How to Make a Korean Sentence (S-V-P-L)


The word order in Korean is hugely different from English and the more words we use, the more complicated it gets. Basically, the only thing that remains in its position in both languages is the subject of the sentence.

We have learned some sentence patterns in English and one of them is “Subject + Verb + Preposition + Location”. Now, let's take a look at how this pattern goes in Korean.

The subject (주어) refers to the topic of the sentence. The verb (동사) is an action word. The preposition (전치사) are words such as “in, at, an on”. Location  (장소) refers to the place where an action takes place.

Seyeon-is drinking-water-in-the kitchen.

But what happens when we re-arranged the words the Korean way?

Seyeon-in the kitchen-water-is drinking.

The sentence is still understandable, but it's so messed up and sounds odd. In other words, when we translate that sentence into Korean, the pattern becomes Subject + Location + Preposition + Verb.

The sentence begins with the subject and ends with the verb- which is a fixed pattern in Korean. However, prepositions in Korean are particles attached to the noun (in this case, location) so it comes right after the location. Let’s translate the above sentence.

세연이가 부엌에서 물을 마시고 있어요.

Let's construct some more sentence that follows this pattern.  

I live in Vietnam.
나는 베트남에서 살아요.

The children are playing at the park.
애들이 공원에서 놀고 있어요.

My mom works at the pharmacy.
우리 엄마가 약국에서 일해요.


The man died in the hospital.
 남자가 병원에서 죽었어요.

She waited at the bus stop.
그녀가 정류장에서 기다렸어요.

You might notice another particle common to above sentences-  and 에서. They are actually the equivalent of "in, at on" in English.