KGYSAK: 어린이 vs 어른

I'm not that great at distinguishing 어 and 오 when I speak and to a lesser extent 이 and 으. I'm also not that great at properly pronouncing words with ㄹ which kind of limits my level of clarity for anyone to listen to what I have to say. I know. it'll get better with practice. In the meantime, I'm mushmouth extraordinaire.

One thing that always, for whatever reason, confuses me is the difference between 어린이 and 어른. Ironically, they could not be more opposite in meaning, standing for "young" and "old" respectively. If 어른 has the subject marker, it's 어른이, of course. Which to me sounds a lot like 어린이 when I speak. Course, if 어린이 has the subject marker, it's all gravy: 어린이가. So how do I remember the difference?

어린이 always has the 이 ending attached to it. It's part of the definition. That kind of reminds me of the 이 ending the we use to address kids. Think about calling someone 소연. If they were just a kid, you'd call them 소연이~ right?

I have an awful mnemonic for 어른. Okay, so little kids are always running around and standing up cause they have so much energy, right? Well, the ㅣ in 린 is like a person standing up. The ㅡ in 른 is like a prerson laying down, right? Like an older person lays down to rest. So the ㅡ in 어른 makes me think of an older person taking a nap. Am I bad for saying this?

Anyway, I feel bad for the borderline ageism but hey if it confused you before, you'd surely remember it from now on. Thus ends another entry for Korean Grammar You Should Already Know.

2 Responses to “KGYSAK: 어린이 vs 어른”

caldevera said...

Hello, i just started reading your blog. it's really helpful. your way of differentiating the two is really quite entertaining and actually helpful. ㅡ- sleeping person. ㅣ-active kids. i like it. thanks. more power to your blog!

Matthew Smith said...

Thanks for such a nice comment! Drop by anytime~