Continue from Learn Korean Language Lesson 9 – Korean Question Word – Who/Whose, today we will learn Korean Demonstrative Adjectives – this/that/that – 이/그/저 [ i/geu/jo ]. We use 이 (this) like English word – this. But, don’t use 그/저 (that) like English word – that. In Korean, there are two way to say that, whether 그/저. Even though both 그/저 means that in English but the usage is different. Do you know how to use 이/그/저? When locating objects in space, Korean speakers make a three-way distinction.
Korean Demonstrative Adjectives – This/That/That
In short, Koreans look at the location of an object to decide whether to use 이/그/저 (this/that/that). Korean people use 이 for an object close by – if it is located relative to the speaker and listener, and whether the speaker or listener can see the object, 이 will be use. However, 그 is use when something is near the listener but not near the speaker. 저 is use when the object is far away from both speaker and listener.
- Object near the speaker – 이 (this)
- Object near the listener – 그 (that)
- Object away from both speaker and listener – (저) that over there
이/그/저 can be use with noun 것 (thing) when pointing to things. 이것 is used for something near the speaker, 그것 is used for something near the listener, and 저것 is used for something far from both the speaker and the listener. 이거/그거/저거 are shortened forms of 이것, 그것, 저것 and commonly used in casual speech.
- 이거는 우유예요. [ i-geo-neun-u-yu-ye-yo ] – This is milk.
- 그거는 가방이에요. [ geu-geo-neun-ga-bang-i-e-yo ] – That is a bag.
- 저거는 뭐예요? [ jo-geo-neun-mwo-ye-yo ] – What is that?
이게/그게/저게 are also shortened forms of 이것, 그것, 저것, but it is the shortened forms of 이것, 그것, 저것 and the subject marker. 이/그/저 plus the noun 것 (thing) and the subject marker 이 become 이것이/그것이/저것이, which are then shortened to 이게/그게/저게. 이건/그건/저건 share the same meaning but with a sight emphasis on the object indicated.
- 이게 뭐예요? [ i-ge-mwo-ye-yo ] (informal) = 이것이 무엇입니까? [ i-geo-si-mu-eot-im-ni-gga ] (formal)
- 이건 뭐예요? [ i-geon-mwo-ye-yo ] (informal) = 이것은 무엇입니까? [ i-geo-seun-mu-eot-im-ni-gga ] (formal)
We have learned 무엇 in Learn Korean Language Lesson 6 – Korean Question Word – What. 이게/그게/저게 can be used together with Korean question word 뭐 to ask question. See this in Korean Language Reading Practice 5 – What is this? and go through Korean Language Exercises 3. Then, continue to Learn Korean Language Lesson 11 – Korean Subject Marker.