Korean: About Korean Particles 를/을, 는/은, 가/이


In Korean, the sentence structure is basically a combination of 'noun followed by a verb', and of course in more complex sentences there will be particles, adverbs, conjunctions and so on. The question is, how do you know if the noun before the verb is a subject or a object? This article will explain the particles words 를/을 for objects and 를/은 and 가/이** for subjects.

If you are using Chrome or an Android phone, you can listen to the pronunciation by clicking on the Korean in the table or the Korean in the example sentences in the article!

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Sentence Structure in Korean

In Korean, the sentence structure is basically a combination of "noun followed by a verb", and of course in more complex sentences there will be particles, adverbs, conjunctions and so on.

Sentence Structure in Korean: Noun followed by a Verb
Noun is subject: he slept = 그는 잤다
Noun is object: eat rice = 밥을 먹다

So the question is, how do you know if the noun before a verb is a subject or a object?

The answer is to distinguish the judgment by the particles used.

This article will explain the particles words 를/을 for objects and 를/은 and 가/이** for subjects.

를/을: particle for objects

In the example just illustrated, like 밥을 먹다, the noun followed by 를 /을 particle is used to indicate that the preceding noun is a object. The sentence pattern is as follows.

Noun + 를/을 + Verb

To determine 를 or 을 which one to use by checking the noun.
If noun ends with consonant, then use 을.
If noun ends with vowel, the use 를.

는/은、가/이: particle for subject

he example sentences in the previous articles have all had adjectives like 는/은 and 가/이, which are particles that represent the subject.
Such as the following example sentence.

나는 학생이에요

I am a student.

동생은 18 세입니다.

My young brother is 18 years old.

시간이 없습니다.

There is no time.

날씨가 좋다.

The weather is good.

The nouns preceding 는/은 and 이/가 are the subject of the sentence.
Observation shows the following sentence patterns.

Noun + 은/는、이/가 + Verb/Adjective

To determine 를 or 을 which one to use by checking the noun.
If noun ends with consonant, then use 은,이.
If noun ends with vowel, the use 는,가.

Practice to see if you can tell if the following sentence is about a cat chasing a mouse or a mouse chasing a cat.

고양이는 쥐를 쫓았다.

고양이: cat
쥐: mouse

                Ans: a cat chasing a mouse。

How can I tell whether to use 는/은 or 가/이?

What is the difference between the two, since they are both used as subjects?
I'm sure a lot of people have these questions.
I was wondering how to tell the difference, but then I found some rules in some information.

1. 는/은 is used to indicate a theme or a comparative meaning.
2. 가/이 is used to emphasize the key point, hoping that the listener or audience will put the emphasis on the keyword. Especially when "who", "what" and "which one" are used as the main subject, 가/이 is used as an particle.

For example, if "I am a doctor" is represented by "는/은" and "가/이".

의사입니다.

The theme is "I", so you can introduce yourself with a sentence like the one above.


의사입니다.

I hope that others will focus on the main word "I," which is often used nowadays when someone asks, "Who is the doctor (누가 의사입니까?)? When someone asks, "Who is the doctor (누가의사입니까?)", this phrase is used to emphasize that "I, myself" is the doctor.

Or something like, "I'll do it" when asked, "Who's going to do it?"... And so on.

저, 나 after 가 particle words should become "제가", "내가".
You can take a look at the details.About Korean Pronouns: You, Me, He/She


In addition, when _the sentence has a comparative meaning, the particle "는/은" is used.

이 요리는 다른 요리보다 낫습니다.

This dish is more delicious than another.

Note

There is only one topic in a sentence, so "는/은" appears once in a sentence. But "가/이" can be used multiple times in a sentence.

There are many situations in which both can be used, and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the timing of use. Therefore, you can watch and listen more by yourself, and integrate with the basic rules above. After a long time, you can naturally master these differences in language sense.

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