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갑과을

Discussion in '한국어 (Korean)' started by slowlikemolasses, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. slowlikemolasses Senior Member

    English - US
    When, outside of contracts, is the phrase 갑과을 most commonly used?
     
  2. Kross

    Kross Senior Member

    S.Korea
    Korean
    Hi, slowlikemolasses

    It is interesting for you to ask about 갑과 을 because the phrase is currently one of the hottest key words in the Korea society. It is basically a business term. As you know, it is used to describe a stronger(갑)-weaker(을) relationship. Some of 갑 companies sometimes treat 을 companies unfairly to boost their financial profits. So the government has begun to look into the domestic business world and punished some bad 갑 companies recently. That’s why the phrase can be heard very often on TV nowadays. The basic concept of 갑과 을 relationship telling who has more power and who has less power can be applied to any similar situations. I mean that there has to be only more than two groups(people) in a 갑과 을 relationship. For example, in couples, it is ideal for each of them to love each other equally. But in reality that can be hardly found. While one of the couple who has more power (meaning that somebody love his/her fiancé less) is 갑, the other who has less power (meaning that somebody loves his/her fiancé more) is 을. In a family, someone who brings home the bacon can be called 갑. The rest is 을. 갑s in my examples don’t have to be bad. There are as many good 갑s as bad ones out there. ^^

    There is one thing to add. There two kinds of 갑s: 갑 “normal 갑” and 슈퍼갑 “super 갑”. 갑 can be a thing or a person, i.e., a company that makes a decent profit and has a impact on the business world. 슈퍼갑 is much higher than 갑. It can be used only when we refer to strongest things or people such as Samsung Electronics, Bill Gates etc. In other words, it indicates something/someone standing on the top of “food chains”.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  3. slowlikemolasses Senior Member

    English - US
    Would it be impolite to use 갑과 을 in front of a couple with a large disparity in their income?
     
  4. Kross

    Kross Senior Member

    S.Korea
    Korean
    Do you mean to use the phrase in front of the couple, indicating who is 갑 or 을 between them? Since it can be interpreted as insulting, I guess it would be safe and polite not to use it.

    Young people have recently started to use ~갑이다 as a verb to indicate someone/something is the best in a category. (It is informal.) For example, when 짬뽕 in a restaurant tastes best around someone’s place, we say, “그 가게 짬뽕이 갑이다.”
     

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