Beginner 1 > Lesson 26
Lesson 26. Particle (으)로’s Many Usages
In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to use (으)로 particle and its main usages.
Noun (ends in 받침) + 으로
Noun (doesn’t end in 받침) + 로
Ex. 학교 (school) > 학교로
집 (house) > 집으로
The only exception to this rule is when a noun ends in “ㄹ” 받침 then 로 is used.
Ex. 팔 (arm) > 팔로
So now, let’s find out how (으)로 can be used.
Usage #1: Direction
(으)로 can be followed by 7 main direction nouns.
오른쪽 = right
*오른 (right), 쪽 (side)
왼쪽 = left
앞 = front
뒤 = back
위 = up
아래/밑 = down
Let’s look at some example sentences:
오른쪽으로 가세요. – Please, go right. (or, Go to the right side).
왼쪽으로 오세요. – Please, go left. (or, Go to the left side).
앞으로 가. – Go forward.
뒤로 와. – Come backward.
(위로) 올라와. – Come up.
(위로) 올라가. – Go upward.
** 올라오다 = to come up; 올라가다 = to go up.
(아래로) 내려와. – Come down.
(밑으로) 내려가. – Go down.
*** 내려오다 = to come down; 내려가다 = to go down.
Usage #2: “to” somewhere | (으)로 vs. 에
When you say “to (a place)”, both (으)로 and 에 are used, but they are not entirely the same.
에 is used when somebody is getting somewhere itself, whereas, ~(으)로 implies that somebody is getting somewhere from somewhere else.
Let’s look at the examples:
저는 학교(에) 가요. – I go to school.
저는 집(에) 가요. – I go home.
어디에 가? = 어디 가? – Where are you going?
These sentences are focused on the heading point.
*~에 can be removed in all the examples above and would still have the same meaning.
As for ~(으)로, it’s not only focused on the heading point but also the starting point.
화장실에 가고 싶어요. – I want to go to the bathroom.
(여기에서) 어디로 가야 해요?* – (From here) to where do I have to go?
*this sentence has a starting point indicated with 에서, so (으)로 sounds more natural.
vs. 어디에 가야 해요? = Where do I have to go? > used to specifically ask about a heading point.
Let’s look at other examples:
저는 경기도에서 서울로 통근해요. – I commute from Gyeonggi province to Seoul.
제프는 아침에 집에서 학교로 갔어. – Jeff went from home to school.
저는 (여기서*) 편의점으로 갈 거예요. – I will go from here to a convenience store.
*even though saying 에서 is more common, it can be shortened to 서 as in the example above.
Usage #3: A means of transportation / a tool.
- ~(으)로 can be used to mark the means of transportation and translates as “by”.
저는 지하철로 통근해요. – I commute by subway.
버스로 가자. – Let’s go by bus.
강남에서 경기도까지 버스로 한 시간 걸려요. – It takes one hour from 강남 to 경기도 by bus.
*Place Noun 에서 + Place Noun 까지 = From (place) To (place).
- To indicate a “tool” (translates as “with”).
연필로 썼어요. – I wrote it with a pencil.
펜으로 쓰세요. – Please, write it with a pen.
손으로 써. – Write it with your hand.
이거 발로 썼니? – Did you write it with your foot?
제프와 스카이프로 영상통화를 했어요. – I did a video call with Jeff by using Skype.
이거 뭐로 만들었어요? – With what did you make it?
Usage #4: Choice
First, let’s look at this example:
A: 이거랑 저거 예쁘다! 뭐로 살까? – They’re both pretty! Which one shall we buy?
*by saying “뭐로”, we indicate that we need to make choice.
B: 저거로 사자. – Let’s buy that one.
** we put “로” to “저거” to indicate a choice.
So, in this case, ~(으)로 particle is used to indicate a choice to be made among all the other options.
Let’s look at other dialogues:
A: 어디(에) 갈까? – Where shall we go?
B: 공원(에) 가자! – Let’s go to the park!
A: 어디로 갈까? – Which park (among other parks) shall we go to?
B: 한남동으로 가자! – Let’s go to 한남동.
A: 어떤 거로 드릴까요? – Which one shall I give (to you)?
B: 아메리카노로 주세요. – Americano, please.
B: 떡볶이로 주세요. – Give me 떡볶이, please.
Let’s summarize everything:
~(으)로 particle has four main usages:
Usage #1: Direction + ~(으)로
Usage #2: “Place + (으)로” to indicate a heading point, but also, implying the starting point.
Usage #3: “a mean of transportation/a tool + ~(으)로” to mean “by a transport/with a tool”.
Usage #4: “Noun of choice + ~(으)로 “to indicate your choice among the other choices