Future Tense / -ㄹ/을 거예요, 할 거예요
Object-marking Particles / -을, -를
And, and then, therefore, so / 그리고, 그래서
And, with / -하고, -(이)랑
Days In A Week / 요일
But, However / 그렇지만, 그런데
“To” someone, “From” someone / 한테, 한테서
Telling The Time
Counters / 개, 명
Present Progressive / -고 있어요
Self-introduction / 자기소개
What Is Today's Date? / 날짜
Too, Also / -도 (part 1)
Too, Also / -도 / (part 2)
Only / -만
Very, A bit, Really, Not really, Not at all / 아주, 조금, 진짜, 별로, 전혀
Can, Cannot / -ㄹ 수 있다/없다
To be good/poor at ... / 잘하다/못하다
Making Verbs Into Nouns / -는 것
Have to, Should, Must / -아/어/여야 되다/하다
More.. than... / -보다 더
To like / 좋다 vs 좋아하다
If, In case / 만약, -(으)면
Still, Already / 아직, 벌써
Something, Someday, Someone, Somewhere / 누군가, 무언가, 어딘가, 언젠가
Imperative / -(으)세요
Please do it for me. / -아/어/여 주세요
Particles For Method, Way / -(으)로
More, All / 더, 다
Don’t do it. / -지 마세요
Test Your Korean – Level 2 Dialogue in 100% Korean
In this lesson, we are looking at the object marking particles. As we have mentioned a few times through our previous lessons, there are different types of particles in Korean, such as subject marking particles, topic marking particles, location marking particles, and so on. These particles are what make Korean sentences easier to understand, even when the word order changes.
More often than not, when the meaning of a certain sentence can be very clear WITHOUT using a certain particle, Korean speakers like to drop the particle and just not say it. Like many other rules in speaking Korean, this is also for the ease of pronunciation and for the shortening of the phrase.
For example, let’s look at “친구가 왔어요” and “친구 왔어요”. Which one of these easier to pronounce? That’s right! “친구 왔어요” is easier to say, and even though “친구가 왔어요” has only one more letter added to it which does not make the sentence too much longer, nor is all that difficult to pronounce, it’s just nicer to be able to say less and express the same meaning. That’s why a lot of particles are dropped in Korean sentences, especially during conversations.
So far, we have looked at many verbs. Verbs can be divided into transitive verbs (verbs that need an object) and intransitive verbs (verbs that do not need an object). In English, this is clearer than in Korean because even when a noun is repeatedly referred to (i. e. “Did you find your wallet? / Yes, I found it.), you do not get rid of the part that refers to “the wallet” - you still have it there by saying “it” instead of “the wallet”.
However, using the same mini dialogue as above, let’s see how it would be said in Korean : “지갑 찾았어요?” (literal translation: “wallet found?”) / “네. 찾았어요.” (literal translation: “yes. found.”). As you can see, the distinction between transitive verbs and intransitive verbs in Korean is not as strong as in English and many other languages.
That’s where object marking particles come in to play.
Object marking particles:
을 [eul] - used after a noun ending in a consonant
를 [reul] - used after a noun ending in a vowel
우유(milk) + 를
책(book) + 을
모자(hat) + 를
카메라(camera) + 를
방(room) + 을
So, what exactly does an object marking particle do?
In English, if you write “an apple” and do not write a verb to go with it, there is no way for you to tell what kind of role the apple is going to take on in the sentence.
But in Korean, even if you do not write or say the verb that goes with “an apple”, just by adding the right particle after the noun, you can express the role of the noun or pronoun even before you say the verb.
“An apple” - in English, it’s completely neutral as is.
“사과” - in Korean, as is, it’s neutral, too.
“사과를” - even if you don’t say the verb, you know that 사과 is going to be the OBJECT of
In Korean, you can predict the verbs to an extent - “eat an apple, buy an apple, sell an apple, find an apple, throw an apple, draw an apple, etc.”
“ 사과가” - you know that 사과 is going to be the SUBJECT of the verb. You can predict the verbs here as well - “the apple is good, is bad, is expensive, will be big, was small, can be good for health, etc.”
“ 사과는” - you know that the speaker is going to say something about 사과 in comparison to other things, or the speaker is bringing up the topic of 사과 for the first time.
How object marking particles are dropped
If you want to directly translate the question “what did you do yesterday?” from English to Korean using all the elements, it ends up being very unnatural in Korean.
= “어제 <the name of the other person> 씨는 뭐를 했어요?”
Unless you are talking about a THIRD person, you don’t need to say the name of the other person here. Therefore, it becomes
= “어제 뭐를 했어요?”
Since it’s also clear that “뭐” (what) is NOT the subject of the sentence, (it’s the PERSON that did WHAT, not the other way around) you can drop 를.
= “어제 뭐 했어요?”
When do you need to use object marking particles?
You need to use them when you want to clarify the relation between the object and the verb. When the object and the verb are close to each other, you can either add or omit the particle since it doesn’t make too much of a difference. In contrast, when the object word is far away from the verb, the relation or connection between the words are weakened, so you need the particle to be used to make the meaning clear.
만났어요. = I met.
만났어요? = Did you meet?
누구 만났어요? = Who did you meet?
어제 여기에서 누구(를) 만났어요? = Who did you meet here yesterday?
어제 누구를 여기에서 만났어요? = WHO did you meet here yesterday?
텔레비전 봐요. = I watch TV.
텔레비전 봐요? = Do you watch TV?
텔레비전 자주 봐요? = Do you watch TV often?
일주일에 몇 번 텔레비전 봐요? = How many times per week do you watch TV?
텔레비전(을) 일주일에 몇 번 봐요? = How many times a week do you watch TV?
As the object of the sentences (텔레비전) gets further and further away from the verb (봐요), you need to make the relation of the words clearer by using the object marking particle.