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20. Plural Pronouns

20. Plural Pronouns

In this lesson, you will learn Korean plural pronouns with honorific and a little bit of Korean culture with those.

Korean Plural Pronouns img

Korean Pronouns

Koreans often prefer using nouns instead of using pronouns because it’s much more polite. Many Korean language students are taught very not natural Korean pronouns so they often have a trouble with it. That happens because they learn Korean in ways their mother tongue uses. Remember, Language is a culture.

1st person pronoun with honorific

1st person plural pronouns with honorifics are quite similar to singular pronouns. it also uses ‘저’ in them. It doesn’t have a different subject pronoun so they all are 저희. It’s much easier to learn and use than singular pronouns.

 

TopicSubjectObject
Pronoun저희 (we)저희 (we)저희 (us)
Marker
Example저희는 학생이에요
We are students
저희가 할게요
We will do it
저희를 믿으세요
Trust us

 

저희 저녁 먹으러 가요
We are going to have dinner

 

준 선생님은 저희 잘 가르쳐주세요
Teacher Jun teaches us well (I hope)

Remember!

Pronouns don’t decide if it’s a subject or an object. Only markers do.

1st person pronoun with non-honorific

Same to honorific 1st person pronouns, it has only one type. Native Koreans often mixed honorific and non honorific pronouns for 1st person. Especially when Koreans mention of their country, they use ‘우리 나라(my country)’ instead of ‘저희 나라(my country)’ to show their country is equal to others.

 

TopicSubjectObject
Pronoun우리 (we)우리 (we)우리 (us)
Marker
Example우리는 학생이에요
We are students
우리가 할게요
We will do it
우리를 믿으세요
Trust us

 

우리 저녁 먹으러 가요
We are going to have dinner

 

선생님은 우리 좋아해요
Teacher likes us (I do)

Korean Object & Subject Pronoun

Korean grammar doesn’t distinguish pronouns for subject and object because they use ‘markers’ to make those. So pronouns are not so important than English pronouns.

2nd Person Pronoun with honorific

In a previous lesson. you learned that 2nd person pronoun with honorific is 당신 and it ‘can’ be rude. its plural version is 당신들 and it’s definitely rude.

 

Then how can you say ‘you all’ in Korean? Of course, we have our ways and I’m going to teach you only natural real Korean. it’s ‘다들 (All people)’

 

다들 괜찮아요?
Are you guys alright?

 

다들 actually means ‘all people’ or ‘you all’ or ‘they all’ or ‘Everybody’ or ‘Everyone’. Unlike 당신들, 다들 sounds nice and polite but informal.

Another Natural Way

In Singular Pronouns lesson. I taught you that using people’s names or nouns instead of pronouns is very natural in Korean. It works same with plural pronouns, but of course it can’t be a someone’s name since it’s plural though. Koreans prefer to use nouns instead of pronouns.

 

사람들 다 어디로 가는거에요?
Where are all people going?
= Where are they going?
= Koreans don’t use ‘they’ even when they are looking at it right now.

 

A: 부모님 만나느라 좀 늦었어요
(I) visited my parents so I was late a bit.
B: 부모님이랑 식사했어요?
Did (you) have a meal with them?

Remember!

Drop the subject or the object to make your sentence more natural. It has rules but when you don’t need to mention who you are talking, you can just drop them.

 

A: 부모님 만나느라 좀 늦었어요
(we) visited my parents so I was late a bit.
B: 같이 식사했어요?
Did you have a meal with (them)?

같이 = together (as an adverb) / with (as a preposition)

 

When the subject or the object is skipped, You can’t clearly know what pronoun is skipped exactly, You must read the context.

-들 Makes Plural

들 is a suffix to make a word plural. it’s similar to ‘s’ in English such as elephants. But, it’s natural when you use it to living things even it’s dead now. For example, corpses are not a living thing but once it was alive so using -들 sounds natural.

 

코끼리이 물을 마셔요
Elephants are drinking water

 

이 많아요
There are many flowers

 

Oh, btw, in Korean language, grammar considers nature that can grow as a living thing. So, flowers, trees, mushrooms are natural to use -들.

3rd Person Pronouns

Same to 2nd person plural pronouns, using nouns or ‘다들’ are much natural. Korean grammar has 3rd person pronouns but native Koreans really don’t use it in conversation even if it should be formal because using 2nd and 3rd person pronouns is not polite. You can see below pronouns almost in literature only. It can be often rude if you say it in a conversation.

 

malefemaleObject
Pronoun그들 (he)그들 / 그녀들 (she)그것들 / 이것들 / 저것들
Example그들은 학생이에요
They are students
그녀들은 요정이에요
They are fairies
저것들은 용이예요
They are dragons

 

다들 좋대요?
Did they say they like it?

 

When you use 다들, you shouldn’t use any marker. Because it actually means ‘everybody’ or ‘everyone’ 다 (all) 들 is a suffix that makes plural.

Plural Pronouns with Those / These / It

Singular pronouns for that / this / it are 저것 / 이것 / 그것(also means that). Plural pronouns of them are quite easy, you just need to add ‘들’ at the end of them. 그것 is very similar to ‘it’ in English but it also means that.

 

Koreans don’t care about the amount of things so they often use singular pronouns instead of plural. It sounds much natural.

 

그것 공책이에요
Those are notebooks / It’s notebooks

 

이것 가방이에요
These are bags

 

저것 용이라구요
I said these are DRAGONS

 

‘-들’ makes plural but I didn’t use any plural pronouns and nouns in examples because it sounds perfectly good to native Koreans.