In the following sentence:

내가 원하는 것이 있습니다. 친구이자, 동료예요, 바로 여자예요.

According to this question and answer, 이자 seems to mean "and" or "as well as".

My dictionary also has 자 as "as well as ~". But when at first I showed the sentence to a native Korean speaker and asked what 이자 means, she said "혹은".

But 혹은 means "or", not "and". So I wonder if 이자 construction can also mean "or" (friend or colleague), or does the sentence only mean "friend and colleague"?

  • It does not mean 혹은.
    – Klmo
    Mar 3, 2020 at 6:38
  • 3
    I think she was not particularly correct on this. It means "and".
    – krim
    Mar 3, 2020 at 17:01
  • I think she was not correct on this, "and", "or" is explicitly seperated in Korean.
    – Manen
    Dec 9, 2020 at 1:59

2 Answers 2

  • '이자' = ~이다 + -자

-자 is a conjunctive ending that indicate having another qualification in addition to the one.

그는 시인이자 소설가이다. He is a poet and a novelist at the same time.

그는 친구이자 스승이다. He is a friend and a teacher as well.

  • 혹은 means either and or.

아들 혹은 딸 son or daughter

나는 기차 혹은 버스로 갈 거야. I'm going to leave by train or bus.


~이자 does mean "AND"

혹은 means "OR"

Your native friend must have got it confused. Such confusion happens because natives don't really think about logics. They just go with how natural it sounds.

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