20+ Korean Particles: An Easy Guide

Original Blog Post: https://ling-app.com/ko/korean-particles/

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:

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:

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:

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):

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

Learn Korean With The Ling App

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.

Happy learning!



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