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.


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.


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).

Grammar Lesson 3 Korean

(ㄴ/은),운,(적)인 Adjectives

In Korean there is a very simple way to make an adjective.

DV + (ㄴ/은)

1.You take a descriptive verb, remove the ‘다’ base, and if it ends in a vowel, you add ㄴ to the bottom, and if it ends in a consonant, you append 은, and place it in front of the noun you want to describe. That’s it.

작다 = to be small. 작 + 은 = 작은 = small.

행복하다 = to be happy. 행복하 + ㄴ = 행복한 = happy.

예쁘다 = to be pretty. 예쁘 + ㄴ = 예쁜 = pretty.

DV + 운

2. For verbs that end in ‘ㅂ’, you remove the ‘ㅂ’ and append ‘운’ instead.

아름답다 = to be beautiful. 아름다 + 운 = 아름다운 = beautiful.

N + 적 + 인

3. You might see the word ‘적’ attached to some nouns. This is the equivalent of adding ‘-ness’ to a noun, but to make it actually modify a noun, you have to append ‘인’ in addition to ‘적’.

사교적인 = 사교 (social) + 적 (social-ness) + 인 = sociable.


예쁜 여자 있어요! = There’s a pretty girl!

그는 진짜 조용한 사람이에요. = He’s a really quiet guy.

For a list of common descriptive verbs, there’s a list here.

DV + (아/어/여)지다

3. Attaching (아/어/여)지다 to a descriptive verb (adjective) means ‘to become + DV’.


예뻐졌어요! = (It) became prettier!