Lesson 13: Korean Particles: and, with, to, from, for, about
The vocabulary is separated into nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs for the purpose of simplicity.
Click on the English word to see information and examples of that word in use (you probably won’t be able to understand the grammar within the sentences at this point, but it is good to see as you progress through your learning).
A PDF file neatly presenting these words and extra information can be found here.
사실 = fact
약 = medicine
음악 = music
하늘 = sky
땅 = land
지하 = underground
빵 = bread
쓰레기 = trash/garbage
회계사 = accountant
녹차 = green tea
이 = teeth
정부 = government
성격 = personality
온도 = temperature
커튼 = curtains
숨 = breath
축하하다 = to congratulate
일어나다 = to rise, to get up
준비하다 = to prepare, to get ready
익숙하다 = to be familiar with something
들어오다 = to come in
들어가다 = to go in
입장하다 = to admit
숨쉬다 = to breathe
흥미롭다 = to be interesting
늦다 = to be late
시원하다 = to be cool, to be relaxing
질투하다 = to be jealous
맵다 = to be spicy
죄송하다 = to be sorry
미안하다 = to be sorry
무겁다 = to be heavy
가볍다 = to be light
유명하다 = to be popular, to be famous
나쁘다 = to be bad
요즘 = these days
같이 = together
For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.
In the last lesson, you learned some important Korean particles that you can use in a wide variety of situations. There are still a few more basic particles that you need to be aware of before you can begin learning more complex grammar. Most of these particles are very common, so it is hard to build sentences using more complex grammar without the use of what you learned in Lesson 12, and what you will learn in this lesson. Let’s get started!
Korean Particles (and): ~과/와, ~랑/이랑 and ~하고
~과/와, ~랑/이랑 and ~하고 can all be used interchangeably to mean “and” in Korean.
~과 and ~와 are the same. ~과 is attached to words ending in a consonant, ~와 is attached to words ending in a vowel. Similarly, ~랑 and ~이랑 are the same. ~이랑 is attached to words ending in a consonant, ~랑 is attached to words ending in a vowel. ~하고 can be attached to words ending in a vowel or consonant. These can be added fairly simply to nouns. For example:
우리는 밥과 빵을 팔아요 = We sell rice and bread
나는 사과와 바나나를 샀어 = I bought apples and bananas
The two examples above show ~와/과/랑/이랑/하고 placed between two nouns that together act as the object of the sentence. Notice that although there are two nouns, both of them (together) sort of act as the single object of the sentence.
Other particles can attach to the construction made by using ~와/과/랑/이랑/하고 as well. For example:
나는 인천이랑 서울에 갈 거야 = I will go to Seoul and Incheon
형하고 아버지는 영화를 봤어 = My brother and dad saw a movie
저는 약과 녹차만 샀어요 = I only bought medicine and green tea
Korean Particles (with): ~과/와, ~랑/이랑 and ~하고
Just when you thought this was going to be an easy lesson! Ha! This sounds crazy to an English speaker, but the same particles are used to mean “and” and “with” in Korean. You can distinguish them purely by the context of the conversation, which sounds like it would be difficult. However, even though you probably think it is difficult, it is always clear (even to a beginner) if the speaker is trying to express the meaning of “and” or “with” because of the sentence structure.
For example, when used to have the meaning of “and,” a noun will always follow 과/와/(이)랑/하고: For example:
나는 사과와 바나나를 샀어 = I bought apples and bananas
After 와, another noun is used, which means you are talking about apples AND bananas. But if I said this:
나는 친구와 갔어 = I went with my friend
There is no additional noun after 와, which means it can only mean “with.” If ~와in that sentence had the meaning of “and”, it would translate to:
I went, my friend and…
… which is just nonsense
Here are some examples:
저는 친구와 집에 갔어요 = I went home with my friend
나는 아버지랑 공원에 갈 거야 = I will go to the park with my dad
선생님은 학생들과 박물관에 갔다 = The teacher went to the museum with the students
요즘에 사람들이 친구들이랑 매운 음식을 먹지 않아요 = These days, people don’t eat spicy food with their friends
Also notice that you can actually use these particles to mean both “and” and “with” within the same sentence:
저는 밥을 친구랑 저의 어머니랑 먹었어요 = I ate (rice*) with my mom and my friend
*Korean people often use “밥” (rice) to simply mean “food.” It stems from the fact that Korean people eat rice with (almost) every meal – so if you ate, it means that you ate rice. You can say “밥을 먹었어” which can simply mean “I ate.”
