Grammar point: -다가

Some notes from today’s language exchange. I thought it might help some people 🙂

Meaning: first… Then…
Usage: when one action interrupts another.

-다가 vs. -부터
-부터 can also be used to rank things time-wise. For instance, first you travel to Seoul then continue to Busan. However, the two are different in that when using -부터, the first point on your to-do list is completed before moving on to the next. That is not the case when using -다가.

That leads us to…

Interruption vs. Concurrent events
-을 때 is used for two actions that take place at the same time without interrupting each other. For instance you speak with someone while sharing a meal.
-다가 is used when one action stops because of the other. For instance, you leave the dinner table to answer the phone in another room.

Practicing giving directions and including the occasional -다가:
Giving directions is a time when -다가 can be used naturally in a conversation. At some point you will stop going straight to make a turn or change mode of transportation.

Giving directions is something that I have not been comfortable with so today we practiced.

편의점에 어떻게 가요?
쭉 가다가 왼쪽으로 꺾으면 오른쪽에 약국 옆에 있어요.

주차장에 어떻게 가요?
사거리 지나서 쭉 가다가 왼쪽에 우체국 다음에 있어요

백화점에 어떻게 가요?
쭉 가다가 사진관 지나서 오른쪽을 꺾으면 오른쪽에 은행 맞은편에 있어요

Useful words:
사거리 ~ intersection
지나다 ~ to pass
건너다 ~ to cross (intersection / bridge)
꺾다 ~ to make a turn
맞은편에 ~ across the street

Remembering 오른쪽 from 왼쪽:
My language partner shared a way to remember which is left and which is right: In English “right” has one more letter than “left”. The same goes for Korean where “right” has one more syllable than “left”.


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