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.

For the video recording of this lesson, please see below. :)

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, i want to ask a question
    샘 은 작년 10월 가을에 한국에 갔다 why there is no 에 particle at October?

  3. Why would it be 오후 2시에 비가 내렸다 rather than 오후 2시에서 비가 내렸다 if it rained at 2 pm? I thought you used 에서 like you would use in, at, & on in English.

  4. "The 에 particle phrase is usually placed at the beginning of a sentence after a subject." then should not the first part of "played (had fun) at the park [At the park, (we) played (had fun)]" be "(we) at the park played"?

  5. Hi Luke~ I'm a new comer, such a pleasure!
    But I have something that confused me, u said that 에 can only be used instead of 에서 when it's 'was' right? Then in the last examples you used 에 in other past tense containing sentences?; I'm really confused, hope you help me. Thank you =) :D

  6. Hi Luke~~ I'm a new comer, such a pleasure!
    Your lessons are great and easy but I have this confusion, it's written that 에 can be used instead of 에서 only when it's 'was' right? But then in the last examples you used 에

  7. 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!

    2. Is 에 also used for present tense sentences? All of the examples are past tense using "was in" sentences.

      How about "am in/at?" Like, I'm home.

  8. MCOarte Costa Rica8:23 AM, October 14, 2014

    Hi Luke , i' m from Costa Rica so my english is not good, sorry
    Thanks for your hard work
    Luke, 여 can be used with sentences that has was and in, but in these sentences you can use 에서 as well ? And you can't use 에 with all the verbs or just some of them ???
    Hope you understand me
    Gracias, Mariel

  9. Hello Luke!
    I'm currently studying Hangeul in a language school and reading this has made things much more clear for me (especially since I find it difficult to ask potentially stupid questions :D)! So thank you so so much for putting this up!

    Clarification though:
    When using "e seo", you mentioned that we use it when we want to say we're doing something "in" somewhere. And since '아침에 시리얼을 먹었다' doesn't have "e seo", does this mean that the usage of "e seo" is only for places and not for time?

    Thank you!

  10. 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!

  11. 준수는 2000년도 여름에 호주에 왔다
    whats the meaning/use of the word 도 in this sentence?
    too/so or what?

  12. Hi I was playing my favorite game today, g-mod on steam, and someone in the chat said 에 버그가 있음 and I asked my friend what is means.. But she didn't Answer... What does 에 버그가 있음 mean?

  13. Does 에 have another meaning/can be used for something else? Like 사랑에 빠지다. 사랑 is neither a place nor time so why is there an 에 after it? Thank yoh

  14. Can 에 be used for something else? Such as 사랑에 빠지다. 사랑 is neither a place nor time yet why is there 에 at the end? Thank you!

  15. In the example: Sam went to Korea last year in October during the autumn season

    I notice that october and korea seem to both have the time and place particle. Is that correct? Both of them have to have the particle?

  16. Could the sentence 아침에 시리얼을 먹었다 use 에서 because your saying that it was 'in' the morning ??? If not how come ???

  17. Thank you so much for this lesson
    I'm looking forward to follow up with all your lessons
    I'm taking a korean class private but there are somethings that I can't understand so when i searched i found this amazing site
    Really thanks for helping people and me 😍

  18. Hi, I would like to question. If the season and weather is for 에 time particle or location ?

  19. Hi, thank you for your wonderful lesson. I just want to ask, can we use "에서" when we are talking about time? I mean here, "아침에 시리얼을 먹었다", 아침에, 에 was used to indicate that we ate cereal in the morning, so does this mean that when we are pertaining about time, 에 should be used instead of 에서?

    미리 감사합니다.


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