(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.
- 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.
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.
형이나 누나가 있어요?
= Do you have an (older) brother or sister?
호주나 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:
= maekju or soju
= 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 least. For example:
= let’s eat a sandwich or something.
영화나 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:
= any sports
= any food
= 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…
= 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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