Lesson 13: Korean Particles: and, with, to, from, for, about

Click here for a workbook to go along with this lesson.
This lesson is also available in Русский.

Jump to:
Vocabulary
Introduction

Korean Particles (and) 과/와, 랑/이랑 and 하고
Korean Particles (with) 과/와, 랑/이랑 and 하고
Korean Particles (to) 에게/한테/께
Korean Particles (from) 에게서/(으)로부터
Do something for somebody (을/를 위해(서))
About something ~에 대해

 

 

Vocabulary

The vocabulary is separated into nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs for the purpose of simplicity.

Click on the English word to see information and examples of that word in use (you probably won’t be able to understand the grammar within the sentences at this point, but it is good to see as you progress through your learning).

A PDF file neatly presenting these words and extra information can be found here.

Nouns:
사실 = fact

Common usages:
사실을 인정하다 = to admit the truth
그것이 사실이다 = that is the truth
사실은… = the fact is…

Notes: Often used at the start of sentences to mean “actually…” When used like this, it is common to colloquially say “실은…”

Also commonly used as the noun in a quoted version of ~는 것. For example:
그녀는 아이가 죽었다는 사실을 숨겼어요 = She hid (the fact that) her child died
See Lesson 52 for more information on this.

It can also be used to literally mean “fact”
그것은 사실이에요? = Is that true? (is that a fact?)
저는 그 사실을 백과사전에 찾았어요 = I looked up that fact in an encyclopedia
사실을 부장님께 알려 줘야겠어요 = I guess I should tell the boss (about) that fact
저는 부장님에게 그 사실을 말할 거예요 = I will tell that (fact) to my boss

= medicine

Common Usages:
약국 = pharmacy
약사 = pharmacist
약을 먹다 = to take medicine
치약 = toothpaste
약을 짓다/처방하다 = to prescribe medicine

Examples:
이렇게 아프면 을 먹어야 돼요! = If you are this sick, you should take some medicine!
저는 이 약을 하루에 두 번 먹어요 = I eat (take) this medicine twice per day
을 안 먹는다면 열이 나빠질 수도 있어요 = If you don’t eat/take this medicine, the fever could get worse

음악 = music

Common Usages:
음악가 = musician
음악을 듣다 = to listen to music
음악을 녹음하다 = to record music
음악을 틀다 = to turn on music
음악을 연주하다 = to play music (with an instrument)

Example:
저는 음악을 듣는 것을 좋아요 = I like listening to music
저는 음악을 듣고 있어요 = I am listening to music
우리는 음악을 같이 들었어요 = We listened to music together

하늘 = sky

Common Usages:
하늘만큼 땅만큼 = An idiom that is like saying “thiiiiissss much” For example:
나는 너를 하늘만큼 땅만큼 사랑해 = I love you thiiiiiissss much.”
More literally, “as much as the earth and the sky”
하느님 = Literally, the “respected one in the sky”

Examples:
하늘에 비행기가 있어요 = There is a plane in the sky
하늘
에 별이 많아요 = There are many stars in the sky
이것을 하늘로부터 받았어요 = I received this from the sky (heavens)
비가 온 다음 날에 하늘은 보라색으로 바꿨어요 = The sky turned purple the day after the rain

= land

Common Usages:
땅값 = the price of land
땅콩 = peanut

Notes: ‘독도는 우리땅이다’ is a famous saying that Korean people use to express that Dokdo, the disputed territory between Korea and Japan belongs to Korea. This was written on a sign by a fan during the 2012 Olympics in London and when the Korean team one, a Korean player took the sign and ran around the field with it. The player got in a lot of trouble for bringing political elements into the Olympics. By the way, Dokdo does belong to Korea.

