-잖아 (했잖아)

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maghanish2

Senior Member
United States - English
안녕하세요!

I have been troubled by the ending -잖아 for quite some time now. I can't think of many example sentences, but it seems to be added on to many different verbs. For example, here is a sentence I found:

당신 항상 오페라 보러 가고 싶어 했잖아 = You always said you wanted to go see an opera?

However, sometimes it is not necessarily used in this manner. For example I think I've heard it in this manner too:

나한테 전화 안 했잖아 = You did not call me.

I am very confused as to what it means, and woudl greatly appreciate your help!

감사합니다 친구들!
 
  • DefactoAmbassador

    Member
    Korean
    I believe -잖아 makes the speaker sound accusatory. It's as if the speaker is daring the listener to contradict what he says. It can also signify the speaker's fervent belief in the truth of his statement, or his agitation at the event or the act that his statement is describing.
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Thanks DefactoAmbassador. Could you provide any example sentences? I'm pretty sure I understand. It's basically like the person saying "this is true and you know it" right? 고마워요!
     

    DefactoAmbassador

    Member
    Korean
    네가 틀렸다고 내가 벌써 말했잖아. 틀린짓을 왜 계속해?

    That would be translated as 'I said already that you were wrong. Why do you keep doing the wrong thing?'

    In the context in which I used the statement, the speaker was likely agitated that the person he was talking to did not listen to his advice even after he told the person that he was wrong.
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    어 이젠 그렇구나! 고맙습니다! I think I'll understand this more when people use it now.
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    I was also just thinking. Can you only used this ending with past tense verbs? For example, could you say:

    나 니가 그 음실을 먹고 싶잖아! = I want you to eat that food!

    Or would that be completely wrong?
     

    DefactoAmbassador

    Member
    Korean
    That would be wrong structurally. I think you should instead say something like:

    그 음식 먹으라고 내가 말했잖아! which would mean 'I told you to eat that food!'

    I don't think you can construct a sentence 'I want you to eat that food!' using a -잖아 ending suffix.

    Translating, 'I want you to eat that food!' would be '난 네가 그 음식 먹었으면 좋겠어!'

    lol horrible ><

    Well, I'm trying to translate it into a conversational statement. It's not the literal translation, but you'd get the idea. The exact translation is 'I would be happy if you ate that food!' which implies that you want the person to eat the food. I think my own limitation with Koreans is catching up. >_> Sorry.
     
    Last edited:

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    No your explanation makes total sense! Thank you!

    Would this be another acceptable translation:

    난 니가 그 음실을 먹은 걸 원해!

    고맙습니다! 네가 진짜 설명 잘해!
     

    DefactoAmbassador

    Member
    Korean
    난 니가 그 음을 먹은 걸 원해! should be 난 니가 그 음을 먹을걸 원해!

    Food is 음식, and 먹은걸 sounded like a past tense to me somehow, not compatible with the idea of your statement.
     

    Mallarme

    Senior Member
    AmEng., "lapsed" Korean
    안녕하세요!

    I have been troubled by the ending -잖아 for quite some time now. I can't think of many example sentences, but it seems to be added on to many different verbs. For example, here is a sentence I found:

    당신 항상 오페라 보러 가고 싶어 했잖아 = You always said you wanted to go see an opera?

    However, sometimes it is not necessarily used in this manner. For example I think I've heard it in this manner too:

    나한테 전화 안 했잖아 = You did not call me.

    I am very confused as to what it means, and woudl greatly appreciate your help!

    감사합니다 친구들!
    In addition to what DefactoAmbassador said above, I think -잖아 serves to remind the other person (the listener) of some fact that he or she should be aware of. It could be a personal fact or a fact of general knowledge.

    In your first example, the translation "You always said" is not quite accurate because nowhere in the original does it indicate that the listener ever SAID that s/he wanted to go to the opera.

    It's more like, "you always wanted to go to see the opera" + -잖아. The "you always said" is trying to translate the -잖아 part, but does so by introducing a fact (that the listener in the past said this) that's not in the original. In this case, adding "remember?" at the end might translate the idea without adding a new fact. So, it would be: "You always wanted to go to see the opera, remember?"

    Same with the second example: 나한테 전화 안 했잖아 ==> You* didn't call me, remember?
    Or, depending on the exact context, the addition of "well" at the beginning might make it a better translation of the attitude of the speaker: "Well, you didn't call me, remember?" Or, the "remember" could be put at the beginning, "Remember, you didn't call me."

    Translating it with "remember?" would not work well if the speaker is reminding the listener of a general fact that s/he should know. I'll have to think more about that one...

