How to Make a Korean Sentence (SVIOO)


It is easier to identify an object than a complement in Korean because of the object marker (/). There is no such thing as a complement marker, but we can attach the subject marker to it in the case of the verb 되다 as in “경찰이 되다” (to become a police). What if we add a second object? Will it make the pattern more complicated?

In English, we have a direct object and an indirect object. We had tackled about the first one but not the second one. The simplest way to say this is… it is a word that precedes or succeeds the direct object. If that sounds confusing, let’s take a look at the sentence below.

I-showed-the money-to him.
I-showed-him-the money.

The direct object in the above sentences is “money”. Hence, our indirect object is “him”. They’re just two patterns that mean the same thing. It’s just that when we choose to put the indirect object at the end of the sentence, we need prepositions “to” or “for” depending on the context. What happens when we re-arrange them the Korean way?

I-(to) him-the money-showed.

Normally, we mention the indirect object first before the direct object but it works fine when we switch them. The verb is always at the end of the line. Let’s see what we can discover by analyzing the translated version.

나는 그에게 돈을 보여줬어.

We can conclude that the indirect object in Korean is attached with “에게” (or 한테) which acts as to/for in English. Let’s construct more sentences and see if it’s true to all other verbs of this kind.

I asked him a question. (to)
나는그에게 질문을 했다.

I baked her a cake. (for)
 그녀에게 케이크를 만들어 주었다.

I will buy you that ring. (for)
내가 너에게/너한테  반지 사줄게.


I wrote a letter to my parents.
 부모님에게 편지를 썼다.

You taught me English well.
 나에게 영어를  가르쳐 주었어.

I sent you a message last night.
어젯밤에 너한테 문자 보냈어.