Korean Subject Particles (이/가)

We all know that  and  are attached to nouns to indicate that it is the subject of a sentence. They are easy to distinguish because the subject is always placed at the beginning of the sentence such as the following.

우리 엄마가 시장에 있어요.
My mom is at the market.

겨울이 왔습니다.
Winter is here.

우리 학교에 잘생긴 남자들이 많아요.
There are a lot of handsome boys at school.

But that's not limited to that. Did you know that there are a few other standard rules we can use  and  for? Here they are as follows.

First, when the predicate is 아니다 (to be not) and 되다 (to become),  and  are attached to the word before them. In this sense,  and  are not used to indicate the subject of the sentence, but the complement. This is interesting because it contradicts the basic knowledge that we had. Then, what happens to the subject? They take the markers  or  instead.

이것은 커피가 아니에요.
This is not coffee.

카일씨는 선생님이 되었어요.
Kyle became a teacher.

Second, when pronouns such as , and  meets the particle  (since they all end in a vowel), the syllables change and become 내가제가, and 네가.

내가 할게.
I will do it.

네가 좋아!
I like you.

Lastly, when the last syllable of a person’s name ends with a consonant, we attach  to it and add  to mark the subject. When a person's name ends with a vowel, we simply add .

유진이가  드라마에 나왔어요.
Yujin came out in that drama.

예지가 영어를  해요.
Yeji is good at English.