Time / Place Particle - 에

Please refer to Korean Listening Exercise - Time/Place Particle 에 for the audio recording of the sentences found in this lesson.

The Time/Place Particle, 에, is used for any words related to time and place.

The 에 particle phrase is usually placed at the beginning of a sentence after a subject.

샘 = Sam
한국 = Korea
가다 = go
준수 = Jun-su
5월 = May
오다 = come

  • 샘은 한국에 갔다 = Sam went to Korea [Sam, to Korea, went]
  • 준수는 5월에 왔다 = Jun-su came in May [Jun-su, in May, came]

Note: 1월 is January, 2월 is February and so on.

You can also make long sentences like the following examples:
  • 샘 은 작년 10월 가을에 한국에 갔다 = Sam went to Korea last year in October during the autumn season  [Sam, last year, in October, in Autumn, to Korea, went]
  • 준수는 2000년도 여름에 호주에 왔다 = Jun-su came to Australia in summer 2000. [Jun-su, in 2000, in summer, to Australia, came]

작년 = last year
10월 = October
가을 = autumn
2000년도 = in the year 2000
여름 = summer
호주 = Australia

Note: 에 is used for words both with or without a final consonant.
  • 학교에 = to school
  • 병원에 = to hospital

Please note also that when 에 is used as a Place Particle, it is usually used with 'go' and 'come' to indicate a place to which you're going or coming, and 에 functions like 'to' in English. For example, 공원에 = to a park, 영국에 = to Britain and 공항에 = to the airport.

When you want to say you did something at a particular place 'for a certain period of time,' 에서 is used for that location or place. In this case, the function of 에서 is similar to "in, at or on" in English. For example,

  • 공원에서 놀았다 = played (had fun) at the park [At the park, (we) played (had fun)]
  • 영국에서 지냈다 = stayed in Britain [In Britain, (I) stayed]
  • 공항에서 기다렸다 = waited at the airport [At the airport, (we) waited]

공원 = a park
놀다 = play, have fun
영국 = Britain
지내다 = stay
공항 = airport
기다리다 = wait

However, when 'was' and 'in' are both used in a sentence, you can use 에 instead of 에서 for some strange reason I do not know. The following two sentences mean exactly the same.
  • 영국에서 있었다 = I was in Britain
  • 영국에 있었다 = I was in Britain

But in the case of other verbs, 에 is not allowed.
  • 공원에 놀았다
  • 영국에 지냈다
  • 공항에 기다렸다

Here are a few more examples:
  • 시골에 갔다 = went to a countryside
  • 친구가 병원에 방문왔다 = A friend of mine came (to visit me) to hospital
  • 집에 있었다 = was home
  • 대학에서 강의를 들었다 = listen to a lecture at the university
  • 많은 사람들이 놀이 공원에 왔다 = A lot of people came to the theme park
  • 아침에 시리얼을 먹었다 = I ate cereal in the morning [In the morning, I ate cereal]
  • 오후 2시에 비가 내렸다 = It started raining at 2 o'clock in the afternoon [Lit. The rain fell]

시골 = countryside
가다 = go
친구 = a friend
병원 = a hospital
방문 = a visit
오다 = come
방문오다 = came to visit
집 = home, house
있다 = be
대학 = college, university
강의 = a lecture
듣다 = listen, hear
많다 = a lot, many
사람 = a person
사람들 = people (들 is attached to a noun to make it plural)
놀이 공원 = a theme park
아침 = morning
시리얼 = cereal
먹다 = eat
오후 = afternoon, pm
2시 = 2 o'clock (1시 is 1 o'clock, 7시 is 7 o'clock and so on)
비 = rain
내리다 = fall down


  1. Hi
    I want to ask what's the best way to learn language save word or start with grammar than word


    1. Hi enasahmed,

      You can learn them both at the same time,

      learn simple grammar e.g. particles, and learn the words in sentences.

      Also, try the audio lessons you can find at the top right hand corner of this blog.


  2. Hi Luke~~ I'm a new come, such a pleasure!
    Your lessons are great and easy! ^-^ yet I am confused about something: 에 is only used instead of 에서 when it's 'was' right? But then in the last examples you used 에 with other past tensed verbs, may you please explain?
    고맙습니다 선생님! =) :D

    1. Hi Kouno,
      에 can be used instead of 에서 when we use 'was' and 'in' in a sentence as in the above example.

      영국에서 있었다 = was in England
      영국에 있었다 = was in England

      에 is frequently used when talking about time and place.
      에서 is used when talking about a place and when you 'did' something for a while 'in' somewhere.

      For example,
      영국에서 지냈다. = stayed in England.
      영국에 지냈다 (x)

      놀이 공원에 갔다 = went to a theme park
      You can use 에 because there's no 'in' in this sentence.

      놀이 공원에서 놀았다 = played in a theme park
      But not 놀이 공원에 놀았다 (x) because there's 'in' in this sentence.

      Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Luke. Was browsing through some korean learning websites and I found yours. It is easy to understand and it helps me a lot. But was wondering how do you pronounce or read the month 1월?

    하나월? Thanks for your reply.

    1. Hi Lynnette, it's a late reply but here we go. 1월 is pronounced 일월!


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