-에 is a particle that has many meanings. (It has 16 different meanings!!) In this post, I am going to explain three main uses.
1. Place (existence) : -에 often with 있어요/없어요 and 살아요, it means something/someone is at/on/in a place.
선생님이 학교에 있어요. The teacher is at the school.
민수 씨가 도서관에 있어요. Minsu is at the library.
동생이 집에 있어요. My younger sister(brother) is at home.
오빠가 집에 없어요. My older brother is not at home.
2. Place (destination) : -에 often with 가요(go)/와요(come)/다녀요(attend), it indicates a destination.
저는 지금 집에 가요. I am going home.
화장실에 가요. I am going to the restroom.
어디에 가요? Where are you going?
미나 씨가 도서관에 가요. Mina is going to the library.
언제 한국에 와요? When are you coming to Korea?
저는 A대학교에 다녀요. I am attending at A University.
3. Time : -에 also means verb/adjective happens at/in/on the time.
내년에 한국에 가요. I am going to Korea next year.
월요일에 친구 집에 가요. I am going to my friend’s house on Monday.
아침에 학교에 있어요. I am at school in the morning.
9시에 아침 먹어요. I eat the breakfast at 9 o’clock.
As you can see, you can use two 에 in one sentence which are different meanings.
You should add 에 after most time nouns, but some time nouns don’t need 에 such as 오늘, 어제, 내일, 매일/매주/매달/매년, 언제, 지금.
오늘 백화점에 가요. I am going to a department store today.
매일 공부해요. I study every day.
지금 뭐 해요? What are you doing now?
And if there are more than two time nouns, you can just add 에 for the last time noun. For example,
오늘 오후에 영화를 봐요. I am going to watch a movie this afternoon.
이번 주 월요일에 시간이 없어요. I don’t have time this Monday.
다음 주 금요일 4시에 만나요. Let’s meet at 4 next Friday.
내년 9월 10일 5시에 결혼해요. I am going to get married at 5 o’clock on September 10th next year.
- Many students get confused by -에(place) and -에서(place), if you want to learn more about this please click here.