Example:
한국은 다른 나라보다 이 작아요 = Korea’s land is small compared to other countries

지하 = underground

Common Usages:
지하철 underground railway/subway
지하층 = underground floor, basement
지하 주차장 = underground parking lot

Examples:
차는 지하 주차장에 있어요 = The car is in the underground parking lot

= bread

Common Usages:
빵집 = bakery
빵 껍질 = bread crust

Example:
저는 을 먹고 싶어요 = I want to eat bread
저는 친구를 위해 을 만들었어요 = I made bread for my friend
우리는 을 같이 먹었어요 = We ate bread together
애기는 하고 빵을 먹었어요= The baby ate rice and bread

쓰레기 = trash/garbage

Common Usages:
쓰레기통 = garbage can
쓰레기 봉투 = garbage bag

Examples:
쓰레기를 버려 주세요 = Please throw out your garbage
이 떡은 쓰레기 맛 같아 = This 떡 tastes like garbage
쓰레기
는 월요일마다 수거된다 = Garbage is collected every Monday

회계사 = accountant

Common Usages:
공인회계사 = public accountant

Examples:
저는 회계사가 되고 싶어요 = I want to be an accountant
그 회계사는 정부에 대해 나쁜 말을 했어요 = That accountant said bad things about the government

녹차 = green tea

Examples:
녹차 두 잔을 주세요 = Give me two cups of green tea, please
녹차는 한국에서 유명해요 = Green Tea is famous in Korea
저는 약과 녹차만 샀어요 = I only bought medicine and green tea

= teeth

Common Usages:
잇몸 = gums
이가 빠지다 = to lose a tooth
이를 쑤시다 = use a toothpick to pick one’s teeth
이를 빼다 = to get a tooth pulled
이가 시리다 = that feeling when your teeth are cold

Example:
치과의사는 저의 를 두 개 뺐어요 = The dentist took out two of my teeth

정부 = government

Example:
한국에서는 정부가 국립학교를 통제해요 = In Korea, the government controls the public schools
한국 정부는 교통사고를 방지하려고 노력하고 있어요 = The Korean government is trying to prevent traffic accidents
그 회계사는 정부에 대해 나쁜 말을 했어요 = That accountant said bad things about the government

성격 = personality

Common Usages:
성격 차이 = difference in personalities

Examples:
그 사람의 성격은 좋아요 = That person’s personality is good
우리의 성격은 달라요 = Our personalities are different
서울에서 사는 사람들의 성격은 너무 급해요= The people who live in Seoul have a very fast personality (rushed/impatient nature)

온도 = temperature

Common Usages:
높은 온도 = high temperature
낮은 온도 = low temperature
실내온도 = the temperature indoors)
온도를 높이다 =increase the temperature
온도를 내리다 =decrease the temperature

Notes: The word 체온 is used to refer to one’s body temperature.

Example: 교실이 너무 더워서 온도를 내려도 돼요? = Because the classroom is too hot, may I lower the temperature?

커튼 = curtains

Common Usages:
커튼을 치다 = close the curtains

Notes: Korean pronunciation of the word “curtain”

Example:
창문이 커튼으로 가려져 있어요 = The window is covered by the curtains

= breath

Common Usages:
숨을 쉬다 = to breathe
숨을 내쉬다 = to exhale
숨을 들이마시다 = to inhale

Example: 공기가 나빠서 저는 을 못 쉬어요 = I can’t breathe because the air is bad

Verbs:
축하하다 = to congratulate

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “추카하다”

Common Usages:
축하합니다! = Congratulations!
생일 축하합니다! = Happy Birthday!

Example: 아들이 대학교를 졸업해서 우리는 축하를 해야 돼요 = Now that our son has graduated from University, we need to congratulate him

일어나다 = to rise, to get up

Notes: There are many adverbs that are used in specific situations to give a sentence feel or emphasis. To indicate that one “sprang” up, the adverb 벌떡 can be used.

