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The translation I have for the sentence is "You don't have a dog":

강아지 안 키우시죠.

After investigating the ending "시죠", I came to the conclusion that the translation was wrong and it was actually the polite imperative, i.e. "Don't get a dog". However, someone informed me the translation was actually correct and now I am quite confused!

My understanding is that "시죠" conveys the meaning of "Let's..." as a kind of imperative form.

How should this sentence be interpreted, and how does it actually work grammatically?

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    It is a question without a question mark. You should refer to the definitions of -죠. – Klmo Sep 4 at 10:35
  • So I was looking up the wrong ending! I take it the verb stem is 키우 from 키우다, and 시 is the honorific suffix. – Christopher Sep 5 at 6:05
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    키우시죠 -> 키우다 + 시 + 지요 – user17915 Sep 8 at 0:26
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I think the answers and comments posted here are somewhat not complete about how -시죠/시지요 is used. It does mark questions in some circumstances, but it can also act as a highly formal suggestion. 주무시지요 means almost always "Please go to bed", not "Are you sleeping?" since a sleeping person is not expected to answer that. On contrary, 지루하시죠 always means "You are bored, aren't you?" not a suggestion to get bored because such suggestion is absurd and not anything achievable voluntarily.

While -시지요 itself can be either question or suggestion, and in most cases you need research as @Nontofull pointed out, it is clearly a question in this context, because of the negation, .

Though I'm not a linguist, let me demonstrate in my ability.

  1. 강아지 키우시지요
  2. 강아지 안 키우시지요
  3. 강아지 키우지 마시지요

(BTW, 강아지 is more apt to be translated into puppy rather than dog, which is 개.)

1 can be interpreted in both ways; it can be interpreted as "Do you raise a puppy?" or "I suggest you to raise a puppy." and it requires intonation and context to be understood correctly.

2 can only be understood as a question, since 안 means somewhat descriptive on the situation. You cannot suggest someone to "currently not raise a puppy." It is a strict question.

3 can only be understood as a suggestion, since 마-, or dictionary form 말다, means forbid. You cannot ask someone if they forbade to raise a puppy (it makes some sense in English, but it's because of translation and this is not even remotely making any sense in Korean for this to be a question).

So there you have it. "강아지 안 키우시죠" is translated as "You don't have a dog, do you?" If you see 안 -시죠 at the end of the sentence, I can say it is almost certain (I can't think of a counterexample.) it is a question, not a suggestion.

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  • A side note to make you feel headache: when I said 시지요 is a suggestion, I was implying this is a -하십시오/합쇼, but propositive of 합쇼 is -십시다 according to a Nat'l Institute. It continues that in reality, it is very rude to actually suggest someone with -십시다 (I did get myself into troubles in my childhood several times), which made some scholars argue that 합쇼 has no propositive at all. In either way, this is why people use -시지요 instead as propositive for 합쇼, which is strange since it is also imperative of -해요. – Hojin Cho Nov 17 at 1:12
  • I suppose the "true" honorific imperative for polite informal 해요 is 하세요, which is relatively direct. Maybe that's why 하시지요 / 하시죠 gave itself a new niche. I wonder, has its usage increased since the 1950s? – Michaelyus Nov 19 at 17:38
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It's an abbreviation of the "시지요" form and a polite way of asking someone whether they do sth or not or are or not. Example: 늦게 안 주무시죠? (means you don't go to bed late, do you?) So it is different from 늦게 안 주무세요? (which means don't you go to bed late?) 시죠 and 세요 are understood in different contexts so it may be a good idea you do some research and take notes on this matter, too.

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“시죠” is the short form of “시지요”. And usually it’s used as interrogative form/question, which means the person wants to ask for confirmation.

Or we can say that it’s the Question Tags form (in English there are “aren’t you?, isn’t it, do you?, ...). Please look at the example below:

E.g: 강아지 안 키우시죠(시지요)? You don’t raise a dog, do you?

In the same meaning, you can say “강아지 안 키우죠?”. It’s exchangeable with the “...키우시죠?” above, just “키우죠” is less polite and not in “존댓말 (advanced word)”.

Bonus: actually this “시죠” is also called “존댓말 (advanced word)”, you can search more about “존댓말” or “(으)시다”. This is also another grammar.

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