[Korean grammar] (이)며 (이)며 Expressing Enumeration


가: 결혼 준비하느라 바쁘시죠?
Aren’t you busy getting ready to get married?

나: 네, 결혼식장이며 신혼여행이며 챙길 게 한두 가지가 아니네요.
Yes, there are a lot of things to get in order, such as the wedding hall and honeymoon.

가: 맞아요, 돈도 엄청들 거예요.
Yeah, and I bet they cost a lot of money.

나: 그렇긴 해도살림살이 사는 거 집 꾸미는 거 모두 재미있는 것 같아요. 저랑 제 신랑이 같이 살 집이라고 생각하니 너무 설레고 좋아요.
That’s true, but things like buying household goods and decorating the house are actually quite fun. My heart flutters when I think of living in the house together with my husband.

-(이)며 -(이)며 is used to list two or more things or statements. It implies that the things that are listed are large in number and that there are more items that could be listed than simply the things that are mentioned. When used with adjectives and verbs, the respective nominative forms ‘-(으)ㄴ 것이며’ and -는 것이며’ of each are used, but these are often shortened to the forms ‘-(으)ㄴ 거며’ and ‘-는 거’ respectively. This expression is not usually used in formal situations.

• 오빠는 떡이며 한과 할머니가 좋아하시는 것들을 잔뜩 사 들고 왔다.
My older brother bought lots of things our grandmother likes, such as rice cakes and traditional Korean sweets.

• 사기를 당하는 바람에 집이며이며 자동차 모두 잃었다.
I lost everything I had after falling victim to fraud, including my house, money, and car.

• 손을 다쳐서 글을 쓰는 거 운전하는 거 불편한 게 너무 많다.
A lot of things became difficult after injuring my hand, including writing and driving.

1. The things listed using this expression must be able to be grouped into one category or class of things.
• 그 가게에 가면 에어컨이며 컴퓨터 모든 전자제품을 살 수 있습니다.
• 그 회사는 커피숍이며 헬스클럽이며 직원들을 위한 다양한 편의 시설을 갖춰 놓고 있습니다.

2. This expression can be replaced with both ‘(이)니’ and 하며 with no major change in meaning. However, note that ‘(이)니’ sounds awkward when used after adjectives and verbs.
• 오빠는 떡이니 한과 할머니가 좋아하시는 것들을 잔뜩 사 들고 왔다.
• 오빠는 떡하며 한과하며 할머니가 좋아하시는 것들을 잔뜩 사 들고 왔다.
• 손을 다쳐서 글을 쓰는 거니 운전하는 거니 불편한 게 너무 많다. (X)
-> 손을 다쳐서 글을 쓰는 거하며 운전하는 거하며 불편한 게 너무 많다. (〇)

>> You can click on the title of each grammar below to see other grammars which also express ‘Enumeration’

1. -는가 하면 
2. -느니 -느니 하다
3. -(으)라-(으)랴
4. (이)며 (이)며

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