From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
U+AC83, 것
Composition: + +

Hangul Syllables



Alternative forms

  • (geo) (dominant form in colloquial speech)



First attested in the Seokbo sangjeol (釋譜詳節 / 석보상절), 1447, as Middle Korean  (Yale: kès), from Old Korean 物叱 (*KAs).

The now colloquially dominant contraction (geo) is first attested in the nineteenth century.


  • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [kʌ̹t̚]
    • Audio:(file)
  • Phonetic hangul: []
Revised Romanization?geot
Revised Romanization (translit.)?geos
Yale Romanization?kes
  • South Gyeongsang (Busan) pitch accent: 의 / 에 / 것

    Syllables in red take high pitch. This word takes low pitch only before consonant-initial multisyllabic suffixes.

Dependent noun



  1. thing; something; that which; what; used to designate any object, action, or phenomenon, forming noun phrases.
    에서 제일 야?
    I jung-eseo jeil keun ge mwoya?
    What's the biggest one out of these?
    Audio (South Korea):(file)
    바위 같은 정말 많습니다.
    I gos-e-neun bawi gateun geos-i jeongmal manseumnida.
    Here, there are very many things that look like rocks.
    Audio (South Korea):(file)
    적군 서울 진입 으로 판단됩니다.
    Jeokgun-i Seour-e jiniphan geos-euro pandandoemnida.
    We judge that the enemy has entered Seoul.
    (literally, “We judge it as the thing that the enemy has entered Seoul.”)
    Audio (South Korea):(file)
    Synonym: (ba, for abstract nouns, formal)
  2. an object belonging to an owner; forms constructions equivalent to English possessive pronouns. Colloquially pronounced (kkeo) with initial tensing.
    세상 우리 이었지만, 이제 너희 이다.
    I sesang-eun uri-deur-ui geos-ieotjiman, ije-neun neohui-deur-ui geos-ida.
    This world was ours, but now it’s yours.
    Audio (South Korea):(file)
    연필 친구 ?
    I yeonpil chin'gu geonde?
    But this pencil is my friend's.
    Audio (South Korea):(file)
    우리 .
    Jeo jip-do uri geo-ya.
    That house is ours, too.
    Audio (South Korea):(file)
  3. (after the suffix (-n)) Emphasizes the speaker's certainty about the preceding verb or adjective.
    인생 원래 헤어지는 .
    Insaeng-eun wollae heeojineun geo-ya.
    Life is always about saying goodbye.
    (literally, “Life is always a thing where you say goodbye.”)
    Audio (South Korea):(file)
    태어날 부터 그런 .
    Gyae-neun taeeonal ttae-buteo geureon geo-ya.
    He must have been like that since he was born.
    (literally, “He is a thing like that since he was born.”)
    Audio (South Korea):(file)
  4. Used as an element in a number of verbal suffixes; see the "Derived terms" section.

Usage notes


As a dependent noun, (geot) and its colloquial variant cannot occur in isolation, but must always be attributed by a verb, an adjective, a determiner, or a possessor.

In colloquial Korean, (geo) is the generally accepted form of this important dependent noun, to the point that the use of the uncontracted form may feel awkward and artificial. In formal language, (geot) remains preferred.

In the colloquial language, (geo) changes somewhat based on noun case, which is unusual for Korean:

  • The nominative form is almost always (ge), instead of the expected (geoga)
  • The instrumental form is generally 걸로 (geollo) rather than the expected (georo), although the latter form is also common
  • As mentioned, the possessed form is always (kkeo).

See also the very common short forms (geon) instead of (geoneun) and (geol) instead of (georeul), although the full forms are also widely found.

Derived terms

  • 이것 (igeot, this)
  • 그것 (geugeot, that, medial)
  • 저것 (jeogeot, that, distal)

(verbal forms)