This, It and That

Please refer to Korean Listening Exercise - This, It and That  for the audio recording of the sentences found in this lesson.

In this lesson, we learn about some of the most common and useful words, 'This, It and That.'

  • This = 이것
  • It = 그것
  • That = 저것

Example sentences

[Informal written form]
  • 이것은 연필이다. = This is a pencil.
  • 그것은 창문이다. = It is a window.
  • 저것은 꽃이다. = That is a flower.
[Polite written form]
  • 이것은 연필입니다. = This is a pencil.
  • 그것은 창문입니다. = It is a window.
  • 저것은 꽃입니다. = That is a flower.

Note: For more information on the formality and the written and spoken forms, please read Nouns - Present, Past.

이것, 저것 and 그것 are mainly used in the written form. The equivalent spoken forms are 이건, 그건 and 저건.

Please note that 이건, 그건 and 저건 are actually contracted forms of 이것은, 저것은 and 그것은.
  • 이것은 → 이건
  • 그것은 → 그건
  • 저것은 → 저건


Here are the sentences in the spoken form.

[Informal spoken form]
  • 이건 연필이야.
  • 그건 창문이야.
  • 저건 꽃이야.

[Polite spoken form]
  • 이건 연필이에요.
  • 그건 창문이에요.
  • 저건 꽃이에요.

"Here, there and over there" are used in similar ways to "This, it and that".
  • Here = 여기
  • There (it) = 거기
  • Over there = 저기
Alternatively, (A bit more formal)
  • Here = 이곳 (Lit. This place)
  • There (it) = 그곳 (Lit. That place (it) )
  • Over there = 저곳 (Lit. That place over there)

Example sentences
    • 이곳은 어디예요? = Where is this place? (Where are we?)
    • 이곳은 서울이에요. = This place is Seoul (We're in Seoul.)
    • 저곳은 뭐예요? = What is that place over there?
    • 그곳은 서울시청이에요. = That place (It) is a Seoul City Council.
    • 저기는 어디예요? = Where is that over there?
    • 저기는 남대문이에요. = That is Namdaemun (shopping center).
    • 그리고 여기는 세종문화회관이에요. = And this place is Sejong Cultural Center.

    여기는 is also usually contracted to 여긴 for the pronunciation's sake.
    • 여기는 → 여긴
    • 거기는 → 거긴
    • 저기는 → 저긴

    Similarly, 이, 그 and 저 are used with 쪽 to make the following words to denote a certain direction.
    • 이쪽 = This direction
    • 그쪽 = That direction (it)
    • 저쪽 = That direction

    Example sentences
    • 이쪽은 거실이에요. = This way is (to) the living room.
    • 그쪽은 베란다예요. = That way (It) is (to) to the verandah.
    • 저쪽은 출구예요. = That way is (to) the exit.
    • 샘 [Sam]: 여기 화장실 어디 있어요? [Where is the toilet here?]
    • 민지 [Minji]: 화장실은 저쪽에 있어요. (The toilet is that way.)
    • 샘 [Sam]: 서점은 어디 있어요? [What about a bookstore? (Lit. Where is a bookstore?)]
    • 민지 [Minji]:서점은 이쪽에 있어요. [The bookstore is this way.]

    이, 그 and 저 are used with nouns to mean 'this, it and that' respectively.
    • 이 나무 = This tree
    • 그 집 = That house (It)
    • 저 산 = That mountain
    • 이 사과 맛있어요 = This apple is delicious
    • 저 사과도 맛있어요 = That apple is delicious, too.
    • 이 음식점은 비빔밥이 유명해요 = This restaurant is famous for Bibimbap. (Lit. This restaurant, Bimbimbap is famous.)
    • 저 빌딩은 63빌딩이에요 = That building is the 63 building. (The landmark building in Seoul)


    Bibimbap - is a popular Korean dish. The word literally means "mixed meal." Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with 나물, namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and 고추장, gochujang (chili pepper paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating. It can be served either cold or hot.[1]

    Reference: [1] Wikipedia: Bibimbap,


    1. haha 저긴 출구야! is pretty funny

    2. hello. may i know, is the spoken korean and written korean really different ?? 'coz i'm really confused. thank you.

