This week we’re learning with SHINee’s popular song, ‘Lucifer’!

Our first phrase is…

널 처음 봤을때
(Neol cheo-eum bwa-sseul-ttae)

– a contraction of 너를. means ‘you’ and is an object marking particle; this just means it points out the object of the sentence.
처음 – This means ‘first’.
봤을때 – This is less easily translated because we have to understand a few grammar points first. The construction ㄹ/을때 means something along the lines of ‘the time when…’. It must be preceded by a verb. 보다 is the Korean verb ‘to see’. In Korean, we can also have a past tense verb stem… technically. If 보다 becomes 봤어요 in the past tense, it’s past tense verb stem is -. When we add our two components together, we get 봤을때, meaning ‘the time I/you/he/they/etc saw’.
Can you figure out what this phrase means now? The translation is, ‘The first time I saw you.’

 

Our next phrase is…

사랑이었다면

(sa-rang i-ot-da-myeon)

사랑 – Many, if not all, of you might be familiar with this word! This is the noun that means ‘love’.

We’ll need to break down the next part of the phrase as one. 이다 means ‘to be’ and this is where ‘이에요‘ and ‘예요’ come from. Eg.) 책이에요/편지예요 (chaek-i-e-yo/pyeon-ji-ye-yo), ‘It is a book/It is a letter‘. In the past tense, this conjugates to ‘이었어요/였어요‘ (i-oss-o-yo/yoss-o-yo). Since 사랑 ends with a consonant, here we will use 이었어요. When we add 다면, this will give the meaning of ‘if’.

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Do you know how to translate this phrase now? Looking at the whole phrase, we get ‘If it was love.’

Here are some more simple examples and reading practice using the grammar learnt in this lesson. If you are not sure of any of the vocabulary, make sure you look it up and make a note of it. For speaking practice, say these out loud. To challenge yourself more you could try finishing the first two sentences and even create your own responses to the last two sentences.

런던에서 살았을때

돈을 있다면

갔을때 사람이 많았어요?

지금 시간이 없다면 내일 가자.

When I lived in London

If I have money

When you went was it busy?

If you don’t have time now, let’s go tomorrow.

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