7 Ways to Use 만 "Only" in Korean Conversation

 

7 Ways to Use 만 “Only” in Korean Conversation

만 is “Only” in Korean. 만 may take the place of or replace several different particles in Korean. 만 may also be attached to nouns and particles in Korean.

 

 

“Only” in Korean with Nouns

The most common use of 만 is to attach it to a noun to mean “Only.” Ex. Only apples

만 Korean Grammar Construction:
Noun + 만

Korean English
사과만 only apples
저만 only I
과학만 only science
게임만 only video games

Korean Sample Sentences

사과만 있어요. = There are apples only.
저만 먹었어요. = Only I ate.
저는 과학만 공부했어요. = I only studied science.
그는 게임만 해요. = He only plays video games.

 

Learn Korean Language Tips

Make sure you attach 만 to the correct word or your meaning could be completely different than what you expected.

Korean Sample Sentences
토마스만 사과를 먹었어요. = Only Thomas ate apples.
토마스 사과만 먹었어요. = Thomas ate apples only.

 

 

“Only” in Korean with 은/는, 이/가, & 을/를

The topic particles 은/는, subject particles 이/가, and  object particles 을/를 may be added to 만 but they are not usually used.
Take a look at the sample sentences from above with these particles added.

Korean Sample Sentences

사과만이 있어요. = There are apples only.
저만은 먹었어요. = Only I ate.
저는 과학만을 공부했어요. = I only studied science.
그는 게임만을 해요. = He only plays video games.

 

 

“Only” in Korean with  More Korean Particles

만 may be attached to a variety of Korean particles after they are attached to nouns.

만 Korean Grammar Construction:
Particle + 만

Korean Particle Korean English
에만 only to/in/at
에서 에서만 only at/in/from
에게 에게만 only to (someone)
한테 한테만 only to (someone)
에게서 에게서만 only from (someone)
한테서 한테서만 only from (someone)
(으)로 (으)로만 only by/by means of/with

Korean Sample Sentences

고등 학생들 PC방에만 가요. = High school students only go to the PC room.
그 개 밖에서만 놀아요. = That dog plays outside only.
선생님은 토마스한테만 사탕 줬어요. = The teacher only gave Thomas candy.
그녀는 영어로만 요. = She only speaks in English.

 

 

“Only” in Korean with Verbs

Verbs can often be nominalized, made into nouns, by adding ~기 to the verb stem. By doing this you can then add 만 to a verb.

만 Korean Grammar Construction:
Verb Stem + 기만

Korean Verb Nominalized Verb Korean English
달리다 달리기 달리기만 only running
듣다 듣기 듣기만 only listening

Korean Sample Sentences

달리기만 아파요. = Only running hurts.
듣기만 어려워요. = Only listening is difficult.

 

 

“Only” in Korean with Adverbs

Sometimes you may attach 만 to adverbs as well.

Korean Sample Sentences

빨리만 가세요. = Just go quickly.
맛있게만 요리해 주세요. = Only cook it deliciously, please.

 

 

“Only” in Korean with ~고 있다

만 may be used with the present progressive form(verb+ing) in Korean.

만 Korean Grammar Construction:
Verb Stem + 고만 있다

Korean English
먹고만 있다 only eating
공부하고만 있다 only studying

Korean Sample Sentences

저는 먹고만 있어요. = I am just eating.
저는 공부하고만 있어요. = I am only studying.

 

 

“Only” in Korean with ~야

~야 is “Only if” in Korean. You can add 만 to ~야 for emphasis.

만 Korean Grammar Construction:
Verb Stem + 야만

Korean Sample Sentences

공부해야만 이해할 수 있어요. = Only if you study, will you be able to understand.
운동해야만 돼요. = It works only if you exercise.

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