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position of postposition for the past tense

Discussion in '한국어 (Korean)' started by Listenever, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Listenever

    Listenever Senior Member

    It’s not easy to put where the postposition for past tense. For the example from Jane Eyre, where do we have to put the Korean postposition for past tense?

    . . . ,though it [a strange laugh] originated but in one [chamber], and I could have pointed out the door whence the accents issued. (Jane Eyre)

    “나는 어디서 그 소리가 흘러나오는지 가리킬 수 있었다.”
    “나는 어디서 그 소리가 흘러나오는지 가리켰을 수 있다.”
  2. vientito Senior Member

    that english sentence is clearly a hypothetical and conjectural instead of a simple past event so I think the second sentence is probably a better fit for that

    and what about 있었을 거? would that work as well?
  3. Listenever

    Listenever Senior Member

    Are you meaning '나는 어디서 그 소리가 흘러나오는지 가리킬 수 있었을 거다'?
  4. vientito Senior Member

    No I am saying the original second sentence...

    as for the other I suggested that might work.. I meant to change the first one by adding 있었을 걸 at the end... but that I am not too sure either
  5. alohaoe Member

    could have pointed

    1. 가리킬 수 있었다.
    "I could point."
    There is no implication about whether I actually pointed it or not.
    So, if you want all things to be clear, add "그러나 가리키지 않았다."
    If you add '도' to make "가르킬 수도 있었다.", then it emphasizes the equal possibilities that I could pointed it or not.
    By your speaking tone, it may even imply "I actually didn't pointed it.". Of course you can't make it appear in the written form.

    2. 가리켰을 수 있다
    "It stands good chance of my pointing out."
    Very similar meaning to 1 but somewhat analytic tone. stiff.
    So I would not translate into this one, because it's part of novel and the mood is very casual.
    If you don't want to miss out a single possibility or make an excuse, then say this.

    If I have to translate, I would say "가르킬 수 있었다." or "가르킬 수도 있었다."
    That would be enough in most cases.
    But when the fact that I actually didn't point comes important, I would add, "그러나 그러지 않았다."

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