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Grammar Lesson 1 Korean

은/는 (topic particle)

N + 은/는

Appending 은/는 to a noun denotes the topic of the sentence.
When the noun ends in a consonant, the ending 은 is used.
When the noun ends in a vowel, 는 is used.

The topic particle is used to specify what you are talking about, or in contrast to other things. This is different than in English, where in English the subject is never omitted and sometimes ‘the’ is used to be more specific.

Also notice that almost every sentence in these lessons ends with ‘요’. This word denotes a ‘polite’ ending, and is attached to the end of everything when you are talking to someone that you don’t know well. We will cover this more in a later lesson.

Examples

학생이에요 = I’m a student.

내일 일해요 = I’m working tomorrow

Particle + 은/는

Advanced usage: Using 은/는 on a particle instead of a noun emphasizes the particle and/or emphasizes the contrast between two things.

Examples

토론토에서는 엄청 추워요! – Toronto is really cold! (in comparison to other cities).

혼자 가면은 안될거같아요. – If you go alone, it wouldn’t be good. (emphasizing only if you go alone).

하진 않아요. – I haven’t decided. (emphasizing that you haven’t).

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Grammar Lesson 3 Korean

(ㄴ/은),는,(ㄹ/을),던 (past, present, future) particles, verbs into adjectives

We already know how to make past tense, present tense and future tense with verbs.
Now let’s learn how to use those tenses to modify nouns.
We’ve already learned how to turn verbs into nouns, but we haven’t discussed how to do it with different tenses, and how they modify nouns.

V + 는

1. We already learned how to make a present tense verb a noun. The common way of doing this is appending ‘는 것’ to the verb. To make a present tense verb an adjective, we just conjugate it with ‘는’. The particle ‘는’ before a noun in general means you are talking about the present (This particle is also used as the topic particle, but that’s unrelated to this).
If we want to express the fact that we are doing something in present tense, we just say [verb] + ‘는 거예요’ or ‘는 거야 (casual)’.

공부해야하는 것이 있어요. – There’s things I need to study (presently).

한국어 공부하는거예요. I’m studying Korean (talking about the fact of doing it presently). This is sort of similar to saying 한국어 공부해요, except more focusing on the fact.

V + (ㄴ/은)

2. To make a past tense verb an adjective, we conjugate it with ‘ㄴ/은’. The particle ‘ㄴ/은’ before a noun in general means you are talking about the past.
If we want to express the fact that we did something in past tense, we just say [verb] + ‘ㄴ/은 거예요’ or ‘ㄴ/은 거야 (casual)’.

공부해야한 것은 많아요. – I had a lot of things I had to study.

언제 여기에 온거예요? = When did you come here? – (talking about the fact of coming here in the past). This is sort of similar to saying 언제 왔어요? except more focusing on the fact.

V + (ㄹ/을)

3. To make a future tense verb an adjective, we conjugate it with ‘ㄹ/을’. The particle ‘ㄹ/을’ before a noun in general means you are talking about the future.
If we want to express the fact that we will do something in future tense, we just say [verb] + ‘ㄹ/을 거예요’ or ‘ㄹ/을 거야 (casual)’.

공부해야할 것은 많아요. – I have a lot of things I should study for.

언제 갈거예요? = When will you go? – (this is the standard future tense we already learned).

V + (았/었/였)던

4. In addition, there is another past tense particle that is slightly different than using ‘ㄴ/은’. You may have seen the particle ‘던’ attached to verbs/adjectives before. This is emphasizing the fact that something used to be that way, but not anymore. The verb it is attached to can either be in present form (아/어/여) or past form (았/었/였) to emphasize that its in the past.

했던 친구들이 지금은 다 외국에 살아요. – The friends that I used to know are now living overseas.

예전에 제가 자주 가던 곳이에요. – This is the place I used to go to before.

V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)거예요
V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)건데요
V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)거죠
V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)걸까요?
V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)건가요?

These endings are similar to using their ‘regular’ counterparts.
V + (ㄴ/은)거예요 is similar to the regular past tense V + 았/었/였요.
V + 는거예요 is similar to the regular present tense V + 아/어/여요.
V + (ㄹ/을)거예요 is regular future tense.
V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)건데요 is similar to the ending 는데.
V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)거죠 is similar to the ending .
V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)걸까요? and V + (ㄴ/은,는,ㄹ/을)건가요? are question endings similar to the question endings 까요? and 가요?