Level 1 – KC101 “Where Do You Want to Go in Korea?”


It has BEEN A WHILE. So I am glad y’all stuck with me while I work some of this out.

I am honestly excited about this because it expands on a vocab word we have already learned and see how to apply it. So, let’s get to it!


So, the word that we will be learning more about is:


I would say “more specifically 있다” but honestly – we do use 있어요 in the sentences.

But first I want to remind everyone about what 있다 means:
To Exist. This verb is used to talk about “having” something and to talk about places (“where” things are).

I honestly am having a hard time to think about how to really explain it without showing a few sentences. There are also quite a few things I need to point out and explain in the sentences as well. So what I am going to do is just show a sentence, and then we will highlight different sections, explain it, then put it all together again. 

It will make more sense as we go on. I hope.

Here is a sentence we will dissect and work with:

설악산 어디에 있어요?

We will break this sentence down and show each section.

설악산 어디에 있어요?

설악산 means Mount Seorak/Seorak Mountain. It is one of the mountains in South Korea. It is a place. (In fact, 산 means “mountain.” Later we can show a sentence using it.)

설악산 어디에 있어요?

어디에 is actually two different “things”/words.
어디 means “where” – something I thought I had covered before. Sorry, I cannot remember if I did. Anyways, that is the easy part.

“에” though – this is a particle. Just like topic and subject marking particles. This is used to show/when talking about a place. In this sentence, it is used with “where” but if you were to talk about a place period, you would attach 에 to the place you are talking about.

I will show more about that once we finish this sentence. Just remember, 에 is a place particle.

설악산 어디에 있어요?

To exist. This is how it is used in sentences when asking about a place.

OKAY, now that we broke that down really quick, let’s put it all together.

설악 어디 있어요?

Seorak Mountain where (place particle) exist?
Rewording: Seorak Mountain exist where?/Where does Seorak Mountain exist?
AKA: Where is Seorak Mounatain?

Not too bad, right? Easy. So if you want to ask where something “is”, you can use the following format:
“(Place/Thing) 어디에 있어요?”

Not bad, right?

Now, let’s get to how to answer something like this. The format is really similar, but the main thing that caught my eye was the fact that the particle (에) is placed a little differently. Let’s look:

강원도에 있어요.

First, what is that first word?
강원도. It is Gangwon-do. Gangwon province. (I wanted good info for you guys, but best I can do was Google. ) It is a place.

So let’s look at this again with all the pretty colors this time.

강원도 있어요.

Gangwon-do (place) exists.
Exists in Gangwon-do.
AKA: It’s in Gangwondo.

Because we are talking about the place, the particle goes on the actual location! So you know that is WHERE the action is happening (existing).

This is actually 설악산 in 강원도. Got it from here.

Now that we see how this works, let’s see the whole conversation!
(I am going to highlight all the place particles so we keep it in mind. Instead of red though, I will do it in blue.)

여행자: 설악산 어디 있어요?
직원: 강원도 있어요.
여행자: 한라산 어디 있어요?
직원: 제주도 있어요.
여행자: 백두산 어디 있어요?
직원: 음… 북한 있어요.

Alright! Let’s translate everything!

여행자: 설악산 어디에 있어요?
Traveler: Where is Seorak Mountain?

직원: 강원도에 있어요.
Staff: It’s in Gangwondo.

여행자: 한라산 어디에 있어요?
Traveler: Where is Halla Mountain?

직원: 제주도에 있어요.
Staff: It’s in Jejudo.

여행자: 백두산 어디에 있어요?
Traveler: Where is Baekdu Mountain?

직원: 음… 북한에 있어요.
Staff: Um… It’s in North Korea.

Don’t worry, I am color coding it all for you too.

여행자: 설악 어디 있어요?
Traveler: Where is Seorak Mountain?

직원: 강원 있어요.
Staff: It’s in (It exists inGangwondo Providence.

여행자: 한라 어디 있어요?
Traveler: Where is Halla Mountain?

직원: 제주 있어요.
Staff: It’s in (It exists inJejudo Providence.

여행자: 백두 어디 있어요?
Traveler: Where is Baekdu Mountain?

직원: 북한 있어요.
Staff: Um… It’s in (It exists inNorth Korea.

Note in questions, I didn’t color nor (explain) for 있어요. I did that because we essentially already did that in the fuller explanation earlier in the entry.

But that wasn’t too bad, right? Whoop! Okay, now to some other little tidbits from the podcast.

(등산 = Mountain Climbing)

In the podcast, she asked the guy: 등산 좋아하세요?
It means: Do you like Mountain Climbing?
So, if you want to ask someone if they like something, you can essentially make the sentence:

_____ 좋아하세요?

좋아하세요? = Do you like it?
You will notice the first part of the phrase – 좋아하
You know, like from the verb 좋아하다? To like.

The rest of it is part of conjugation – which hopefully we will learn to do eventually.
But with as much as we have learned, we will start being able to pick out stuff like this; which honestly makes me very excited! I was able to break that down myself and then check translations myself to make sure I was right.

Just like I was able to break down this sentence:

저 는 너무 좋아해요.

I am going to pause and let you look at it. This response, based off of what we know and the verb we just reaffirmed, what does it mean?

Let’s break it down.
저 (I) 는 (particle) 너무 (too) 좋아해요(like it/some form of like).
So, I got something like: I too like this. Or I like very much. Or something. I wasn’t too far off.

저 는 너무 좋아해요 means “I like this a lot/I love this.”

Didn’t get it perfectly, but I can see how it means that. I can start breaking stuff down! VERY EXCITING.


Okay, the next few notes I had written when listening/reading:

산 = mountain.

So we can actually have a sentence saying “I went up the mountain.”
올라 갔어요.

올라 = up
갔어요 = went.


Main/Big Focus:

Okay, so we know already 있다 in regards to location is the main focus this time. So we can use it to ask where something is or to state where we are. This is handy and good thing to know.

Essentially, if you want to ask where something is: “어디에 있어요?” with the ‘item’/place you are looking for in front of it.

For example, we can use 지하 철역 (subway station).
So the sentence becomes: 지하 철역어디에 있어요? – Where is the subway station?

What if you want to say “I am at (place)” – to let others know (or answer your mom when she asks). That is actually easy.

So, because it would be fun, let’s say “I’m at school.” (학교).

Here is the equation to say “I am at (place)”:
(place)+ 에 + 있어요.

…. Yes, that is it. So for “I am at school” it would be:
학교+ 에 + 있어요.
학교에 있어요.
I’m at school.

And that works with city names as well. Like New York (뉴욕):
뉴욕에 있어요.
I’m in New York.

But what if you actually wanted to have “I” in the sentence? (Like 저 or 나?)
Just have “I” and the particle.
저는 한국에 있어요.
I am in Korea.

He says “안녕하세요! Welcome to Korea!”

And that is my rundown for this podcast/KC101 lesson! I hope it helped or was useful!

Honestly, this was a lot of fun. I love being able to see stuff we already know being able to be applied and just… it is starting to seem somewhat familiar and it all click.

I hope it is the same for you.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I will do my best to help!

Again, thank you for sticking with me as we get back on track!
Talk you guys next time!



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