Korean Particles

Korean Particles

This graphic is only a brief and simple explanation of the particles. There are a lot more nuances about when and how to use them that can’t be covered in one graphic. Check out How to Study Korean for a more detailed explanation of them. They cover them very well.

Particles in this graphic:

은/는 (eun/neun) 

Topic or subject marking particle. 은 is used following a consonant, while 는 is used following a vowel.

이/가 (i/ga)

Identifier/subject particle. 이 is used following a consonant while 가 is used following a vowel.

도 (do)

Used as an additive particle. Equivalent to “too” or “also”.

을/를 (eul/reul)

An object marking particle (attached to an object a verb describes). 을 is used after a consonant while 를 is used after a vowel.

어게/한테/께 (eo-ge/han-te/kke)

A dative particle. Used when you are giving or receiving something from someone. 께 is honorific, 어께 is formal, and 한테 is informal.

으로/로 (eu-ro/ro)

Used to describe a method or way of doing something. 으로 is used following a consonant other than “ㄹ”. 로 is used after a vowel or after “ㄹ”.

에/에서 (e/e-seo)

Time and location marking particle. 에서 is used as “from” and “to”. 에서 can also be used as “in” or “at” if the verb is not motion related.

부터/까지 (bu-teo/gga-ji)

Used as “from” and “to”. Specifically as to when something starts and finishes.

들 (deul)

Plural marker. Usually only attached to person nouns and not objects. Attaching this to objects sounds awkward.

만 (man)

Means “only” and is used after nouns.

의 (ui)

Possesive marker

과/와/랑/이랑 (gwa/wa/rang/i-rang)

Used to express “with”, “and”, or “as with”. 과/이랑 are used after a consonant and 와/랑 are used after a vowel. 랑 & 이랑 are more informal and are mainly used in speech.

Remember that romanization is only a tool! Try not to depend on it too much and try learning the Korean alphabet and how to pronounce the letters properly and you will have a much easier time learning.

Some great books to get your started are Korean Made Simple: A beginner's guide to learning the Korean language and Become a Hangeul Master: Learn to Read and Write Korean Characters


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4 Comments
  • Patrick07
    Feb 16,2016 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you very much for this one, I really needed it 😀

    I’m learning korean now and I din’t know nor understand when and why to use those particles. ( The same used to happen with me with ‘do’ when I was learning english).

    • Dominic 'Dom' Dinkins
      Feb 18,2016 at 6:08 pm

      Yeah they can be confusing even for people who have studied Korean for a long time. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Bennett Seacrist
    Feb 16,2016 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks for the graphic; it’s quite informative! Knowing when to use the topic or subject particle is one of my biggest issues so far with Korean. With more practice I’ll hopefully get a better grip on them (somewhat) soon.

    • Dominic 'Dom' Dinkins
      Feb 18,2016 at 6:09 pm

      Practice makes perfect. They can be confusing but the more you use them, the more you will understand when and how to use them.

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