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20+ Korean Particles: An Easy Guide

February 3, 2022

You must know the Korean particles, but they must always confuse you. This blog will give in-depth information about each particle and its proper use. This will be a complete guide to all the complex concepts about Korean Particles. So let's dive in!

There are no such concepts as topic markers and subject marking particles in English. This makes it hard for Korean learners to study Korean. There is a clear distinction between the topic markers and the subject markers. Before learning about them, it is essential to know how they are different to give you thus a headstart. Let's look into each one by one.

Subject And Topic Marking Particles

A subject particle is a particle that the Korean people use to allow the listener/ reader to know the subject of a certain thing. It is different from the topic marker since the topic marking particle is added with any word that is the topic of the sentence and might not even be the subject.

Here are some simple rules to keep in mind while using the subject marking particle or the topic marking particle.

Rule #1

If you have to use a negative form of the verb to be in Korean, it is important to use 이/가 (i/ga), aka the subject markers as the ending. The negative form of the verb to be is 아닙니다 (animnida) or 아니에요 (anieyo). Let's look at some example sentences:

Korean sentencesRomanized HangulEnglish Translation
차가 여기에 없습니다.chaga yeogie eobs-seubnida.The car is not here.
책이 좋지 않습니다.chaeg-i johji anhseubnida.The book is not good.
집이 크지 않습니다.jib-ee keuji anhseubnida.The house is not big.
방이 좋지 않습니다.bang-i johji anhseubnida.The room is not nice.
꿀이 달지 않습니다.kkul-ee dalji anhseubnida.The honey is not sweet.
새끼 고양이는 귀엽지 않습니다.saekki goyang-ineun gwiyeobji anhseubnida.The kitten is not cute.
비가 우울하지 않습니다.biga uulhaji anhseubnida.The rain is not depressing.
아이가 행복하지 않습니다.aiga haengboghaji anhseubnida.The child is not happy.
부모가 슬퍼하지 않습니다.bumoga seulpeohaji anhseubnida.The parent is not sad.
팬이 작동하지 않습니다.paen-i jagdonghaji anhseubnida.The fan is not working.
산가 녹색이 아닙니다.san-ga nogsaeg-i anibnida.The mountains are not green.
눈이 내리지 않습니다.nun-i naeliji anhseubnida.The snow is not falling.

Rule #2

The subject particle 이/가 (i/ga) need to be used when the verb used is 있다/없다 (ida/eobda). Let's look at some examples:

Korean SentencesRomanized HangulEnglish Translation
책이 있어요.chaeg-i iss-eoyo.I do have a book.
내가 차를 가지고 있다.nega chaleul gajigo issda.I do have a car.
아파트가 있습니다.apateuga issseubnida.I have a flat.
페라리가 있습니다.pelaliga issseubnida.You have a Ferrari.
학위가 있습니다.hag-wiga issseubnida.You have a degree.
그가 맨션을 가지고 있습니다.geuga maensyeon-eul gajigo issseubnida.He has a mansion.
그녀에게가 고양이가 있다.geunyeoegega goyang-iga issda.She has a cat.
그들에게가 아이들이 있습니다.geudeul-egega aideul-i issseubnida.They have the children.
대통령에게 권한이 있다.daetonglyeong-ege gwonhan-i issda.The president has the authority.
라이더들이 재미있습니다.laideodeulee-gajaemiissseubnida.The riders have fun.
의사들이 청진기를 가지고 있습니다.uisadeul-ee cheongjingileul gajigo issseubnida.The doctors have stethoscopes.

Rule #3

While comparing the two nouns, the topic markers are used with the second noun. For instance, the former noun ends with a subject particle while the latter noun ends with a topic marking particle.

Let's look at some examples:

Korean SentencesRomanized HangulEnglish Translation
비는 좋지만 불이 더 좋습니다.bineun johjiman bul-i deo johseubnida.Rain is good, but fire is better.
아이는 귀엽지만 아이가 더 좋습니다.aineun gwiyeobjiman aiga deo johseubnida.Children are cute, but a child is better.
결혼하는 것도 재미있을 수 있지만 싱글인 것이 더 좋습니다.gyeolhonhaneun geosdo jaemiiss-eul su issjiman sing-geul-in geos-i deo johseubnida.Being married might be fun but being single is better.
당신은 더 가깝지만 고양이가 더 좋습니다.dangsin-eun deo gakkabjiman goyang-iga deo johseubnida.You are closer, but the cat is better.
나는 나쁘지만 개가 더 나쁘다.naneun nappeujiman gaega deo nappeuda.I am bad, but the dog is worse.
차도 맛있지만 커피가 더 맛있다.chado mas-issjiman keopiga deo mas-issda.The tea tastes good, but the coffee tastes better.
죽음은 쉬워 보이지만 삶이 더 나은 것 같습니다.jug-eum-eun swiwo boijiman salm-i deo na-eun geos gatseubnida.Death seems easy, but life is better.

