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에 vs 으로 | What's the difference?


안녕하세요 여러분! Koreanstudyjunkie입니다~

I bet you've been wondering why 에 (which can mean "to") is sometimes replaced by 으로 (which can also mean "to").


Let's get into it!



PARTICLE: N-(으)로

(으)로’s many meanings:


ABOUT THIS PARTICLE:

This particle can be one of the trickiest for learner’s to grasp for It’s many translations and usages. In this lesson, I’ll introduce to you the 2 most common usages (covering the others in other lessons) The 2nd one can be considered

the most confusing.



USAGE 1:

-(으)로 can mark a noun that is used as a method, ingredient, or a tool. It’s often translated as ‘with’, ‘by’, or ‘using’.


Example Sentences:

이 파일은 이메일로 보내 주세요.

Please send this file by email.


저는 그냥 인터넷으로 한국어를 배워요.

I just learn Korean through the Internet.


수건으로 얼굴을 닦았어.

I wiped my face with a towel.


저는 핸드폰으로 음악을 들어요.

I listen to music on my phone/using my phone.


우리는 컴퓨터로 시험을 봤습니다.

We took the exam on the computer.


운동으로 건강을 유지할수 있잖아.

You can stay fit by exercising (you know).



USAGE 2: N-(으)로 = To, Towards


-(으)로 can mark the direction or place where someone is going. This case –(으)로 is often translated as ‘to’, or ‘towards’


Ex:

학교로 가요

I go to school.


오른쪽으로 가면 카페가 있어요.

If you go right, there’s a cafe.


오른쪽 = right (direction).


But what about 에?


‘-에’ marks a location noun that is a destination. But in ‘(으)로’ the location doesn’t have to be a destination.



에 vs 으로


In summary, 으로 Is more focused on the DIRECTION, while

에 is more focused on the actual LOCATION.


Ex)

학교에 가요.

I go to school.


(School is the destination)


학교로 가요.

I go to school.


(I am heading towards school, but maybe,

the destination is a store behind the school)


 

If you want to know the difference between 에 and 에서, you can check that here!


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