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Korean grammar - In the direction of - 으로/로

In the direction of - 으로/로

Another common directional particle is 으로/.

This particle is used similarly to but implies 'to the location of' or 'to' a specific destination.

으로/ on the other hand implies 'in the direction of'.

It therefore has the sense of 'headed to'.

으로/ is often used with points of the compass and left/right which aren't destinations per se but directions.

A related term is 쪽으로 which means 'towards'

어디에 가요?
Where are (you) going?

Asking for a specific location or destination.

어디로 가요?
Where/what way are (you) going? / Where are (you) headed?

Asking a general question about direction.

저는 회사로 갔고 그녀는 집에 있었어요.
I was headed to work and she was at home.
그는 학교로 갔어요.
He was on the way to school.

Uncertain whether he arrived.

그는 학교에 갔어요.
He went to school.

Unequivocally arrived.

우리는 서쪽으로 운전하고 있어요.
We are driving west.
그는 위층으로 갔어요.
He went upstairs.

위층 means 'upstairs'

means 'above'

means 'storey' or 'floor'

오른쪽으로 돌리세요.
Turn to the right.
조종사는 비행기를 북쪽으로 돌릴 거예요.
The pilot will turn the plane to the north.
아이가 분수 쪽으로 걸어가요.
A child is walking towards a fountain.
원숭이가 나무 쪽으로 가요.
A monkey goes towards the tree.

mean 'direction' or 'side'

쪽으로 means 'in the direction' or 'towards'

책을 책장으로 옮길 거예요.
(I) will move a book to a bookshelf.
도둑이 사거리 쪽으로 뛰어갔지요?
The thief ran towards the crossroads, didn’t he?
간호사가 환자를 수술실로 옮겼어요.
The nurse moved the patient to the operation room.
바깥으로 공을 던졌어요.
(I) threw the ball outside.

This does not mean 'while I was outside' but 'to outside'

엄마가 아이 쪽으로 달려왔어요.
The mother ran towards the child.
소년은 앞으로 공을 찼어요.
The boy kicked the ball forward.

means 'front', 'ahead' or 'forward'

오른쪽으로 얼굴을 돌려주세요.
Please turn (your) face to the right.
왼쪽으로 움직이세요.
Move to the left.
저는 숙제를 끝내고 나서 집으로 갈 거예요.
I will finish my homework and then go home.

It is common to say both 집으로 and 집에