    What I would really like to know is where -잖아 came from. It sort of sounds like a contraction of: 그러지 않아 (=isn't that right?)...



    *Note: There is no subject in this sentence so it could very well be a "he/she/they" who didn't call this person.
     

    THENSON9200

    New Member
    English
    In addition to what DefactoAmbassador said above, I think -잖아 serves to remind the other person (the listener) of some fact that he or she should be aware of. It could be a personal fact or a fact of general knowledge.
    Seems like there are already some excellent responses; I’ll second Mallarme's explanation here. I have struggled with -잖아() myself, but over time I've become a little more comfortable with hearing and using it.

    DefactoAmbassador was right on when s/he used "...했잖아()." For me, this is the most common usage I hear of this sentence pattern. I would translate it to "(As you know), I told you (so)." The speaker is reminding his/her listener about a fact, the fact of previously telling the listener something.

    What I would really like to know is where -잖아 came from. It sort of sounds like a contraction of: 그러지않아 (=isn't that right?)...
    I think Mallarme is right on track. -잖아(요) is the short form of -않아().
     

    seank

    New Member
    korean
    All excellent answers!
    Here's my suggestion.

    당신 항상 오페라 보러 가고 싶어 했잖아
    - You always wanted to go to see an opera, didn't you?

    나한테 전화 안 했잖아
    - You did not call me, did you?

    네가 틀렸다고 내가 벌써 말했잖아. 틀린짓을 왜 계속해?
    - I told you that was wrong, didn't I? Why are you keep doing it?

    I've got a hint from Mallarme. isn't it right? 그러지 않아? 그랬잖아? 했잖아? didn't you(I, you, he/she or we ect)?
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Seank, could you explain the difference between using -잖아 in these sentences, and then just simply using -지? For example:

    나한테 전화 안했지?//나한테 전화 안 했잖아

    I am slightly confused.
     

    AKoreanUser

    Member
    Korean
    looks Seank's not gonna answer so I'll comment. First off, their basic sense are very similar.

    안했지? is more like a question. The one who asks expects the other to say 응(No) and it's likely to be that way. But The one who responses can say 아니(Yes, I did).

    However, 안 했잖아 usually is used for an excuse rather than a question.

    If it needs to be in more detail, reply please.
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    I am still rather confused. I'm not quite sure what you mean by "it's an excuse rather than a question".

    I totally understand the usage of -지 in this sense, but not -잖아 and how it's different.
     

    AKoreanUser

    Member
    Korean
    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "it's an excuse rather than a question".
    Looks my English is still far from the good stage. Oops. What I meant in Korean is 질문으로 쓰이기 보단 주로 변명으로 쓰여요. It's usually used when you make excuses, not questions; While -지 is a question after all.

    A : Why in the world did you go there alone?
    B : (가고 싶다고) 나한테 전화 안 했잖아.
    =>(Because) you didn't call me. (to want to come with me)

    You can say -잖아 as a quesiton but it's not that usual. And I think that's not really a question. It's just you don't ask the question which is likely to follow the -잖아.

    Friend : (You knew he ate dinner already. But he's gonna eat dinner again.)
    You : 너 이미 밥 먹었잖아? (그런데 왜 또 먹어?)
    =>You did eat dinner? (why are you going with us?)

    You didn't say the thing in () but the sentence you said impies that you're asking why. In this way, -잖아 can be a question but as I said, 잖아 is commonly used in declarative sentences to make excuses or explain something like the first example. But -지? is for questions as it has a question mark with it.

    I repeat that the basic sense are the same. When translating it into Korean, it has several ways, I think. Looks still confusing but hope this will help.
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Your English is definitely very good AKoreanUser, so don't worry about that! It's just that Korean is such a hard language to explain!

    I believe that I understand this now, but let me give my own explanation to make sure I do:

    If you add -잖아 it sort of adds a "harsh" tone to your sentence? Not necessarily that you are mad, but just that you feel like you are stating the obvious? Or that you thought the other person already knew the answer to their own question?

    Hmmm....thanks again for all your help!
     

    AKoreanUser

    Member
    Korean
    If you add -잖아 it sort of adds a "harsh" tone to your sentence? Not necessarily that you are mad, but just that you feel like you are stating the obvious? Or that you thought the other person already knew the answer to their own question?
    Exactly! This is why I said I'm far from good; I know every word in what you said but I couldn't make it a full sentence naturally, hehe. I better memorize it in case I exlplain it to others :)
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Ah, don't worry that happens to us all when we learn languages!

    But thanks agian! I'm glad I finally understand this usage!

    고맙습니다! 하루 잘 보내셈!
     
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