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I was going to ask, as many have around the web, what the difference between 얼마다 and 얼마 is - but first, I'd like to understand the roots of the words.

Is there a root noun "얼마" or a root verb "얼마다"? or both? How is '얼마예요' formed?

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얼마 is a noun meaning "how many", "how much".

For example: 얼마예요? -> How much?

Other examples of use of 얼마:

얼마 안 있어 -> shortly

얼마 동안 머물겠어? -> (For) How long will you stay?

얼마 전/후에 -> Not long ago/after

The most usual particle added after 얼마 is (이)나 (or), which forms 얼마나 meaning "how (adjective)". It is added before an adjective and acts as adverb.

Ex: 그녀는 얼마나 예쁜가! -> How beautiful she is!

I seldom see other particles added after 얼마. I could think of 얼마까지, but I don't think it is used commonly.

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  • Umm, actually "그녀는 얼마나 예쁜가?" is "How beautiful is she?" (i.e., "What is the degree to which she is beautiful?") It will be a rather strange sentence to say. For some reason, some translators and English textbook writers (in Korea) decided to tell Koreans that English exclamations are equivalent to questions asking "how much", and (even though no Korean speaker I know would utter such a sentence) these expressions started to creep into printed Korean materials here and there. Makes me cringe every time. – jick Oct 24 '16 at 18:45

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