Level 1 Lesson 9 / topic,subject marking particles / 은, 는, 이, 가

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This lesson will introduce the topic marking particles and the subject marking particles in the Korean language. The topic marking particles and the subject marking particles play a very important role in Korean so it’s very important that you learn them well. But even some advanced-level speakers of the language can make mistakes regarding these particles, so please don’t worry even if you don’t get them right away. You will eventually be able to use them naturally after some practice. Today’s lesson is our first introduction to the particles. Make sure you read the PDF file as well. Thank you! Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment!



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.


  • Reyhane Sahebzade

    Oh My GOD!!! This lesson was so hard for me to understand, I should listen it over and over again…
    I think I’ll DIE in the way of learning Korean language!!! But I won’t let it go!!! believe me.

  • Strahinja Jovanovic

    I don’t understand anythinggg :(

    • Anna Le

      Keep your head up high ^^ Just study other lessons and then go back to this again later on. Figthing!

  • PG

    Thank you so much for these great lessons! I appreciate the playfulness that you bring to this practice!

  • Daniel.Lion

    안녕하세요… I have been taking Korean lessons for about 3 months now at 부경데학교 and this section is still very difficult for me to comprehend. Your lesson helped, but still leaves me confused in the end.

    If we take the WEATHER sentence #3 for example as a starting point:

    오늘은 날씨는 좋아요. The 은 emphasizes today in comparison to other days. The 는 gives the impression that while other things today are not good, at least the weather is. I would think the translation would be something like… As for today, while other things are not good, at least the weather is.

    However, if we changed the sentence to:

    오늘은 날씨가 좋아요. Isn’t this sentence giving a similar nuance as the first one I wrote? If the 이/가 marker gives the nuance of “nothing but” is the sentence translated roughly as… As for today, nothing but the weather is good?

    Does using 가 instead of 는 give a different feeling/meaning to this sentence? If so, can you please try to help me understand what that is?

    감사합니다…

  • http://notoriouslycurious.com Niki Torres

    Still getting confused whether to use the topic marking particles OR the subject marking particles. Only with more practice, I guess! :)

  • Linh

    Are these particles necessary in the sentences?

    • Seokjin Jin

      Although people often omit the particles during the conversation but it is still necessary and important.

  • Lovely Nody (나다)

    It’s the most complex lesson until now but i think I understood it well ! :D
    Your way of teaching is amazing !
    오빠 또 언니 목소리가 좋아해요 ! ♡ ^^
    Is it right ?!

  • kira

    I have just started learning hangeul, and I cannot even express fully how much you guys are helping me learn! Kamsahamnida! TTMIK is the best and hopefully all of you won’t get tired of helping us learn!

  • Benjamin Kuss

    Is it correct to thing of the topic/ subject marking particles as having a function similar to that of stressing particular words in an English sentence? For example, “Today the weather is good,” vs. “Today the weather is good.” ? Both are the same but the stress would imply different things in a conversation. Thanks!

  • Benjamin Kuss

    oh sorry, i meant to italicize today and weather in the different sentences. OK: “TODAY the weather is good,” vs. “today the WEATHER is good”

  • Didi

    감사합니다 성생님들

    • Seokjin Jin

      감사합니다! :)

  • Eleni Nana

    Annyeonghaseyo! please help me, i can’t understand thiw lesson. If i have a water in front of me, what must I say? Igeo murieyo or Igeoneun murieyo? And why?

    • Seokjin Jin

      You can use both. In daily conversation, subject/topic marking particles are often omitted so both expressions are available. :)

  • Eleni Nana

    Annyeonghaseyo! please help me, i can’t understand this lesson. If I have a water in front of me, what must I say? Igeo murieyo or Igeoneun murieyo? And why?

  • mohadese

    ohhhhhh it’s really difficult i can’t undrestand it!!!!!

  • Tan De Silva

    Hi, I have red the level 1 dialog and I saw this line
    :선물이 없어요 which means dont have gift or present. I just wanna ask if what could be the complete meaning of that since it has subject marking particle?