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Episode 33: Original meaning of ~줄 알다!


I’m pretty sure I’ve vaguely mentioned that I will be going back home for two weeks to finally have a bit of summer vacation. So I am writing this blog post from the balcony of my mom’s apartment right outside of the beach with a bowl of refreshing watermelon and the sound of the sea accompanying me :3 it’s OK guys, don’t be jealous. I haven’t left London the entire summer!

Last week we learnt a new and interesting concept of ~줄 아랐다 where it indicates that what you originally thought to be true ended up being false and you are admitting that. We don’t have such concept in English so I thought it would be a fun new thing to learn. However, we don’t want to forget that ~줄 알다 has an original meaning. So that’s what we will be learning today!

Placing ~ㄹ/을 줄 알다 after a verb will indicate that the speaker knows how to do the action of the verb. Here are a few examples:

김밥을 만들 줄 알아요- I know how to make kimbap 저는 그것을 할 줄 알아요- I know how to do that 한국말로 욕을 할 줄 알아요- I know how to swear in Korean 이 문제를 해결할 줄 알아요*- I know how to solve this problem

*This sentence has been corrected by a native Korean user on YouTube. I made a mistake while creating this example sentence in the video. You can see the original wrong sentence I made in the video but make sure to disregard it and learn this one instead. I want to take this situation as an example that everyone makes mistakes and that all of us are learning and that this is what happens when I try to make example sentences out of the blue :)

This concept is commonly used in a question form and you don’t have to change or add anything to the sentence in order to turn it around from a statement about yourself to a question towards someone else. Simply change the intonation of your voice when speaking or add a question mark at the end of the sentence when writing.

김밥을 만들 줄 알아요?- Do you know how to make kimbap? 그것을 할 줄 알아요?- Do you know how to do that? 한국말로 욕을 할 줄 알아요?- Do you know how to swear in Korean?

이 문제를 해결할 줄 알아요?- Do you know how to solve this problem?

I’ve mentioned in the blog post to the previous episode that 줄 is actually a noun, similar to 수 or 적 in a way that it can only be described by an adjective/verb in the ~는 것 form.

It is possible to create an opposite sentence to express that you don’t know how to do something. Just switch ‘알다’ to ’모르다’ and you are good to go.

김밥을 만들 줄 몰라요- I don’t know how to Make kimbap 저는 그것을 할 줄 몰라요- I don’t know how to do that 한국말로 욕을 할 줄 몰라요- I don’t know how to swear in Korean

이 문제를 해결할 줄 몰라요- I don't know how to solve this problem

The negative sentences can also be asked as questions, just like the positive sentences.

That is all for today. I’m not going to overwhelm you all too much. I will be taking next week off as I will be in Israel, visiting my family and the Internet connection there is atrocious so I physical ally will not be able to upload any videos. I will take that time off to relax and recover my energy for the academic year ahead of me and I suggest you guys do the same. Whether you have a job or you are not going on vacation, relax, take care of your body and soul. Always put yourself first. Much love, X

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