일어나다 literally means “to get up” from a sitting/laying position to a standing position. However, it is often used to indicate that one “wakes up” because one usually “gets up” from bed when they wake up. As such, the translation of “일어나다” could be “to get up” or “to wake up” depending on the situation. You can this in the examples below:

Example:
언제 일어났어요? = When did you get up?
군인들은 매일 일찍 일어나야 돼요 = Soldiers have to wake up early every day
그녀는 의자에서 일어났어요 = She rose up from her chair
저는 아침에 일찍 일어났어요 = I woke up early in the morning
우리는 내일 일찍 일어나야 돼요 = We need to wake up early tomorrow morning

준비하다 = to prepare, to get ready

The noun form of this word translates to “preparation”

Common Usages:
~ㄹ/을 준비 하다 = One is read to _____ (See Lesson 50 for more information)
준비시간 = preparation time
준비기간 = preparation period
시험준비 = preparation for an exam

Examples:
저는 아직 준비를 안 했어요 = I still haven’t gotten ready yet
저는 지금 갈 준비가 됐어요 = I am ready to go now
아버지를 위해 시원한 물을 준비했어요 = I prepared cool water for my father
저는 점심을 준비했어요 = I prepared (the) lunch
저는 아무 때나 일을 시작할 준비됐어요 = I am ready to start working any time

익숙하다 = to be familiar with something

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “익쑤카다”

Notes: The most common definition of 익숙하다 is “to be familiar with,” but in sentences I prefer to use “to be used to.” For example, if you buy a new pair of shoes, and you still kind of prefer your previous shoes, you could say “새로운 신발에 아직 익숙하지 않아요.” (I’m not used to the new shoes yet).”

Common Usages:
~에 익숙하다 = to be accustomed to
~에 익숙하지 않다 = to not be accustomed to

Example:
저는 한국 음식 맛에 익숙해요 = I am used to the taste of Korean food
저는 그것에 익숙하지 않아요 = I’m not familiar with that

들어오다 = to come in

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “드러오다”

Common Usages:
들어오세요! = Come in!
들어오지 마세요 = Don’t come in

Notes: Formed by combining 들다 (to enter) and 오다 (to come). See Lesson 15 for more information.

Example:
학생들은 9시에 학교에 들어왔어요 = The students came into the school at 9:00
그 남자는 방에 들어왔어요 = That man came into room

들어가다 = to go in

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “드러가다”

Common Usages:
A에… B가… 들어가 있다 = for A to contain B

Notes: Formed by combining 들다 (to enter) and 가다 (to go). See Lesson 15 for more information.

“들어가세요” is often said to people when they leave a place, almost as a greeting like “goodbye.”

Often used with ~아/어 있다 to indicate that something contains something. For example:
김치에 고추가 들어가 있어요 = There is red peppers in 김치
이 박스에 책이 들어가 있어요 = There are books in this box

Other Examples:
샴푸가 눈에 들어갔어요 = Shampoo went into my eyes
학생들은 9시에 학교에 들어갔어요 = The students went into the school at 9:00
수영장에 들어간 후에 옷이 완전히 젖었어요 =My clothes are completely wet after going into the pool
이 길이 너무 좁아서 저는 못 들어가요 = I can’t go onto this road because it is so narrow
그 가게에 18세 미만은 못 들어가요 = Those under 18 years of age can’t enter that store
우리는 집에 같이 들어갔어요 = We went into the house together
저는 문을 열고 방에 들어갔어요 = I opened the door and went into the room

입장하다 = to enter (the verb form of 'admission'

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “입장하다”

The noun form of this word translates to “admission”

Common Usages:
무료입장 = free admission
입장료 = admission price

Example:
몇 시부터 입장할 수 있어요? = From what time can we enter?

숨쉬다 = to breathe

Common Usages:
숨을 못 쉬다 = to not be able to breathe

Example: 저는 운동을 열심히 하고 을 빨리 쉬었어요 = After I exercised I was breathing really fast

Adjectives:
흥미롭다 = to be interesting

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “흥미롭따”

흥미롭다 follows the ㅂ irregular

Example:
화학은 매우 흥미로워요 = Chemistry is very interesting
그는 흥미로운 삶을 살아요 = He lives an interesting life
한국문화는 오래됐고 흥미로워요 = Korean culture is long and interesting

늦다 = to be late

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “늗따”

Common Usages:
늦게까지 = until a late time

Notes: 늦다 is often used as an adverb to indicate that something was done late. For example:
그녀는 언제나 게 와요 = She comes late every time
저는 게 도착했어요 = I arrived late

Usually, adverbs like this end in “-ly,” however, “lately” is unnatural in these English sentences. Korean people often incorrectly use the word “lately” because of this confusion.

