N(이)나 grammar = or, up to ~express choice or amount of something in Korean

N(이)나 grammar = or/up to ~express choice or amount of something in Korean

1. N() grammar = ‘or’ in English

Usage 1:
- N(): select one of two or more listed nouns. 
In case of verbs or adjectives, -거나 is used
- Subject and object particles (/ and /) are omitted when () is added to the subject/ object particles.
- In case of other particles such as 에서, and 에게, N() can be used alone with the first word(s) in the list while 에서, and 에게, are often used with the final word. (See example 2)

Noun ending in vowel + :
잡지나 신문을 봐요. = I read magazine or newspaper .
참외나 수박을 사요. = I buy Korean melon or watermelon
바다나 산에 가요. = I go to the sea or mountain.

Noun ending in consonant + 이나:
신문이나 잡지를 봐요. = I read newspaper or magazine.
물이나 맥주를 마셔요. = I drink beer or water.
산이나 바다에 가요. = I go to the mountain or sea.


1. 이참에 빵이나 라면을 먹어요.
I eat bread or noodle in the morning.

2. 방학에 호주나 유럽에 가고 싶어요.
I want to go to the Australia or Europe during the school vacation.

3. 어머니나 아버지가 요리해요.
My mother or father cooks.

4. 공원이나 커피숍에서 데이트해요.
We date at the park or a coffee shop.

5. 무엇을  거예요?
빵이나 라면을  거예요.
What will you buy?
- I will buy some bread or noodle.

6. 제주도에 어떻게 가요?
비행기나 배로 가요.
How to go to Jeju island?
- By airplane or vessel.

2. N() grammar = ‘as many as’ or ‘no less than’ or ‘up to’ in English

Usage 2:
Indicate the number or amount of something is much higher than expected or normal =  ‘as many as’ or ‘no less than’ in English


1. 친구를  시간이나 기다렸어요.
I waited for my friend for no less than 2 hours.

2. 우리 할머니는 아이가  명이나 있어요.
Our grandmother has up to 10 children

3. 친구에게 5번이나 전화했어요.
I phoned my friend no less than 5 times.

4. 바나나가 맛있어요그래서 바나나를 10 개가 먹었어요.
The banana is tasty. So I ate up to 10 bananas.

5. 어제 술을 많이 마셨어요?
-  맥주를  병이나 마셨어요.
Did you drink a lot yesterday?
- Yes. I drank no less than 10 bottle.

6. 기차 시간이 얼마나 남았어요?
- 30분이나 남았어요.
How much time is left before the train arrives?
- There’s still as much as 30 min.

Difference between N밖에 and N() grammar?

1. N밖에 = the number or amount less than expected or normal standard.

이번 시험에서 80점밖에 받았어요.
I got only 80 points in this exam.
(The score is worse than I expected.)

2. N() = the number or amount more than expected or normal standard.

이번 시험에서 80점이나 받았어요.
I got as much as 80 points in this exam. (The score is better than I expected.)

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