Level 1 Lesson 7 / This, That, It / 이, 그, 저

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In this lesson, you can learn how to say “this” “that” “it” and “the” in Korean. In English, “this” and “that” can work as both modifiers and pronouns, but you need to use different words in Korean. This is because in Korean “this” as in “this is a book” is composed of two parts, 이 (this) + 거 (thing). Find out more about how to use these words in Korean by listening to the lesson and checking out the free PDF file attached to the lesson. If you have any question, as always, please feel free to leave them here! 감사합니다!

You can download a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here. And after you learn the basics, try writing your own Korean sentences and get corrections from native speakers through HaruKorean, our 1:1 correction service.

  • http://No Kimhuang

    안녕하세요 ! I want to ask you. 이, 그, 저 is mean he and she the same??

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      Hi Kimhuang,
      I am sorry that I didn’t understand what you meant.
      Did you mean the meanings of 이, 그, 저 are same as he and she?
      If so, the answer is no.

      Regarding 그, the spell is same as he. However she means “그녀” in Korean.

      For the more information, I hope you to check the following links:

  • https://en.gravatar.com/kimhuangly Kimhuang

    안녕하세요! I want to ask. 이, 그, 저 is mean he, she are the same?

  • Buu Truong

    As I heard, “you can’t point at a person and say 이거”. Can you explain more, is this only for things, because as I translate, It’s all “this person”. Thank you!

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      Hi Buu Truong,
      In Korea, it is regarded as rude action to point someone who is older than you with a finger, and if I say 이거, people will understand that I talk about an object but not a person.
      If you want to say this person in Korean, you can say 이 사람.
      Thanks for your comment.

  • RiAh

    You have a spelling mistake in your PDF file for the romanisation of 저것 and 저거 you wrote geu-geot and geu-geo.

    • Panda

      It’s not an error. They are both correct romanized & in hangul. Geot is the “longer” & slightly more difficult version of geo.

  • Juliet

    How do you say “that is __(person’s name)__?” in Korean?

    • Tim

      I’m not sure, but I would imagine (romanized, not good enough with Hangul yet): jeo ( “i” or “geu” at respiective positions) sa-ram [persons name] ye-yo/i-e-yo

    • 재민

      저 (person’s name)입니다.
      If you said 저 (person’s name)이예요 you are referring to them as an object.
      저 주리옛입니다. (That is Juliet).
      이 띰입니다. (This is Tim).
      입니다 is an honorific expression that can be used to indicate the name of a person.

      PS im still learning so please correct me if I’m wrong

    • Vita

      The correct way if i translate from english is
      that is __(person’s name)__?
      저 사람은 _____name_____ 이에요/예요 (depending on that person’s name)

      I’m not agree with Priscilla because if you speak “저는” it become pronoun and the translation will be “I”

  • Priscilla

    Actually, 재 민 both of the ways you said your introduction are correct. It just depends who you are talking to. You can say

    저는 재민 이예요 to maybe a classmate or co-worker.
    저는 재민 입니다 to a boss or elder

    It’s just a level of politeness that differentiates between them.

    • Priscilla

      Also in level 2 lesson 11, they go over the 이예요/ 예요 introduction. Hope this helps!

  • Saraswathi

    How to say: “This is a person.”? It’s a weird sentence but I’d like to know.

  • Saraswathi

    How to say: “This is a person.”? It’s a weird sentence but I’d like to know. Also am I right in saying- ‘cho-geo mul-i-e-yo.’ ?

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      Hi Sarawathi,
      Yes, it is little bit weird expression, but you can say “이분은 사람입니다”.
      Thanks for your comment.

