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Korean grammar - What? 뭐

What? 뭐

In Korean you can ask the question 'what?' using the pronoun .

-- The formal form 무엇 is used in formal language - this will be covered in a latter topic.

The topic/subject/object markers can be added to as required.

-- When attaching the object marker it is common (and more natural sounding) to contract as follows: +

Note that in simple phrases (with just a subject and verb for example) markers are often not necessary for clarity of meaning and are excluded.

as a subject (with the subject marker) can also be used to mean 'which one'.

뭘 마셔요?
What do (you) drink?
뭘 먹었어요?
What did you eat?
뭐 해요?
What are (you) doing?

The object marker is unnecessary here and is excluded.

뭐가 문제에요?
What is the problem?
이 책이 뭐예요?
What is this book?

뭐예요? is a standard way to ask what something is. Note that and 예요 are combined into one word (without a space).

철수가 뭐를 던졌어요?
What did Cheolsu throw?

Here 뭐를 is not contracted even though shoulds more natural.

학교에서 무엇을 읽었어요?
What did (you) read at school?
친구가 뭘 줬어요?
What did (your) friend give (you)?
뭐가 좋아요?
Which one is good?

뭐가 (with the subject marker) means 'which one'

뭐가 장난감이에요?
Which one is a toy?

뭐가 (with the subject marker) means 'which one'

거기 뭐가 있어요?
What is there?
그 가방에 뭐가 있어요?
What is there in that bag?