Particle 이-나 (i-na) as Generalizer

There is more to the particle 이나, my previous post deals with this particle as used in numeric expressions.  This particle is added at the end of the word which requires generalization, 이나 (ina) for consonant ending words and drops 이 (i) when added to vowel ending words.

Here are some of its uses as generalizer; mostly are question word:

and here are some of its practical applications:

  • Question: 누구를 부를까요? (Nugureul bureulkkayo? / Whom shall we invite?)
  • Answer:   누구나 좋아요. (Nuguna chuayo. /Anybody is fine.)


  • Question: 주말에 어디에 갈까요?  (Chumare odi.e kalkkeyo?; Where shall we go this weekend?)
  • Answer: 어디나 좋아요  (Odina chuayo. /Anywhere is fine. )

Since 이나 is a particle, that it is attached to a word without a pause, the rules in pronunciation applies.  Notice how 무엇 (mueot) became mueoshina when it became 무엇이나  at the first cell of the table above, see also last cell.


Particle (이) 나

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 개 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.

More on Particle 도 (do)

As mentioned in my previous post, 도 (do) is a particle attached to a noun or noun expression that would mean also, too or and.  This particle may also be found twice in a sentence.  In such cases it is used just as how these English words are:

  • either – and (for affirmative sentences – both choices is okay)
  • neither – nor (for negative sentences)

Here are some examples:

  • 못 가요. 돈도 시간도 없어요. (Mot kayo.  Dondo shicando opsoyo) – I can’t go.  I have neither the time nor the money.
  • 네 갈께요. 나는 버스도 택시도 태워 줘요 (Ne kayo. Naneun bosudo taekshido taewo juwoyo) – Yes I will be going.  I will either take a bus or taxi.

Note that for 도 to function as above, you have to say the same thing about the two nouns involved otherwise use -지만 to show contrast.  (Please see previous post for more on its use).

Adverb 또 (Ddo)

This new word may look familiar if you have encountered the particle 도 (do).  Fortunately they have almost the same meaning. 또 (ddo) is an adverb that means the same as particle 도 that is– again, also or too.  The only difference is that particles need to be attached to a noun or noun expression, so 또 is independent and may exist as a word in a sentence.  See how these two are used in the following sentence:

  • 여기에 쓰레기 있어요 ( ssuregido issoyo) – There are litters here too.
  • 저기에 쓰레기는 있어요 ( ssureginueun ddo issoyo) – There are some more litters over there.

Since 도 is a particle there is no need to put markers 가/이 or 는/은 when it is attached to a noun that is subject or topic of a sentence.

또 like the word 그리고 (kurigo) may be used at the start of a sentence which means and further(more), and also or simply and.  You may likewise find is both at the start of the sentence 그리고 또 (kurigo ddo) thus it will then mean ‘and moreover’ or ‘and furthermore’.

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.

Particles 마다 (mada) and 만 (man)

Two new particles enter my knowledge base of Korean language.  For the past days my posts have been related to numbers and so it’s just timing to learn some particles that somehow relates to numbers, frequency, counting or limiting.

Let’s take the first particle first called 마다 (mada) which is equivalent to each/every.  So when you want to say ‘every morning’ its 아침마다 (achim.mada) or if ‘everyday’ its 날마다 (nal.mada). However, when used in a time expression, this particle takes the function of article a(n).  For example saying 날마다 삼십 분 (nalmada samship pun) would mean 30 minutes a day.

The second particle is 만 (man) which can either mean only or just. It’s actually a particle that restricts the noun expression it follows.  Now I know why one of my favorite Korean songs is translated as ‘Look Only at Me’ and sometimes ‘Just look at me’, the title in Korean is 나만 바라봐 (Naman Parabwa).  When a noun is followed by this particle, the subject particle 이~가 and 을~를 is not normally used.  For example:

연필만 있어요 (Yonpil issoyo) would mean – There are only pencils, it’s unusual to say 연필을 있어요 (Yonpireul issoyo).  Another application would be expressing ‘doing the same thing’ as in ‘Lately all I do is study’.  In Korean, this is expressed as 요즘 공부만 해요 (Yojum gongbuman haeyo).  This particle can also be used with a proper noun (as in persons name) or korean pronoun equivalent (as in 나, 저, etc.) In cases you want to say ‘Only Jane knows’, this can be expressed as 제인 씨만 알아요 (Jane sshiman arayo).

As i usually mention when discussing particles, these form part of the word so the pronunciation is seamless or without a pause.

Wrap up of Particles: Ways to Say ‘Together With’

This lesson of the book ‘Elementary Korean’  thought me how to say together with in different ways using some of the past particles that I have learned.  These words mean together 함께 (hamkke) and 같이 (kati) although the latter could also mean like. 

Before this, I have learned that 이랑/랑 (irang/rang), 하고 (hago) and 과/와 (gwa/wa) have the same use as particles. It means with although 하고 could also mean ‘and’.  Since these are particles, when are added in a noun, it forms part of the word as if one (single word).  Again as mentioned in my previous post, particles are pronounced without a pause when combined with another word.

For today, I have learened the various ways to say together with.  For the phrase ‘together with a friend’ below are the ways to say this:

  • 친구랑 함께  (chingurang hamkke)
  • 친구하고 함께 (chinguhago hamkke)
  • 친구과 함께 (chingugwa hamkke)
  • 친구랑 같이 (chingurang kati)
  • 친구하고 같이 (chinguhago kati)
  • 친구과 같이 (chingugwa kati)

So looking at it, these phrases actually have the same formula noun+particle for ‘with’ then hamkke or kati.