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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…
Why does Korean have two words for “my?”
The word 저의 [jeo-ui] literally means "of I" or "mine." It has two words. 저 [jeo] means "I" and 의 [ui] is the possessive particle meaning something like "of." 제 (je) is the simplified form of the word 저의 [jeo-ui].
In normal daily conversation, Koreans use 제 [je] instead of 저의 [jeo-ui].
If you want to make your sentence more casual, you can also use the word 내 [nae]. 내 [nae] is the simplified version of the word 나 [na] meaning "I" and 의 [ui], the possessive particle.
Let’s do some examples so you can learn how to use each word for “my” correctly.
When you introduce yourself at a job interview, you should use 제 [je]. For example, 제 이름은 이재휘입니다. [Je ireumeun ijaehwiimnida.] "My name is Jaehwi Lee."
However, if one of your close friends introduces you to a new friend you can use the casual one. 내 [nae] 내 이름은 이재휘야. [Nae ireumeun ijaehwiya.] “I’m Jaehwi Lee.”
Let’s say you want to introduce your younger sister to your friend. If you are introducing her to someone younger than you, you would say, 내 여동생이야. [Nae yeodongsaengiya.] “It's my younger sister.” Or, if you are introducing her to someone older or your superior, you should use the humble form of "my" and say 제 여동생이에요. [Je yeodongsaeingieyo.]
One more thing – did you notice how formal sentence endings 입니다 [imnida] and 요 [yo] pair with 제 [je]? Please remember to use the formal sentence endings when you use the word 제 [je] to an elderly or a superior.
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.)