Wednesday, March 23, 2011


If you have not been through freezing cold, you ain't going to smell the fragrance of plum blossoms. It's time now to go out and view the plum blossoms.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"조차"와 "마저"의 차이

My friend asked, "What's the difference between "조차" and "마저"?"

I thought I know but I actually don't. So I checked up some reference books and here is what I have learned.

"조차" and "마저" can only be used in negative situation. "조차" can be substituted with "마저" but the reverse is not always true. Their main difference is, "조차" can only be used in negative sentence (부정문, 否定文) while "마저" can be used in both negative and positive sentence (긍정문, 肯定文).


1. 그 학생은 노래조차 못 불러 (O)
2. 그 학생은 노래마저 못 불러 (O)

Explanation: In 1 and 2, the negative situation mentioned is the inability to even sing a song properly. Also, both sentences are considered negative sentences because they end with "못 불러". Since both situation and sentence are negative, "조차" and "마저" can be used interchangeably.

3. 추운데 바람조차 부네요 (X)
4. 추운데 바람마저 부네요 (O)

Explanation: In 3 and 4, the negative situation mentioned is the wind blowing during cold weather. However, quite different from 1 and 2, 3 and 4 end with "부네요" which makes them positive sentences. Under such circumstance, "조차" cannot be used. What comes after "조차" are always negative things like "못", "않다", "지 않다", "없다", "힘들다", "죽다" etc.

A quick-fix remedy is available for people who cannot differentiate both. Just use "까지". You can replace "조차" and "마저" in 1-4 and they are still grammatically correct. Furthermore, "까지" can also be used in positive situation which I'm not elaborating.

This quick-fix remedy reminds me of something which my teacher "said. If you don't know the correct usage of "(으)로서" and "(으)로써", you can always circumvent the problem by using (으)로".