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.


  • Cookie

    I recognized that you say geot with a “t” sound at the end altough it’s written with a s. That confused me a little bit. So do you pronounce “s” at the end of a word like a “t”? (Unfortunately I don’t have hangul on my Keyboard)

    • King Badrul

      Yes.. For this, you will have to review on how to read Korean.. The S pronounced as T is one of the Batchim rules (final consonant rules)..

    • Seokjin Jin

      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

      If you have any more questions, please ask!!

    • Cookie

      Ah, okay! Now I understand…Thank you very much! Thank you for your hard work!^^

  • Rowan Kelleher

    안녕하세요!
    Great lesson!

    ALTHOUGH I’m getting confused with how you mention pronouns and modifiers. I’ve always been taught a pronoun replaces a noun (I,she, it etc.) but, in this lesson you say ‘This is my car’ I don’t understand how ‘this’ can be a pronoun.

    I also don’t understand what you mean by the term modifiers. I tried looking online but, couldn’t find anything.

    Could someone please help me on this 🙂

    감사합니다!

  • Nubaisha Ali

    This podcasts are so amazing and helpful, i have learnt so much, thanks guys!!!!! 😀

  • artmis Gh

    안녕하세요

    so can I say 이사람 제어머니예요.or 저사람 학생이에요 ?

    • laura 로라

      Right!

  • Suman Ali

    I LOVE TTMIK honestly you guys are amazing!!
    So basically i can say anything with 이, 그, 저 and itll make this, that : object right? And if im in a korean store and i say that the object i need is 이거 (which is closer to me) and then i ask for 그거 is it right ???

  • Rebecca Santos

    What’s the difference betwwen 이 사람 and 그 사람? Because the second one is for when your talking about someone that’s not there, am I right? So then what would the first one be used for?

    • Jiya

      이 사람 is when someone is near you, not near the other person. 그 사람 is when it’s far away from you/near the other person or when it’s not in your sight.

      Hope I helped! 😀

  • bricenooo

    can somebody please explain to me the difference between 그것 and just 그?

    • Alexandria de Leon

      I think 그것 means-that one and without 것, it means that?

    • Sosolilly

      그것 is “that” in the meaning of a pronoun like for example : that is a car, whereas “그” means “that” as an demonstrative adjective like in : that car is mine. Hope it helped 🙂

  • tomer yaul

    after hearing and reading i have a couple of questions:
    1) what if i am not talking about an object? this /that subject /lesson /time /moment /thought (and more are all none physical things that i can’t point at and are not close to me or far away). would the same rules apply? (i have a feeling this and that have more to it then this).
    2) would i use the same sentence structure as a question for all 3 ways of this/that?

  • Emily

    Can someone please explain the difference between 그 and 이? It’s really confusing me. If I’m asking ‘What is this?’ would it be “뭐에요 이것?”, “뭐에요 이거?”, or would I flip the 뭐에요 and 이거?

  • Emily

    What is the difference between ‘이거’ and ‘이것’? It’s confusing me 🙁

    • Matt

      with ‘이것’ the ‘ㅅ’ part makes it a ‘t’ sound because the word finished with it rather than the ‘oh’ sound made by ‘ㅏ’

    • Sosolilly

      It means the same thing, they explain it in the previous lesson ! Only 이거 is more used than 이것 (I think it’s because it’s easier to pronounce in a sentence)

  • Suga Swag

    A : 이거 고양이예요? (Is this a cat?)
    B : 아니요. (No.)
    A : 아, 이거 강아지예요. (Ah, this is a dog.)
    B : 네, 맞아요. (Yes, that’s right.)

  • Hero

    I still don’t really get when to use 이, 그, and 저.
    For example can’t both of these work…
    저가 술아니에요 That is not liquor.
    그거 슬아니에요 It is not liquor.

    Do you still pick wether to use 저가, 이거 or 그거 by how far/close something is?
    I can see that 처 is “I” and 처거 seems to be “That”
    Am I correct?

    • laura 로라

      Yes, if you choose 이, 그, 저 depends on the distance to the thing.
      I’m not good at explaining but I’ll write down some examples for you!

      이거 물이에요. = This is water.
      이 물은 제 것이에요. = This water is mine.

      (In the 2nd sentence I used it as a modifier of 물.)

      Also 이거, 그거, 저거 can stand by themselves, while 이, 그, 저 NEED nouns.

      그거 작아요. = That is small.
      그 집은 작아요. = That house is small.

      It’s a bit tricky to explain in English.. but I hope you understand this topic a bit better now!

    • Hero

      Ah! I actually do understand a lot better. 감사합니다!

  • ririn

    The hangul for g and k are the same. How could I know which should I use in pronouncing and writing romanizations?

    • laura 로라

      Usually, when the K/G is the first Hangeul in the word, it’s pronounced like K.
      김치 = Kim-chi
      한국어 = Han-gug-oe

      This applies also for ㄷ (d/t) and ㅂ(b/p)
      Hope I could help. 🙂

    • Ife

      the hangeul for g is pronounced like a soft k sound (for example geu geot )but there is actually also a different hangeul constonant for k with a more obvious and harsher k sound

  • Bts Jimin

    I am still confused when to use the pronoun for this and the modified version for this ???