These are some general rules which should be kept in mind while making sentences. If these rules seem too much for you, it's fine to skip them for now and come back to them later.

If you are using the topic markers instead of a subject particle or vice-versa, then no one will call you out on that. They would still easily understand you. However, it's always good to know the language to leave a better impression.

Korean Subject Particles

It is important to use a subject marker to identify the subject in a sentence. A Subject marking particle refers to those particles which mark the subject of a sentence. For example, "은/는" (eun/neun) falls under the subject marking particles in Korean particles.

Korean Object Particles

An object marking particle refers to the Korean particles used to mark the object in a sentence. For example, "를/을" (eur/reur) falls under the category of object marking particles in Korean particles, using a Korean object particle to identify the object in a sentence.

Korean Topic Particles

A topic particle refers to the Korean particles used to mark the topic in a sentence. For example, "이/가" (ee/ga) falls under the category of topic marking particle in Korean particles. It is important to use the topic markers to identify the object in a sentence.

If you need to know how to use subject marking particle, object marking particle, and topic marking particle, please check out our blog about Korean sentence structure.

Possessive Particle

In every language, several words can indicate the quality of being possessed. It is referred to as the possessive form of a noun. For example, in Korean, the particle that associates one noun with another is "-의" (hui).

You can add "-의" (hui) between two nouns to show a connection between the two nouns. It can also be understood as an apostrophe in the English language. Furthermore, it is used both with nouns and pronouns.

Using Possessive Particles With Pronouns

While using possessive particles with pronouns, adding "-의 (hui)" after the pronoun as the suffix is important. For instance, if you want to say My, you can say 저의 (Mine)- 저 (jeo)+ 의 (hwi).

Now let's look at transforming a pronoun into a possessive pronoun using 의 (hui):

Pronouns As The SubjectEnglish TranslationsPossessive PronounsEnglish Translations
저 (jeo)+ 의 (hwi)I (Polite form) + 의 (possessive particle)저 의Mine
나( na) + 의 (hwi)I (Informal form)+ 의 (possessive particle)나의Mine
우리 (uri)+ 의 (hwi)We (informal)+ 의 (possessive particle)우리의Our
당신들 (dangsindeul) + 의 (hwi)You (Polite)+ 의 (possessive particle)당신들의Your
그대들 (geudaedeul) + 의 (hwi)You (Polite)+ 의 (possessive particle)그대들의Your
너희 (neohui)+ 의 (hwi)You (Informal)+ 의 (possessive particle)너희의Your
자네 (jane)+ 의 (hwi)You (Informal)+ 의 (possessive particle)자네의Your
그 (geu)+ 의 (hwi)He (Neutral)+ 의 (possessive particle)그의His
그녀 (geunyeo)+ 의 (hwi)She (Neutral)+ 의 (possessive particle)그녀의Her

This version of the possessive pronouns is generally used in textual Korean only. While you speak Korean, you need to conjugate these Korean particles with the nouns to make a new word.

저의 (jeo-ui) is shortened to 제 (jae), 나의 (na-ui) is shortened to 내 (nae), 너의 (neo-ui) is shortened to 니 (ni), 저희의 becomes 저희 (jeo-hui) and finally, 우리의 (u-ri-ui) becomes 우리(uri), etc.

Now let's look at some example sentences:

Korean SentencesRomanized HangulEnglish Translation
이것은 내 책이다.igeos-eun nae chaeg-ida.This is my book.
내 집이야.nae jib-iya.That is my house.
내 신발이 필요합니다.nae sinbal-i pil-yohabnida.You need my shoes.
나는 그의 옷을 좋아한다.naneun geuui os-eul joh-ahanda.I like his clothes.
그녀는 내 향수를 좋아합니다.geunyeoneun nae hyangsuleul joh-ahabnida.She likes my perfume.
나는 그녀의 화장을 좋아한다.naneun geunyeoui hwajang-eul joh-ahanda.I like her make-up.
앨리스는 당신의 직업이 필요합니다.aelliseuneun dangsin-ui jig-eob-i pil-yohabnida.Alice needs your job.
스미스는 당신의 회사를 원합니다.seumiseuneun dangsin-ui hoesaleul wonhabnida.Smith wants your company.
고양이가 당신의 케이크를 훔쳤습니다.goyang-iga dangsin-ui keikeuleul humchyeossseubnida.The cat stole your cake.
다음 수업을 듣겠습니다.da-eum sueob-eul deudgessseubnida.I'll take your next lesson.

