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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

The 6 Most Frequent Korean Particles and Use Them

You’ve absolutely heard of Korean nouns, verbs and adjectives, however have you ever heard of those highly effective little Korean particles?

If not, you’d finest get began. They’ll come up time and again as a result of virtually each Korean sentence has them.

Right now, we’ll speak about six of the commonest, helpful particles within the language.

However first, let’s speak about what particles really are!


What Are Korean Particles?

Particles themselves could also be small, however, satirically, the subject of Korean particles is a reasonably massive one. That’s as a result of Korean particles is a catch-all time period.

In English, you’ve gotten totally different phrases like prepositions, possessives, negation, conjunctions, counters and phrases that denote time, place, depth, frequency or distinction. These topics belong to totally different chapters in an English grammar textbook.

In Korean, they’re all lumped collectively as Korean particles and strung one after the opposite in a sequence that takes a language learner’s breath away.

Relying on who you ask and the way you depend, there are greater than 100 particles within the language. In a Korean sentence, if the phrase isn’t a noun, verb or adjective, then it’s most probably a particle.

Realistically, there are round 20 Korean particles in widespread utilization. You’ll discover them after nouns. Right here’s the factor: Korean nouns can’t reside with out particles. They at all times want a particle by their facet.

Consider particles like tags, or labels, suffixed to phrases. You often examine what comes after a noun to grasp what that noun is all about.

It’s like in case you heard the quantity “two.” You’d be questioning, “Two, what?” However, if any individual follows it with “o’clock,” you’ll perceive that the quantity refers to time.

Particles act as indicators, or markers.

There are such a lot of of them as a result of they’ll point out or mark virtually something… for any objective!

A particle can point out many issues. Listed here are a couple of examples of what particles can let you know:

“This noun proper right here beside me is the topic of the sentence.”

“Hey, this one proper right here is the thing of the sentence. It will get acted upon, see?”

“This noun is expounded to this different noun over there.”

“That is the situation of the speaker.”

“Hey, look, the apple is on the desk.”

Korean particles determine, modify, qualify and distinguish nouns and their perform in a sentence.

Particles are so efficient at speaking which means that you could possibly even change a sentence’s phrase order and nonetheless perceive what’s being mentioned. As a result of nouns carry their figuring out particles with them, you may place a noun anyplace and, due to the particle, you’ll nonetheless know, “Yup, that’s the thing of the sentence.”

In truth, you typically don’t even want to say the topic within the sentence as a result of the whole lot else is so delineated by particles that you understand precisely what’s being talked about.

Now, let’s break down six of essentially the most helpful Korean particles!

The 6 Most Frequent Korean Particles and Use Them

1. Subject Particle: 은 and 는

A subject particle tells everybody what’s being talked about. Any noun adopted by (eun) or (neun) is being emphasised and elevated as the subject of dialog.

and are the identical. (eun) is used if the noun previous it ends in a consonant, and (neun) is used for nouns that finish in a vowel. That is for ease of pronunciation. Don’t imagine me? Strive switching the principles!

For instance, (chaeg), which suggests “guide,” and (jip), which suggests “home,” each finish in consonants, so we use for them:

무겁다. (Chaeg-eun mu-geob-dda.) — The guide is heavy.

크다. (Jib-eun keu-da.) — The home is massive.

However, (jeo), the well mannered type of the Korean “I,” ends with the vowel (eo). So, we use (neun) with it.

Whenever you need to speak about your self, you say 저는 (Jeo-neun), which suggests “I’m.”

미국인이에요. (Jeo-neun mi-gu-gi-ni-e-yo.) — I’m American.

한국말을 못 합니다. (Jeo-neun han-gung-ma-reul mo-tam-ni-da.) — I don’t converse Korean.

스물네 살입니다. (Jeo-neun seu-mul-ne sal-im-ni-da.) — I’m 24 years outdated.

Once more, marking the noun with or serves to focus on the subject of the dialog. So, within the above examples, whenever you’re saying that you simply’re American or that you simply’re 24 years outdated, you’re elevating your self to the subject of dialog. When any individual else introduces a noun with the subject marker, then it modifications the main target of the dialog.

One other factor to know concerning the matter marker is that it implies a distinction. Within the above instance, whenever you say 집은 크다 (Jib-eun keu-da), which suggests “the home is massive,” you’re contrasting the home to different issues. You’re implying that the home is massive and that different issues aren’t massive.

So, in addition to the precise assertion, the subject marker additionally conveys an unstated distinction.

