Episode from the podcastTalk To Me In Korean

TTMIK Level 7 Lesson 28

Released Thursday, 23rd February 2012
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In Level 6 Lesson 15, we looked at the structure -(이)라는 것, which can be used to express what you think is the definition or the nature of something. You can do the same with verbs, except with a slightly different structure.

Let’s review a little bit first.

Noun + -(이)라는 것
= What I call “Noun” is ...
= (I think that) “Noun” is …

평화라는 것은 …
= (I think that) Peace is …

우정이라는 것은 …
= (In my opinion, the nature of) Friendship is …

And in order to express the same thing with verbs, you need to use the structure, -(ㄴ/는)다는 것.

Verb stem + -(ㄴ/는)다는 것
-(ㄴ/는)다는 것 originally comes from -(ㄴ/는)다고 하는 것, which means “the thing that is called + Verb” and it is used to express what you think the definition or the nature of a certain action/state/verb.

배우다 = to learn
배우 + -ㄴ다는 것 --> 배운다는 것 = the act of learning
배운다는 것은 언제나 즐거운 일이에요. = Learning is always a pleasant thing to do.

살다 = to live
사 + -ㄴ다는 것 --> 산다는 것 = the act of living, life
외국에 산다는 것은 가끔 힘들 때도 있어요. = The nature of living overseas is that there are sometimes hard times.

** Sometimes, -(ㄴ/는)다는 것 can be combined with the following particle and shortened to -(느/는)다는 건 (combined with -은) or -(느/는)다는 게 (-이).

하다 --> 한다는 것이 = 한다는 게
하다 --> 한다는 것은 = 한다는 건

Sample Sentences
1. 혼자 공부한다는 것은 생각만큼 쉽지 않아요.
[hon-ja gong-bu-han-da-neun geo-seun saeng-gak-man-keum swip-ji a-na-yo.]
= Studying alone is not as easy as you think.

2. 주말에도 회사에 가야 한다는 건 정말 슬픈 일이에요.
[ju-ma-re-do hoe-sa-e ga-ya han-da-neun geon jeong-mal seul-peun i-ri-e-yo.]
= Having to go to work on the weekend is so sad.

3. 아이를 키운다는 건 참 힘든 일이에요.
[a-i-reul ki-un-da-neun geon cham him-deun i-ri-e-yo.]
= Raising a child is very tough.

4. 한국에서 유명한 가수가 된다는 건 정말 어려운 일이에요.
[han-gu-ge-seo yu-myeong-han ga-su-ga doen-da-neun geon jeong-mal eo-ryeo-un i-ri-e-yo.]
= Becoming a famous singer in Korea is a very difficult thing.

5. 장학금을 받는다는 것은 정말 대단한 일이에요.
[jang-hak-geu-meul bat-neun-da-neun geo-seun jeong-mal dae-da-nan i-ri-e-yo.]
= Receiving scholarship is (an) amazing (achievement).
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