May 2014


Advanced Korean and a whole lot of nope

Remember when I was so excited to start my new advanced grammar book?

That high did not last that long. Ever since I started the Darakwon series, I could blow through several grammar points in a few hours and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of my studying. I think I finished the first grammar book in like 25 days or something. The intermediate book took me about 3 months because I took a 4 week break from all things Korean. When I fist started this book I thought it wasn’t that bad. Many of the grammar points are just the advanced versions of ones I’d previously learned.


Then I got to 길래….


The first time I’d ever seen this grammar point was in the 150 Essential Topik Grammar book. According to that book 길래 is yet another version of ‘so’ in Korean. “That’s easy to remember”, I thought. I was wrong. Oh, so very wrong. This grammar point is akin to ‘so’ in Korean but it also has like 10 different rules for it. I had been on a roll until I stumbled upon 길래. Turning the page and seeing all of those grammar rules made me want to stop. Nope. Nope. Nope. This is probably how people feel when learning English. Even at the basic level it has a ton of grammar rules. Up until 길래, I felt so lucky learning Korean because it has so few exclusions and rules with grammar. Everything is (or was) so straight forward.


It should be expected for grammar to have a lot of rules at the advanced level but I didn’t take to well to it. So, I quit. Well took a break for a few days. I felt like my mind just needed to rest. Ideally I’d like to finish the grammar book by the end of May, but I’m now thinking I need to be more realistic and push that back to the end of June. It’s only 83 or so grammar points, and I’ve finished about 30 (I think) so 6 weeks to finish the remaining ones doesn’t seem like too much work considering I can make it through a few chapters in one sitting. Only on days that I’m feeling really lucky, though.




P.S. I should have the other part of my website up and running this weekend. I went to Seoul yesterday and despite spending a lot of money I still have a couple things that I need. Odds and ends type stuff which is annoying. However, I will be adding to my video collection (does 2 vids qualify as a collection? lol) by next weekend. I’m really excited to be doing things with Korean the way I want to!

Good explanation for particles 은/는, 이/가 and 을/를

I understand the use of the object marker 을/를 but since I first started studying Korean, I could never understand the difference between 은/는 and 이/가. I stumbled across this explanation of it on Lang-8 while milling around.This is the best explanation so far that I’ve seen for it. While I’m still a little fuzzy on using them in the same sentence, this definitely helps me understand them separately. It was written by audioslave on Lang-8. You can find the original here.

을/를 are object markers. They go after the object of the sentence 
피자를 먹었어요. I ate pizza. 
In this sentence, the noun “pizza” is the object of the verb, so we use the object marker 를. 

은/는 are topic markers. They go after the topic of the sentence. 
나는 행복해요. I am happy. 
In this sentence, “I” am the /topic of the sentence, so we use the topic marker 는. 

이/가 are subject markers. They go after the subject of the sentence. 
사과가 너무 비싸요. Apples are very expensive. 

This is where it becomes a little tricky. You may have noticed that 이/가 & 은/는 are similar in usage. This is true. Context is important to knowing which one to use (for sentences with no context, like, on an exam or something, ask your teacher what they prefer. my professor told us to use 은/는 on exams when there’s no context, but others may want something else). The best way I can describe the difference between the two is to compare it to English. 

If I am telling a story in English, I introduce something to the story by using “a/an.” This is similar to 이/가. After I’ve introduced the subject, I can continue to talk about it using “the” (it becomes the topic of conversation). This is similar to 은/는. If I want to change the topic, I introduce something new using “a/an” again. For example: 

“There was [a] woman.” (woman = subject.) 
“[The] woman had long hair.” (woman = topic.) 
“[The] woman had [a] best friend.” (woman = topic, best friend = new subject; its possible to have multiple subjects and topics within one sentence) 
“[The] best friend… (best friend = subject) 

A good way to check if you’ve used the particles correctly is to remember that nouns followed by 을/를 always have an ACTION VERB at the end of the sentence. The nouns followed by 은/는 (or 이/가) will have an ADJECTIVE (or 이다/아니다 & 있다/없다) at the end of the sentence. 

Hope this helps! <3


If you understand the use of ‘a/an’ versus ‘the’ in English, this could definitely help you in understanding the use of these four particles. I’m hope it benefits you as much as it did me.




charm youtube

Introducting my Youtube channel Hangul Love

Hello everyone!

So remember that surprise I was alluding to? This is it!


I have had this channel “officially” for a few weeks now, but I haven’t been able to do much with it because I didn’t have a good microphone. I’d ordered one Gmarket and got slapped with it “delayed shipping” message that really set me back a bit. However, I now have my microphone so I uploaded my first video. You can view it here. If you like it, please subscribe!

Are you surprised?

Actually, I’ve always wanted to own a website and have my own Youtube channel, so this is all really exciting for me. I’ve spent so much time searching around the internet for Korean-related sites and videos and after not finding exactly what I was looking for I decided to make some of my own. The first series is called Bit of Korean. I decided to create this series for native English speaking teachers (or any person) living in Korea. It will include very useful Korean expressions that I’ve learned while living in Korea. They have helped make my life in Korea go just a little bit more smoothly. I will be uploading the first video for that soon (it’s converting as I type).

The surprises don’t end there.

Within the next week or so, I will be starting another series. You’ll just have to wait to see what that is about, but trust me,  you won’t be disappoint (at least I hope not, lol).

I’m going to run now. My dog is begging me to take her on a walk. I should be uploading my first Bit of Korean video within 1.5 hours of making this post. Stay tuned.



Update: Ick! It took me longer than I anticipated to get everything set up. But it’s finally set up. Like my Korean notebooks, all of my blogging will be kept separately as well. The Bit of Korean series can be found here  and you can see the very first video for it here on YouTube. I really appreciate the few people who follow me. Thanks again!


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