Learn Korean: 처음 VS 마지막


Two of my all-time favorite song (처음부터 지금까지) and drama (마지막  나와 함께) have the words 처음 and 마지막 in them and since they are contrastingly related, I feel that they should be discussed in one note.

Based on the titles, you probably have a hint what these words mean. In fact, they are too basic I shouldn't be guessing whether you knew or not. Let's take a look at their similarities and differences through the examples below.

처음 / 마지막 + Noun

처음 cannot precede another noun. If you want to say first + noun, use  instead.

  사랑은  아니었어.
(not 처음 사랑)
You weren’t my first love.

첫날은 순식간이었어.
The first day was a blur.

이게  마지막 무대인  같아서 서러워.
I think this is going to be my last performance so I feel sad.

포기하지마이게 마지막 기회가 아니야.
Don’t lose hope. It’s not the last chance/opportunity.

처음 / 마지막 + 

처음엔 우리가  친했어요.
We were not close at first.

마지막엔 설탕을 넣어요.
Finally, add some sugar.

처음 / 마지막 + 으로

언제 처음으로 연애했어?
When was the last time you got into a relationship?

언제 마지막으로 양치했어?
When was the last time you brushed your teeth?


처음 / 마지막 + Verb

저는 15  처음 연애했어요.
I was 15 when I had my first girlfriend.

청소는 제가 마지막 했어요.
I was the last one to clean.