I stumbled on this question:
집에 __________ 비가 내리기 시작했다.
The right answer is (2).
But I don't understand the reason. What is the meaning of '니까' in this sentence? It doesn't seem to mean 'because'.
Korean Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, teachers and students of the Korean language. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
That's correct. Like it's other connective counterpart, 어서/아서, it both can provide reason for something and conjoin two clauses in sequence. In (으)니까's case, however, this sequential conjoining can be translated as "When (I) [first clause], I discovered/realized that [second clause]".
Thus, for your sentence
집에 도착하니까 비가 내리기 시작했다
a translation would be "When I arrived home, (I discovered that) it started to rain".
Note two things about (으)니까:
blimpy and Rathony's answers are useful, so I will answer why other options are incorrect.
-거나: "A하거나 B하다" implies that A and B are both possible options. However, selecting "집에 도착하다" or "비가 내리기 시작하다" is unnatural.
-거든: If you write "집에 도착하거든", then it implies "If you arrive home, then ..." However, there is no causality between arriving home and raining.
-려고: "집에 도착하려고" means "To arrive home, ...", but "비가 내리기 시작했다" implies that you didn't make the weather rainy.
'니까' is an emphatic form of '니' which is a conjunctional connective suffix used to connect two clauses. It has two meanings as follows:
- It provides a reason, basis, prerequisite for the second clause as in:
봄이 오니(까) 꽃이 핀다. Because spring has come, the flowers bloom.
- The first clause contains (usually) a timing of an action before stating another fact in the second clause as in.
서울역에 도착하니(까) 일곱 시였다. When I arrived at Seoul Station, it was 7 o'clock.
"집에 도착하니(까) 비가 내리기 시작했다" can be translated to
When I arrived home, it started to rain.
which could also mean
It didn't rain until I arrived home.