Direction Particle - 으로/로

Particles - 으로/로 

으로 is used for words which have a final consonant, and 로 for words witthat a final consonant. (Exception: 로 is still used for words which have ㄹ as a final consonant.)


  • 트럭으로 = by truck
  • 핸드폰으로 = by/with a mobile phone

  • 컴퓨터로 = by/with a computer
  • 차로 = by car

  • 연필로 = by/with a pencil

I. 으로/로 is used for tools/methods/transport with which you do something.

  • 가위로 종이를 잘랐다 = With scissors, I cut a paper.
  • 연필로 그림을 그렸다 = With a pencil, I drew a picture.
  • 활로 사냥을 했다 = With a bow, I did hunting.
가위 = scissors
종이 = paper
자르다 = cut
잘랐다 = cut (past)
연필 = pencil
그림 = picture
그리다 = draw
그렸다 = drew
활 = bow
사냥 = hunting
하다 = do
했다 = did
사냥을 하다 = do hunting

Eg. 2
  • 다윗은 좋은 머리로 골리앗을 이겼다 = With his good brain, David beat Goliath.
  • 나는 상상으로 천국을 보았다 = By my imagination, I saw the heaven.
  • 갈매기는 큰 부리로 물고기를 잡았다 = With its large beak, the gull caught a fish.
다윗 = David
좋은 = good
머리 = head (brain)
골리앗 = Goliath
이기다 = win/beat
상상 = imagination
천국 = heaven
보다 = see
보았다 = saw
갈매기 = a gull
큰 = big, large
부리 = beak
물고기 = fish
잡다 = catch
잡았다 = caught

Eg. 3
  • 비행기로 섬에 갔다 = By a plane, I went to an island.
  • 차로 학교까지 1시간 걸린다 = By car, it takes an hour to school.
  • KTX로 서울에서 부산까지 3시간 걸린다 = By KTX, it takes 3 hours to go from Seoul to Busan.
비행기 = plane
섬 = island
가다 = go
갔다 = went
차 = car
학교 = school
시간 = hour
걸리다 = take (time)
걸린다 = take (time)
KTX = Korea Train Express 

II. 으로/로 is used for a destination/place for which you are headed.
  • 천국으로 간다 = I am headed for the heaven
  • 천국으로 들어가는 문 = a door for entering the heaven
  • 나오미는 모압으로 떠났어요 = Naomi left for Moab
  • 짐은 집으로 갔다 = Jim went home.
The difference between 으로/로 and 에/게 is that 으로/로 emphasises where one is headed/has gone whereas 에/게 doesn't.

나는 집으로 갔다 = I went home. (I didn't go to any other place.)


  1. is the 으 in 으로 just for the sake of easy speech? aka it appears when the previous character ends in constanant?

    also thanks again for making this page! :D

  2. Yes, you're exactly right.

    For eg,

    바람으로 [바라므로] = by wind
    펜으로 [페느로] = by pen

    Thank you for noticing it! I've added additional explanations for this in the post.

  3. "The difference between 으로/로 and 에/게 is that 으로/로 emphasises where one is headed/has gone whereas 에/게 doesn't. "

    you did not explain 게 along with 에 in your earlier post.

    if you have time, please do so. :)

  4. Probably, you should add more explanation about 으로/로.

    Use "로" for words that have ㄹ as a final consonant <>

    ("로" 를 사용하기 위해서는 체언이 ㄹ 로 끝나거나 받침이 없을 때 사용합니다)

    have a nice day!

  5. 감사합니다.

  6. What's the meaning of this word: 속으로만 ?. I read in dictionary, 속 means 'in' and 만 means 'only'. If, 으로 means 'by' or explain tools, so 속으로만 means by in only? It's so confusing. Would you mind to explain it? Thank you.

  7. Hi Millanti,

    You've got it right. 속으로만 means 속 = inside 으로 = by 만 = only.

    So to make a literal translation, 속으로만 means "by inside only"

    For example,

    It can be used in a situation where a guy likes a certain girl and he never told her that he liked her.

    그는 그녀를 속으로만 좋아했다 = He liked her by "inside/heart" only.

    It means that he never actually told her, "I like you."

    He kept those feelings to himself.

