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.

Sample:

  • 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.  

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