22. Determiners

In this lesson, You will learn how to say ‘that dude’. I’m kidding, and Korean doesn’t have a word ‘dude’. Anyway, today lesson will be Korean determiners.

Korean Determiners img

Position of Korean Determiners

Korean determiner in a sentence is always placed before a noun. It’s same to English. Easy!

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That person

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That and This

It’s same to what you’ve learned in Korean pronouns lesson. Do you remember 저것, 이것, 그것? You just need to remove 것 from them to make ‘that’, ‘this’ as a determiner. Easy. By the way, it’s okay even if you don’t remember them well right now, Here is your second chance to study them again.


is used to identify a specific person or thing it’s exactly same to ‘that’ in English.
is used to identify a specific person or thing it’s exactly same to ‘this’ in English.
is a tricky one, 그것 is ‘the thing’ or ‘that thing’ or ‘it’. It’s similar to ‘the’ in English but not perfectly same because it’s ‘the’ that has a meaning ‘that’ at same time.


English That This The / That
Example 저 사람
That person
이 사람
This person
그 사람
The person /
That person


사람은 준이예요
That person is Jun


저는 빵을 좋아해요
I like this bread


빵은 별로예요
That bread is not good

That / The : 그

그 is something very special. Technically Korean language doesn’t have ‘the’ at all. However, 그 works like ‘that’ and ‘the’ at same time. It’s used to identify a specific person or a thing that is mentioned / seen / known already.


사람 별로더라
That person (he/she) is not good.
= Every people in a conversation know who is that person.


우유는 상했어요.
That milk is gone bad.
= Imagine, one guy is about to drink milk and you say ‘oh wait, that milk is gone bad’.


영화 재밌더라
The movie (it) was good
= Very similar to ‘The’

Articles in Korean grammar

Korean grammar doesn’t have ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’. Determining amount or noun is not much important in Korean grammar.

You Must Remember

Korean grammar has more 그/이/저 determiners that English doesn’t have. Memorize 그/이/저 right now, then everything will be much easier.

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-런 : Type of / Kind of

Korean grammar has determiners to say ‘that / this kind of’ or ‘that / this sort of’. You can use 런 determiners with nouns. You can also describe ‘in some way’, ‘in some manner’, ‘in some method’ by adding it to vocabularies that mean method or manner such as 식(method / way / formula), 방법(method), 방식(manner).


저런 과자는 별로야
I don’t like that kind of snack


이런 옷이 좋아요
I like this kind of cloth


그런 말은 하지마세요
Don’t say that kind of speech
= Don’t say that


이런 식으로는 살아남을 수 없어요
We can’t survive in this way


Quantifiers describe mostly amount before a noun. It’s placed before a noun just like English, but Korean quantifiers are very different.


Korean grammar uses same quantifiers for countable nouns, such as apple, and uncountable nouns, such as water. That’s the most biggest difference between Korean and English.


English Korean
A lot of, Many, Much 많은
Little, Few, 적은
All, Every 모든
Some 어떤


많은 물이 있어요
There is a lot of water
= Water is also uncountable in Korean language but it uses a same quantifier as countable nouns do.


모든 사람들에게 공짜 아이폰!
Free iPhone for everybody (all people)


어떤 사람이 소리쳤어요
Some guy yelled


어떤 책이든 괜찮아요
Any book would be okay
= 어떤 can mean ‘any’ when it’s used with a subject and 든/이든 conjugation.


I just found out Koreans never use ‘적은 + noun’. If we have to say ‘few things’ then we say ‘많지 않은 (not many)’ or ‘적은 양의 (small amount of) or ‘몇몇 (Some: countable)’’ instead of ‘적은’. Shocked. I speak Korean over than 20 years and I just realized this. :O But that’s quite formal so we just use a verb 없다 which means ‘doesn’t exist’


물이 거의 없어요
There is almost no water
Water almost ran out /


물이 조금 밖에 없어요
There is no water except little
= There is a little water