- What, what kind of, what sort of
- Some, some kind of
As a question
Depending on the intonation, can mean either 'what' or 'what kind of.' If the sentence starts with a high pitch and ends with a downward intonation, then it is an interrogative pronoun meaning 'What ... ?' or 'What kind of ... ?' However if the rising intonation comes at the end, it is a indefinite pronoun meaning 'something.' See the examples below
|무슨 일이에요?||Up and then down||(insert audio)|| What's wrong?|
What's going on?
|무슨 일이에요?||Gradually rising||(insert audio)|| Is something wrong?|
Is something going on?
Used in Declarative Sentences
When 무슨 is used in declarative sentences it is a indefinite pronoun meaning 'something.'
- 무슨 is sometimes contracted as 먼 in informal situations (text messaging, talking to a friend, instant Messaging etc).
- 무슨 소리야 → 먼 소리야
- 무슨 말인지 몰라 → 먼 말인지 몰라
어떤 vs 무슨
무슨 should be follow by a noun. 어떤 is also used like "What kind of (+ noun)", but also it is used when you are describing something more often.
어떤 책 좋아해요? what kind of books do you like, 무슨 책 좋아해요 is also possible, but 어떤 is like, what style of book do you like? love triangles? long stories? thriller?
이거 무슨 책이에요? 이거 어떤 책이에요? They can be roughly translated to the same English sentence: What kind of is it? With 무슨 책이에요?, to answer this question you can simply say "Oh, its a science book", but with 어떤, you might want to tell the person a little more about the book.
Also, 그 사람 어떤 사람이에요? What is he/she like? You never say 그 사람 무슨 사람이에요? because you would be categorizing people into inappropiate titles.
- 무슨 소리에요? / 무슨 소리야? - What do you mean? What are you talking about?
- A/V + 기는 무슨
- N +는 무슨
As an interrogative pronoun:
|무슨 영화를 보고 싶어요?||What movie do you want to see?|
|그것이 무슨 냄새야?||What is that smell?||Informal|
|무슨 맛 좋아해요?||What flavor do you like?|
|무슨 소리예요?||What sound is that?|
|무슨 책이에요?||What book is that?|
As an indefinite pronoun