  • Holly

    I`m kind of confused now, I understand the actual explanations but when looking at the work sheet i noticed 것 (geot) is using S but making a T sound? I thought this (ㅌ) was T >_< I know ㅇ at the end turns into a `ng` like 송 (song) can anyone explain the difference or how it actually works?
    Please and Thanks in advance :D

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      At the end of a word or before a consonant, all Korean consonants are pronounced without releasing air and as a result, the sound changes. For the ㅅ sound, it turns to a ㄷ (t) sound because you are not releasing any air when finishing the word. For example, 옷 (ot) is pronounced with the “t/d” sound because your tongue is kind of trapped between your teeth when you’re finished!! It’s really hard to not release any air when saying the ㅅ sound, so the t/d sound (ㄷ) is used to ease pronunciation. There are a number of consonants that change sounds at the end of a word, so please refer to this chart: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v492/smorriskc/FinalChart.png

    • Holly

      ah, so it’s like a form of mutation. Thanks alot for explaining i’ll be sure to try and remember this :)

  • Saraswathi

    We often use sentences like “what did she mean by ‘that’?” and “don’t do ‘that’” Which that should be used in these cases?

  • Matt

    I’m still a little confused about 이 and 이거. In lesson 8 one of the examples is 이거 우유 아니에요, does it have to be said like this or is 이 우유 아니에요 also correct?
    Thanks in advance, I’m really enjoying these lessons!

    • Nadya

      There is a difference between those expressions
      when you say 이거 우유 아니에요 it means “it isn’t milk” (may be it’s cofee or juice)
      and when you say 이 우유 아니에요 it means something like “…..not exactly this milk” (may be you have one more bottle of milk in frig). 이 우유 means “this milk” (near you. on the table – for example) and 이거 우유 means “this IS milk”. Hope you feel the difference now)

    • Nadya

      Oh. I made grammer mistake in the last expression of my previous replay. When you use “이거” you have to use “이에요 or 예요” in the ending of the noun. So we have 이거 우유예요 which means “this IS milk”.

  • christine

    can you use i geo geu geo and jeo geo in a sentence? I’m a bit confused. sorry.

  • Amy W

    What RiAh says February 25, 2013 at 6:06 am about the PDF is correct and was incorrectly replied to. The comment made by RiAh wasn’t about the END of the word, it was about the Beginning of the words. “저것 and 저거 you wrote geu-geot and geu-geo.” Please check the PDF–page 2 where you say “So …” and then explain each part of the lesson. You write “Jeo” and then when breaking the word apart you write “geu” instead of “jeo.” It’s confusing. Thank You.

  • christine

    I’m sooo confused. sorry. When are you going to use ‘i,geu,jeo’ and ‘i-geo geu-geo and jeo-geo’? examples please?

    • Nadya

      When you want to say “This one”, “That one” or “That thing over there” you will need such expressions as 이/그/저 respectively. 이 means “this one”, 그 “that one”, 저 “that thing over there”.
      For example.
      If you want to say: Give me please THIS APPLE.
      In Korean it will be
      이 사과 주세요

      In case when you want to say that something is something you will need such expressions as 이거/ 그거/ 저거.
      이거 means “this thing is…(something)”
      그거 means “that thing is…(something)”
      저거 means “that thing over there is…(something)”
      For example.
      If you want to say: That is an apple.(That THING is an apple).
      In Korean it will be
      그거 사과예요

      You need to know that 이거/ 그거/ 저거 are short forms from 이것/ 그것/ 저것.
      것 means “thing”. So we have here 이 this 거 (것) thing.

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      Thanks for your comment. You explained it well! :)

  • cody

    First, thank you for reading this question.
    I want to ask the pronounce of “그”and “저”
    sometimes when you say two word together,이거, you will pronounce like / geo/ of ” 거”
    but when you say it slowly , i hear the 이거 of i /keo / , why the sound keep changing @@??
    and same as 그거’s “그”, most of the time i hear 그 of /keu/ go , and when sometimes you say it
    slowly, i hear /geu/ of the 그 sound
    and the other same one is “저” , sometimes is / joe/ and sometimes is /choe/
    but i think i should use “ㅊ” to have the “ch” sound , and “ㅈ” to have “j” sound

    i think it’s mixed about some basic pronounce rules…., i hope you don’t mind to answer this.
    Thank you!

