Beginner 2 > Lesson 3
Lesson 3. How to say “to/from a person” & Subject Marker’s Honorific [에게,한테, 께, 께서]
Today, we’re going to learn Korean particles 에게, 한테, 께, and 께서.
These particles can be put after a noun that identifies a person or an animal, as well as plural nouns.
에게, 한테 and 께 have the same meanings, whereas 께서, has a different one.
Both 께 and 께서 are particles in honorific form.
Now, let’s look at the first usage of 에게 and 한테.
- When 에게 and 한테 mean “to”
First, here are some examples:
제프에게 선물을 줬어요. – I gave (to) Jeff a present.
누구한테 말했어요? – To whom did you tell/speak?
고양이한테 밥을 줬어요. – I gave a meal to a cat. (or, I fed a cat).
거지에게 돈을 줬어요. – I gave money to a beggar.
- When 에게 and 한테 mean “from”
제프에게 선물을 받았어요. – I received a present from Jeff.
*받다 (to receive) gives a context to translate 에게 as “from”, whereas, in the similar example above it was “to,” because “주다(to give)” verb gives a context of “giving sth to.”
누구한테 들었어요? – Who did you hear it from?
고양이한테 맞았어요. – I was beaten by (from) a cat.
누구에게 돈을 빌렸어요? – From whom did you borrow money?
As such, just by looking at the verb’s meaning, you can guess the meaning of 에게 and 한테.
- 께 : A particle that means “to” and “from,” and it’s an honorific form of “에게 /한테”
께 is an honorific form of 에게 and 한테, so the preceding noun that comes before 께, should be a noun to whom you show respect.
선생님께 드렸어요. – I gave it to the teacher. (= less polite form: 선생님에게 줬어요.)
*note that 드리다 is an honorific form of 주다.
선생님께 받았어요. – I received it from the teacher.
할머니께 전화했어요. – I called (to) my grandmother.
할머니께 전화를 받았어요. – I received a call from my grandmother.
** depending on the verb that follows 께 particle, you can guess if it’s “to” or “from”.
- 께서: Subject Marking Particle in Honorific form
Even though 께 and 께서 look similar, they have different meanings. Now we know that 께 can be used as a particle to mean “to” or “from”.
How about 께서?
께서 is an honorific form of “이/가” subject particles.
The honorific form of “은/는” would be 께서는.
If the subject of a sentence is someone you have to/want to show respect to, you should use the honorific forms of particles.
Let’s look at some examples:
할아버지께서 편찮으세요. – My grandfather is sick.
선생님께서 예쁘세요. – The teacher is pretty.
교수님께서 저에게 주셨어요*. – The professor gave it to me.
*along with the honorific subject marking particle, the “~(으)세요” honorific verb ending is used.
Now, let’s look at some extra examples:
그 영화는 많은 사람들에게 감동을 줍니다. – That movie gives inspiration to many people.
의사 선생님께서* 저한테 약을 주셨어요. – The doctor gave medicine to me.
*께서 honorific marking particle is used.
할머니한테(or 께) 혼났어요. – I was scolded (from) by my grandmother. (My grandmother scolded me).
이 목걸이 누구한테 받았어? – From whom did you receive/get this necklace?
남자친구한테 받았어. – I got it from my boyfriend.
엄마한테 말하지마. – Don’t tell (to) mom.
아무한테도 말하지마. – Don’t tell (to) anyone.
제프가 지수에게 청혼했어요. – Jeff proposed to Jisoo.
지수가 제프에게 청혼받았어요. – Jisoo received a proposal from Jeff.
- When 에게 should be replaced with 에
에게, 한테 and 께 can only be used after a noun that is a person or an animal.
When we talk about an organization, 에 is used.
학교에 말했어요. – I told it to school.
희사에 이메일을 보냈어요. – I sent an email to a company.
경찰에 신고했어요. – I reported to the police.
(a non-living thing / usually a big organization)
Honorific Subject Marking Particles:
이/가 > 께서
은/는 > 께서는