It can also be used as an adjective.
우리가 늦었어요 = We are/were late

Other Example:
우리가 어서 죄송해요 = Sorry we are late

시원하다 = to be cool, to be relaxing

Common Usages:
시원한 물 = Cool water
아! 시원해! = Ah! That feels good!

Notes: In addition to meaning “cool” (as in temperature), this word is often used to describe the feeling you get when somebody gives you a massage.

Example:
요즘에 날씨가 시원해요 = These days the weather is cool
아버지를 위해 시원한 물을 준비했어요 = I prepared cool water for my father
가을이 시원해서 좋아요 = Fall is nice because it is cool

질투하다 = to be jealous

The noun form of this word translates to “jealousy” or “envy”

Common Usages:
질투심 = the feeling of jealously

Notes: Often used as “질투가 나다.” See Lesson 14 for more information on how the word “나다” works in these situations.

Example:
저의 남자 친구는 항상 질투해요 = My boyfriend is always jealous

맵다 = to be spicy

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “맵따”

맵다 follows the ㅂ irregular

Common Usages:
눈이 맵다 = the feeling of your eyes burning (usually when cutting onions)

Example: 저는 매운 것을 못 먹어요 = I can’t eat spicy things
한식은 양식보다 더 매워요 = Korean food is spicier than western food
라면은 삼겹살보다 더 매워요 = Ramen is spicier than 삼겹살

죄송하다 = to be sorry

Common Usages:
죄송합니다! = Sorry!
죄송하지만… = I’m sorry, but…

Example:
늦게 와서 죄송합니다! = Sorry for coming late!
죄송하지만 저는 당신을 해고할 수밖에 없어요 = I’m sorry, but I can’t do anything but fire you

미안하다 = to be sorry

Common Usages:
미안합니다! = Sorry

Notes: 미안하다 is slightly less formal than 죄송하다

Example: 시끄러워서 미안해요 = Sorry it is so loud!

무겁다 = to be heavy

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “무겁따”

무겁다 follows the ㅂ irregular

Examples:
이 가방은 너무 무거워요 = This bag is too heavy
그 기계는 너무 무거워요 = That machine is very heavy

가볍다 = to be light

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “가볍따”

가볍다 follows the ㅂ irregular

Example:
이 가방은 가벼워요 = This bag is light

유명하다 = to be popular, to be famous

Common Usages:
유명한 사람 = famous person

Example:
그 배우는 아주 유명해요 = That actor is very famous
그 가수는 한국에서 매우 유명해요 = That singer is very famous in Korea
녹차는 한국에서 유명해요 = Green Tea is famous in Korea
저는 엄마랑 유명한 영화를 같이 봤어요 = I saw/watched a famous movie with my mom

Adverbs:
요즘 = these days

Example:
저는 요즘에 운동을 많이 해요 = I am exercising a lot these days
아시아의 경제는 요즘에 좋아지고 있어요 = The Asian economy is getting better these days
요즘
에 날씨가 점점 추워져요 = Lately, the weather is getting gradually colder
요즘에 저는 스트레스를 많이 받아요 = These days I am very stressed
요즘에는 길이 너무 조용해요 = These days the streets are very quiet

같이 = together

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “가치”

Examples:
우리는 밥을 같이 먹었어요 = We ate together
저는 친구랑 같이 있어요 = I’m with my friend
엄마가 우리랑 같이 못 먹어서 안타까워요 = It’s too bad that your mom can’t eat together (with us)
나는 우리가 지난 번에 같이 먹은 것을 먹고 싶어= I want to eat what we ate (together) last time
이 일을 같이 하고 싶으면 우리는 협조해야 돼요 = If we want to do this job together, we have to cooperate
우리 학교에서 학생들은 역사와 지리를 같이 배워요 = At our school, students learn history and geography together

For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.

 

Introduction

In the last lesson, you learned some important Korean particles that you can use in a wide variety of situations. There are still a few more basic particles that you need to be aware of before you can begin learning more complex grammar. Most of these particles are very common, so it is hard to build sentences using more complex grammar without the use of what you learned in Lesson 12, and what you will learn in this lesson. Let’s get started!

