Introducing another two-shaped particle (이) 나 — (i) na. Some of the particles that I have previously discussed are subject particle 가/이, topic particle 는/은, object particle 를/을 etc. This new particle has the following functions when used:
- Means about or approximately when used along with numeric expression
- Its a generalizer
- It also means ‘or’
이나 is added for words ending in consonants and drops 이 if the word ends in vowel. Like any other particles, 이나 once added in a word form part of it as if its the original word. The pronunciation should be smooth without the unnecessary stop right before the particle.
For this post, i will be discussing the first function. Koreans are said to be less precise when it comes to numbers specifically numerical expression. See examples below:
- 몇 시간이나 걸려요? (Myeot shicanina kollyeoyo?) – About how many hour does it take?
- 몇 개나 살께요? (Myeot shicanina kollyeoyo? – About how many should we buy?
This particle behaves like 도 (do – added to word to mean too or also) when added to the word that is the topic or object of a sentence, there is no longer a need to added the topic or object particle. As such the second bullet above will never be 개를이나.