Particle 씩 (sshik)

This particle means per or a piece.  Its use can be compared to what we say in English ‘I work 4 hours per day’ however in a Korean sentence this is expressed as ‘In a day I work 4 hours per’.  The particle goes with the expression of time or quantity. So I work 4 hours per day can be expressed in Korean this way:

하루에 네 시간씩 일합니다 or 일해요 for less formal statement (Haru.e ne shicansshik ilhapnida/ilhaeyo).  Literally this means ‘In a day, I work four hours each’.

This particle is used at the end of numerical expression and usually refers to other element in the sentence like a subject/object or a time expression with the particle 마다 (mada -each/every).  You can find this particles used along with the particle 마다 which somehow means the same. See example below:

어머니랑 날마다 두 시간씩 전화로 이야기합니다 (Omonirang nalmada du shicansshik chonhwaro iyagihamnida).  This literally means ‘With mother every day two hours by means of phone I speak’.  It kinda look odd but this means ‘Everyday, I speak to my mother two hours through the phone.’

Lastly, this particle is used more like in English when the expression means distribution.  친구들한테 담배 한 갑씩 줬어요 (Chingudulhante tambae han kapsshik jwossoyo). Literal translation is ‘To friends cigarette one pack each given’ so it means I gave my friends one pack of cigarette each.


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