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나는 vs 내가 | what’s the difference between 나는, 내가, 저는, and 제가

안녕하세요 여러분! It's Koreanstudyjunkie. In this lesson, we'll discuss the difference between the different pronouns for "I" and when to use each one.

내가 puts focus on the actual subject 나, while 나는 puts focus on what that comes after 나 - the rest of the sentence. And by the way you can't write these as 나가 or 내는, they always stay in the forms 나는 and 내가.


나는 한글을 배웠어. = I learned Hangul.

가: 누가 한글을 배웠어요?

A: Who learned Hangul?

나: 내가 했어.

B: I (am the one who) did.

Another Example:

저는 소라예요. = I am Sora.

The emphasis is on ‘소라’, the name. (What comes after the pronoun)

제가 소라예요. = I am Sora.

The emphasis is on ‘저’.

So if somebody asks Sora’s name, she will reply with the first sentence. If somebody asks “소라 씨가 누구세요?”, she will reply with the second sentence, as she wants to emphasize that SHE is Sora.


나는 & 내가 are Informal. 저는 & 제가 are formal/casual.

As you study Korean, you'll learn better when you should use each one of these. I wouldn't try to focus so much on the details, but rather just pay attention to which one is used whenever it pops up while youbare doing your normal studies.

That being said, I'll leave a few more examples here.

EXAMPLES (I found on the Internet):

Let's say you and your friends are playing some video game and you can choose your character's colors. If you said 나는 초록색 할거야, that would be you implying something like "I don't know about you" or "as for me" and then saying "I am going to be green." It implies that you choosing green is not exclusive. Your friends can also choose to be green.

However, if you said 내가 초록색 할거야, then that would be you implying that only you could choose green. It's like saying "I am going to be green, you can't."

Basically, use 나는 when whatever you say is independent of what anyone else does and use 내가 when what you say has relation to someone else or affects someone else.

저는 한국 사람이에요.

I'm Korean. (focus is on 한국 사람이에요)

제가 한국 사람이에요.

I'M (the one that's) Korean. (focus is on 제가 - I)

오늘은 추워요.

Today is cold

오늘이 추워요

TODAY (is the day that's) cold.


That's all for this post! Below I have a few posts that you might be intersted in learning with, If you enjoyed this lesson.

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

thanks you so much for clarifying, this was so confusing for me.❤️

Feb 12
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Glad it helped you. We have some similar posts do check them out too Happy learning! you got this

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