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I saw the following sentence:

이 장남감은 누구 거예요?

I know the meaning, which is Whose is this toy?.

However, I don't know what is the original verb of 거예요. It seems that there is no verb registered as 거다. So could you teach me the grammatical structure of the sentence?

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You should note that the stem form of '예요' is '이다' which is not a verb, but a particle (predicative or descriptive). For example:

이것은 책이다. This is a book. 이것은 책이에요. 이것은 책이에요? (Is this a book?)

나는 왕이다. I am the King. 나는 왕이에요. 나는 왕이에요? (Am I the King?)

'예요 (used after a block that ends without a final consonant, 받침 such as )' or '이에요 (used after a block that ends with a final consonant, 받침 such as )' can indicate explanation (description) or question when it is followed by a question mark.

The noun '' is a dependent noun (which means it can't be used without a preceding word) colloquially used for ''. It can refer to

  1. a thing, job, phenomenon 사물, 일, 현상 따위를 추상적으로 이르는 말.

  2. a human being (in an impolite or derogative way) or animal. 사람을 낮추어 이르거나 동물을 이르는 말.

  3. a possession of a person when used after a pronoun or noun indicating a human being. (사람을 나타내는 명사나 대명사 뒤에 쓰여) 그 사람의 소유물임을 나타내는 말.

The '거' in your example sentence means No. 3 above as '누구' is a pronoun meaning unknown person.

이 장난감은 내 거예요. (것이에요, 것입니다.) This toy is my thing.

이 장난감은 철수 거예요. (것이에요, 것입니다.) This toy is a Cheol-su's thing.

이 장난감은 남동생 거예요. (것이에요, 것입니다.) This toy is my little brother's thing.

이 장난감은 누구 거예요? (것이에요? 것입니까?) This toy is whose thing? (all literally translated).

You should note the difference between '것입니다./것입니까?' and '이에요 (예요)./이에요 (예요)?'

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  • Thank you for the great clarification. Is the difference between 거 and 것 only on whether it is used in a spoken or written form?
    – Blaszard
    Aug 28 '16 at 8:28
  • @Blaszard Always my pleasure. As the dictionary indicates, "거" is more colloquial than '것' and they don't have any difference in meaning.
    – user7
    Aug 28 '16 at 8:29
  • Your answer is great. But why "의" is not used before "거예요". Examples: "내 (나의) 거에요" , "철수의 거예요" and "남동생의 거예요"?
    – Thai Trinh
    Jun 4 '19 at 9:34
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거예요 is shortened from 것이에요, which is the -요 form of 것이다.

That is, it's the noun 것 + copula 이다. (Copula 이다 is added to allow a noun to be the predicate of a sentence). 것 generally means "thing", so 것이다 means "to be the thing".

So your sentence roughly means "This toy is whose thing?"

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