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Lesson 12: Korean Particles , only, from,

/, ()

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An Important Note: Eliminating Subjects/Topic

Korean Particle (and using with counters)

Korean Particle (only):
Korean Particle (from):
Korean Particles: (from and to) and
Korean Particle ()

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Hover your mouse over any word to see examples of that word in use (you probably
wont be able to understand the grammar within the sentences at this point, but it is
good to see as you progress through your learning).

A PDF file neatly presenting all of these words and example sentences in addition to
common usages and specific notes can be found here.

= store assistant
= actor
= neck/throat
= noise/sound
= voice
= application
= meaning
= situation
= chicken
= sentence
= oil/grease/gasoline
= lifestyle/life
= them

= whisper
= review/re-study
= change
() = study abroad
= to fall
= read
= depart
= drink
= get off, go down, come down
= come out
= go out
= write/also wear a hat
= to not know

= thin (not people)
= moderate
= young
= glad

Adverbs and Other Words:

= floor (2nd floor = /3rd floor = )
= fairly/quite
= adverb hard/well (study hard)
= perfectly, completely
= some ____, how many (used with a counter)
= time (a time)
= at that time
__ = side/direction

For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.


As of now, you have learned a few different Korean particles. The particles you have
learned so far are: /, /, /, and . There are many more particles that you
will need to learn and this lesson will cover a lot of them. In this lesson, you will learn
about ~, ~, ~, ~, ~ and ~()! Lets get started!
An Important Note: Eliminating the Subject

One thing that I have yet to tell you is that Korean people often omit the topic/subject of
the sentence especially when the topic/subject is I. Korean people love making their
sentences as short as possible, and this is one additional way of doing it. In most cases,
when the subject/topic can be inferred by the situation, Korean people drop it entirely
from the sentence. For example, instead of saying:

= I didnt eat breakfast

They would say:

= I didnt eat breakfast

Both are perfect sentences and both can be used, but you should be aware that Korean
people often get rid of the subject/topic altogether when speaking. This will be done
from time to time throughout our lessons.

Korean Particle ~ and using with a counter

You have probably been asking yourself how can I make something plural? Up to now, I
havent mentioned anything about plural words in Korean. The reason for this is Korean
people rarely distinguish between singular and plural. For example, if I say:

This could mean I bought an apple OR I bought apples. This seems crazy to English
speakers, but this is just how it is done in Korean. In most cases, the context can make it
clear if you bought an apple or if you bought apples. If you really want to make it clear
that you bought one apple, you could say:

1 = I bought one apple

When dealing with the ambiguity of singular/plural sentences in Korean, you could also
use the word which can replace a number in these examples: 2 /2 /2 . When
replaces a number in these cases ( / / ), it has the meaning of some ____.
For example, instead of saying: 1 , you could say:

= I bought SOME apples

More examples (remember that 1 and 1 have the same meaning):

= I bought some pens
= I met some people
= I went to school a few/some times (not sometimes)
(remember, acts as an adverb so it doesnt need a particle to be attached to it).

Anyways, back to what I was trying to say earlier. ~ can be attached to a noun to make
that noun plural. BUT, is usually only attached to the word person () or other
words with the meaning of people (for example: actors, workers, doctors, etc).

= doctors have a lot of money

= The teacher will meet the students tomorrow
* = actors usually dont like their movies
*By adding the possessive particle to (them) it becomes (their)

Korean Particle ~ (only)

is another good particle to know that has the meaning of only. It can be attached
directly to the end of a noun to express only ____. For example:

= I only drink water

= Only I like that girl
= I only bought apples
You could also stress that you only bought one apple (or any other number of things) by
placing ~ on a counter:

1 = I only bought 1 apple

I said it once before in Lesson 3, but it is something that learners of Korean often forget:
When a verb ends in , the part before is usually a noun form of that verb. The
examples I gave before were:

= succeed
= success

= speak
= speech/words

= achieve
= achievement

With these verbs, the part before can be separated from to make a noun form
of that verb. Then, , meaning do can act on that noun (I do study = I study). It is
hard to explain, but look at the following example:

= I studied
= I studied

Those two mean exactly the same thing, even though in the second example, is
used as a stand-alone noun. But why is all of this important? It is important because now
you can treat as a regular noun, which means you can attach to it:

= I only studied
= Yesterday, I only worked

Note that just because a word ends in , doesnt mean you can do this. For example,
many adjectives end in (for example: : happy), but this:
= I am only happy doesnt really make a lot of sense

Also, many verbs dont end in and just end in (for example: , ,
). The way that you can change those verbs into a form that allows ~ to be
attached will be discussed in Lesson 29.

