밖에 (Except..) – Korean Grammar 

 February 28, 2022

By  Akshita Agarkar

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The literal meaning of 밖에 is Outside. 밖 means the outsidethe openexterior and 에 is the location marking particle. More on this later. 

Example: 저는 지금 집 밖에 있어요. (I am outside the house).

But the 밖에 we are discussing here is a grammar pattern meaning "Except this....."  in English. This is with nouns.

There’s always something negative after except this… in any language.

Let’s see some examples :

1) 한국어를 하세요? Or 한국어를 할 줄 알아요? (Can you speak Korean? Or Do you know how to speak Korean?)

-       한국어는 “안녕하세요” 밖에 몰라요. (I don’t know anything in Korean, except 안녕하세요)

Note: A different way to say the same sentence will be by using 만 (Only). The difference between the two is in the connotation which is same as English. So you don't have to put extra effort into remembering the difference. 

For example : 

-       저는 한국어는 “안녕하세요”만 알아요.

(I know only "안녕하세요" in Korean).

 

2) 뭐 먹을 게 있어요? (Do you have anything to eat?)

-       김밥 밖에 없어요. (I don’t have anything except Kimbap).

-       김밥 만 있어요 (I only have Kimbap).

 

3) 나는 너밖에 없어! (I don’t have anybody else except you).

-       This is one of the most used phrases in Korean dramas, which is formed by using the same grammar pattern.

-       나는 너만 있어! (I only have you).

4) I could not have acted otherwise.

나는 그렇게 할 수밖에 없었다

5) I only have one exam to go.

난 시험이 하나 밖에 안 남았어.

6) I know no more than that.

저는 그것밖에 몰라요

7) 밖에 그렇게 말하는 사람이 없다

You are the only one who says so.

8) Nothing but one

하나밖에 없다.


With the above few examples it must be pretty much clear about the usage of 밖에. 

If you are not able to wrap your head around the Korean alphabets or would like to go through the complete SNU level 1 series. Check the links below :

Check our YouTube video on the same grammar pattern.

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Thank you.

Akshita Agarkar


Akshita Agarkar graduated from Journalism and Mass Communication while working as a Freelance Content Writer. Currently, she is working with Learn Korean In India as a Content Manager and a Teaching assistant. She is a Korean linguist and culture enthusiast who loves to read linguistics, listen to old-school music, and jam on it.

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