Episode from the podcastTalk To Me In Korean

TTMIK Level 5 Lesson 27

Released Monday, 27th June 2011
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Level 5 Lesson 27 / -잖아(요) / You know, Isn't it, You see..., Come on...

In this lesson, we are looking at a very popular verb ending in Korean, -잖아(요) [-ja-na(-yo)]. -잖아(요) is used in various contexts and therefore has various meanings, but you can use -잖아요 most commonly when you want to ask the other person to agree with you or when you are correcting the other person's remark.

Meaning of -잖아(요)

- 잖아(요) originally comes from the structure -지 않아(요) (Go to Level 1 Lesson 21 to review on this grammar point.), which means "to not + Verb", but now has an indepenent meaning is that quite different from the original form.

When you attach -잖아(요) at the end of a verb stem, the sentence takes the meaning of "You see?" "No, that's not true. In fact, ..." "Come on, ..." etc. So you can use this structure when you are correcting what someone else said or insisting that what you are saying or have said is correct. You can also sometimes use -잖아(요) when you are providing an excuse or a reason for something.

Verb stem + -잖아 (Casual form)
Verb stem + -잖아요 (Formal form)
Verb stem + -잖습니까 (Most formal form)

Past Tense
Verb stem + -았/었/였 + -잖아(요)

Future Tense
Verb stem + -(으)ㄹ 거 + -잖아(요)

Examples and comparisons with -지 않아(요)

1. 춥다 [chup-da] = to be cold

Plain present tense: 추워요. [chu-wo-yo.]
Verb stem: 춥 [chup]

-잖아(요) form: 춥잖아요. [chup-ja-na-yo.]
= Come on, it's cold.
= You see? It's cold.
= No, that's not true. It's cold!

-지 않아(요) form: 춥지 않아요. [chup-ji a-na-yo.]
= It is not cold.

2. 하다 [ha-da] = to do

Plain present tense: 해요. [hae-yo.]
Verb stem: 하 [ha]

-잖아(요) form: 하잖아요. [ha-ja-na-yo.]
= You see that I'm doing it now.
= No, that's not correct. I do.
= I'm doing it now. Give me a break.

-지 않아(요) form: 하지 않아요. [ha-ja a-na-yo.]
= I do not do it.

Sample sentences
1. 어제 말했잖아요.
[eo-je ma-raet-ja-na-yo.]
= I told you yesterday! (Don't you remember?)
= Come on. I told you yesterday (already).

2. 귀엽잖아요.
= Because it's cute!
= You see? It's cute!
= Isn't it obvious why? It's cute!

3. 어차피 내일도 시간 있잖아요.
[eo-cha-pi nae-il-do si-gan it-ja-na-yo.]
= We have time tomorrow, too, anyway. Give me a break.
= Don't you see that we also have time tomorrow?
= Why not? We still have time tomorrow, right?

4. 오늘 일요일이잖아요.
[o-neul i-ryo-i-ri-ja-na-yo.]
= Come on. It's Sunday today.
= It's because it's Sunday today!

5. 알잖아.
= Come on. You know.
= You know exactly (what I am talking about).
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