Learn Korean Language Lesson 4 – Korean Topic Marker
Continue from Learn Korean Language Lesson 3 – Korean Sentence Ending Form. In Learn Korean Language Lesson 4, you will learn the Korean topic marker and how to used it in forming Korean sentences. So, what is Korean Topic Marker? Obviously, Korean topic marker designates the topic of a sentence. Do you remember that when form a Korean sentences, Korean verb comes last in Comparison of Korean and English? Hence, not like English, the order of the Korean sentence is usually: subject, object, verb.
Korean Topic Marker
Korean Topic Marker 은/는 follows a noun, indicating that it is the topic under discussion. The topic is often not necessarily the same as the subject. Rather, the topic marker appears when one wants to stress a new topic. Like when introducing yourself in Korean, this topic functions like this gesture, emphasizing each person in turn. Topic marker 은 directly follows words that end in a consonant (with batchim), while 는 is used after words ending in a vowel (without batchim). For example, 저 is a Korean character ending with a vowel (without batchim). Therefore, it is a noun ending with a vowel. In this case, 는 will be place behind 저 and become 저는. On the other hand, when a nouns ending with a consonant (with batchim), 은 will be place behind it. Do you remember what is batchim? Refer Korean Consonants 3. See examples below:
Ending with a vowel
- 저는 박정수예요. [ jeo-neun-bak-jeong-su-ye-yo ] – I am Park Jung Soo.
- 저는 학생이에요. [ jeo-neun-hak-saeng-i-e-yo ] – I am a student.
- 애니씨는 인도네시아 사람이에요. [ ae-ni-ssi-neun-in-do-ne-si-a-sa-ram-i-e-yo ] – Annie is Indonesian.
Ending with a consonants
- 카르멘은 간호사예요. [ ka-reu-men-eun-gan-ho-sa-ye-yo ] – Carmen is a nurse.
- 선생님은 미국 사람이에요. [ seon-saeng-nim-eun-mi-guk-sa-rami-e-yo ] – The teacher is American.
- 이분은 호주 사람이에요. [ i-bun-eun-ho-ju-sa-ram-i-e-yo ] – This gentleman/lady is Australian.
Sometimes, in Korean, the subject is often omitted when it is obvious to the other person.
- 저는 박정수예요 = 박정수예요. – I am Park Jung Soo.
- 엘리스씨는 의사예요? = 의사예요? – Is Alice doctor? Or Alice, are you doctor?
- 선생님은 미국 사람이에요? = 미국 사람이에요? – Is teacher American? Or teacher, are you American?
분 has the same meaning with 사람 both mean person in Korean, but Korean people use 분 when they are mentioning a person that is older or a respective person, is more formal than 사람 even though both of them have the same meaning. 씨 can be added behind a Korean name as a term of address.