2. Topic Particle: 이 and 가

One other crucial Korean particle is one which helps us determine the topic of the sentence.

Right here, the topic is usually in relation to the verb or adjective. The marker helps reply the next questions:

  • Who’s the doer of the motion?
  • Who/what’s being described?

The topic particle is both (i) or (ga). They’re principally the identical factor. We use when the previous noun ends in a consonant and when the noun ends in a vowel.

For instance, we use after a noun like 날씨 (nal-ssi), which suggests “climate,” as a result of it ends in a vowel. And, we use for nouns like 가방 (ga-bang), which suggests “bag” and ends with a consonant.

For instance:

날씨 좋다. (Nal-ssi-ga jo-ta.) — The climate is good.

가방 낡았다. (Ga-bang-i nal-ga-dda.) — The bag is outdated.

As you may see, the topic particle marks the noun that acts as the topic of the sentence. Not like matter particles that indicate distinction, topic particles don’t infer past what’s really mentioned. So, within the instance above, whenever you say {that a} bag is outdated, it’s precisely simply that. You’re not implying that another factor isn’t outdated. It’s a easy assertion concerning the bag and nothing extra.

Along with marking the topic, and are additionally used whenever you need to say that you simply have one thing. For instance, if you wish to talk that you’ve a ball or a canine, you’d say:

저는 공있어요. (Jeo-neun gong-i-i-ssuh-yo.) — I’ve a ball.

저는 개 있어요. (Jeo-neun gae-ga i-ssuh-yo.) — I’ve a canine.

and instantly comply with the factor that you’ve.

Language learners typically have a tough time deciding between a subject particle and a topic particle. That’s as a result of they’ll just about be utilized in the identical locations. There are many circumstances the place a subject and topic particle are each appropriate and the which means of the sentence is unaffected irrespective of which you employ.

However there are additionally occasions when matter and topic particles deliver totally different nuances or subtleties to a press release. We’ve already talked about how matter particles indicate a distinction whereas a topic particle doesn’t. In addition they differ in the place they direct the main target of the sentence. For instance:

파리를 죽였다. (Na-neun pa-ri-reul ju-gyuh-dda.) — I killed the fly.

파리를 죽였다. (Nae-ga pa-ri-reul ju-gyuh-dda.)I killed the fly.

Each sentences typically imply the identical factor. However within the first one, with the subject particle, the main target is on the verb. So, the emphasis is on the motion. (What did I do? I killed the fly.)

Within the second sentence, the highlight is on the topic. (Who did it? Who killed the fly? It was me! I did it! I killed the fly.)

The main focus and emphasis on this sentence are on the topic, on who did the killing.

In English, this variation in emphasis might be achieved by tone, quantity and stress:

I killed it.

I… killed it.

As a substitute, in Korean, there are markers.

One of the best ways to get a deal with on matter and topic particles is to study their makes use of “in vivo,” that’s, within the pure context of a dialog (or many, many conversations). The circumstances will typically be your information to which particle to make use of.

Learners ought to take heed to how native audio system use these particles and, together with the rapid context, discover patterns of utilization.

In the event you don’t have entry to a big native Korean group, you may take heed to the language in use by genuine content material, like the sort that you simply’ll discover on FluentU, as an example. This language studying program makes use of genuine Korean movies on all kinds of subjects, in addition to multimedia flashcards, customized quizzes and interactive subtitles.

Studying applications like FluentU which are based mostly in genuine content material might be an environment friendly method to hear Korean particles in use and study extra about Korean tradition on the identical time.

Listening to native audio system isn’t solely essential when studying when to make use of particles but in addition when studying when not to make use of them. For instance, when no emphasis is required, native audio system merely skip utilizing these particles. Typically, they even skip mentioning the topic altogether. Once more, the context will clear the whole lot up and save the day.

By the way in which, this context-gives-meaning factor is one thing that occurs not simply in Korean however in all languages:

Sister: So?

Me: Killed it.

‘Nuff mentioned.

3. Object Particle: 을 and 를

The identify provides it away: This particle tags the object of the sentence.

In grammar, you understand that the thing of the sentence refers back to the individual/object that’s acted upon by the topic. In a sentence like “Jenny threw the ball,” the ball is acted upon by the topic Jenny. So, “ball” is the thing of that assertion.

In English, the thing typically comes after the verb:

Tim ate pizza.

She locked the door.

In Korean, sentences comply with the S-O-V (Topic-Object-Verb) sample. The sentences above, written in a Korean sample, would actually be:

Tim pizza ate.

She the door locked.

