Particle -(이)나

Noun(vowel)+이나
Noun(consonant)+나

In this post, we are talking about (이)나, (이)나 is very common particle that comes on TOPIK. Let’s find out!


1. ‘choice’ , ‘A or B’.
주스를 주세요. Please give me tea or juice.
중국이나 미국에 갈 거예요. I am going to China or U.S.
경제학이나 경영학을 공부하고 싶어요. I want to study economics or business.

2. The previous noun is not the best choice or my favorite, but I still choose it.
밥은 없는데 그냥 이거 먹어. We don’t have rice, just eat this. (this is not the best choice, but I still give it to you.)
할 일도 없는데 영화 보지요. 뭐. I don’t have things to do, well, let’s watch a movie. (movie is not the best choice, but it is okay. )
밥이나 먹자. Let’s eat. (Eating is not my favorite thing to do now, but let’s do it.)

3. 이나 is attached 몇, 며칠, 얼마, it expresses “to ask/guess the number/amount” (Most cases you can omit 이나, because there is already a question word.)
사람이 몇 명이나 모였어요? How many people were there?
상하이를 여행하려면 며칠이나 걸려요? How many days does it take to travel Shanghai?
아이가 몇 살이나 됐어요? How old is the kid?

4. 이나 is attached to a number, it express that the number is more than the speaker expected.
어제 거기서 한 시간이나 기다렸어요. I waited for one hour over there yesterday. (one hour was very long time.)
비용이 백만 원이나 들어요? Does it cost one million Won? (one million Won is too much.)
** It is often compared with -밖에, please click here to learn the difference.

5. 이나 is attached to question words, 언제, 어디, 누구, 무엇, 아무, 아무 noun, it expresses ‘every’. We can translate as ‘—ever’
민수는 언제나 친절하게 사람을 대해요. Minsu always(whenever) treat people very friendly.
누구나(아무나) 들어올 수 있습니다. Anyone(Whoever) can come in.
무엇이나 물어보세요. Ask me anything(whatever).
공기는 어디에나 있어요. Air is everywhere(wherever).
아무 거나 다 잘 먹어요. I can eat any thing(whatever).

6. It doesn’t matter whether it is A or B.
지금이나 변한 게 별로 없네요. There is not much different before and now.
샌드위치 피자 다 괜찮아요. I am okay with sandwich or pizza, it doesn’t matter.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment in this post. 아무 질문이나 상관없어요! ^^