Wait your turn!

Discussion in '한국어 (Korean)' started by idialegre, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. idialegre Senior Member

    Hamburg, Germany
    USA English
    If someone tries to cut in front of me (in the supermarket, subway, etc.), and I want a very aggressive way of saying, "Hey, wait your turn!" or "Wait in line!", what would I say?

    My best guess:

    순서를 기다리라! or

    순서를 기다려!
  2. Stassri Member

    '순서를 기다려!' makes you look like a 5-year old.
    '줄 서세요' is a better alternative.
  3. idialegre Senior Member

    Hamburg, Germany
    USA English
    Thank you, Stassri.

    I'm curious - could you explain exactly why 순서를 기다려 sounds childish? Is it because of the imperative 기다려, or is there something childish about the expression 순서를 기다리다 in general? According to my Korean book, if you use a form like 기다려 with someone you don't know, and who is not much younger than you, then it sounds like you are trying to start a fight. I am looking for a very aggressive expression. (Don't worry, I'm not actually going to use it. :D It's just to tell a story.)
  4. Stassri Member

    It is because of the imperative form. Throwing out imperatives like that isn't a proper way of speaking to a stranger. Adults shouldn't speak like that.
  5. idialegre Senior Member

    Hamburg, Germany
    USA English
    So even in a very aggressive exchange, when, for example, a bank robber says to someone, "Don't move or I'll blow your *&%§"#! head off!!!" , he would always use 존댓말? Never 반말 or even 해라체?
  6. Stassri Member

    Well, if you are a bank robber, I think you are likely to use 반말, rather than 존댓말. But I don't think robbing is what a thoughtful person would do... Anyway, you can see people use 반말 or 해라체 in such special cases.
  7. chemnerd Member

    I would say '줄 선 것 안보여요?' (Can't you see the queue?) The robber might use 반말 but if I were the 'bank' robber I would use 존댓말 to control the situation without making hostility.
  8. idialegre Senior Member

    Hamburg, Germany
    USA English
    Thank you for your answers.
  9. rabbitkim85 Member

    Firstly, your guess, "줄서서 기다려" is inappropriate regarding the situation,
    not because it is an imperative sentence, but because of the usage of the verb ending"~려".
    (as you said, we could use imperative sentences even to a stranger if we want to be more assertive)

    But the thing is, verb endings such as "~려, ~해" are used only when you talk to kids, or someone who are much younger than you. (its "반말" in Korean and we hardly use 반말 to strangers regardless of their age or status)

    Then, even if they are young and you are an adult, you don't use "~려, ~해" if they are strangers, though you could use them to very young kids.

    So if you say "줄서서 기다려" in that situation, not only does it sounds extremely impolite, but also it sounds very awkward, because it doesn't fit the situation at all, where you are talking to a stranger, or (usually) to an adult.

    ("줄서서 기다려" the saying itself does not sound childish. Nothing strange for an adult to say it. If a teacher or mom says "줄서서 기다려" to their students or kids, it would be totally fine. But as I explained, it'd be said only to kids.)

    In that situation, I would've said,
    1. "순서 좀 지키세요" = "Wait for your turn"
    2. "줄을 서셔야죠" = "You should wait in line."

    Both are still imperative sentences, but the endings are "~하세요, ~하셔야죠", which you can use often talking to an adult, or a stranger. They are imperative endings with a bit polite mood.

    Yet both are not too aggressive regarding that you're talking to a stranger,
    I would say they can be assertive enough depending on your intonation and voice tone.
    (ex. 순서 좀 지키세요!!! 줄을 서셔야죠!!!)
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  10. idialegre Senior Member

    Hamburg, Germany
    USA English
    Rabbitkim85, thanks for your lengthy answer. What I am really trying to get at is the following: English has, of course, only one form for the second person. Regardless of whether you are talking to a stranger, to your little brother, grandmother, or the Pope, it's always, "you." But in many other languages (German, French, Italian, Spanish, etc.) there are two forms, the polite/formal and the informal. Now in most of these languages, when people speak aggressively - say, if they are having an argument on the highway, or if they are robbing a bank, or trying to start a fight, or drunk, or any similar situation where they are not being polite, but belligerent, they abandon formal speech and speek in the informal way. So in German they switch from "Sie " to "Du", in French they switch from "Vous" to "tu", etc. And what I am trying to find out is if the same thing happens in Korean; i.e., when you are in a very agressive situation and are NOT being polite, and not trying to be polite, would you talk to a stranger in 반말 or 해라체, or does it just sound silly?

    To give a specific example, if an American says, "Gert the hell out of my way, you stupid bitch!", what would be a Korean equivalent? (I don't care about the nasty words, I'm just interested in the verb from and whether it is 반말 or 존댓말 or what...)

    Thanks for your help.
  11. vientito Senior Member

    It is not hard to find an answer on this one. Just watch 10 korean movies and pay attention to the way of addressing among all the characters - young and old, close and distant. Sooner or later you will get a feel on this.
  12. chemnerd Member

    In a very agressive situation, we do not use 존댓말.

    'Get the hell out of my way, you stupid bitch' doesn't sound that aggressive to my ear though, it would be '꺼져, 씨발년아'
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  13. rabbitkim85 Member

    idialegre, I think I didn't get your intention right at first.
    (maybe because I missed your description of situations, like robbing a bank, or trying to start a fight)

    So forget about my first reply,
    and if you are to be VERY aggressive and not being polite at all, you can use '반말' to strangers of course, just as you do in Enlgish.

    and in that case, your first guess, '순서를 기다려' will work.
    (It does not sound silly or awkward, but intonation would matter not to sound silly or awkward saying so.)
    Another alternative is '순서를 지켜!'.

    Your second guess, '순서를 기다리라' sounds very awkward. '~라' may be used by a general in the military, when giving a command to soldiers. The used of '~라' is restricted to commands in military or so.

    And a Korean equivalent of "Get the hell out of my way, you stupid beach" would be
    "꺼져 멍청한 새끼야"
    and this is also 반말, and much cruder than your first guess in terms of its tone.

    Sorry my English is not good enough to explain thoroughly, but hope this would be a little help.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  14. idialegre Senior Member

    Hamburg, Germany
    USA English
    Thanks everybody. I think I have a pretty clear idea now. Of course vientito is right -I need to watch Korean movies and TV. I do, actuallyl, but unfortunately, my Korean is still not good enough to follow the dialogue much of the time, and of course it is precisely in the sort of aggressive situations I described that the actors tend to speak quite fast!
  15. calzino New Member

    "Hey, wait your turn!" or "Wait in line!"

    저기요, 줄 쓰세요.

    It's not too polite neither too casual, so it's kind of safe way to talk to someone you don't know.


Share This Page