44. Prepositions With 에(e)

In this lesson, you will learn Korean 에(e) prepositions and basic prepositions.

Korean prepositions with e img

You Must Remember

Korean language doesn’t have prepositions. It has post-positions but I wrote preposition to help you understanding.

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Differences By Languages

Postpositions are something very difficult to learn because it reflects the features of each language very well. For example, Korean postposition 으로 can mean ‘by’, ‘as’, ‘to’ and ‘with’ in English.


However, for native Koreans, 으로 is just 으로. They don’t think it has 4 different meanings. Every prepositions are very different than prepositions that your language has. You must remember this to speak Korean naturally.


에 Prepositions

Postpositions 에 works as a stem for many other Korean postpositions in Korean grammar. Also it makes new all meanings by conjugating with other nouns. Understanding 에 is the key to understand other all Korean postpositions.

에 (e) Preposition

에 means ‘at/in/on place’, ‘at/on time’ or ‘to’ or ‘into’ and it’s very similar to a lot of English locative prepositions. It means you can just use 에 almost time instead of using a lot of prepositions. 에 also can be used to describe ‘at time’ or ‘to place’.


제 방 TV가 있어요
There is a TV in my room
= I have a TV in my room


제 생일 작은 사고가 있었어요
There was a little accident on my birthday


3시 카페에서 만나요
Let’(s) meet up at the cafe at 3 o’clock


우리 축제 가요
Let’(s) go to the festival

에 Variations

에 is the most basic and essential postposition because it can combine with other words. For example, 위 is a noun that means upside. But when it’s used with 에, it means ‘on (위에)’.


책상 있어요
(It)’s at the top of the desk
= It’s on the desk
= 위 means ‘upside’ or ‘top’


책상 아래 있어요
(It)’s at the bottom of the desk
= It’s under the desk
= 아래 means ‘bottom’ or ‘lower part’


책상 있어요
(It)’s at the next of the desk
= It’s next to the desk
= 옆 means ‘side’ or ‘next’ physically

Korean grammar doesn’t have many postpositions. Every vocabularies about locations and directions makes a new meaning when it’s used with 에 postposition. It’s super important and nice for students because you don’t need to memorize a lot of vocabularies only for prepositions.

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에서 (e-seo) Postposition

에서 means ‘at/in place’ or ‘from place’. It can be translated as ‘at’, ‘on’, ‘in’ and ‘from’ in english. ‘From’. 에서 is always used with location, range or source. 에서 is very tricky to understand because English doesn’t have a preposition like 에서 at all. Koreans understand it as ‘from location’ or ‘to location’ and that’s what it really is in Korean grammar.


카페에서 만나요
Let’s meet up at the cafe


제 방에서 TV 봐요
I’m watching TV in my room


저기에서 나왔어요
It came out from there

서 (seo) Postposition

Korean postposition 서 is a short form of 에서. It’s exactly same to 에서 but can be used with a noun without 받침 at the end. You can use it in a daily conversation only. Technically, you can consider 에서 is the word that 에 and 서 are combined together.


카페 만나요
Let’s meet up at the cafe


제 방서 TV 봐요 (wrong)
I’m watching TV in my room
= 방 has a 받침. Korean would understand it but it doesn’t sound 100% correct.
= 제 방에서 TV 봐요 (Correct)


저기 나왔어요
It came from there


서 is perfectly natural and used often more especially when it’s used with a locative adverb such as 저기(there) and 여기(here).


여기 식사하세요
Have a meal in here


에게 is the postposition you must remember to make nice Korean phrases because you should use an indirect object in a sentence. What it really means is ‘To + Person’ but it can be translated to ‘at’, ‘for’, ‘by’, ‘from’ also.


But, postposition 에게 is a bit formal. You will learn the informal indirect object postposition next lesson.


이것은 에게 어려워요
It’s difficult to Jun / for Jun


이 책을 에게 가져다 주세요
Gave this book to Jun


저는 에게 한국어를 배워요
I’m being taught Korean by Jun
= Jun teaches me Korean


Do you remember postposition 서? 서 which means ‘from’. And, now you learned 에게 which means ‘to someone’ or ‘by someone’. 에게서 takes a feature of 에서 and 에게. It means only ‘from someone’.


에 + 게 + 서
에게 + 서


저는 에게서 편지를 받았어요
I’ve got a letter from Jun


준은 마법의 유니콘에게서 임무를 받았어요
Jun was given a quest from the magical unicorn
= Oh wait… That doesn’t make sense. Unicorns are magical already. lol