As a question
Depending on the intonation, 머엇 and 뭐 can mean either 'what' or 'something.' If the sentence starts with a high pitch and ends with a downward intonation, then it is an interrogative pronoun meaning 'What ... ?' However if the rising intonation comes at the end, it is a indefinite pronoun meaning 'something.' See the examples below:
|(need sentence)||Up and then down||(insert audio)|
|(need sentence)||Gradually rising||(insert audio)|
Used in Declarative Sentences
When 머엇 and 뭐 are used in declarative sentences it is a indefinite pronoun meaning 'something.'
- 무엇 is usually used in more formal situations and isn't colloquial.
- 무엇이 is 무엇 plus the subject marker 이.
- 무엇을 is 무엇 plus the object marker 을.
- 뭐 is the contracted version version of 무엇 and is used much more frequently in colloquial speach. It is oftened pronounced as 모 or 머 and also often spelled that way in informal usage, such as text messaging and instant messaging (with friends).
- 뭐가 is 뭐 plus the subject marker 가
- 뭘 is a contraction of 뭐를, which is 뭐 plus the object marker 를.
- 뭐 is sometimes used as a filler for when someone is thinking of what to say.
As an interrogative pronoun:
|지금 뭐 해요?||What are you doing right now?|
|뭘 봐?||What are you looking at?|
|요즘 뭐 공부해요?||What have you been studying lately?|
|뭐 먹고싶어?||What do you want to eat?|
| A: "Isn't that guy hot?"
B:"What's hot about him?!"
| A: "그 남자 멋있지 않니?"
As an indefinite pronoun
|뭐 좀 먹어||Eat something||좀 just acts like a filler to make the sentence flow better.|
|뭐 하나 물어 봐도 돼요?||Is it ok if I ask you something? / Do you mind if I ask you something?|
As a filler
Common phrases using 무엇 or 뭐.