Korean postpositions

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Korean postpositions are suffixes or short words in Korean grammar that immediately follow a noun or pronoun. This article uses the Revised romanization to show morphology. Look to the hangul versions underneath for the official orthographic form.


Preceding syntactic element Example sentence Translation
(n-)eun
은/는
Used as a topic particle or a subject particle. Eun 은 is used following a consonant, Neun 는 is used following a vowel.
Nouns (topic) Naneun haksaengida.
나는 학생이다.
I am a student.
Nouns (topic) Ikeseun yeonpirida.
이것은 연필이다.
This is a pencil.
Nouns (genericized nominative) Chitaneun ppareuda.
치타는 빠르다.
Cheetahs are fast.
Nouns (topic) Jeoneun jjajangmyeon juseyo.
저는 짜장면 주세요.
I'd like a jajangmyeon.
i/ga
이/가
Used as an identifier particle or a subject particle. I 이 is used following a consonant, Ga 가 is used following a vowel.
Nouns (agent) Naega masyeotda.
내가 마셨다.
I drank.
Nouns (identifier) Jeokeosi Hankangiya.
저것이 한강이야.
That is the Han River.
Nouns (specific nominative) Chitaga neurida.
치타가 느리다.
This cheetah is slow.
do
Used as an additive particle. When dealing with additive qualities/descriptions of the same subject, ttohan 또한 is used.
Nouns Geunyeodo gongbuhanda.
그녀도 공부한다.
She studies too.
Nouns (additive) Jeongnameun guninieotda. Geuneun ttohan jeongchigayeotda.
정남은 군인이었다. 그는 또한 정치가였다.
Jeong-nam was a soldier. He was also a politician.
(r-)eul
을/를
Used as an object particle. Eul 을 is used following a consonant, 'Reul 를 is used following a vowel,
Nouns (objective) Naneun Ramyeoneul mekeotda.
나는 라면을 먹었다.
I ate ramen.
ege/hante
에게/한테
Used as a dative particle. Ege 에게 is the literary form, and Hante 한테 is the colloquial form.
Noun Neohuiege hal mari itda.
너희에게 할 말이 있다.
I have something to tell you.
kke
Kke 께 is the honorific dative marker.
Noun Goyongjukke seonmureul deuryeotda.
고용주께 선물을 드렸다.
I gave a gift to my employer.
(eu)ro
으로/로
Used to mark the instrumental case, which can also denote destination or role. Euro 으로 is used following a consonant other than 'ㄹ', which is abbreviated to 'Ro 로 following a vowel or a consonant 'ㄹ'.
Noun (means) KTX-ro Seoureseo Busankkaji se sigan geollinda.
KTX로 서울에서 부산까지 3시간 걸린다.
It takes 3 hours to go from Seoul to Busan via KTX.
Noun (destination) Naeil Hojuro tteonapnida.
내일 호주로 떠납니다.
I am leaving for Australia tomorrow.
Noun (role) Unjeonsaro chwijikhaeyo.
운전사로 취직해요.
I'm looking for a job as a driver.
e
Used for any words relating to time or place.
Time (noun) Maikeureun palweore watda.
마이클은 8월에 왔다.
Michael came in August.
Location (noun) Jedongeun ilbone katda.
제동은 일본에 갔다.
Jedong went to Japan.
eseo
에서
Translates to: "from" when used with a motion verb. May also be used as "at", "in" when used with an action verb which is not motion related.
Noun (from) Junggugeseo wasseo.
중국에서 왔어.
I came from China.
Noun (in) Bang eseo gongbu-reul haet-da.
방에서 공부를 했다.
I studied in my room.
man
Translates to: "only", used after a noun.
Noun Ojik jeimseu-man hangugeo-reul gongbu-haet-da.
오직 제임스만 한국어를 공부했다.
Only James studied Korean.
ui
Functions as: possession indicator, noun link, topic marker.
Noun: possession Migugui daetongryeong
미국의 대통령
President of the United States
(g)wa
과/와
Translates to: "and" (conjunction); "with" or "as with" (preposition). Gwa 과 is used following a consonant, Wa 와 is used following a vowel.
Nouns: conjunction Newa na
You and I

References[edit]

  • Martin SE (2006). Reference Grammar of Korean: A Complete Guide to the Grammar and History of the Korean Language. Tuttle Publishing.
  • Vincent M, Yeon J (2010). Complete Korean. McGraw-Hill Professional.
  • Ihm Ho Bin, Hong Kyung Pyo, and Chang Suk In. Korean Grammar for International Learners. Yonsei University Press