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How To Say "Any" In Korean | what does 아무 mean

안녕하세요! It's Koreanstudyjunkie. Have you ever wondered how to say "Anyone, No one, Anywhere, Nowhere, Any time, Never, Anything, Nothing, etc." In korean. It all stems from the word "아무".

아무 = Anybody/Nobody

아무 is a pronoun that refers to “any” person and not a specific person. It’s usually attached to ~나 and becomes 아무나.

When used together it has the meaning of “anybody”. ~나 is actually a particle in itself, so when it’s used as the object or object of a sentence, particles 는 & 가 usually are not used on top of ~나.

Example: 아무나 여기에 갈 수 있어요. = Anybody can go here.

When ~도 replaces ~나 it has the exact opposite meaning. You probably recognize this particle, it means too or also.

Can you guess what this meaning is?

We learned “anybody” but now we will learn “nobody”. 아무도 can be used as the subject or object of a sentence to mean “nobody”. Just like before, other particles usually don’t stack on top of 아무도.

When using 아무도, the sentence must be conjugated in a negative way or end with some negative word like 없다.

Example: 집에 아무도 없어요. (notice we used 없다 instead of 있다)

This sentence is kind of like a double negative. If you were to translate, “There is not anybody at home.”

More examples:

저는 아무도 못 봤어요

= I didn’t see anybody/I saw nobody

Another function that 아무 has is to be placed before a thing/place/time to describe it. The most common nouns you will see after 아무 are:

거 = short form of 것, meaning “thing”

때 = meaning “time”

데 = meaning “place”

When ~나 is attached to these nouns, the speaker is indicating that the thing/place/time is not a specific “thing/time,/place” but could actually be “anything,” “anytime.” or “anywhere”


저는 아무 거나 읽고 싶어요.

I want to read ‘anything’.

아무 때나 좋아요.

‘Anytime’ is good.

저는 아무 데나 가고 싶어요.

I want to go ‘anywhere’. (I’d go anywhere.)

데” is used to refer to a place. When the verb being used requires “~에” to be attached to that place, “~에” is omitted. However, when the verb being used requires “~에서” to be attached to that place “~에서” should be added before ~나.

Example: 저는 아무데서나 먹고 싶어요. I want to eat (at) anywhere.

~도 can replace ~나 in these cases to have the meaning of “nothing” or “nowhere”.

아무 거나 (anything) = 아무 것도 (nothing)

아무 데나 (anywhere) = 아무 데도 (nowhere)

Example: 저는 아무것도 먹고 싶어요. I don’t want to eat anything/ I want to eat nothing.

It is possible to use other nouns after 아무.

For example: 저는 아무 버스나 타고 갈 거예요.

= I’m going to take any bus and leave.

Here’s a list of all the words:

아무나 - anybody

아무도 - nobody

아무 거나 - anything

아무 것도 - nothing

아무 데나 - anywhere

아무 데도 - nowhere

아무 때나 - any time

Note: about the spelling, I have always seen these words without spaces between them. The lesson I read had spaces so I added them in the post but when I search on Naver there are no spaces🤷

More Examples:

아무나 그것을 할 수 있어요

Anybody can do that.

그는 아무도 없이 혼자 살아요.

He lives all by himself (without anyone)

아무거나 괜찮아요.

Anything is fine. (Anything would be okay.)

우리는 주말에 아무것도 안 했어.

We did nothing on the weekend.

아무데나 앉으셔도 됩니다.

You can sit anywhere.

그는 아무데서나 잘 자요.

He sleeps anywhere. (He can sleep just about anywhere.)

나는 다른 곳은 아무데도 갈 데가 없어.

I have no place else to go.

아무때나 하세요.

Do it anytime (you want.)


Doesn’t matter when.. doesn’t matter where.. I will be there for you till the very end.. I hope you have heard the kim possible theme song, because if not this looks really weird to you.

That's it for this post! Comment below if you learned somethinf new and I'll see you in another lesson soon~ We've got plenty more Korean lessons and blogs on a variety of different topics - Check Here!

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