L2-G: To go vs To come

In this article we will explain when to use “to come” and when to use “to go” in your sentence.

It may be quite confusing deciding when we should use “to come” 오다 and when should you use “to go” 가다.

Both of them are relatively similar in that they denote the action of moving towards a place.

This is more like a general grammar explaination than specifically referring to korean language itself. However, it is very important to distinguish between these two because the usage of words is quite different.

Let’s look at the first situation below.

                                   Come and go

This is a little picture that i drew up, pretty cool huh?

Say JinWook is at a party, his own birthday party and he invited Minji to his party.

If it was Minji who is speaking, Minji will say “I am going to the party” (ie. 저는 파티에 가요) because he is moving towards where JinWook is at.

If it was JinWook who is speaking of Minji, he will say “Minji is coming to the party”. (민지가 파티에 와요) because he is stationary at the place and Minji is moving towards him.


Now, it is really important because some words like “come in” and “go in” needs to be made clear.

take for instance this situation:

                             Come and go 2

JinWook is standing in the room with Minji and JeongJin is standing outside of the door.

JinWook will ask Minji to “come in”.  (들어 와요)

Minji will say “going in” because he is moving to JinWook the reference point. (들어 가다)

Jeong Jin who is the “3rd party” will ask Minji to “go in” (들어 가다) because he wants Minji to move to JinWook’s place.

I’m sure you’ll get the idea.



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