    3. Yes, the spoken Korean and written Korean are different.

      The spoken form is usually used when you talk to people, write emails, have a chat with them or write messages on the internet. So they are used in a dialogue.

      The written form is mainly used in literature like books, newspapers, articles, and news on TV and the internet.

      News anchors and reporters on TV also use the written form of Korean which is more declarative and factual. It is a monologue type of language.

      But when you're talking to people, you'd mainly use the polite spoken Korean so I believe you'd use this form most frequently. :)

    4. okay. gamsahabnida. !!

    5. I am new in learning Hangul I can now slowly Write and Read it. but my problem is I can't understand it word by word I am now looking for any site where I can Study Hangul word by word..please help me I really want to know and speak Korean Language.

    6. Hello, I have some questions. If 이건 is a contracted form of 이것은, then does 난 also a contracted form of 나는?

      How do we read 사과입니다? Is it sagwaipnida or sagwaimnida?

      What form did authors used in their books? Written form or spoken form? And how about the school teachers?

      I'm sorry for so many questions. Thank you for the answer :).

    7. Hi Anin

      Here are my short answers.

      Yes, 난 is a contracted form of 나는.

      사과입니다 is read sa-gwa-im-ni-da.

      In regards to authors and school teachers, do you mean normal authors and teachers? or Korean language book authors and teachers?

      If you mean normal authors, they use written form because books are "written" and teachers use spoken form because they "speak." It's as simple as that.

      If you meant Korean language authors and teachers, they may use written forms quite a bit and possibly little teaching or lessons on real, usual, conversational spoken Korean.

      Someone can correct me on this.

      Hope this answered your questions.

    8. Hello Luke, I would really appreciate it if you take time to answer some of my questions. In

      '이곳은 어디에요? = Where is this place? (Where are we?)
      이곳은 서울이에요. = This place is Seoul (We're in Seoul.)
      저곳은 뭐에요? = What is that place over there?
      그곳은 서울시청이에요. = That place (It) is a Seoul City Council.'

      These are the formal forms right?
      So are the informal forms 여기는 어디에요, 여기는 서울이에요 and 거기는 서울시청이에요 respectively?

      Also, in '그리고 여기는 세종문화회관이에요. = And this place is Sejong Cultural Center.', 그리고 stands for and right?

      Lastly, albeit off topic, how do you answer a phone call in korean if a friend calls?
      Eg: Japan's moshi moshi.

    9. No,
      The informal forms would be:

      여기 어디야?
      여기는 서울이야.
      저기는 어디야?
      거기는 서울시청이야.

      You need to change the stem of the sentences.

      Also, you could still use 이곳은/저곳은/그곳은 and it is still in the informal form.

      이곳은 어디야?
      이곳은 서울이야
      저곳은 어디야?
      그곳은 서울시청이야.

      The verb endings determine the politeness of a sentence.
      i.e. 어디에요?/서울이에요. = formal/polite,
      어디야?/서울이야. = informal

      It's just that 여기는/저기는/거기는 are more frequently used in informal speeches.

      And yes, 그리고 is "and"

      Phone call: Hello? = 여보세요?

    10. Hi again, I have a question. What is the meaning of 있어요?

      And can we change 있 to 없? What is the meaning then?

      Thank you

    11. Hi Anin,

      있어요 means "to be, there is/are or have"

      For example,

      저기에 서점이 있어요 = There is a bookstore there.

      핸드폰 있어요 = I have a mobile phone. (or literally, there is a mobile phone (with me).)

      없어요 then simple means "there is/are not, or don't have"

      여기에는 화장실이 없어요 = There is not a toilet here.

      휴대폰이 없어요 = I don't have a mobile phone.



    12. hello! I've been studying hangeul for a week. I'm just confused about using "에요" and "예요". I learned from the other sites that when the verb stem ends with a consonant,we should use "에요" and if it ends with a vowel we should use "예요".
      e.g 이거는 뭐예요?
      이거는 어디에요?
      which is correct?
      i hope you can help me with this^^
      thank you very much!

