One-Stop Guide to Korean Particles – 은/는/이/가 (Subject & Topic Markers)

If you have struggled to understand 은/는/이/가, this video will finally help you understand it!

If you’re one of the millions of Korean learners who have struggled to understand exactly how the Korean particles 은, 는, 이 and 가 work, this will be a great one-stop guide for you! People who learn Korean as their mother tongue can distinguish their specific roles and various usages at a very young age, but for learners who study Korean as a foreign language, these topic/subject markers can be a bit tricky to understand.

Here’s the gist of this video:

    • – 은 and 는 are “topic markers” and show you what the topic of the sentence is.
    • – 이 and 가 are “subject markers” and show you the direct subject of the verb that is being used in the sentence.
    • – 은/는 also shows contrast and change of scene/narrative.
    • – In compound sentences, such as “The movie I watched was fun.”, you can see 은/는 and 이/가 being used together.

But for a better understanding, we recommend that you watch the full video (more than once if necessary) and pay close attention to the detailed examples.

You might also find our AUDIO LESSON (accompanied by a free PDF e-book) very useful.

One-Stop Guide to Korean Particles – 은/는/이/가 (Subject & Topic Markers)
  • Genie Ogletree

    TTMIK, always helpful and on point!

  • MaliaM

    Very helpful! Thank You!

  • kirsty donkor

    This was very helpful, I’ll keep looking back to the resources on your website to enhance in my Korean learning journey ^.^

  • Jirin Rueda

    Thank you!! Its very helpful..

  • TJB

    This topic is confusing to me still. I like to write what I understand so I hope you don’t mind. Thank you for making such a detailed video, I think it really cleared up some troubles I had.

    For the example first example with the combined sentences, with the one about the movie, I don’t quite understand why 가 is used where it is. Later in the video when you ask “Which video is very long?” 가 is used twice, probably because you are answering the who and which questions, right, one 가 for each answer? But for this example, could you ask “Was the movie you watched fun?” and get the same sentence you have in the video? As in, as for this movie (는), it was fun, and it was me who watched it (가). I’m just trying to find the underlying rule to the sentence.

    Thank you again. I hope one day I will understand this topic completely. 🙂

  • tnbm

    I try not to over analyse these things too much. Just use it how it feels kind of natural, and if it’s “wrong”, I don’t really give a f….

  • Michael Allen

    I had a question based on another video I saw about this. Korean Class 101 had a video with the example sentence: “I am not a student.” in which they said both “I” and “student” where the subjects of the sentence, so “I” received the topic marking particle, and “student” received the subject marking particle. In english I feel like “student” would be the object of the sentence, so how come it doesn’t have the object marking particle when written in Korean? Thanks!

    Below is also the link to that video.