Absolute Beginner > Lesson 9
Lesson 9. How to say “This, That” and “Here, There”
In this lesson, you will learn how to say This, That, Here, and There in Korean.
Please note that you don’t need to worry about the Korean sentences you don’t fully understand for now. These example sentences are just to provide enough context so that you understand the usage of “This, That” and “Here, There” in Korean more accurately.
- This, That, That (over there) : 이, 그, 저
In English, to refer to a specific person or a noun that is near you, you can use “this person/noun.”
Or, if somebody or something you’re talking about is at a certain distance or is out of your sight, you can use “that person/noun”
In Korean, it works the same. However, there are two different words you can use to say “that,” which are : 그 (that) and 저 (that over there)”
Let’s first learn how to say “this person/noun.”
1) 이 means “this,” and it is a modifier (in other words, it is followed by a noun) and is used when pointing to a specific thing, person, or anything that is not far away from you, and you can even touch it.
Let’s look at some examples:
이 책 – this book
이 여자 – this girl
이 차 – this car
이 아이 – this child
이 남자 – this man
이 티셔츠 – this T-shirt
2) 그 is a modifier which means “that,” and it’s used when referring to 1) something that’s out of one’s sight but in one’s mind or 2) something that’s at a closer distance to the listener, not the speaker.
그 차 = that car [it could be, 1) the car that I remember/saw/talked about/liked, 2) the car that is closer to the listener, but not to the speaker]
Let’s compare «이» and «그»:
이 책 – this book (you’re talking about the book that is within your sight/touch)
그 책 – that book (you’re talking about the book that you have in mind, or the book that is close to the listener)
(앞에 있는 책을 가리키며) 저는 이 책을 읽고 싶어요. (pointing to a book in front of you) I want to read this book.
어제 산 책 기억나요? 그 책이 없어졌어요. Do you remember the book that I bought yesterday? That book is missing.
이 차가 검정색이에요. – This car (near me) is black.
그 차가 검정색이에요. – That car (that we talked about earlier) is black.
– That car (that is near you, but not me) is black.
Let’s look at more examples:
그 영화 재미있었어요! – That movie was fun! (the movie that I watched earlier)
그 선생님은 착한 분이에요. – That teacher is a nice person. (the teacher that I know but is not here right now)
그 수업은 재미없었어요. – That class was boring. (the class that I took earlier)
그 여자가 행복해 보여요. – That woman looks happy. (that woman I remember, or that woman that’s near the listener)
그 아기가 울고 있어요. – That baby is crying. (that baby I remember, or that baby that’s near the listener)
3) 저 is used when talking about something/someone that is at a certain distance from both you and the person you’re talking to, and it usually translates to “over there”.
이 여자는 제 오빠의 여자친구예요. – This girl is my brother’s girlfriend (you’re talking about a girl, that is near you)
그 여자는 제 오빠의 여자친구예요. – That girl is my brother’s girlfriend (you’re talking about the girl that is near the listener, or the girl that isn’t here right now)
저 여자는 제 오빠의 여자친구예요. – That girl (over there) is my brother’s girlfriend (you’re talking about the girl who is at a certain distance from both you and the listener).
Let’s look at more examples:
저 사람은 의사로 일해요. – That person (over there) works as a doctor.
저 곳은 아름다워요! – That place (over there) is beautiful!
우리 저 카페에 같이 갈래요? – Shall we go to that coffee shop?
- This thing / That thing / That thing over there : 이것(=이거) / 그것(=그거) / 저것(=저거)
“것” and “거” mean “thing”. Both of them mean the same thing, but “거” is used more often in spoken form.
To say “this” or “that” as in “this thing” or “that thing” (noun, not a modifier,) you need to combine 이(this), 그(that) or 저(that) with 것 or 거.
이것 / 이거 = this (as in this thing)
그것 / 그거 = that (as in that thing)
저것 / 저거 = that (as in that thing over there)
이거 드세요. Eat this.
그거 샀어요? Did you buy that thing (that we talked about)?
저거 어때요? How is that thing (over there)?
- Here, There and Over There: 여기, 거기, 저기
여기, 거기 and 저기 are the words that refer to a certain place, and they are the place equivalents of 이거, 그거, and 저거.
여기: here, this place
거기: there, that place > 1) the place that is far from the speaker but close to the listener, or 2) the place that is out of their sight but in their mind.
저기: over there, that place over there > means that the place is far from both the listener and the speaker.
여기 예뻐요. This place is beautiful.
거기 좋아요? Do you like that place? / Do you like it there?
저기로 갈까요? Shall we go over there?
이 : this (modifier)
그 : that (modifier)
저 : that over there (modifier)
이것 / 이거 : this (noun)
그것 / 그거 : that (noun)
저것 / 저거 : that over there (noun)
여기 : here (this place)
거기 : there (that place)
저기 : over there (that place over there)