Particles 와 and 과

Another new particle to learn 와 (wa) and 과 (gwa).   It is important to know particles in Korean because aside from its grammatical function it will also help you deduce the word in a sentence and find what it exactly means.  Since particles are connected to the word and are pronunced as if part of the word, for someone who is just beginning to learn Korean words and reading them in Hangul, it is difficult to check on word meaning.  Just take 나 (na) which means me or mine, when particles like 는 (topic marker) or 를 (object marker) is added to it, looking at it first time would give you an impression that 나는 and  나를 are two different words.

The particles 와 and 과 functions like 하고 (hago)and 이랑 (irang), although the last two are more colloquial in use.  와 added after vowel ending word while 과 for consonant ending words.


  • 책과 연필 (chaek-gwa yonpil) – book and pencil
  • 가방과 안경 (gabang-gwa ankyong) – bag and glasses
  • 치마와 신발 (chima-wa shinbal) – skirt and shoes
  • 의자와 상 (uija-wa sang) – chair and table

If the phase has to be taken as subject or object in a sentence then the phrase is marked on the last word.  Example:

공책 연필  주세요 (Gongchaek-wa yonpireul juseyo) Please give me a notebook and pencil, where notebook and pencil is the object of the verb ‘juseyo’ (please give). If you could notice 공책과 or gongchaekwa is something that you will not see in your Korean-English dictionary, because dictionaries will normally have 공책 or gongchaek as entry.  This is similar to yonpil which becomes yonpireul, the character ‘ㄹ’ which is a sound between l and r becomes more of an ‘r’ sound when the particle 을 is added.  This is one of the nuisances of Hangul pronunciation.  


5 Replies to “Particles 와 and 과”

  1. This is quit possibly the best blog ever, thanks so much for posting! It really helps students like me to hear info in this manner, instead of the traditional way with fancy terms and what-not.

  2. I’m surprised 와 would go after a vowel and 과 after consonant since other particles (object/topic/subject) has the opposite effect. But thank you for the info.

  3. can you help translate this korean sentence into english ?

    “Wae naega, naega nugureul meokgo shipeo mannago shipeo, naega mweol wihae ku saengmyeongirago shipeoyo”

    1. sorry adi, it’s a bit difficult for me to make translation especially when its already romanized.
      wae naega, (why me)
      naega nugureul moekgo shipo mannago shipeo, (i want to eat with someone, misses someone or wants to see someone) — i am not sure about this one nugu is who the reul makes it an object.
      the next phrase i am not so sure what saengmyeongirago is.

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