Within the SOV sentence sample, you’ll discover the thing earlier than the verb.

You utilize both (eul) or (leul) to tag the thing. Use when the previous noun ends in a consonant, and use if the previous noun ends in a vowel.

For instance:

나는 김치 먹었다. (Na-neun gim-chi-leul muh-guh-dda.) — I ate kimchi.

그녀는 물 마신다. (Geu-nyeo-neun mul-eul ma-sin-da.) — She drinks water.

저는 개 봤어요. (Jeo-neun gae-leul bwa-ssuh-yo.) — I noticed a canine.

4. Linking Particles: 와, 과, 하고 and 랑

The subsequent particles are equal to the English “and.” They’re used to point out the grouping or pairing of nouns. For instance:

apples and oranges

salt and pepper

canine, cats and birds

There are a number of particles that may do the trick. There’s (wa),  (gwa), (rang), 이랑 (i-rang) and 하고 (ha-go).

and work nicely with speeches, shows and written varieties whereas , 이랑 and 하고 are utilized in each day dialog.

is used when the previous noun ends in a vowel. is used when the previous noun ends in a consonant.

For the opposite pair, is used when the previous noun ends in a vowel, and 이랑 is used when the noun ends in a consonant.

하고 can be utilized freely, with each vowels and consonants.

For instance:

사과 오렌지 (sa-gwa-wa o-len-ji) — apples and oranges

소금 후추 (so-geum-gwa hu-chu) — salt and pepper

개, 고양이하고(gae, go-yang-i-ha-go sae) — canine, cats and birds

The particles can be used just like the English “with,” corresponding to whenever you need to do one thing with somebody:

오늘 동찬이랑 놀거야. (O-neul dong-chan-i-lang nol-guh-ya.) — I’m going to play with Dongchan immediately.

난 친구 영화보는 걸 좋아해. (Nan chin-gu-rang yeong-hwa-bo-neun-geol jo-a-hae.) — I like to observe films with associates.

5. Plural Particle: 들

Learners typically ask, “How do I make issues plural in Korean?”

In English, we add an “s” or “es” to the top of nouns. In Korean, we add (deul) after the noun. Easy, proper?

Nonetheless, making nouns plural is absolutely not as widespread in Korean as it’s in English. Korean doesn’t actually make a distinction between singular and plural nouns. So, a sentence like 나는 펜을 샀다 (Na-neun pen-eul sa-dda) can imply “I purchased a pen” or “I purchased pens.” Native audio system haven’t any drawback with this as a result of context is usually sufficient to tell the listener whether or not the noun is singular or plural.

You utilize whenever you need to erase any ambiguity in your assertion, or whenever you need to emphasize that there’s a couple of factor. And even then, is absolutely solely used for individuals or dwelling issues—it’s not often used for objects.

Listed here are some examples:

사람 (sa-ram) — individual → 사람 (sa-ram-deul) — individuals

학생 (hag-saeng) — scholar → 학생 (hag-saeng-deul) — college students

학생은 집에 갔다. (Hag-saeng-deul-eun ji-be ga-dda.) — The scholars went dwelling.

6. Possessive Particle: 의

This final one is the equal of the English apostrophe + s and is about expressing possession or possession.

(ui) moderates the connection between two nouns and is discovered between them. The order of the nouns is essential right here. The primary noun would be the proprietor, and the second noun, the one following , would be the factor owned. Let’s take a look at the instance 형(hyeong-ui cha). means “older brother” and means “automotive.” So, it means “older brother’s automotive.”

Listed here are some extra examples:

오늘 게임 (oneul-ui ge-im) — immediately’s sport

메리 머리카락 (me-li-ui muh-li-ka-lag) — Mary’s hair

우리 아버지 친구가 왔다. (U-li a-buh-ji-ui chin-gu-ga wa-dda.) — My father’s pal got here.

In speech, is usually pronounced as (e).

With pronouns like (na) and (jeo), which each imply “I” or “me,” and (neo), which suggests “you,” including to get the possessive varieties “my” and “your” ends in a contraction:

나의 turns into (nae) — my

저의 turns into (je) — my

너의 turns into (ne) — your

Listed here are some extra examples:

오늘은 생일이야. (O-neul-eun nae saeng-il-i-ya.) — Right now is my birthday.

생일은 언제야? (Ne saeng-il-eun eon-je-ya?) — When is your birthday?


So, you now have a few Korean particles underneath your belt. You already know the subject, topic, object, linking, plural and possessive particles in Korean sentences. You’re nicely in your method to mastering these essential Korean markers!

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