Korean Lesson (이)나 / 거나

Lesson 31: (이)나 / 거나

In this lesson, you will learn the meaning of (이)나 and 거나 which are two ways to say ‘or‘ in Korean. (이)나 and 거나 are used when you are talking about two nouns/verbs/adjectives but selecting one of them. Examples in English would be “I usually go to school by bus or taxi.“, “On weekends, I meet my friends or stay at home.“, etc.

Lesson 31: (이)나 / 거나

(이)나 and 거나 both mean ‘or’ in Korean, but are not used interchangeably. (이)나 is used with nouns and 거나 is used with verbs and adjectives.


(이)나 means ‘or’ and is used with nouns when talking about two nouns but selecting just one. For example, “bus or taxi“, “pizza or chicken“, etc. When the noun ends in a vowel 나 is attached, and when the noun ends in a consonant 이나 is attached. Here are some examples:

녹차나 커피 = green tea or coffee
피자나 치킨 = pizza or chicken
버스나 택시 = bus or taxi
책이나 신문 = book or newspaper
2시나 3시 = 2 or 3 o’clock
토요일이나 일요일 = Saturday or Sunday


거나 also means ‘or’ in Korean but is used with verbs and adjectives. There are no special conjugation rules with 거나. Simply attach it to the first verb/adjective without a space. Let’s look at some examples.

먹다 = to eat (Verb)
먹거나 = eat or…

만나다 = to meet (Verb)
만나거나 = meet or…

크다 = to be big (Adjective)
크거나 = big or…

작다 = to be small (Adjective)
작거나 = small or…

Example Sentences

아침에 뭐 마셔요? = What do you drink in the morning?
녹차나 커피를 마셔요. = I drink green tea or coffee.

회사에 어떻게 가요? = How do you go to work?
버스나 택시로 가요. = I go by bus or taxi.

이번 일요일에 같이 영화 볼까요? = Shall we watch a movie together this Sunday?
좋아요! 2시나 3시 어때요? = Sounds good! How about 2 or 3 o’clock?

내일 뭐 할 거예요? = What are you going to do tomorrow?
공원에 가거나 쇼핑할 거예요. = I’m going to go to a park or go shopping.

주말에 보통 뭐 해요? = What do you usually do on weekends?
친구를 만나거나 집에 있어요. = I meet friends or stay at home.