L2-G: Place n Time particle

In this article we will look at the usage of particle 에 in denoting place and time.

A very simple particle to use.

 How it works:

 1.    As a place particle:        

     (a)  Indicates a static location and the place where an object exist.

            For example: Minji is at the library now.

            This sentence implied that Minji “exist” at the library,

            thus we use the “있다” as the ending.

            [……있어요.  Exist]

            The static location in this sentence (where Minji “exist”) is ‘the library’.

            Library = 도서관  

            Thus we add the particle after the word 도서관 to denote the place.

           [……. 도서관 있어요. (exist) at the library.]

            But who is at the library? It is Minji who is at the library.

            Minji is our subject/topic of conversation, we use the topic marker 은/는.

            [민지는 도서관있어요. Minji is at the library]

            We could stop there, but we want to add more info to this sentence.

            We want to specifically say “now” Minji is at the library.

           now = 지금   and is placed either before or after 민지는.

           [지금 민지는 도서관 있어요 = 민지는 지금 도서관 있어요]

          ^ Minji is at the library now.

*NOTE: pls don’t use 에 to mark the place where the activity takes place.

          eg.  Minji is studying at the library – cannot use particle 에.

          We will discuss the appropriate particle for this kind in “Place particle 2”

    (a)  Indicate destination or a goal.

            For example:  Minji is going to school.

            to go = 가다. So we contract it to the polite form […가요. Going.]

            But where are we going?

            In this case the destination to where we’re going is ‘school’.

            Thus we add the particle to denote the place where we’re heading.

            [….. 학교 가요. Going to school]

            But who is going to school? Minji the one going to school.

           So we use topic marker on Minji( its ok to use subject marker 이/가 too)

            [민지는 학교 가요 .

          ^ Minji is going to school.


            Another very common direction is ‘to come’ = 오다.

            For example: Today, Minji is coming to school.

            The ending will be […..와요. Coming] (contraction occured)

           Where is Minji coming?

            The destination in this case is ‘school’ .

            Add particle to denote this destination.

            […… 학교 와요. Coming to school]

            Who is coming to school? Its Minji.

            Say lets make a little twist, we are talking all about today (ie topic)

            and along the way, we are talking about Minji.

            So let’s make Minji the subject and not the topic of conversation.

            Thus we add the subject particle 이/가 to Minji.

            […………… 민지가 학교 와요. Minji is coming to school].

             Putting in the topic of conversation: Today 오늘

            [오늘은 민지가 학교 와요. Today, Minji is coming to school]

 2.    As a time particle:       

     This particle is used to mark the time in the sentence

     ( probably when something is going to take place.)

      With exception to 오늘 and 언제, no particle 에 is allowed.

          For example: Minji  is studying at 2 o’clock.

          Identify the ending of this sentence.

          The ending is ‘to study’ 공부하다, putting it in polite form:

           […..공부해요.  Study]

          The time in this sentence is 2 o’clock thus we add to mark it.

           [ …… 두 시 공부해요. Studying at 2 o’clock. ]

           Who is studying at 2 o’clock? Its ‘Minji’.

          Adding the topic marker (assuming the topic of conversation is ‘Minji’)

          [ 민지는 두 시 공부해요.  I’m studying at 2 o’clock. ]


           The particle 에 is not only used to mark specific time (… o’clock).

           This particle can be used to mark the general time reference.

           Eg.  on weekend: 주말  

           For example:  I’m taking Korean (language) this semester.

           The korean verb for “taking subjects” is 듣다.  (to hear).

           Its weird using ‘to hear’ to say ‘taking subjects’ but that’s how it goes.

           As usual, we start by slowly constructing the sentence ending.

         듣다 ends with “ㄷ”, so in contracting for polite form, ㄷ will change to ㄹ.

            듣다 + 어요 = 들어요

           [……들어요. ]

           Now, the thing that we are taking is “korean language”.

           Remember, this is an object where the verb of ‘taking’ is acting upon it.

           Thus we use the particle object particle 을/를 on it.

           [ ……. 한국어를 들어요. Take (the subject) korean language. ]

           So when are we taking korean language as a subject? It’s this semester.

           semester = 학기 and this semester = 이번 학기

          Because its a time referred, we will add particle to mark it.

          [이번 학기 한국어를 들어요. This semester (I’m) taking korean language. ]

           Note: like we said before, in korean, they seldom use “you, I, ….”

                 The sentence already implied that you’re talking about yourself.

                 But if you want to emphasize that you’re talking about “I”

                 Then can go ahead with : 저는 이번 학기 한국어를 들어요.

Try it on your own.

 1) Translate the following sentences into korean.

  • The computer lab (컴퓨터 랩) is on the 3rd floor of the library. (hint: exist at 3rd floor)
  • I am going to the department store.
  • I am going to the department store tomorrow.
  • I am going to the department store tomorrow morning
  • Minji is coming to the party (파티) at 5 o’clock.

you can comment below with your answers 🙂



One Response

  1. […]       8)    Place and Time Particle     에 […]

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