Korean Object Markers (Object Particles) 을 [eul] / 를 [reul]

Korean Object Markers (Object Particles) 을 [eul] / 를 [reul]


 

Object particles (object markers) in Korean have two forms. They signify that a noun is acting as the object of the sentence. Nouns ending in a consonant use 을 [eul], and nouns ending with a vowel use 를 [reul].

 Object MarkersExamplesMeaning as Object
Nouns ending in a consonant을 [eul]케이팝을 [keipabeul]K-pop
Nouns ending in a vowel를 [reul]한국 드라마를 [hanguk deuramareul]Korean dramas

Now do you understand the usage rules of the two different forms? It’s the same as with the topic markers and subject markers, isn’t it? Since 을 [eul] begins with a vowel sound, it comes after nouns ending in a consonant. And when 를 [reul] begins with a consonant, it follows nouns ending in a vowel.

In colloquial speech, / is frequently dropped when the sentence object is obvious from the context.

 

Take a look at some examples.

Nouns ending with a consonant + 을

 

1

I’m reading a book.

책을 읽고 있어요. [chegeul ilgo isseoyo]

Colloquial: 책 읽고 있어요.

책 읽고 있어요 (without the object particle 을) is also acceptable. Here, 읽고 있어요 (be reading) is the verb, and 책 (book) is the object.

 

2

I sat on the sofa and watched television.

소파에 앉아 텔레비전을 봤어요. [sopae anja tellebijeoneul bwaseoyo]

Colloquial: 소파에 앉아 텔레비전 봤어요.

 

3

I drink a cup of water every morning.

저는 매일 아침 물 한 컵을 마셔요. [jeoneun meil achim mul han keobeul mashyeoyo]

Colloquial: 저는 매일 아침 물 한 컵 마셔요.

Notice that both the topic marker 는 and the object marker 을 are used in this sentence. Here, 마셔요 (drink) is the verb, and 물 한 컵 (a cup of water) is the object.

 

4

My father usually takes the subway.

우리 아빠는 주로 지하철을 타요. [uri appaneun juro jihacheoreul tayo]

Colloquial: 우리 아빠는 주로 지하철 타요.

 

5

I love K-pop.

저는 케이팝을 정말 좋아해요. [jeoneun keipabeul jeongmal joaheyo]

Colloquial: 저는 케이팝 정말 좋아해요.

Word List   
책 [chek]book읽다 [ikda]to read
소파 [sopa]sofa, couch앉다 [anda]to sit
텔레비전 [tellebijeon]television보다 [boda]to watch, see
매일 [meil]every day아침 [achim]morning
물 [mul]water컵 [keop]cup
마시다 [masida]to drink아빠 [appa]father
지하철 [jihacheol]subway타다 [tada]to take, ride, get on
케이팝 [keipap]Kpop좋아하다 [joahada]to like

 

Nouns ending with a vowel + 를

Keep in mind that 를 comes after a vowel, and the object markers can be dropped if the object is obvious from the context.

 

1

I drink coffee every morning.

저는 매일 아침 커피를 마셔요. [jeoneun meil achim keopireul mashyeoyo]

Colloquial: 저는 매일 아침 커피 마셔요.

 

2

My wife likes Korean dramas.

제 아내는 한국 드라마를 좋아해요. [je aneneun hanguk deuramareul joaheyo]

Colloquial: 제 아내는 한국 드라마 좋아해요.

 

3

My daughter is learning Chinese.

제 딸은 중국어를 배우고 있어요. [je ddareun junggugeoreul beugo isseoyo]

Colloquial: 제 딸은 중국어 배우고 있어요.

 

4

I often watch Korean movies.

한국 영화를 자주 봐요. [hanguk yeonghwareul jaju bwayo]

Colloquial: 한국 영화 자주 봐요.

Word List   
매일 [meil]every day아침 [achim]morning
커피 [keopi]coffee마시다 [masida]to drink
아내 [ane]wife한국 드라마 [hanguk deurama]Korean drama
좋아하다 [joahada]to like딸 [ddal]daughter
중국어 [junggugeo]Chinese language배우다 [beuda]to learn
한국 영화 [hanguk yeonghwa]Korean movie자주 [jaju]frequently
보다 [boda]to watch, see

 

Reference:

  1. Henry J. Amen, Kyubyong Park. Korean For Beginners: Mastering Conversational Korean. Tuttle Publishing; 2010.
  2. Jaehoon Yeon, Lucien Brown. Korean: A Comprehensive Grammar (Routledge Comprehensive Grammars). 1st ed. Routledge; 2011.