https://www.duolingo.com/SimranKaur69432

은,는,이, and 가.

I have a question if you don't mind me asking. I don't understand 은,는,이,or 가. I have watched many video's but I still don't understand. I do have a faint idea, but I really need it put in easy short words, rather then long articles and video's. From what I have heard, they are particle toppers? I'm not sure. PLZ HELP!

January 31, 2019

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/k_fu

은/는 are the topic markers. It means that the content of the sentence is going to be somehow related to this specified topic. An easy English translation is: "As for ...".

이/가 are the subject markers. These mean that they are directly in relation to the VERB. Whatever the verb is, the subject is directly related to it.

Why do these get confused? Because sometimes the topic IS the subject (in which case the topic marker replaces the subject marker in the sentence.) (See the 영화 example.)

Sometimes you will see both in one sentence:

오늘은 비가 왔어요. = As for the topic of today, it rained.
(then later the conversation can continue about the topic of "today", like "the traffic was bad", "lunch was good", etc.) (Notice how 비 is the one directly related to the verb 오다 because it is the subject.)

Another example: 여자는 눈이 예뻐요. = As for the woman, [the/her] eyes are pretty.
(Notice how it's not the woman that's pretty, it's the eyes. But the sentence is still about the woman because that's the topic.)

But sometimes you only see 은/는.

영화는 재미있어요. = As for the topic of [a particular] movie, it is interesting/fun.

In this case, 영화 is both the subject AND the topic. The topic marker takes priority though.

So sometimes you will see neither 이/가 or 은/는 in a sentence. This is when the TOPIC is assumed / already known through context. If a sentence doesn't have those particles -- a sentence such as: "행복해요!" -- then the subject of the sentence is the topic (which, again, is assumed / already known through context.) So for this example, the topic would presumably be "I". So a natural translation would be: "I am happy."

은/는 also has other uses, but I won't explain it on here; I'll let you do some sleuthing yourself. :) Unless you want me to, of course.

February 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SimranKaur69432

Thank you! Can you give me a few more examples?

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/k_fu

그 남자아이는 수학을 잘 못해요. = As for that boy, he doesn't do math well. = That boy is not good at math.

그 식당은 삼겹살이 좋아요. = As for that restaurant, their samgyeopsal (pork belly) is good. = That restaurant has good samgyeopsal.

지금은 학교에 가야 돼요. = As for right now, I have to go to school. = I have to go to school now.

제가 할게요! = I (am the one who) will do it! (이/가 puts emphasis.) (vs "저는 할게요. = As for me, I will do it." This can sound strange.)

아침은 뭘 먹었어요? = As for breakfast, what did you eat? = What did you eat for breakfast?

제가 사용하고 있는 컴퓨터 검은색이에요. = The computer I am using is black.

There are millions of example sentences online as well that you can use to additionally help as a supplement. I just wrote a few off the top of my head.

February 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SimranKaur69432

Thank You!

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

i wrote a thing about it once https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29771040

February 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SimranKaur69432

Thx!

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/junghyun.cho

이,가 = major or focus

은,는 = minor or target

옛날에 나무꾼이 살았어요. 나무꾼은 나무를 팔러 갔어요. → correct

옛날에 나무꾼은 살았어요. 나무꾼이 나무를 팔러 갔어요. → incorrect

이 유리를 누가 깼니? 철수가 깼어요. → correct

이 유리를 누가 깼니? 철수는 깼어요. → incorrect

나는 그가 왔음을 안다. → correct

내가 그는 왔음을 안다. → incorrect

인간은 생각하는 동물이다. → correct

인간이 생각하는 동물이다. → incorrect

February 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SimranKaur69432

I'm sorry but I don't understand Korean so could you please translate them in to English for me? Please?

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/junghyun.cho

The wrong sentences of them were excluded.

옛날에 나무꾼이 살았어요. 나무꾼은 나무를 팔러 갔어요. Once upon a time there lived a woodcutter. The woodcutter went to sell the tree.

이 유리를 누가 깼니? 철수가 깼어요. Who broke this glass? Cheol-su broke the glass.

나는 그가 왔음을 안다. I know he is here.

인간은 생각하는 동물이다. Man is a thinking animal.

February 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SimranKaur69432

Thanks!

March 9, 2019
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