 

Korean Particles (and): ~/, ~/이랑 and ~하고

~과/와, ~랑/이랑 and ~하고 can all be used interchangeably to mean “and” in Korean.
~과 and ~와 are the same. ~과 is attached to words ending in a consonant, ~와 is attached to words ending in a vowel. Similarly, ~랑 and ~이랑 are the same. ~이랑 is attached to words ending in a consonant, ~랑 is attached to words ending in a vowel. ~하고 can be attached to words ending in a vowel or consonant. These can be added fairly simply to nouns. For example:

우리는 밥과 빵을 팔아요 = We sell rice and bread
나는 사과와 바나나를 샀어 = I bought apples and bananas

The two examples above show ~와/과/랑/이랑/하고 placed between two nouns that together act as the object of the sentence. Notice that although there are two nouns, both of them (together) sort of act as the single object of the sentence.

Other particles can attach to the construction made by using ~와/과/랑/이랑/하고 as well. For example:

나는 인천이랑 서울에 갈 거야 = I will go to Seoul and Incheon
형하고 아버지는 영화를 봤어 = My brother and dad saw a movie
저는 약과 녹차만 샀어요 = I only bought medicine and green tea
.

.

 

Korean Particles (with): ~/, ~/이랑 and ~하고

Just when you thought this was going to be an easy lesson! Ha! This sounds crazy to an English speaker, but the same particles are used to mean “and” and “with” in Korean. You can distinguish them purely by the context of the conversation, which sounds like it would be difficult. However, even though you probably think it is difficult, it is always clear (even to a beginner) if the speaker is trying to express the meaning of “and” or “with” because of the sentence structure.

For example, when used to have the meaning of “and,” a noun will always follow 과/와/(이)랑/하고:  For example:

나는 사과와 바나나를 샀어 = I bought apples and bananas

After 와, another noun is used, which means you are talking about apples AND bananas. But if I said this:

나는 친구와 갔어 = I went with my friend
There is no additional noun after 와, which means it can only mean “with.” If ~와in that sentence had the meaning of “and”, it would translate to:

I went, my friend and…
… which is just nonsense

Here are some examples:

저는 친구와 집에 갔어요 = I went home with my friend
나는 아버지랑 공원에 갈 거야 = I will go to the park with my dad
선생님은 학생들과 박물관에 갔다 = The teacher went to the museum with the students
요즘에 사람들이 친구들이랑 매운 음식을 먹지 않아요 = These days, people don’t eat spicy food with their friends

Also notice that you can actually use these particles to mean both “and” and “with” within the same sentence:

저는 밥을 친구랑 저의 어머니랑 먹었어요 = I ate (rice*) with my mom and my friend
*Korean people often use “” (rice) to simply mean “food.” It stems from the fact that Korean people eat rice with (almost) every meal – so if you ate, it means that you ate rice. You can say “밥을 먹었어” which can simply mean “I ate.”

Two adverbs that are commonly used in sentences with “with” are 같이 and 함께. Both of them mean “together,” and can be used in sentences even if the sentence doesn’t have one of the particles meaning “with” (과/와/랑/이랑/하고). For example:

우리는 빵을 같이 먹었어요 = We ate bread together
우리는 빵을 함께 먹었어요 = We ate bread together

우리는 집에 같이 들어갔어요 = We went into the house together
우리는 집에 함께 들어갔어요 = We went into the house together

우리는 음악을 같이 들었어요 = We listened to music together
우리는 음악을 함께 들었어요 = We listened to music together

The use of the word “together” in the same sentence as the word “with” in English is usually unnatural. For example, it sounds unnatural for me to say something like this:

I ate bread together with a friend

Instead, in English, we would say one of the following sentences:

I ate bread with a friend
We ate bread together

In Korean however, it is okay to use 같이 or 함께 in either of these situations; that is – with the word “with” in the sentence, or without it. For example:

저는 빵을 친구랑 같이 먹었어요 = I ate bread with a friend (together)
저는 빵을 친구와* 함께 먹었어요 = I ate bread with a friend (together)

