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아이들하고 노는 것이 재미있어요. It is fun to play with kids

Is it also OK to translate it as "playing with kids is fun"?

Actually what I am confused is whether to translate 노는 것 as "to play" or "playing".

Source: Fun Korean

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  • Hi anhnha - I am pretty sure 'playing with kids is fun' means exactly the same thing in English as 'It is fun to play with kids' - if so, I'm not sure there's any remaining question about the Korean language here? – topo Reinstate Monica May 24 '17 at 11:31
  • I don't exactly know whether talking about English grammar in Korean forum is allowed or not but... think about the English sentence you wrote. 'It' is in front of the sentence just to symbolize the subject "play with kids". How can it be wrong? / Well, Mr topo said exactly what I wrote. – PenPoint May 24 '17 at 11:32
  • Please leave such questions in chat instead: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/41465/korean-language – user17915 May 24 '17 at 11:33
  • @topomorto: I have just added more to the question. – anhnha May 24 '17 at 11:44
  • I think the issue here is more with English than with Korean, but let's see what people think of my answer..! – topo Reinstate Monica May 24 '17 at 12:23
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In Korean, adding -는 것 is a 'nominalisation' (a way of making a 'noun') that still keeps the sense of the action 'happening'.

'To play' in your examples is called the infinitive in English, and 'playing' is called the gerund.

Both of these forms can represent a noun form of a verb that keeps the sense of the action 'happening', so they are both good translations of your example sentence.

In English, the gerund and the infinitive aren't always interchangeable. For example, these have very different meanings:

I stopped to smoke.
I stopped smoking.

however, when used with 'I like', the meaning is usually very similar...

I like to smoke.
I like smoking.

If there's a slight difference in usage in English, it's that the infinitive form is often used when you're being more specific:

I like to smoke illegal drugs when I visit my grandmother.
I like smoking. (in general).

More information on this at http://www.englishpage.com/gerunds/gerund_or_infinitive_same_list.htm

However, when it comes to 'playing with kids', it's harder to imagine that a person would like to do it only in some specific circumstances; usually the opportunity to play with kids would, in itself, represent quite a specific situation. So in your example, I don't think there's much of a difference.

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