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뉸 ←

늰 →

Etymology 1[edit]

First attested in the Seokbo sangjeol (釋譜詳節 / 석보상절), 1447, as ᄂᆞᆫ/ (Yale: nu/on).



  1. (semantic) marks the topic of the sentence. (not to be confused with the subject of the sentence)
  2. (semantic) depending on context, shows contrast with or adds emphasis to the preceding word or phrase in a sentence.
Usage notes[edit]

(neun) is used always after a word (a noun, a noun phrase, or a nominalized verb in form) ending in a vowel. Identical in meaning to (eun) which occurs after a word ending in a consonant.

  1. (topic marker): The topic is what is being talked about in the sentence; it is the main point. This, however, is different in meaning from the subject which the predicate directly refers to. The topic and subject may be the same in a sentence.
    • 매리 나의 친구maerineun naui chin-guda ― Mary is my friend.
      In this case "Mary" is the topic (and the subject) of this sentence and "is my friend" is the predicate. However, in many cases, the subject and topic are different.
    • (Complete form) 에 있 학생 똑똑하다.
      I bane inneun haksaengdeureun ttokttokhada.
      The students that are in this class are smart.
      Note the use of the first 은/는: function of 은/는 after verbs does not indicate nominative case but the adjectival form of the verb. See Etymology 3 below.
    • (Shortened form) 이 반 학생들이 똑똑하다.
      I baneun haksaengdeuri ttokttokhada.
      The students in this class are smart.
      Compare the complete and shortened form. Here, the topic/subject distinction is a pseudo-grammatical distinction. All sentences that use both 은/는 and 이/가 can derive its expletive form as shown above.
      In the shortened form, the topic is "This class" while the subject is "the students".
      In cases like this, the topic can often be thought of as a range, or to what extent the sentence is applicable. In the example above, if "speaking of this class" was removed, the sentence would not be limited to "this class", and would talk about all students in general.
      Grammatically, this phenomenon is explained by the concept of predicate clause; that is, the sentence "학생들이 똑똑하다" (The students are smart) wholly works as an adjective (This class is 'student-smart.", so to speak).
  2. (Contrast/emphasis marker): (neun), can be placed after most case markers (including (ga), (reul), (e), 에게 (ege), 에서 (eseo), (ro), (gwa)) to show contrast between two or more choices or add emphasis to a word or phrase, depending on the context. If used after (ga) or (reul), the (ga) or (reul) are deleted leaving only (eun).
    • 서울한국수도다.
      Seoureun han-gugui sudoda.
      Seoul is the capital city of South Korea.
      If (eun) is stressed, it might suggest "other cities are not."
    • 여름에는 덥다.
      Yeoreumeneun deopda.
      It is hot during the summer.
      If (neun) is stressed, it might suggest "during other seasons, it's not."
    • 그는 나에게 주었다.
      Geuneun na-ege chaegeul jueotda.
      He gave me the book. (He gave the book to me.)
      If (neun) is stressed, it might suggest "other people may have not."
      • Variants: 그가 나에게는 책을 주었다.
        Geuga na-egeneun chaegeul jueotda.
        I'm sure that he gave the book to me, but I'm not certain if he gave it to others as well.
        • 그가 나에게 책은 주었다.
          Geuga na-ege chaegeun jueotda.
          I'm sure that he gave me the book, but I'm not certain if he gave me other things, too.
        • 그가 나에게 책을 주기는 했다/주기는 주었다.
          Geuga na-ege chaegeul jugineun haetda/jugineun jueotda.
          He gave me the book, but I'm uneasy about the way he did. (It was too late/seriously damaged/not the one I wanted/just half of it/etc.)
  • (eun) (after a consonant)
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Inflectional suffix[edit]


  1. a suffix indicating the present tense, appearing directly after a stem of a verb, ending in a consonant other than ㄹ (l), which is at the end of a declarative or exclamatory sentence or an indirect quotation clause.
Alternative forms[edit]
  • -- (, “-n-”)
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Inflectional suffix[edit]


  1. a present tense suffix used to help a verb or one of two adjectives 있다 (itda, “existing”) and 없다 (eopda, “not existing”) to act like a determiner.
Usage notes[edit]

The suffix - (-neun) is appended directly to the stem of the verb. In the process, if the stem ends in a consonant (l), the consonant (l) drops out.

E.g.이기다 (igida, “to win”) → 이기 (igineun nom, “the one who wins”)
얼다 (eolda, “to freeze”) → (eoneun jeom, “freezing point”)

Etymology 4[edit]


(transliterations: RR neun, RRT , McCune–Reischauer nŭn, Yale nun)

  1. A Hangul syllabic block made up of , , and .