저는 빵을 친구랑 먹었어요 = I ate bread with a friend
저는 빵을 친구와 먹었어요 = I ate bread with a friend
Notice that I used ~와 with 함께 instead of ~랑. Just like with the meaning of “and,” “~와/과” is more likely to be used in writing and in formal situations, whereas “~(이)랑” is more likely to be used is speech. This entirely depends on the person who is speaking/writing, but it is generally true. Likewise, the use of “함께” is generally used in writing and formal situations. Therefore, the use of 함께 is more likely to be paired with ~과/와 in these cases.

To add an additional level of complexity to this explanation – 같이 is more commonly used than 함께 (같이 is probably one of the most common words in Korean, while 함께 would fall much further down the list). However, when 함께 is used, it is more likely to be used with ~과/와. These are just generalizations based on observations of years of speaking with Korean people.

More examples:

저는 녹차를 엄마랑 같이 마셨어요 = I drank green tea with my mom
저는 엄마랑 유명한 영화를 같이 봤어요 = I saw/watched a famous movie with my mom

저는 선생님과 함께 공부했어요 = I studied with my teacher
저는 여자 친구와 함께 영화를 봤어요 = I watched a movie with my girlfriend

You can also use these particles to say that you are simply ‘with’ somebody in a location. In order to do this, you must use 있다 along with one of the adverbs meaning “together”. For example:

나는 친구랑 같이 있어 = I’m with my friend
저는 친구와 집에 함께 있어요 = I’m with a friend at home

Note that this meaning of “with” in Korean cannot be used like this:
I built a house with my hands

Remember, “my hands” are the method in which you did something, so
, as you learned in Lesson 12 ~(으)로 should be used in those situations. For example:

저는 손으로 집을 지었어요

 

 

Korean Particles (to) 에게/한테/

These three particles can all be used to indicate that you are doing (usually giving) something TO somebody. 에게, 한테 and 께 all have the same meaning, but ~한테 is usually used in conversation, ~에게 is usually written (although it is still said in conversation very often) and ~께 is used when the person you are giving something to requires respect (께 is the honorific form of 에게/한테).

아버지는 아들에게 돈을 준다 = The father gives money to his son
나는 학생들한테 한국어를 가르쳤어 = I taught Korean to the students
저는 부장님께 그 사실을 말할 거예요 = I will tell that (fact) to my boss

In the sentence above using ~, a different verb (말씀) and grammatical form (드리다) would more likely be used to conjugate the sentence. At this point, you haven’t learned either of those words (or how they are used), so I refrained from using them in this example. These will be introduced in Lesson 39. For now, focus on the use of ~ in this sentence.

Note that just because you use ~께 doesn’t mean that your sentence needs to end in a polite way. ~께 is used when the person who is being given is of high importance, regardless of who you are talking to. For example, if I was a teacher, talking to my student, talking about something being given TO the principal, I could say:

나는 책을 교장선생님께 줬어 = I gave the principal a book

Again, the word 드리다” would most likely be used instead of 주다 here. For now, focus on the use of ~ and we will continue to discuss this in Lesson 39.

 

Korean Particles (from): ~에게서/한테서/()로부터

You learned in Lesson 12 that ~에서 can be used to mean “from” in a wide variety of situations. ~에게서/한테서 can also have the translation of “from,” but they are used in a more restricted way.

~에게서/한테서 has the meaning that is opposite of ~에게/한테/께, which means it is used when somebody receives something from somebody. These particles are attached to the person from whom one receives something from. For example:

나는 나의 여자친구에게서 편지를 받았어 = I received a letter from my girlfriend

The “thing” that is being received doesn’t need to be something physical. It could be something abstract like stories, explanations, or other things. For example:

저는 교감선생님에게서 한국어를 배웠어요 = I learned Korean from my vice principal
저는 그것을 친구한테서 들었어요 = I heard that from my friend

A very similar particle is ~(으)로부터. This particle can also be attached to the person from whom one receives something from. For example:

