밖에 only/nothing but
August 22, 2009 by tailieutienghan
밖에 (bakke) is a word that literally means “outside,” and it can mean “besides,” or “other than.” Most of the time, when it's not used to literally indicate “outside” as in “outside the house,” we combine밖에 (bakke) with negative statements and it means “only” or “nothing but.” So it means “only” in conclusion, but it's unnatural to use it in a positive statement to express the meaning of “only.”
When we change the negative part of the sentence to positive, the particle -만 (man) can replace 밖에 (bakke), but not always. When implying that the number or the amount being mentioned is small or below expectations, Korean people tend to use 밖에 (bakke) rather than -만 (man), although 만 (man) is closer to the literal translation of the English word “only.”
이것 (igeot) – “this”
이것 + 밖에 = 이것 밖에 (igeot bakke) “only this”
이것 밖에 없어요.
igeot bakke eopseoyo.
“I only have this one.” / “This is all we have.”
- 저는 지금 1000원 밖에 없어요.
jeo-neun jigeum cheon-won bakke eopseoyo.
“I only have 1,000 won now.”
- 오늘은 저 밖에 안 왔어요.
oneul-eun jeo bakke an wasseoyo.
“Today, I'm the only one who came.”
- 이것 밖에 없어요?
igeot bakke eopseoyo?
“Is this all there is?”
- 이렇게 밖에 못 해요?
ireotke bakke mot haeyo?
“Is this your best?”
- 제 눈에는 민경 씨 밖에 안 보여요.
je nun-eneun mingyeong ssi bakke an boyeoyo.
“My eyes can only see you, Mingyeong.”
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