Using Possessive Particles With Nouns

The possessive particles are used as nouns ending in the same way they were used for the pronouns. Therefore, you need to add "-의 (hui)" as a noun ending.

Let's look at some example sentences:

Korean SentencesRomanized HangulEnglish Translation
선생님의 책을 도난당했습니다.seonsaengnim-ui chaeg-eul donandanghaessseubnida.The teacher's book was stolen.
새끼 사자들이 죽임을 당했습니다.saekki sajadeul-i jug-im-eul danghaessseubnida.The lion's cubs were killed.
범인의 범행이 밝혀졌다beom-in-ui beomhaeng-i balghyeojyeossdaThe criminal's crimes were revealed
뱀의 피부가 벗겨졌습니다.baem-ui pibuga beosgyeojyeossseubnida.The snake's skin was shed.
어머니의 아이들은 한국어를 읽습니다.eomeoniui aideul-eun hangug-eoleul ilgseubnida.The mother's children read Korean.
경비원의 부모는 실제 문장을 만들었다.gyeongbiwon-ui bumoneun silje munjang-eul mandeul-eossda.The guard's parents made actual sentences.
거짓말쟁이의 말은 같은 의미였다.geojismaljaeng-iui mal-eun gat-eun uimiyeossda.The liar's speech had the same meaning.
환자의 의사는 커피를 마셨습니다.hwanjaui uisaneun keopileul masyeossseubnida.The patient's doctors drank coffee.
아프리카의 통화가 떨어지고 있습니다.apeulikaui tonghwaga tteol-eojigo issseubnida.Africa's currency is falling.
세상의 질서가 중요합니다.sesang-ui jilseoga jung-yohabnida.The world's order is important.
이 쇼의 참가자들은 가장 어려운 일을 합니다.i syoui chamgajadeul-eun gajang eolyeoun il-eul habnida.This show's participants do the most difficult things.

Additive Particle

Another type of Korean particle is the Additive particle. For example, 도 (do) is the additive particle in Korean grammar. An additive particle refers to the Korean particles which tend to add more to a certain topic/ thing. "Too/also" are the English equivalent of 도 (do) and 또한 (ttohan).

The first one is used while talking about two nouns. For example, in the sentence "I love you too." the first particle 도 (do) will be used, and thus, the entire sentence will be 나도 사랑 해요. (Nado salanghaeyo). Another example is "You too need to shower" which will be 당신도 샤워가 필요합니다 (dangsindo syawoga pil-yohabnida).

Similarly, if we want to talk about the person's additional qualities, we need to use 또한 (ttohan). "Elan was smart. She was also brave." will be "엘런은 똑똑했다. 그녀는 또한 용감했다." (elleon-eun ttogttoghaessda. geunyeoneun ttohan yong-gamhaessda) in Korean.

Additive particles can be used both with nouns and pronouns. Let's learn about them now:

Korean SentencesRomanized HangulEnglish Translation
그도 나를 때렸다.geudo naleul ttaelyeossda.He hit me too.
그도 나를 좋아한다.geudo naleul joh-ahanda.He likes me too.
여기에도 비가 내렸다.yeogiedo biga naelyeossda.It rained here too.
나도 당신에게 미소.nado dangsin-ege miso.I smile at you too.
나도 사랑 해요.nado salang haeyo.I love you too.
나도 당신이 싫어.nado dangsin-i silh-eo.I hate you too.
나도 울어.nado ul-eo.I cry too.
그녀도 운다.geunyeodo unda.She, too, cries.
나도 돈을 원해.nado don-eul wonhae.I want money too.
나도 좋아해.nado joh-ahae.I like me too.
나도 내가 되고 싶어.nado naega doego sip-eo.I'd wanna be me too.
당신도 똑똑합니다.dangsindo ttogttoghabnida.You, too, are smart.
당신도 샤워가 필요합니다.dangsindo syawoga pil-yohabnida.You, too, need to shower.
당신도 장갑을 가지고 있습니다.dangsindo jang-gab-eul gajigo issseubnida.You, too, have the gloves.
당신도 집을 찾을 수 있습니다.dangsindo jib-eul chaj-eul su issseubnida.You too can find a house.

