-ㄴ/는지 whether or not
August 25, 2009 by tailieutienghan
-ㄴ/는지 (-n/neunji) is a grammatical structure which can be translated as “whether or not.” This construction is used in contexts of gaining information, or conveying information gathered.
When used in an interrogative context, it is used to discover new information.
When used in the imperative context, it is used to discover information.
When used in the affirmative context, it is used to convey information gathered.
It attaches to verbs (both descriptive and action) and is typically followed cognitive verbs (알다 – to know, 모르다 -to not know), information verbs (확인하다 – to check, 조사하다 – examine, etc.), or speaking verbs (묻다 – to ask, 말 하다 – to say).
Typically this construction is applied twice to a single verb/noun and another option (which is typically the opposite). However, often, the other option is dropped, and implied.
Verb Stem + -ㄴ/는지 + [cognitive/speaking/information verb]
[Conjugation differs slightly [according to the verb stem.]
1.Verb Stem that ends in a vowel + ㄴ지
바쁘다 (bappeuda) – to be busy
바쁘 – verb stem
바쁘 + ㄴ지 + [cognitive/speaking/information verb]
바쁜지 + [cognitive/speaking/information verb]
바쁜지 안 바쁜지 알아? (bappeunji an bappeunji ara?)
Do you know whether (he) is busy or not?
2.Verb Stem that ends in a consonant + 는지
괜찮다 (gwenchanta) – to be alright
괜찮 – verb stem
괜찮 + 는지 + [cognitive/speaking/information verb]
괜찮는지 + [cognitive/speaking/information verb]
괜찮는지 안 괜찮는지 몰라요. (gwenchanhneunji an gwenchanhneunji mollayo.)
I don't know whether (it) is good or not.
3.Nouns + 인지
책 (chaek) – book
책 + 인지 + [cognitive/speaking/information verb]
이거 책인지 잡지인지 알아봐. (igeo chaek-inji japji-inji arabwa.)
In this scenario 인지 is actually the copula 이다 (ida) conjugated by construction #1.
1.그 사람 좋은지 안 좋은지 몰라.
I don't know whether that person is good or not.
2.그 사람 좋으지 몰라.
I don't know whether that person is good (or not).
3.저 아가씨한테 시간 있는지 물어 보자.
Ask that young woman whether she has some free time (or not).
4.냉장고 안에 먹을 것이 있는지 모르겠어요.
I don't know whether there's something to eat (or not).
5.이것이 스페인어인지, 프랑스인지 모르겠어요.
I don't know whether this is Spanish or French.
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