아무 is a qualifier word used in front of nouns to mean “any”. When it is used with the 나 particle to become 아무나 it means “(just) anyone”. 누구 means who and when it is used with the 나 particle it also becomes “anyone and everyone”
There are a few subtle differences between the two:
- 아무나 sounds like anyone with a nuance of “just” anyone like it doesn’t matter who, whilst 누구나 sounds like anyone with a nuance of everyone, kind of like the image above.
- 아무나 can be a subject or object but 누구나 can only be a subject.
- 아무나 is preferred in negative contexts while 누구나 is preferred in positive contexts.
If one is swapped for the other the result can range from being downright awkward to only somewhat awkward. This is the tricky part that can only be mastered over time.
See examples below illustrating how to use 아무나 and 누구나
|그 일은 아무나 할 수 있는 일이 아니다||This work is not something that anyone can do|
|아무나 데려오면 안돼지||You can’t just bring anyone here|
|너는 아무나(랑) 사귀어?||Do you go out with (just) anyone?|
|아무나 만져봐||Touch someone/anyone. (Depending on context can also mean anyone, touch it)|
|이거 아무나 못 해||Not (just) anyone can do this|
|이곳에는 아무나 들어올 수 없습니다||Not (just) anyone can enter this place|
|그 일은 누구나 할 수 있는 일이다||This work is something that anyone/everyone can do|
|실수는 누구나 할 수 있죠?||Mistakes can be made by anyone/everyone|
|누구나 노력하면 행복해질 수 있다||Anyone/everyone can become happy if they try|
|누구나 부자가 될 수 있다||Anyone/everyone can become rich|
|한국어 배우시는 분 누구나 환영합니다||Anyone/everyone studying Korean is welcome|
|누구나 다 알지||Anyone/everyone knows it|
|누구나 그렇겠지?||Everyones like that right?|
This lesson is part of the (이)나 grammar series. Click here to start from part 1 of the series.