How to Do the Apostrophe S in Korean

Let’s learn how to do the apostrophe s in Korean. In English, it is another way to express ownership other than possessive adjectives (my, your, our). Here are some examples.

Minho’s girlfriend
Haewoong’s birthday
Semin’s house

The apostrophe s is attached to the possessor (Minho, Haewoong, and Semin) and the things they possessed follow the apostrophe s (girlfriend, birthday, house). In English, there are some rules and exceptions. In Korean, it is not that complicated. All we do is attached 의 to the possessor so it comes in between two words.

민호의 여자친구
해웅의 생일
세민의 집

But the sound of 의 is not the same at all times, not even its supposed original sound. It sounds like 에 when attached to a noun that ends in a consonant and it sounds like 예 when attached to a noun that ends in a vowel. Hence, 민호의 is pronounced like 민호예 and 해웅의 is pronounced like 해웅에.

In spoken language, it is perfectly okay to omit 의 and it even sounds natural and smooth without it. We can say 민호 여자친구, 해웅 생일, and 세민 집.

민호 여자친구 누군지 알아?
Do you know who Minho’s girlfriend is?

해웅 생일 내일이잖아?
Haewoong’s birthday is tomorrow, isn’t it?

세민 집 진짜 크다!
Semin’s house is really huge!