Two adverbs that are commonly used in sentences with “with” are 같이 and 함께. Both of them mean “together,” and can be used in sentences even if the sentence doesn’t have one of the particles meaning “with” (과/와/랑/이랑/하고). For example:
우리는 빵을 같이 먹었어요 = We ate bread together
우리는 빵을 함께 먹었어요 = We ate bread together
우리는 집에 같이 들어갔어요 = We went into the house together
우리는 집에 함께 들어갔어요 = We went into the house together
우리는 음악을 같이 들었어요 = We listened to music together
우리는 음악을 함께 들었어요 = We listened to music together
The use of the word “together” in the same sentence as the word “with” in English is usually unnatural. For example, it sounds unnatural for me to say something like this:
I ate bread together with a friend
Instead, in English, we would say one of the following sentences:
I ate bread with a friend
We ate bread together
In Korean however, it is okay to use 같이 or 함께 in either of these situations; that is – with the word “with” in the sentence, or without it. For example:
저는 빵을 친구랑 같이 먹었어요 = I ate bread with a friend (together)
저는 빵을 친구와* 함께 먹었어요 = I ate bread with a friend (together)
저는 빵을 친구랑 먹었어요 = I ate bread with a friend
저는 빵을 친구와 먹었어요 = I ate bread with a friend
Notice that I used ~와 with 함께 instead of ~랑. Just like with the meaning of “and,” “~와/과” is more likely to be used in writing and in formal situations, whereas “~(이)랑” is more likely to be used is speech. This entirely depends on the person who is speaking/writing, but it is generally true. Likewise, the use of “함께” is generally used in writing and formal situations. Therefore, the use of 함께 is more likely to be paired with ~과/와 in these cases.
To add an additional level of complexity to this explanation – 같이 is more commonly used than 함께 (같이 is probably one of the most common words in Korean, while 함께 would fall much further down the list). However, when 함께 is used, it is more likely to be used with ~과/와. These are just generalizations based on observations of years of speaking with Korean people.
저는 녹차를 엄마랑 같이 마셨어요 = I drank green tea with my mom
저는 엄마랑 유명한 영화를 같이 봤어요 = I saw/watched a famous movie with my mom
저는 선생님과 함께 공부했어요 = I studied with my teacher
저는 여자 친구와 함께 영화를 봤어요 = I watched a movie with my girlfriend
You can also use these particles to say that you are simply ‘with’ somebody in a location. In order to do this, you must use 있다 along with one of the adverbs meaning “together”. For example:
나는 친구랑 같이 있어 = I’m with my friend
저는 친구와 집에 함께 있어요 = I’m with a friend at home
Note that this meaning of “with” in Korean cannot be used like this:
I built a house with my hands
Remember, “my hands” are the method in which you did something, so, as you learned in Lesson 12 ~(으)로 should be used in those situations. For example:
저는 손으로 집을 지었어요
Korean Particles (to) 에게/한테/께
These three particles can all be used to indicate that you are doing (usually giving) something TO somebody. 에게, 한테 and 께 all have the same meaning, but ~한테 is usually used in conversation, ~에게 is usually written (although it is still said in conversation very often) and ~께 is used when the person you are giving something to requires respect (께 is the honorific form of 에게/한테).
아버지는 아들에게 돈을 준다 = The father gives money to his son
나는 학생들한테 한국어를 가르쳤어 = I taught Korean to the students
저는 부장님께 그 사실을 말할 거예요 = I will tell that (fact) to my boss
In the sentence above using ~께, a different verb (말씀) and grammatical form (드리다) would more likely be used to conjugate the sentence. At this point, you haven’t learned either of those words (or how they are used), so I refrained from using them in this example. These will be introduced in Lesson 39. For now, focus on the use of ~께 in this sentence.
Note that just because you use ~께 doesn’t mean that your sentence needs to end in a polite way. ~께 is used when the person who is being given is of high importance, regardless of who you are talking to. For example, if I was a teacher, talking to my student, talking about something being given TO the principal, I could say:
나는 책을 교장선생님께 줬어 = I gave the principal a book
Again, the word “드리다” would most likely be used instead of 주다 here. For now, focus on the use of ~께 and we will continue to discuss this in Lesson 39.
Korean Particles (from): ~에게서/한테서/(으)로부터
You learned in Lesson 12 that ~에서 can be used to mean “from” in a wide variety of situations. ~에게서/한테서 can also have the translation of “from,” but they are used in a more restricted way.
