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Korean grammar - The Topic marker - 은/는

The Topic marker - 은/는

Pattern: Noun + /

In Korean, markers are attached to the end of words to convey their grammatical function. The Topic marker or is one such marker.

This marker is used to identify a noun that is the topic of a sentence and about which general or habitual information is being given.

Attach to a noun that ends with consonant.

Attach to a noun that ends with vowel.

Note that if the topic noun is a person's name and the name ends in a consonant, then should be inserted before a marker or particle.

아버지는 선생님이에요.
(My) father is a teacher.

아버지 (ends in the vowel ) + 아버지는

아버지 means 'father'

선생님 means 'teacher'

오늘은 화요일이에요.
Today is Tuesday.

오늘 (ends with the consonant ) + 오늘은

오늘 means 'today'

화요일 means 'Tuesday'

남자는 조종사예요?
Is the man a pilot?

남자 (ends with the vowel ) + 남자는

남자 means 'man'

조종사 means 'pilot'

이것은 꽃이에요.
This is a flower.

이것 (ends with the consonant ) + 이것은

이것 means 'this thing'

means 'flower'

학생은 미국인이에요.
The student is American.

학생 (ends with the consonant ) 학생은

학생 means 'student'

미국인 means "American person'

지아는 한국인이에요.
Jia is Korean.

지아 (name ends with the vowel so don't add ) + 지아는

지아 is a common girl's name

한국인 means 'Korean person'

서준이는 학생이에요?
Is Seojun a student?

서준 (name ends with the consonant so add before the marker) + 서준이는

서준 is common girl's name

지아는 누나예요?
Is Jia your (boy's older) sister?

지아 (name ends with the vowel so don't add ) + 지아는

누나 means 'older sister of a male'

한울이는 한국 사람이에요.
Hanul is Korean.

한울 (name ends with the consonant ) + 한울이는

한울 is common girl's name

한국 사람 means 'Korean person'

광일이는 축구 선수예요?
Is Kwangil a soccer player?

광일 (name ends with the consonant ) + 광일이는

광일 is a common boy's name

어머니는 간호사예요.
(My) mother is a nurse.

어머니 (ends with the vowel ) + 어머니는

어머니 means 'mother'

간호사 means 'nurse'

형은 야구 선수예요.
(My) older brother is a baseball player.

(ends with the consonant ) + 형은

means 'older brother of a male'

선수 means 'baseball player'

내일은 일요일이에요.
Tomorrow is a Sunday.

내일 (ends with the consonant ) + 내일은

내일 means 'tomorrow'

일요일 means 'Sunday'

누나는 미국 사람이에요?
Is (your) sister American?

누나 (ends with the vowel ) + 누나는

누나 means 'older sister of a male'