Korean Particle ~

is one of the most common Korean particles, but also one of the things that English
learners of Korean have a hard time understanding. Using seems easy, but the
usage is so similar to , it is often used incorrectly. One of the two main usages of
is to indicate a location in which a verb is being done. The English translation is usually
at but can sometimes be in depending on the situation:

= I will study at school

= I saw my friend at the hospital
= I will meet my husband at the park
= I learned Korean in Korea

In those examples, study, see, meet and learn are all action verbs, so the location in
which they are being done needs to have ~ attached to it.
But, (to be in/at a place) is not an action verb, so should be used instead of

= Im at home
= Im in the car

The other main usage of has the general meaning of from and can be used in a
wide-variety of ways:

When you are leaving from a place:

= The next bus will depart from that station
When you are getting off of something (bus/train):
= I will get off at (from) Seoul station

When something/someone is coming/going/being taken out of something:

= the student came out of the classroom

You can also use this to indicate the country (or any other place, for that matter) that you
come from. In English, we say I come from Canada/Im from Canada but in Korean the
past tense of come must be used:

= I come from Canada

I dont want to go on a rant here, but one of the things that bugs me is the textbooks
that teach ___ in the first or second lesson before any of the
grammar concepts within the sentence have been taught. For example, when I first
started learning Korean, I had a textbook that taught me ____ on the
very first page. Without explaining why I was using instead of , why I was using ,
what meant, what meant, how/why changes to , how/why
changes to . But I digress

It is also important to know that when ~ is added to the words // (here,

there, there), it is common to write/say:

instead of
instead of
instead of

In addition to the examples provided, there are more ways in which can be used to
mean from, but the grammar/words that would be used in those sentences are too
complex for you right now. You wont understand these examples completely, but try to
understand the role of within these sentences:
= I live far from school
1 10 = Count from 1 to 10
= They chose me from many candidates
1 2 = Please come from 1:00 to 2:00
10 5 = Subtract 5 from 10

As you can see, from (in English) has many usages as well. When a word has a lot of
meanings in Korean and the corresponding English word also has a lot of meanings it
is usually very difficult to understand the usage completely.

Korean Particles ~ and ~

Two more important Korean particles you need to know are ~ and ~.

~ can be used in sentences with or without ~ to have the meaning of to/until a

place/time. For example:

3 = I will wait until 3:00

= I liked that girl until now
5 = I will work at that company until May

is an easy particle to use, and is the same as in some situations. However, the
hardest part about is figuring out when to use it instead of .

First, can never replace when has the meaning of at, because can
only mean from. For example, means I study at school. You
cannot replace with in this situation. But,

can also be said as:

= I will go from Incheon to Seoul
is generally used to indicate that something starts from a place or time
(////3 ///4 //etc). For example:

= I have been sick since (from) yesterday

= I only studied from morning to night (all I did
from morning to night was study).
1 8 = I will be in Canada from the 1st to the 8th
= Im going to study Korean from tomorrow
= From next year, we will be living in Seoul

Korean Particle ~()

The Korean particle ~() can be added to nouns with a few different meanings. One
of the main meanings is to indicate with what tool/device/method/material something is
carried out. The English equivalent varies depending on the usage:

Write with a pen

Go to the store by car
Go to school on foot
Make a house out of wood

This meaning of ~() can be used in so many situations it would be impossible to list
them all. As you get comfortable with the basic examples of this usage, you will slowly be
able to grasp when it should be used in all situations.
~ is added to words ending in a vowel, whereas ~ is added to words ending in a
consonant. ~ is also added to words ending in . The only reason for this difference is
for ease of pronunciation. If you say there is a split second where your tongue
cannot go directly from to ~ so it is changed to .
= I built our house out of wood
= I will go to Je-ju by boat
= I built that with my hands

It is also used to indicate what you ate for a specific meal:

= I ate rice for breakfast

= I usually only eat fruit for lunch

The other main meaning of ~() is to indicate the direction that something is
happening in. This sometimes has the same meaning as .For example:

= I will go in the direction of home (simply I will go home), which

would be the same as:
= I will go home

~() is often added after ~ to make ~. ~ can be added after some

nouns and some direction words (above/below/East/West/etc) to mean the direction of

= that way/direction
= upper direction
= the direction of the people, etc..

To make sentences like:

= My friend went that way

= Students walk towards/in the direction of their class

Notice the difference between these two:

= I ran inside the house

= I ran inside the house
In the first example, you are running into the house/in the direction of inside the house.
In the second example, you are running inside the house.

Thats it for this lesson! I wanted to cover a few more particles, but this lesson already has
way too much in it! In the next lesson, I will introduce you to more of these common
particles. Until then, make sure you review this lesson before you move on!

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