As with many English words, the Korean equivalent for “and” and “with” is not a standalone word, but a particle ending. However, the particle you attach to verbs/adjectives (eg: “All I do is eat and sleep.” or “Slow and steady wins the race”) is different from the ones you use for nouns. Let’s talk about nouns in this lesson. You can read about “and” with verbs and adjectives here.
So how can a single particle mean both “and” & “with”? Here’s how you can tell: If the noun that the particle is attached to is followed by another noun that is obviously meant to go together with it, the particle means “and”. However, if no such noun follows, the particle means “with”. We’ll see examples below to make this easier to understand.
There are 2 different particle endings for use with nouns, that both mean “and”/”with”. (There’s actually a third “-하고”. However, I’ve hardly seen it “in the wild” as they say, so we won’t get into it. Just know that it has the exact same meaning as the particles below.)
-와 / -과
This particle is used both in speech and in writing.
Attach -와 to words that end in a vowel and -과 to words that end in a consonant.
Let me show the two uses via a few example sentences. First, the vocab we’ll need:
나 = me
-은 / -는 = the particle we’ll need to indicate the subject of the sentence
오빠 = an older brother (when referred to by their sister)
동생 = a younger sibling of either gender (Note: ㅇ in the bottom (받침) position is considered a consonant)
밥 = “rice”, but also used to refer to meals/food in general
-을 / -를 = the particle we’ll need to indicate the object of the sentence
먹다 = to eat
Sentence 1: “오빠와 나는 밥을 먹어.” ~ “My older brother and I eat rice.”
Sentence 2: “동생과 나는 밥을 먹어.” ~ “My younger sibling and I eat rice.”
Sentence 3: “나는 오빠와 밥을 먹어.” ~ “I eat rice with my older brother.”
Sentence 4: “나는 동생과 밥을 먹어.” ~ “I eat rice with my younger sibling.”
Make It Right
사막과 바다들을 건너. ~ “I cross deserts and seas.”
Original noun: 사막 – desert
저 까만 바람과 함께 날아 ~ “I fly together with that black wind.”
Original noun: 바람 – wind
실수와 눈물 속에 we just go. ~ “In the mistakes and the tears, we just go.”
Original noun: 실수 – a mistake
Trivia 起: Just Dance
함께 하는 느낌이 좋아, 너와 ~ “I like the feeling of being together with you.”
Original noun: 너 – you
There is also a usage of this particle that we would translate as “from” in English, though it’s meaning is really “with”, just like in the examples above.
Let’s look at this line from Serendipity: “온 세상이 어제완 달라.”
온 = whole, entire
세상 = world
어제 = yesterday
-와 = with (It’s written as -완 but the ㄴ is a separate principle added to stress that a comparison is being made. Ignore it)
다르다 = to be different
In English we’d translate this to “The whole world is different from yesterday.” However, the usage and meaning is really the same as the other “with” examples above. Korean just happens to phrase this as “It’s different with yesterday.” This same rule/logic applies to the next principle as well.
-랑 / -이랑
This particle is more commonly used in speech than in writing. For that reason, you won’t see this one as often in song lyrics.
Attach -랑 to words that end in a vowel and -이랑 to words that end in a consonant.
Let me show the two uses via a few example sentences. We’ll make them identical to the ones from the previous section.
Sentence 1: “오빠랑 나는 밥을 먹어.” ~ “My older brother and I eat rice.”
Sentence 2: “동생이랑 나는 밥을 먹어.” ~ “My younger sibling and I eat rice.”
Sentence 3: “나는 오빠랑 밥을 먹어.” ~ “I eat rice with my older brother.”
Sentence 4: “나는 동생이랑 밥을 먹어.” ~ “I eat rice with my younger sibling.”
상남자 (Boy In Luv)
대학까지도 너랑 간다면 ~ “If I go to college with you.”
Original noun: 너 – you
얼마나 성공할 지 세상이랑 내기했어. ~ “I made a bet with the world over how well I’d succeed.”
Original noun: 세상 – world
Caught in a lie:
I lied to you. There actually is a word for “and”, it just doesn’t get used all the time. You’ll use it when listing more than 2 things. You can also use it if you’re telling a story and you pause after a sentence to think before starting the next one. There are other uses as well.
The word is 그리고. So let’s make a variation of our examples from the other 2 sections: “오빠, 동생, 그리고 나는 밥을 먹어.” – “My older brother, my younger sibling, and I eat rice.”