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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Jae here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Korean questions.
The question for this lesson is…
How do I use 은 [eun] and 는 [neun]?
은 (eun) and 는 (neun) are called topic marking particles and are placed after a noun to specify what’s being discussed. Using a topic marking particle is one way to designate a noun as the subject of a particular sentence.
The main functions of 은 [eun] and 는 [neun] are to bring attention to or remind the listener about the topic, to clarify the topic, or to contrast two items.
You can use 는 [neun] when the previous syllabic block ends in a vowel, and 은 [eun] when the previous syllabic block ends in a consonant.
Let’s take a look at some examples so you can learn how to use 은 (eun) and 는 (neun) correctly.
When there isn't a specific topic being talked about in a conversation, the topic marking particle can be used to bring attention to what the speaker wants to talk about. For example, 음...한국어 공부는 좋아하세요? [hangugeo gongbuneun joahaseyo?] meaning "Umm...do you like studying Korean?"
Here, the speaker draws attention to the topic of Korean study.
If a topic has already been introduced in the conversation, you don’t need to mention it again. However, if the speaker wishes to clarify what's being spoken about, the topic marking particle is used to clarify the topic of the sentence. From our previous example about studying, we can say, 한국어 공부는 재미있어요. [Hangugeo gongbuneun jaemiisseoyo.] "Studying Korean is fun."
The topic marking particle can also be used to contrast items. 저는 한국어 공부가 재미있어요. [Jeoneun hangugeo gongbuga jaemiisseoyo.] Literally, "As for me, studying Korean is fun." Another person might respond, 저는 영어 공부가 재미있어요. [Jeoneun yeongeo gongbuga jaemiisseoyo.] These sentences use the topic marking particle to contrast the other person, who is interested in studying a different language.
How was this lesson? Pretty interesting, right?
Please leave any more questions in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
See you next time. 다음 시간에 만나요. (Daeum-sigane mannayo.)


Please to leave a comment.
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KoreanClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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What Korean learning question do you have?

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 09:53 AM
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Hello Denisse,

Thank you so much for your comment!

Here comes the answer to your questions!

Q1. If I apply what you said, then what will be the meaning of translation of 공부하+는것? Please

>>[-는 것] is one way of the verb nominalization, and we use this structure to nominalize action verbs and it indicates "the act of (verb)ing." So the phrase [공부하는것] can be put as "the act of studying". You may learn more about this grammar from this lesson:


Q. I saw that some ending really similar to 는 and 은 is -ㄴ and -은, so I'm really confused...

Very good! :)

The latter ones are the noun modifying particles, and you may learn the difference between the two types of particles from this lesson:


Hope it helped, and please let us know if you have any further questions! Thank you!



Team KoreanClass101.com

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 11:43 PM
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Hi Aria,

Welcome to KoreanClass101.com!

Thank you for contacting us about this. Are you an absolute beginner? If you are and you have no experience with Korean at all, we suggest you start with the very basics: the alphabet and how to read and write Korean. Please check out: https://www.koreanclass101.com/lesson-library/learn-hangul-hana-hana-hangul/

Another series that is worth watching really early in your Korean learning is our pronunciation-related lessons. Please check out our special series “Ultimate Korean Pronunciation Guide”:


You would then be ready to start with one of our main series, the Absolute Beginner series:


The next step would be the Beginner series, then the Upper Beginner, the Lower Intermediate, Intermediate, and finally the Upper Intermediate series. Each lesson of these series contains a dialogue and focuses on grammar, vocabulary, vocabulary usage, sample sentences and cultural notes.

In between these series, you can of course listen or watch other series too, depending on what appeals to you and your needs. However, the core grammar is found on the aforementioned series.

Should you need extra help with grammar, check out our grammar banks:


As for enriching your vocabulary, you can check out the vocabulary lists:


We’re constantly adding new content. Check out the other options under the menu “”Vocabulary”" as well.

Hope this is helpful. If you have any more questions about the website or Korean, don’t hesitate to contact us again.

Wishing you all the best!



Team KoreanClass101.com

Tuesday at 01:50 AM
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Hi, Thank you so much for replying my questions 7u7 They've been a lot of help

But eventually, I have more, sorry TT

For the previous answer

If I apply what you said, then what will be the meaning of translation of 공부하+는것? Please

And the second one I have is this one...

I saw that some ending really similar to 는 and 은 is -ㄴ and -은, so I'm really confused...

Then, If I say 아주 예쁜 여자 or 아주 단 과자or 높은 건물... What will be the meaning? Can the first one be "A woman who was very pretty?" Will they be past tense? Won't they be a sentence with a topic noun? A very sweet cookie? Or a cookie that was very sweet?

Aria F
Monday at 08:35 AM
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Could you suggest a good daily routine to learn Korean, with Koreanclass101.com and possibly from other sources like K-dramas etc.? Thanks!


KoreanClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:47 AM
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Hi Denisse,

Thanks for posting. 공부 is a noun 'study'. The verb form would be '공부하다' and you cannot directly attach 은/는 after it--you would need to make it into a noun by adding '는것' after the verb stem (공부하+는것).



Team KoreanClass101.com

Saturday at 07:33 AM
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Thank you for the answer before; I have another one c:

Can these particles been used when it's a verb before just like in 공부는?

Because I saw the grammar bank and it said just with a noun, an adverb and another particle, but a verb like in 공부는m does it apply to a verb then? D:

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 11:38 PM
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Hi Denisse,

저는 is a polite way of saying 'I', it means that you are putting the listener at a higher position than you, and is commonly used in polite conversation. So if you were talking to a senior, or to someone you met for the first time or in an official situation, you would use this.

나는 is an informal way of saying 'I' and is used to refer to yourself to friends.

너는 is an informal way of saying 'you' and would only be used to refer to your close friends or someone your junior (in a casual situation, you would not refer to someone your junior at the workplace as '너는', you would come off as rude). In most polite situations you would refer to the person's title(position at work, etc), or call them by name and add the honorific suffix 씨(ssi) although they are younger than you.

Hope this was of help. Please let us know if you have any other questions.



Team KoreanClass101.com

Wednesday at 10:57 AM
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Yes, in the sentences examples, instead of 저는, can I use 너는?

Is there any difference? Like, when can I use it and where?

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:48 AM
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Hi Davies,

It seems there is a typo, could you let us know what you are referring to when you say '저듣'? Are you referring to '저들'? Or '저는'?



Team KoreanClass101.com

Sunday at 11:28 PM
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Sorry, suddenly think about this question. Is there any difference when using 저듣 or 너는?