Monday, December 12, 2005

Difference between 그를 만나다 & 그와 만나다?

This morning I came across the following sentence and started wondering about the verb 만나다:
한국 친구와 자주 만나서 이야기하다 보면 잘하게 될 거야.
If you and your Korean friends frequently meet and talk, you will get good (at Korean).

만나다 (to meet) can be used as a transitive verb and as an intransitive verb. If we say 친구를 만난다 (I meet my friend), we are using "meet" as a transitive verb. If we say 친구와 만난다 (My friend and I meet), we are using "meet" as an intransitive verb.

I think there are probably good reasons for distinguishing between the transitive "meet" and the intransitive "meet," but I am not sure what they are, and I am not in a very contemplative mood right now. I just wanted to make note of the topic for possible discussion or for a time when my mind is more willing to think about it. If anyone has any ideas on the usage of 만나다, please post them in the comments section of this post. For example, if it were a chance meeting, as opposed to a planned meeting, would it make a difference which verb was used?

Here is a link to the Yahoo! dictionary definition of 만나다, where there are many example sentences.


  1. I'm interested in this too. Japanese has a similar structure. But the Japanese-ish ways of saying it would be 그에 만나다 & 그와만나다. Anyhow, I suspect the salient differences might be similar. As you said 그를 만나다 can also have some implications of meeting by coincidence. I think it also has a uni-directional flow versus a bi-direction flow. What I mean by that is, let's say I go to someone's office to meet them unannounced. I might say 그를 만나러 회사에 갔다. However, if I have mutual plans to meet a friend or a business college I might use 와 to indicate that, as in 그와 만나다.

  2. -를 is a 목적격조사. -와/과 is a 공동격조사.

    xxx를 simply means that xxx is the object of a verb. xxx와 means that a subject is with the xxx.

  3. it's basically the same, but
    using 를 is more precise
    using 와 can have two meanings


    너와 만났다
    may mean
    너를 만났다
    but also
    너와 (얘를) 만났다

    so to prevent confusion, you can use 를