#Korean ~ Subject Particles (는 / 은)

Particles.png

*Purple = Spanish 🙂

In every sentence, there are two main parts: SUBJECT and the PREDICATE.  

The subject (el sujeto) tells us either
1) who is doing the action in the sentence (I went home / Yo fui a casa) or
2) what the topic of the sentence is (The Books are on the table / Los libros están en la mesa).  

The predicate (el predicado) tells us
1) what the subject did (I went home / Yo fui a casa) or
2) what about the subject we need to know (The books are on the tableLos libros están en la mesa)

In English and Spanish, we automatically know what the subject is just from the way the words are arranged.   But in Korean, they actually have a SUFFIX added at the end to show that something is the SUBJECT (El sujeto).  Usually, these suffixes are called particles. 

So instead of saying “I went home,” in Korean you’d say “I + Particle” to show that “I” is the subject of this sentence.   I don’t know how to say “went home” yet 🙂 But I’ll let you know when I learn it!

There are two Subject Particles:

는 / 은

is used when the word ends in a vowel (see here for which characters are vowels in Korean). For example, the name “I” (Yo) is written as either (formal) or (informal).  So if “I” is the subject, like in “I went home” – you’d write 는 (naneun) or 저는 (jeoneun)

is used when the words ends in a consonant. For example, the name “Tom” is written . If “Tom” is the subject, it’d be written 톰은 (Tomeun)

SUMMARY

– 는  and 은 are “suffixes” added to the subject of the sentence. No good English translation, they just tell us where the subject is in a Korean sentence. Use 는 for subjects ending in a vowel and  은 for subjects ending in a consonant.

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