[KWotD] – What does -에 불과하다 mean?

Korean Word of the Day: What does 불과하다 mean?

불과하다 (adjective, DVST, also grammar pattern)
Meaning: Only, mere, just, nothing more

Meaning of – 에 불과하다

In today’s Korean Word of the Day, we will take a look at the word 불과하다. While the meaning is easy to grasp, the tricky thing is how to actually use it.

Since it’s an adjective and not a particle like 만, you can’t just stick it onto a noun and call it a day. Instead, you have to use the pattern N-에 불과하다.

This might seem confusing at first glance, but the word actually means “does not go above a certain level” or “does not surpass…”. In other words, it refers to an abstract “place” which is the noun (it can not go above [Noun]!) so the location particle – 에 has to be used. Some books choose to classify this as grammar.

Let’s look at some examples:

Examples:

학생은 일곱 명에 불과하다.

= The are just seven students.

농담에 불과하다

= It’s nothing more than a joke.

나이는 숫자에 불과하다.

= Age is just a number.

시작에 불과하다

= It’s just the beginning.

Please like or share if you found this useful. And if you have any questions or something else on your mind, please let us know in the comments below and we will do our best to help you out!

By: Kimchi Cloud

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