~에게서/한테서 has the meaning that is opposite of ~에게/한테/께, which means it is used when somebody receives something from somebody. These particles are attached to the person from whom one receives something from. For example:
나는 나의 여자친구에게서 편지를 받았어 = I received a letter from my girlfriend
The “thing” that is being received doesn’t need to be something physical. It could be something abstract like stories, explanations, or other things. For example:
저는 교감선생님에게서 한국어를 배웠어요 = I learned Korean from my vice principal
저는 그것을 친구한테서 들었어요 = I heard that from my friend
A very similar particle is ~(으)로부터. This particle can also be attached to the person from whom one receives something from. For example:
나는 나의 여자친구로부터 편지를 받았어 = I received a letter from my girlfriend
저는 교감선생님으로부터 한국어를 배웠어요 = I learned Korean from my vice principal
저는 그것을 친구로부터 들었어요 = I heard that from my friend
저는 친구들로부터 사랑을 많이 받았어요 = I received a lot of love from friends
아버지로부터 선물이 왔어요 = A present came from my father
~(으)로부터 can also be used when receiving something from a non-person thing (a company/the government/etc). For example:
나는 돈을 정부로부터 받았어 = I received money from the government (the recording incorrectly says “받았어요“)
이것을 하늘로부터 받았어요 = I received this from the sky
However, you cannot use ~에게서/~한테서 to indicate that you received something from a non-person.
To summarize, ~(으)로부터 can be used to indicate that one receives something from a person or non-person. ~에게서 and ~한테서 have a similar meaning, but can only be used when one receives something from a person.
Do something for somebody: ~을/를 위해(서)
If you want to say that you are doing something FOR (the benefit of) somebody, you can add ~를/을 to the person who you are doing something for, followed by 위해(서):
나는 나의 여자 친구를 위해(서) 꽃을 샀어 = I bought flowers for my girlfriend
나는 부장님을 위해(서) 이것을 썼어 = I wrote this for my boss (the recording incorrectly says “썼어요“)
저는 친구를 위해 빵을 만들었어요 = I made bread for my friend
아버지를 위해 시원한 물을 준비했어요 = I prepared cool water for my father
There doesn’t seem to be a difference between 위해 and 위해서.
This form is usually used when you are doing something for a person, but can also be used sometimes when you are doing something for a non-person:
저는 회사를 위해 열심히 일할 거예요 = I will work hard for the company
The important thing is that the thing in which you are doing something for must be a noun (that’s a confusing sentence – read it again if it went over your head). You can use 위해 to indicate that you are doing something for the purpose of a verb (I am going there to/for the purpose of see(ing) a movie) but you will learn about that in Lesson 32 once you have learned how to change verbs into nouns.
Also make sure that you realize that ‘for’ can have many meanings in English. Just because you say ‘for’ in English, doesn’t mean that it can be translated directly to ~를/을 위해. In Korean, ~를/을 위해 means for the benefit of. For example, in this sentence:
I am waiting for the bus – the ‘bus’ is the object in which you are waiting for, so, in Korean, you attach the particle ~을/를 to ‘bus’ but not ~을/를 위해:
나는 버스를 기다린다
About something ~에 대해
~에 대해 can also be attached to nouns like 를/을 위해, but this has the meaning of “about.” It’s very easy to understand when used in simple situations:
나는 너에 대해 생각했어 = I was thinking about you
나는 나의 아버지에 대해 말했어 = I was talking about my father
나는 그것에 대해 책을 쓸 거야 = I will write a book about it
그 회계사는 정부에 대해 나쁜 말을 했어요 = That accountant said bad things about the government
Just like with ~을/을 위해서, there is very little (if any) difference between ~에 대해 and ~에 대해서. For example, the sentences above could all be written as:
나는 너에 대해서 생각했어 = I was thinking about you
나는 나의 아버지에 대해서 말했어 = I was talking about my father
나는 그것에 대해서 책을 쓸 거야 = I will write a book about it
그 회계사는 정부에 대해서 나쁜 말을 했어요 = That accountant said bad things about the government
One way that you cannot use ~에 대해 is in the following sentence:
My favorite thing about you is your eyes.
I’d love to teach you that sentence in Korean, but it is just a little bit too complicated for you right now. Ah, what the heck – I’ll show you – but don’t expect to understand much of it:
너에 있어서 내가 가장 좋아하는 것은 너의 눈이야.
Too complicated for you right now, the grammar within that sentence will be discussed in Lesson 28. Until then…
That’s it for this lesson! I think this one was one of the easiest lessons yet… haha, what do you think? Simple memorizing – nothing too complicated. In the next lesson, we will be talking about something native speakers of any language never think about when they speak… which means it is going to be hard to grasp! Think of this lesson as a gift from me to relax your brain before you start to get confused again!