  • Jimin got no jams

    Hi can someone please tell me if what here is right cause im a bit confused and i cant move on to the next lesson… so
    이 사람 = THIS IS A PERSON
    이거 사람 = ??? I really dont know the translation
    And also do we still have to add yeyo or ieyo like
    이 사람이에요
    Please answer this i badly needed an answer ㅠㅠ

    • Karenrodas19267

      Okay well “i saram” means: this person. Not: this is a person. I can’t tell you how to say this is a person because i’m not sure how constructing that sentence would work but in this lesson they were simply teaching us how to say this person, the person, that person.

    • Helena Blažková

      이것은 사람이에요. or 이거 사람이에요. = This is a person. But I don’t think you would use this sentence, because 이것 and 이거 actually mean “this thing”, so… 😀 Don’t speak like that to strangers. 😀

      이 사람 = this person (there’s no is)
      이거 사람 = I think that doesn’t make sense. 이거 is “this”, but how I mentioned, it’s actually “this thing”, so… nah
      이 사람이에요 = this person is (doesn’t make sense to me, you would have to put there something else to complete the sentence, for example “student”: 이 사람 학생이에요. = This person is a student. + you could also add some particle to the word person to emphasize it, read more here: http://www.talktomeinkorean.com/lessons/l1l9/)

    • Sosolilly

      “이 사람” only means “this person” not “this is a person”, and “이거 사람” doesn’t make any sense
      Yes you always have to add “이에요 / 예요 ” since it basically means “to be”…
      This is a person = 이거 사람이에요

  • Jiya

    안녕하세요~ I already listened to this lesson a while ago, but I have a question. Is there any difference between saying 이거 and 이게? Or are they both the same?

    • Sosolilly

      이게 is actually 이거 + the marker 이 🙂 (if you don’t know what a marker is they teach it in the lesson 9) the vowels 어 and 이 contract into 에

    • Jiya

      Ohhhh so they mean the same thing except one has a particle attached? Okk~
      감사합니다!~
      So, if you don’t mind explaining a bit further, in which situation would you use both of them? I did listen to the lesson but still have lots of review to do since I didn’t understand it completely… :/

    • Sosolilly

      I’m not actually fluent in Korean but what I would say is that you can use 이거 when you say it like “what do you want ? This !”, you can also use it in basic sentences like “this is a car”, “this is my favorite colour”, but if for example you’re asked “which one is your car ?” “Is this colour or this colour your favorite ?” Then you can use 이게 to insist on the fact that “this one is my car” “THIS colour is my favorite” (this color and no other color)

    • Jiya

      Ohhhh ok so 이게 is for more emphasis on the word THIS. I get it noww~ 감사합니다!!~ 😀

  • Sosolilly

    I actually don’t know why they call 이 a “modifier” I think it’s confusing, if it can help someone 이거 is a pronoun (“this is…”) and 이 is a determiner, more specifically a demonstrative pronoun, so it’s placed before a noun 🙂 (“this car”)

    It’s funny cause I never realized that it would be hard for English speakers to understand the different between 이 and 이거 since I’m French and in French we, just as in Korean, have a difference word for the pronoun and the determiner (“this”)

    • 박 소원

      Can you provide an example in French because I’m still confused by this 이 and 이가 .

    • laura

      이 집은 커요. This house is big.
      이거 집이에요. This is a house.

      저 길은 작아요. That street is small.
      저거 자가요. That (thing) is small.

    • 박 소원

      Thank you. Now it’s clearer, I got it.

  • Sosolilly

    Why some pdf don’t work ?? Like this one or the one in lesson 4 🙁 I think pdf are really useful so I thought I had to inform you about that !!

  • andwan0

    I like the scribd links because I don’t have to download the PDFs and can view scribd online… but this lesson scribd is missing

    • Ife

      don’t use scribd as I also found it doesn’t have all the pdf’s so use the adobe pdf’s it has all of them, they are usually under every lesson.

  • Nana Atmaja

    How about 이게 그리고 그게?
    Can someone explain to me?

    • Ife

      i ge geu ri go geu ge? the “ge” part is just the combination of geo + i to make “ge” it’s like adding the “i”particle that you learn about in lesson 9 which give contrast and emphasis that THIS is what you’re talking about so rather than saying “geo i” is is condensed to “ge” which means the same thing. Koreans are lazy with extra syllables hahaha

      (joesonghapnida this may be confusing as i cant write Korean characters on my computer)

  • Rhea Nautiyal

    wow i just wanna say your lessons are really helping me.Keep it up.

  • Luke Cochrane

    So if I want to say, ‘What is this?’ can I say, ‘뭐 이거예요?’

  • Ife

    should you ask geu geo mul i ye yo? or mul i ye yo? or is the first one just a statment?

  • Rachel E

    So in the lesson it says we can’t point to a person and say 저거 which makes complete sense. But can you point to a person and say, 저거 사람이에요? asking, “is that a person?”

    • Kim

      ne majayo