    그녀한테 좋아한다고 속으로만 말했다 = He told her, "I like you", by inside/heart only.

    속으로만 생각하고 아무한테도 말하지 않았다 = I thought about it (to myself), and never told (anyone).

    Hope it helps to clarify the meaning of 속으로만. x)

  8. Ok. I got it. Thanks.

    I have another question. There's word 열심히 in a song. I read in my dictionary, 열심 means passion. But, I don't know the meaning of 히. Is it a particle? If it is, then what is the function? Would you explain it, please. Thank you :)

  9. 열심히 is an adeverb and just means "diligently".

    열심 as a noun by itself is hardly ever used.

    열심히 공부했다 = studied diligently
    열심히 일했다 = worked diligently


  10. Oke. Thanks a lot for your explanation. You're so kind :)
    I have another question.
    I got a sentence in a song.
    두눈엔 너만 담고 살아갈께
    I've tried to translate each word but there are some word that I don't know the meaning.
    두 = two
    눈 = eye
    너 = you
    만 = only
    너만 = only you
    다담 = fill, then what's the meaning of 담고? I don't know the function of particle 고 in that word (or phrase?).
    I don't know the meaning of 살아갈께 either.
    Would you explain it?
    I'm sorry for bothering you with so many question :)

  11. Here's a bit of explanation, and you can read up more about it through the link at the bottom.

    두눈(two eyes)에 너만(only you) 담고(put in) 살아갈께(I'll live)

    = (In my) two eyes, I will put you in and live.

    담다 = fill / put in
    살다 = live

    담다 becomes 담고, which means "fill / put in and"

    담고 살다 = put in and live

    More explanations on the connective form of verbs. Try the following link:

    Verbs - Connective

  12. would you explain me in what time is conjugated the verb 간다? and can you tell me if i'm right, 에 is a time/place particle while 게 is a dative particle, also 에 is used for words which have a final consonant and for those which don't have... muchas gracias! n_n

    1. Hi gabriela,

      Additionally, please also refer to the posts on 에/에게:

      Particles - 께/에게/한테

      Particles - 도, 를, 에


  13. Hi Gabriela,

    First of all, in regards to 간다, it is usually used in situations where somebody declares something to someone or a group of people. For example,

    나 집에 간다! = I'm going home!
    You're declaring to people that you're going home.

    However when someone asks you where you're going, for example,
    "지금 어디 가요?"
    You'd say,
    "집에 가요." NOT "집에 간다."

    Also, 간다 is an casual/imformal form so you'd only use it with close friends.

    에 is a time/place particle and it can also be a dative particle along with 에게.

    에 is used for inanimate objects while 에게 is used for person.

    학교에 간다 = I go to school
    엄마에게 전화를 했다 = I rang Mum.
    선생님에게 선물을 드렸다 = I gave a present to my teacher.

    And yes, 에 is used for both words with/without final consonants.


  15. Hi,
    I saw 시작페이지로 (start page) used on a website. In this case does 로 refer to use I. as an action or use II. as a place you are going to?

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      시작페이지로 means "To the 'Start Page'"
      So, it's used as a meaning number II (place).

  16. What's up Luke? Hope you've been fine, actually I'm a questioner so u might get pissed off at my silly and many many many questions =) can u please explain the particle "게" ? I couldn't find it and I'm pretty unsure of how to use it :(
    Thanks!!!!! Keep up the good work ^-^

  17. Hi, in this sentence "저는 기혼으로 가족과 함께 아파트에 살고 있습니다", why the (으)로 was used? Does it implies another msg?

    It means "I’m married and live with my family in an apartment" but I don't understand the function of (으)로 there. Tnx.

  18. the good news ? thanks for that Jesus bless u!

  19. Hi, I found a word that made me confused with the use of 로, '흉타들로'.

    So i searched that 흉타 means scars and 들 makes it plural. So if 로 means 'by/for' so the word means by scars? For scars??

    [The full sentence is 진심을 말해도, 결국 다 흉타들로 돌아오니까]

  20. Hi, can you please explain the use addition of 으로 in 중 to have the meaning of "by sometime" because i couldn't connect it to the other uses of 으로 as explained here. Thank you so much!♥


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