이나/거나 in a question

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luoruosi

Senior Member
usa
english - america
I leaned to say "or" as "이나" for nouns and "거나" for verbs, but I was reviewing today and realized none of the example sentences were questions. Could I use them in a question like, "나가거나 집에 쉬고 싶어?". "혹은" and "또는" also don't seem to be used in questions. Was this just a coincidence that I'm not seeing these words/particles used in questions, or would it be unnatural to use them? If so how would I ask an "or" question in Korean, choosing between nouns and verbs. For example:
"Do you want to eat pizza or chicken?"
"Are you studying or sleeping?"
"Do you like listening to music or reading books?"
 
  • CharlesLee

    Member
    Korean
    Hello,

    "나가거나 집에 쉬고 싶어?" I'm sorry that sounds unnatural to me unfortunately. 'Or' can be used as '아니면', or '아님' too.

    So the suggested question can be alive as in "나가고 싶어 아니면 집에 쉬고 싶어?", or in a easy way, "나가고 싶어 집에 쉬고 싶어?"

    If one asks "Do you want to eat pizza or chicken?" in English, the Korean listeners get confused easily.

    "Do you want to eat pizza or chicken?" the question itself for Koreans like is the one asking my preference or suggesting eating???

    "Do you want to eat pizza or chicken?" can be translated from English into Korean 2 ways.

    "Do you want to eat pizza or chicken?" can be like "피자 먹을래 (아니면) 치킨 먹을래?" or "피자나 치킨 먹을래"?

    The latter question turned '이나' into '나' in the case. Both sentence can means completely different in Korean each situation.

    When the question sentence used as the first line of the dialogue, it focuses more on suggesting eating, and the situation includes

    asking preference
    too.

    "피자 먹을래 아니면 치킨 먹을래?" is a question sentence that the questioner asks the listener more likely to choose only 1

    between pizza and chicken or this sentence also can be used as a suggesting question.

    "피자 치킨 먹을래?" means the questioner focuses more on suggesting eating, and the situation includes asking

    preference
    too. The '이나' turned into ''.

    Exemplary dialogues )

    A : "피자나 치킨 먹을래?"
    B : "아니, 족발 먹을래." " I'd prefer 족발."

    A : "피자나 치킨 먹을래?"
    B : "응, 좋지. 치킨 먹자!" " Lovely, let's have chicken."

    A : "피자나 치킨 먹을래?"
    B : "아니, 좀전에 밥먹었어." " No, thanks. I had a meal a while ago."

    Given dialogues, it doesn't make sense in English? but when it translated in Korean, it still works.

    Oh, my deer, you have to choose 1 between 2. Then you should use 'which one' for Koreans so that they'd get it easier.

    "피자 먹거나 치킨 먹을래?" It sounds natural with 거나 but it's closer to suggesting eating rather than preference question when

    it was used as the first word out of the tongue, but it can be distinguished by Busan dialect speakers with intonation or

    accents easily.

    "피자 먹을래 치킨 먹을래?" have 2 different meanings for residents in Busan.

    "피자 먹을래? ↗ 치킨 먹을래?" ↗ the questioner focuses on suggesting eating usually with 애교.

    "피자 먹을래~~↘ 치킨 먹을래?" ↗ the questioner asks the listener to choose one between two.


    "Are you studying or sleeping?" I considered the question the progressive moment rather than the future tense one here.

    When expressed in the future tense question, the Korean's expression forms change. Ex) 공부할거야 잘거야?

    "공부중이야 아니면 자는 중이야?" "공부중이니 자는 중이니?" "공부하는 중이냐, 자는 중이냐?"

    "공부중이거나 자는 중이야?" It can sounds natural here with 거나.

    "Do you like listening to music or reading books?" "음악 듣거나 책읽기 중 뭐가 좋아?" "음악 듣는 게 좋아 책읽는 게 좋아?"

    "음악 듣기 책 읽기 중 뭐가 좋아?" "음악 듣기 책 읽기 중 뭐가 좋아?"

    "혹은" can be used perfectly in the noun phrase "음악 듣기 혹은 책 읽기 중 뭐가 좋아?" 혹은 can be alternative of '또는'.

    "피자 혹은 치킨 중 뭐가 좋니?"

    The Korean language is somehow like infinite. It's different from English.

    It can be also used easier ways like English.

    "피자 혹은 치킨?", "음악 듣기 혹은 책 읽기?", "공부 중 혹은 자는 중?"

    I hope it was helpful.

    Lee,
     
    Last edited:

    CharlesLee

    Member
    Korean
    Hello,

    I forgot explaining why "나가거나 집에 쉬고 싶어?" doesn't sound natural to me.

    So I hope this answer could satisfy you. "나가거나 집에 쉬고 싶어?" can be changed in the natural Korean by adding just ''

    after '집에'.

    "나가거나 집에 쉬고 싶어?" Now it sounds natural but the point of the question shows the wiliness of the questioner secretly.

    The question itself focuses on like "I wound't mind which way you choose.", "Which decision you make I'll follow you."

    because they are already either in the building or out of. Thus, the question fits with the situation when they are in the place

    where isn't home at the moment.

    "나가고 싶어 아님 집에서 쉬고 싶어?" This questioning example shows the speakers could be at home at the moment or not

    as I suggested earlier above.

    But "나가거나 집에서 쉬고 싶어?" sounds as though they are NOT in home but the other place somewhere maybe like

    in the pub, church, library, and restaurant, etc. In this case, the question itself for sure sounds natural to me.

    I hope it was helpful.

    Lee
     
    Last edited:

    luoruosi

    Senior Member
    usa
    english - america
    Hello,

    I forgot explaining why "나가거나 집에 쉬고 싶어?" doesn't sound natural to me.

    So I hope this answer could satisfy you. "나가거나 집에 쉬고 싶어?" can be changed in the natural Korean by adding just ''

    after '집에'.

    "나가거나 집에 쉬고 싶어?" Now it sounds natural but the point of the question shows the wiliness of the questioner secretly.

    The question itself focuses on like "I wound't mind which way you choose.", "Which decision you make I'll follow you."

    because they are already either in the building or out of. Thus, the question fits with the situation when they are in the place

    where isn't home at the moment.

    "나가고 싶어 아님 집에서 쉬고 싶어?" This questioning example shows the speakers could be at home at the moment or not

    as I suggested earlier above.

    But "나가거나 집에서 쉬고 싶어?" sounds as though they are NOT in home but the other place somewhere maybe like

    in the pub, church, library, and restaurant, etc. In this case, the question itself for sure sounds natural to me.

    I hope it was helpful.

    Lee
    Thank you for your very detailed answers. There's still a lot of grammar in there I don't quite understand yet, but I think I understand the basics of how it works now
     
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