You might have encountered words such as 알아내다, 찾아내다 and wondered what the 내다 part means, and how these words are different from 알다 and 찾다. While it doesn’t really translate to any one specific word in English, it’s thankfully a very easy grammar to both use and to understand. A rough translation would look something like “to do something to the very end” or “despite the obstacles and hardships, I made it.”
It doesn’t work with verbs such as 가지다 and 놓다, since it needs to be something that can be completed or overcome
Past, present and future tenses can all be used
A Closer Look
Let’s take the verb 이기다 (to win) and use it to compare the two sentences 병을 이겼다 and 병을 이겨 냈다 to highlight the meaning of this grammar pattern:
= Someone beat a sickness.
병을 이겨 냈다
= Someone not not only beat a sickness, but had to overcome obstacles and went through hardships to do so. This emphasizes the difficulty of beating the disease.
In most cases the two sentences above can be used interchangeably since they convey the same fact, i.e. someone beat a disease. But there’s a slight, yet important, difference in nuance, which is the emphasis on either the severity of the disease or how hard it was to beat it.
Let’s look at a nother example. Here we use this grammar as a means to highlight that we did something to the very end:
= I read the book
책을 읽어 냈다
= I managed to read the book (all the way through).
In the above example, the 내다 grammar is used to highlight the fact that I read the book all the way to the end and finished it. While I could finish a book and use the first sentence (책을 읽었다) to tell someone about it, it is a more neutral expression where I just state that I read the book.
이름을 알아 냈지?
= You found out the name, right?
암을 이겨 내는 사람들의 특징
= The special quality of the people who beat cancer
사다리를 이용해 아이를 구출해냈다
= They managed to save the kid by using a ladder.
In the case of 찾아내다 and 알아내다, if their usages don’t seem to be coherent with the grammar description provided above, what is emphasized is the fact that whoever performs the action did it actively and not passively. For example, you can say “쉽게 찾아냈다” and it would be correct even though you explicitly state that it wasn’t difficult or that you had to “go through hardships” or “trouble” to do it.
A short but sweet lesson! There’s not much else to this one. If you have nothing better to do, you can check out this chant/song for the baseball team Doosan Bears! Can you guess what it means?
By Kimchi Cloud
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