# 집합 같은 존재감으로 우울하게 기가 죽어 있었다.

#### idialegre

##### Senior Member
Hi Everybody. In the novel 레몬 by 권여선, there is a passage in which the narrator, a student, is describing one of the girls in her class who is very beautiful. She talks about how all the other girls seem very plain in comparison.

수학교사가 들어올 때까지 우리는 무언가 핵심적인 것이 결여된 나머지들, 여집합 같은 존재감으로 우울하게 기가 죽어 있었다.

I think I understand the first part: "Until the math teacher came in, we felt like the rest of us were missing something fundamental...

After that, I can't quite follow the rest. In particular, I don't understand what 기가 means. Does it mean "spirit, energy"? So something like the following?

Through our existence, similar to a women's gathering (??), our spirit had died?

Can anyone help? Thank you!

• 여집합 같은 존재감으로 우울하게 기가 죽어 있었다.

여집합 is the complement of a set, often denoted by A^c (or A′) in Math, and this term is metaphorically used to refer to the students left behind in the classroom. 기 basically means an intangible form of energy flow that travels throughout your body. So the literal translation of 기가 죽어 있었다 would be 'lack of energy (and motivation); however, 'someone seems discouraged' would be better and easier for you to understand within the context. The metaphor the author used saying that their presence[existence] was like the complement of a set in Math seems to intend for a refreshing moment that makes the readers recall like "Wait, their presence was like complement of a set?" and kind of relate the two concepts as "Oh, so their presence was regarded something insignificant!" like that.

They all seemed discouraged as if their presence[existence] was like the complement of a set in Math.

Thank you, that's very helpful and interesting! Since they are sitting in the classroom waiting for the math teacher, she uses a simile from the world of mathematics. That's very cool.

If you heard 'yin, yang and qi', 'qi' is the same word as '기'.
I believe the Force in 'May the force be with you' is similar to the '기'.
(I'm not sure though.)
Verbs that come with '기' are
- 살다, 죽다
- 쎄다, 강하다, 약하다
- 부족하다, 넘친다
- 느껴지다, 숨다

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Oh, that's very interesting, thank you!

Is it the same 기 as in 기를 쓰다 (to make an effort)?

If you heard 'yin, yang and qi', 'qi' is the same word as '기'.
I believe the Force in 'May the force be with you' is similar to the '기'.
(I'm not sure though.)
Verbs that come with '기' are
- 살다, 죽다
- 쎄다, 강하다, 약하다
- 부족하다, 넘친다
- 느껴지다, 숨다
Well, the force may have a closer meaning of 'the almighty,' which refers to God or God's almighty power rather than 기.
기가 숨다 might make sense in some context, but way less common than the others you gave. Thanks for the explanation!

Is it the same 기 as in 기를 쓰다 (to make an effort)?
The translation is right. 기를 쓰다 literally means you spend some energy on something, so it's equivalent to making an effort.

Well, the force may have a closer meaning of 'the almighty,' which refers to God or God's almighty power rather than 기.
기가 숨다 might make sense in some context, but way less common than the others you gave. Thanks for the explanation!

The translation is right. 기를 쓰다 literally means you spend some energy on something, so it's equivalent to making an effort.