Are subject/topic particles optional?

RadkeRonnie

Member
English - USA
I just started learning Korean. All of my sources say that the subject of a sentence should take either 가 or 이 as their particle, depending on the last letter. They also say that objects in sentences should take either 을 or 를. 는 or 은 can replace any of these particles if the word is the topic of the sentence.

Here's where I get confused. My sources give example sentences like the following:

밥 먹고 싶어요.
사과 있어요.
1000원 있었어. (talking about a wallet)

Why are there no particles? From what I've learned, it should be:
먹고 싶어요.
사과 있어요.
1000원 있었어.

or

먹고 싶어요.
사과 있어요.
1000원 있었어.

So are these particles optional?
 
  • kenjoluma

    Senior Member
    Korean
    1. All those sentences in your posting sound very natural and completely correct. It doesn't have to have particles in those cases.

    2. Although each of them has a different sense and nuance, semantically speaking, they are all identical. Hopefully I understand correctly what you mean by 'optional'.
     
    Hello RadkeRonnie.


    The particles which indicate the subjective and objective case in the sentences for 밥 먹고 싶어요., 사과 있어요. and 1000원 있었어 are omitted in colloquial use.

    The complete sentences would be ‘(나는) 밥(을) 먹고 싶어요.’: the subjective 나는, the objective particle 을 are omitted; ‘(여기에) 사과(가,는) 있어요.’ : the adverb 여기에 which means ‘there is’ in English, the subjective particle 가 or 는 are omitted; '(나는) 1000원(이, 은) 있었어' : the subjective 나는, the objective particle이 or 은 are omitted.
    There might be a controversial issue in 나는 1000원이 있었어 or 1000원이 나한테 있었어 though, it is not worth saying here.

    In English, for instance, suppose that I and my friend went to Starbucks and I asked to my friends “you Americano?” ( I’m not sure it really is happening in the U.S.)
     
    Last edited:

    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Optional as in, can you form grammatically correct sentences without them? Yes, in some cases.
    But there will almost always be a change of nuance based on their presence or lack thereof.
     

    alice313

    Member
    korean
    Plus, there is also some cases which doesn't need particles.
    Like Japanese language grammar, I think there's also some grammar thing in Korean language too. Something like 무조사격(無助詞格); no-particle cases.
    Sometimes it's perfect without any particles in the sentence.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top