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Correct usage of -은/는? // Korean Syntax // Korean Grammar


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What's the -은/는?

-은/는 is used to express that a certain object is the topic of the sentence, and it is also used to express that an object is being compared to another.

However, you have to know the differences between -은 and -는 when you speak Korean. In English, you don't need to use them because English is more like syntax. Let's start learning how to use them properly.

-은 is used behind the noun that ends in consonants and -는 is used behind the noun that ends in vowels. (As you know, the vowels are 'a,e,i,o,u' ) For example, '이 책은 15000원 입니다 (This book is 15000won)'. The pronunciation of the word '책 (pronunciation:che-ak)' is a consonant. That's why '-은' is used in the sentence. Another example of the sentence is '언니는 학생이예요 (My older sister is a student)'. 언니(pronunciation:An-Ni), so '-는' is used in the sentence.

If you understand what i'm saying, It will be easier to understand '-이/-가'. '-이' is used behind the noun that ends in consonants. '-가' is used behind the noun that ends in vowels. For example, 'My friend is studying hard(친구가 공부하고있어요)', the pronunciation of the word '구(G-u)' is a vowel. That's why '가' is next to '구'. On the contrary to this, there is a sentence like '여동생이 웃어요(my younger sister is smiling)'. The pronunciation of a word 여동생 (Yur-don-sang) is a consonant, so we use '-이' next to the word.

I want to let you know the difference between -은/는 and -이/가. -이/-가 and -은/-는 are used after the subject, but -은/는 can be used to make an emphasize of something, to indicate a certain topic or to compare one thing to another.

********There are some questions below, please choose one answer in each question **********

1. 제 가방(이/가) 당신 옆에 있어요. (hint: 가방-Ga-bang)

2. 저(는/은) 학생이예요. (hint: 저-Gur)


**Answer: 1. 이 , 2. 는

If you don't understand, please ask me freely  :wink:

location: Seoul

Name: Joo Kang

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