(이)나 Grammar Lesson – or/either in Korean

이나 Grammar Lesson - Or in Korean

(이)나 Grammar Explanation

In this lesson, we will look at the (이)나 grammar pattern which is used to express the word “or” in Korean. It is, in a way, the same as -거나 but this can only be used in conjunction with nouns while -거나 are used only with verbs and adjectives.

If you want to know more, we strongly recommend that you check out our lesson on the -거나 grammar pattern.

 

Usage

  • Noun1 + 이나 Noun2 (if the noun ends in a consonant)
  • Noun1 + 나 Noun2 (if the noun ends in a vowel)
  • = Noun1 or Noun2
  • Only nouns can be used!
  • When the nouns are used as an object, we don’t use the 을/를 particle to mark the first object. Only the second one.

 

Examples

김밥이나 비빔밥을 먹을 거에요.

= I’m going to eat either kimbab or bibimbab

 

내일 영화관이나 박뭘관에 갈 거에요.

= Tomorrow we are going to go to the movie theater or a museum.

 

이나 누나가 있어요?

= Do you have an (older) brother or sister?

 

호주 영국에 가고 싶어요.

= I want to go to Australia or the UK

 

A Closer Look

At its core this grammar is simply used to express a choice between to things. For example:

맥주 소주

= maekju or soju

 

지하철이나 택시

= subway or taxi

 

You can also omit the second noun to form sentences to express “[Noun] or something.” This has a nuance that, while [noun] may not be the best thing, it’s acceptable at leastFor example:

샌드위치 먹자.

= let’s eat a sandwich or something.

 

영화 볼 거에요.

= I will watch a movie or something.

 

If you add (이)나 to certain question words, you can form words like:

  • 언제나 – Anytime / all the time
  • 어디나 – everywere
  • 무엇이나 – anything / whatever
  • 누구나 – everyone (a bit positive)
  • 아무나 – anyone (a bit negative)

 

This grammar can also take on the shape of “아무 N+(이)나” to express “any N.” For example:

아무 스포츠

= any sports

 

아무 음식이나

= any food

 

아무 영화

= any movie

 

이나 also has another meaning. When added a number / quantity, it is used to intensify how large that number is (larger than expected). In English, it would translate to “as much as” or “as many as” or “has long as” etc…

십분 동안이나

= for (as long as) 10 minutes 

 

그 영화를 세번이나 봤어.

= I watched that movie (as many as) three times.

 

Please like or share if you found this lesson useful. And if you have any questions or something else on your mind, please let us know by leaving a comment and we will do our best to help you out!

By: Kimchi Cloud

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