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      Regarding the pronunciation matter, actually it is hard for me to explain it well. As we have heard different words for a long time, I can say that we have different hearing ear.

      To me, there is not difference no matter when I say it slowly or fast.

      I think this site will be helpful.


    • Seda

      Might get a little linguistic-y with this explanation, but in Korean, when stops (p/b, k/g, t/d) are word initial/syllable initial, they are voiceless (p, k, t). When they are in between vowels, they become voiced (b, g, d). This is because vowels are voiced (you need to use your vocal cords to produce vowels). I doubt native Korean speakers will notice this unless it is pointed out to them, so for them, there is no difference.

      It’s similar to the idea that native English speakers don’t notice the difference in the ‘p’ in PIT and the ‘p’ in SPIT. To native English speakers, they are just simply ‘p,’ end of question. But if you take a piece of paper and hold it up in front of you mouth (or even put your hand in front of your mouth), you will notice that more air escapes from you mouth when you say PIT than when you say SPIT. That’s because in English, stops (p, t, k) that are word initial are aspirated (you release more air from when producing the sound). Stops (p, t, k) that are not word-initial are non-aspirated.

      Sorry for the long explanation, but I hope that clears things up a bit!

    • Seda

      Sorry. I messed up in the beginning: In Korean, if the stops (p, t, k) are word initial or THEY ARE FOLLOWED BY A CONSONANT, they are voiceless (p, t, k). If they are in between vowels, they become voiced (b, d, g).

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  • fatma

    i dont understand the difference between (이,이거) (저,저거) (그,그거) :(

  • meriem

    actually i also don’t get it , what’s the difference between 이 우유 아니에요and 이 우유 아니에요. help !

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      But they are same sentences.

  • Carro

    So let’s see if I got this right regarding 이/이거, 저/저거, 그/그거..
    If i want to say:
    This is a big apple = 이거 큰 사과예요.

    This apple is big = 이 사과는 큰이예요.

    Are these correct? Please respond, this is so confusing I’m going crazy.. :(

    • Carro

      Edit: This apple is big = 이 사과는 큰이에요.

  • sham

    please tell me if I understand that’s correct
    we use
    with Stuff or things
    we use
    with persons

  • Park Eunyoung

    @5:35 저 마이크로폰, I think kyeong-eun said, taw baw-i-kul? Is 마이크로폰 ma-i-kuh-ro-pon it not? @7:48 @12:10 ㅋㅋㅋㅋ Instructors Kyeong-eun and Hyunwoo are very funny!

    • Park Eunyoung

      Instructor seok-jin help with pronunciation please? 감사합니다.

  • Park Eunyoung

    Yes, you do not want to confuse 사람 with 사랑 . TTMIK Saranghae 사랑해. =D

  • Michelle

    I love this site to much!! <3
    I love the way of teach of Hyunwoo Sun and Kyeong-eun Choi
    Im so thankful for the group of persons that dedicate their precious time to do this site a joy to learn korean ^_^
    God bless u so much talktomeinkorean group :)

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  • Alk

    I have a question. In lesson 5, me or I is pronounced something like cho. Then in this lesson, that, as in far away over there, also seems to be pronounced cho. is there a difference I’m not hearing?

    • Seokjin Jin

      Hi Alk, Actually the spelling of the two words are same.

      저 [jeo]= I (formal from)
      저 것 [jeo-geot]= That thing (that is far from me)

      Although learning Korean is not that easy but many people said that it is easy to learn Hangeul.

    • Alk

      Thank you!

  • Taylor

    Hello, I have a quick question to ask. Based off of Lesson 7, does 이거 핸드폰. [i-geo haen-deu-pon] and 이 핸드폰. [i haen-deu-pon] both mean “This cellphone”?

    • Seokjin Jin

      이거 핸드폰 looks like the shortened version of 이거 핸드폰이에요 that means “This is a cellphone.” For “the cellphone”, 이 핸드폰 is correct.

    • Taylor

      Okay, thank you for your help.