Korean Language Blog

A Possessive Particle in Korean Posted by on Oct 17, 2018 in Grammar, Korean Language, Vocabulary

Have you ever wondered how to express a possessive form of a noun in the Korean language? This post is about the function of “-의” in Korean.


In the English language, adding an “apostrophe + s” or “apostrophe” to a 명사 (noun) is one of the frequently used ways to indicate 관계 (relation) or 소유 (ownership)   of something or someone.

ex)    Madison’s computer

  Today’s menu

  Students’ duties

In the Korean language, this Korean particle “-” is frequently used to mark the 소유격형태 (possessive form) of a noun. When you need to indicate a  소유 관계 (possessive relationship) between two nouns, you can simply add “-” as a 접미사 (suffix) of the first noun in Korean.

Noun+의   Noun

ex)      Madison’s computer  매디슨 컴퓨터

            Today’s menu             오늘 메뉴

    Students’ duties         학생 의무

“-”  also used with  대명사 (pronouns) such as  (I) and 너 (you)in Korean.

ex)       집 (my  house) – casual

    학교 (your  school) – casual

    가족 (my family) – honorific

However, in spoken Korean, “these pronouns + ” are frequently simplified as follows:

    (나 + )   (my house) – casual

    (너 + )  학교  (your school) – casual

    * ” is usually pronounced as “

     (저 + ) 가족(my family) – honorific

Korean learners occasionally express that “-” is difficult to pronounce. Here is a useful tip for you to remember. Although this possessive particle is spelled as “-”, it is commonly pronounced as “” except for news anchors’ speech or more formal occasions.

감사합니다! (Thank you!)

***Related Vocabulary***

  1. 명사 (noun)
  2. 관계 (relation)
  3. 소유 (ownership)
  4. 소유격형태 (possessive form)
  5. 소유 관계 (possessive relationship)
  6. 접미사 (suffix)
  7. 매디슨의 컴퓨터  (Madison’s computer)                  
  8. 오늘의 메뉴     (Today’s menu)
  9. 학생의 의무     (Students’ duties)
  10. 의 집  (my house) – casual
  11. 의 학교  (your school) – casual
  12. 의 가족  (my family) – honorific
  13.  (나 + )   (my house) – casual
  14. (+ ) 학교  (your school) – casual
  15. (+ ) 가족 (my family) – honorific
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About the Author: Kyung-Hwa

안녕하세요? My name is Kyung-Hwa, and I am a native of South Korea. I am accustomed to both English and Korean languages and cultures. I greatly appreciate and love both of them. I am passionate about learning different languages, and I have studied English, Japanese, and Spanish. In my spare time, I take joy in singing, playing the piano, and reading books. I also enjoy traveling around the world, meeting people, and embracing new cultures and languages...