask Questions | [Grammar of the Week]

안녕하세요!

So last week we talked about greetings. We talked about how to properly greet people, how to address people and a few other topics that many of you have asked about. Now, we’re moving on to another familiar word that you probably didn’t know what a full grammar topic. I’ve talked about this briefly before and never went into much detail. At the time, I didn’t know there was more to it than it actually was. However, 뭐 (mwo) and 무슨 (museun) are actually pretty in depth.

Let’s get started!

We’re obviously talking about asking questions. “What do you like?”, “What do you want?”, “What are you doing?”, etc. This is a relatively simple process. The need for differentiating between the two different ways to say “what” falls somewhere in that process. Of course we did talk about this before… (this isn’t Déjà vu) but we will still look at it again as we begin the process of asking questions that will lead to a conversation… hopefully.

Let’s start with the difference as a refresher:

뭐 (mwo) | “what”

  • “What are doing?”

무슨 (museun) | “what”

  • used in front of the noun that you are asking about and means “what (kind of)?”
  • 뭐 can’t be used here because “what” and “what (kind of)?” are two different questions being asked
  • “What kind of book are you reading?”

Again, this is just a quick refresher for the week. We’re going to be look at ways to ask questions all week using verbs we’ve used a lot!

i.e.,

  •  “What are you doing?”
    • 뭐 해?
    • 뭐 하세요?
    • 뭐 하시니?
    • 뭐 하시냐?
  • “What movie?”
    • 무슨 영화를 봤니?
      • “What kind of movie did you watch?”
      • implies the genre, topic, etc.
      • specific details about this type of movie
    • 뭐 영화를 봤니?
      • “What movie did you watch?”
      • implies name of film

Alright this will probably be a bit repetitious for some but if you’re trying to strike up conversations this will be probably be extremely helpful for you!

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