Korean lessons: Lesson 9

This ‘n that, here ‘n there  이–, 그–, 저–

이, 그, and 저 are demonstrative modifiers for nouns.

 

+thing

+person

+place

this 이

이것

이 사람

여기

that over there 저

저것

저 사람

저기

that 그

그것

그 사람

거기

Q-word

무엇(what)

누구 (who)

어디(where)

When the referent (an object or a person) is close to the speaker, it is referred to as 이–. When it is closer to the listener than to the speaker, it is referred to as 그–. If it is rather distant from both parties, it is referred to 저–. The only thing that is different from the case in English would be that what is referred to with 저– should be in the sight of the speaker.

이것이 무엇이에요? 그것은 한국 책이에요.
저것은 무엇이에요? 저것은 미국 신문이에요.
그것은 무엇이에요? 이것은 일본 잡지이에요.
   
이 사람은 누구이에요? 그 사람은 내 친구이에요.
저 사람은 누구이에요? 저 사람은 내 동생이에요.
그 사람은 어디 가요? 이 사람은 학교에 가요.
   
여기는 어디이에요? 여기는 학교이에요.
저기는 어디이에요? 저기는 우리 집이에요.
거기는 어디이에요? 여기는 미국이에요.

Using 사람 (‘person’) is not polite enough to refer to an older person. You replace 사람
with 분 in such cases. Then, the predicate will have to change accordingly into high-polite
(with honorific infix -시-) style.

이 분은 누구세요? 그분은 김 선생님이세요.
저 분은 누구세요? 저분은 박 선생님이세요.
그 분은 어디 가세요? 이분은 학교에 가세요.
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