    13. Hi jham,

      어디예요? and 뭐예요? are correct.

      If there is no final consonant, use 예요.

      If there is a final consonant, use 이에요.

      For example,

      화장실이에요 = It's a toilet
      서점이에요 = It's a bookstore
      출구예요 = It's an exit
      나무예요 = It's a tree
      어디예요? = Where is it?

    14. hey there, may i know what is the difference between 것 and 게 and what is the right way to use them? Sometimes i heard 것 and sometimes i heard 게 so im kinda confuse when to say which...thanks! =D

    15. Hi Shi Yah 시아

      If you're asking me about the difference between 이것이 and 이게,
      이게 is a contracted form of 이것이.

      You'd say 이게 instead of 이것이 in spoken Korean.

      For example,

      이것이 → 이게
      저것이 → 저게
      그것이 → 그게

      저게 저희 학교에요 = That is our school.

      이게 내 핸드폰이야 = This is my cellphone.

    16. Hello Luke,
      I am thank you for your nice writing about Korean Language.

      I am enjoying the PDF version but I hope there is some pronouciation translation in alphabet for every Korean character in the training so it will be more easily to understand and memorize.

      I am using it in mobile so it will be like pocket books for me.

      My mobile currently not really easy to using Google translate to manual translate the Korean character to English pronounciation.

      Thank you

      1. Hi Technology for Everyone,

        You're welcome.

        By the way, I have deliberately avoided writing Korean in Romanised characters because the Romanised Korean does not represent the true pronunciation of words.

        Therefore, I advise all learners to learn the sounds of the actual Korean alphabet and try to pronounce straight from them.

    17. hi there! this is a really good site!
      just a question when you speak korea eg e.g 이거는 뭐예요?
      이거는 어디에요?
      do you say the particles "는"?

      1. Hi Anonymous,

        Yes, you could say,

        이건 뭐예요?
        이건 어디에요?

        이건 is a contracted form of 이거는.

    18. Hi Luke,

      I have a question regarding 그곳 and 저곳

      When would you use 그곳 and 저곳? According to it's English equivalent, 그곳 means There (it) and 저곳 means Over There.

      Then does that mean that they both mean the same thing? Can ypu give me some examples clearly showing how different they are?

      Also, I've read some of the comments. '예요' is used when a verb stem ends in a vowel.. etc. Then why in 학교에요 '에요' is used? Or is '에' in this case a particle for places? Are 'ㅖ요' and '이에요' only used to end sentences?

      Sorry for the questions but this is just confusing me.

      Thank you for providing a great learning source for Korean Grammar!

      Just a suggestion as well, is it possible to have a part in the website listing essential nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs to learn? Like a vocabulary section for memorizing words.

      Thanks again! ^^

      1. Hi Anonymous,

        You can use 그곳 when you're talking about a place you've visited in the past. For example,

        작년에 이집트에 갔었어 = I went to Egypt last year.
        그곳은 되게 더웠어 = That place was very hot.

        As you can see, you can use 그곳 here but you cannot use 저곳 which means "the place over there" which you can physically see.

        e.g. 저곳에 가면 기념품을 살 수 있어 = If you go to that place (over there), you can buy souvenirs.

        And it should 학교예요! Sorry, for the mistake, but even among Koreans, it's so common!

        I might work on producing essential nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in the near future.

        Cheers~ :-)

    19. 이것은 → 이건

      we always use the first in write and other in speak

    20. I heard in a Drama "요거" and it was tranlates as "this (thing)" Is that correct?
      The second thing I wanted to ask: Is 요 sometimes used as 이 (this)?
      I heard both in different Korean Dramas and since it wasn't mentioned here I thought of asking ...
      Thanks for this site! :-)

    21. i have a question... does the 에 in저쪽에 of 화장실은 저쪽에 있어요 is as the place particle?

    22. ‎in this sentence 이 사과 맛있어요 why don't use 는, 가

    23. in this sentence 이 사과 맛있어요 why don't use 는,가


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