나는 나의 여자친구로부터 편지를 받았어 = I received a letter from my girlfriend
저는 교감선생님으로부터 한국어를 배웠어요 = I learned Korean from my vice principal
저는 그것을 친구로부터 들었어요 = I heard that from my friend
저는 친구들로부터 사랑을 많이 받았어요 = I received a lot of love from friends
아버지로부터 선물이 왔어요 = A present came from my father

~(으)로부터 can also be used when receiving something from a non-person thing (a company/the government/etc). For example:

나는 돈을 정부로부터 받았어 = I received money from the government
이것을 하늘로부터 받았어요 = I received this from the sky (heavens)

However, you cannot use ~에게서/~한테서 to indicate that you received something from a non-person.

To summarize, ~(으)로부터 can be used to indicate that one receives something from a person or non-person. ~에게서 and ~한테서 have a similar meaning, but can only be used when one receives something from a person.

 

Do something for somebody: ~/위해()

If you want to say that you are doing something FOR (the benefit of) somebody, you can add ~를/을 to the person who you are doing something for, followed by 위해(서):

나는 나의 여자 친구를 위해(서) 꽃을 샀어 = I bought flowers for my girlfriend
나는 부장님을 위해(서) 이것을 썼어 = I wrote this for my boss
저는 친구를 위해 빵을 만들었어요 = I made bread for my friend
아버지를 위해 시원한 물을 준비했어요 = I prepared cool water for my father

There doesn’t seem to be a difference between 위해 and 위해서.

This form is usually used when you are doing something for a person, but can also be used sometimes when you are doing something for a non-person:

저는 회사를 위해 열심히 일할 거예요 = I will work hard for the company

The important thing is that the thing for which you are doing something must be a noun. You can use 위해 to indicate that you are doing something for the purpose of a verb (I am going there to/for the purpose of see(ing) a movie) but you will learn about that in Lesson 32 once  you have learned how to change verbs into nouns.

Also make sure that you realize that ‘for’ can have many meanings in English. Just because you say ‘for’ in English, doesn’t mean that it can be translated directly to ~를/을 위해. In Korean, ~를/을 위해 means for the benefit of. For example, in this sentence:

I am waiting for the bus – the ‘bus’ is the object in which you are waiting for, so, in Korean, you attach the particle ~을/를 to ‘bus’ but not ~을/를 위해:

나는 버스를 기다린다

 

About something ~에 대해

~에 대해 can also be attached to nouns like 를/을 위해, but this has the meaning of “about.” It’s very easy to understand when used in simple situations:

나는 너에 대해 생각했어 = I thought about you
나는 나의 아버지에 대해 말했어 = I spoke about my father
나는 그것에 대해 책을 쓸 거야 = I will write a book about it
그 회계사는 정부에 대해 나쁜 말을 했어요 = That accountant said bad things about the government

Just like with ~을/을 위해서, there is very little (if any) difference between ~에 대해 and ~에 대해서. For example, the sentences above could all be written as:

나는 너에 대해서 생각했어 = I thought about you
나는 나의 아버지에 대해서 말했어 = I spoke about my father
나는 그것에 대해서 책을 쓸 거야 = I will write a book about it
그 회계사는 정부에 대해서 나쁜 말을 했어요 = That accountant said bad things about the government

One way that you cannot use ~에 대해 is in the following sentence:

My favorite thing about you is your eyes.

I’d love to teach you that sentence in Korean, even though we haven’t covered the grammar, Ah, what the heck – I’ll show you – even though full understanding won’t come until Lesson 28.

너에 있어서 내가 가장 좋아하는 것은 너의 눈이야.

Too complicated for you right now, the grammar within that sentence will be discussed in Lesson 28. Until then…

That’s it for this lesson! I think this one was one of the easiest lessons yet… haha, what do you think? Simple memorizing – nothing too complicated. In the next lesson, we will be talking about something native speakers of any language never think about when they speak… which means it is going to be hard to grasp! Think of this lesson as a gift from me to relax your brain before you start to get confused again!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to make a post on our Forum!

Okay, I got it! Take me to the next lesson! Or,
Click here for a workbook to go along with this lesson.