First, the particle (이)나 means “or something (like that)”, when it is used after a single noun. Consider the following examples.
As seen above, the particle (이)나 marks the object of the sentence and reduces the importance of the object noun. For instance, the object being chosen may not be the best possible action or item for the given situation or there may be more choices. In addition, when the particle (이)나 is used with certain question words such as 어디(where), 무엇(what), and 누구(who), the particle (이)나 reduces the interrogative meaning of these question words and generalize their meanings, as in:
Second, when the particle (이)나 is used between two nouns, it simply means “or”. Consider the following examples:
as many(much) as
Third, when the particle (이)나 is attached to an expression of quantity, the particle means “as many as”, “as much as” or “up to”. The particle expresses the speaker’s surprise that the quantity of the item is more than the speaker’s expectation. For example, consider the following sentences:
Fourth, the particle (이)나 means “about” or “approximately”, when it is used with certain question words, such as 몇(how many) and 얼마(how much).
* Click to read related posts.
Grammar for Beginners
Particles Part.1 (What are the particles in Korean)
Particles Part.2 (Case Particles)
Particles Part.3 (Special Particles)
- The Special Particle 「만」
- The Special Particle 「도」
- The Special Particle 「부터, 까지」
Question Words(의문사) & Indefinite Pronouns(부정대명사)
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