Additive Particles With Pronouns

You can add the additive particles with any pronoun. For instance, if you want to say me too, you can add 도 (do) with 나 (na), and it will become 나도 (me too). Here is a table for you to learn the Korean particles with pronouns:

Let's look at a few examples:

Pronouns + Additive ParticleEnglish TranslationsPronouns In Additive FormsEnglish Translation
저 (jeo)+ 도 (do)I (Polite form) + 도 (additive particle)저도 (jeodo )Me too
나( na) + 도 (do)I (Informal form)+ 도 (additive particle)나도 (nado )Me too
우리 (uri)+ 도 (do)We (informal)+ 도 (additive particle)우리도 (urido )We too
당신들 (dangsindeul) + 도 (do)You (Polite)+ 도 (additive particle)당신들도 (dangsindeuldo )You too
그대들 (geudaedeul) + 도 (do)You (Polite)+ 도 (additive particle)그대들도 (geudaedeuldo )You too
너희 (neohui)+ 도 (do)You (Informal)+ 도 (additive particle)너희도 (neohuido )You too
자네 (jane)+ 도 (do)You (Informal)+ 도 (additive particle)자네도 (janedo )You too
그 (geu)+ 도 (do)He (Neutral)+ 도 (additive particle)그도 (geudo )He too
그녀 (geunyeo)+ 도 (do)She (Neutral)+ 도 (additive particle)그녀도 (gdo yeodo )She too

Connective Particle

There are several connective particles in the Korean language: 과/와, 하고, 고, and 이랑/랑 (gwa/wa, hago, go, and ilang/lang). For an in-depth insight into each, check our article about Korean conjunctions. Here are some sentences for you to briefly understand the use of each connective particle:

Example SentencesRomanized HangulEnglish Translation
나는 춤추는 것을 좋아한다. 하지만 내 발이 부러졌습니다.naneun chumchuneun geos-eul joh-ahanda. hajiman nae bal-i buleojyeossseubnida.I like to dance. But my foot is broken.
생각과 아이디어saeng-gaggwa aidieoThoughts and ideas
명사와 동사myeongsawa dongsaNouns and verbs
먹고 마시다meoggo masidaEat and drink
나는 이를 닦고 잠에 든다naneun ileul dakkgo jam-e deundaI brush my teeth and go to sleep
내 양치질. 그리고 자러 가십시오.nae yangchijil. geuligo jaleo gasibsio.Brush my teeth. And go to bed.
텔레비전 및 인기 게시물tellebijeon mich ingi gesimulTelevision and Popular Posts
그녀가 연설을 하고 있었나요?geunyeoga yeonseol-eul hago iss-eossnayo?Was she giving a speech?

Place Particles

Place particles refer to the particles which specify the location of something. For example, there are two place/location particles in Korean particles: 에/에서 (e/seo). Here are some ways to use the place particles:

Example SentencesRomanized HangulEnglish Translation
어디에 있나요?eodie issnayo?Where are you?
나는 병원에 있다.naneun byeong-won-e issda.I am at the hospital.
그 책은 어디에 있습니까?geu chaeg-eun eodie issseubnikka?Where is that book?
테이블 위에있어.teibeul wieiss-eo.It is on the table.
휴가는 어디로 갈 수 있나요?hyuganeun eodilo gal su issnayo?Where can I go on vacation?
파리에 갈 수 있어요.palie gal su iss-eoyo.I can go to Paris.

Direction Particles

The direction particles refer to the particles which specify the direction of something. For example, there are two direction particles in Korean: 으로 (euro)/로 (ro). Let's look at some examples:

Example SentencesRomanized HangulEnglish Translation
나는 기차로 일본에 갑니다.naneun gichalo ilbon-e gabnida.I am going to Japan by train.
오른쪽으로 가겠습니다.oleunjjog-eulo gagessseubnida.I am going to the right side.
왼쪽에 있습니다.oenjjog-e issseubnida.It is on the left side.
지금 우회전해야 합니다.jigeum uhoejeonhaeya habnida.You need to turn to the right side now.
이 거리로 직진하셔야 합니다.i geolilo jigjinhasyeoya habnida.You need to come straight on this street.

Learn Korean With The Ling App

Korean Particles

Do you now consider yourself pro at using Korean particles? How many Korean particles have you memorized already? Being a new learner learning Korean might seem challenging. Thus we bring a perfect place for you to start your learning and take it up a notch. Ling App by Simya Solutions is a great place to start learning Korean and any other language.

We have also uploaded a couple of useful articles like the complete guide to TOPIK Test and easy ways to study Korean independently. We have native speakers who proofread our material and make sure that everything is perfect for you guys. You can learn everything, starting from simple concepts like the "Korean alphabet" and "Korean sentence structure" to the complex concepts of the Korean language like "Korean Grammar." So bookmark our page and benefit from a pool of blogs and relevant information.

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