This was one of our definition questions. The Korean language has different uses for spaces than something like the English language, what are some of the rules for spacing in Korean?

  • 3
    This is the most horrible part of Korean language grammar. Many (almost all non expert) native speakers feel uncomfortable with this (띄어쓰기).
    – 9dan
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 2:34

3 Answers 3


Spaces should be put between every word, Except:

  1. There should be no space between a particle(marker) word and the word that it modifies:

집 에서 처럼(X)


  1. Space between the main verb and the auxillary verb is optional:

불이 꺼져 간다.(O)

불이 꺼져간다.(O)

2.5. Except when the main verb has a particle or is a compound word, in this case the space is mandantory:

책을 읽어보고(O)

책을 읽어 보고(O)

책을 읽어도 보고(O)

책을 읽어도보고(X)

네가 덤벼들어 보아라.(O)

네가 덤벼들어보아라.(X)


Modern Korean generally follows the spacing conventions of English. A space should come after every Part of Speech but there are lots of exceptions, particularly in the case of spacing between modifiers (adj, adv) and nouns. The official rules on spacing promulgated by the National Institute of Korean Language (NIKL) can be found here (warning, the link is in Korean).

There is also a free online grammar and spacing checker offered by Pusan National University which does a pretty good job.


Let me enumerate confusing spacings. All following examples obey spacing rule (If you do not know the meaning of word, then comment it).

(1) 꽃에서부터/ 꽃이나마/ 어디까지나/ 집에서처럼/ 학교에서만도/ 나가면서까지/들어가기는커녕

(2) 학교 가는데 비가 왔다/ 머리 아픈 데 먹는 약/검토한바/ 느낀 바를/ 떠났는지/ 떠난 지

(3) 차 한 대/ 두시 삼십분

(4) 이사장 및 이사들

(5) 좀더 큰것/ 좀 더 큰 것/ 이말 저말/ 이 말 저 말

(6) 불이 꺼져 간다/ 불이 꺼져간다/ 도와 드린다/ 도와드린다

(7) 남궁억/남궁 억/이순신

@ Here, 남궁, 이 are family names

(8) 한국 대학교 사범 대학 / 한국대학교 사범대학

(9) 만성 골수성 백혈병 / 만성골수성백혈병

@ 띄어쓰기 / 띄어 쓴다

@@ Some of the above is allowed in two expressions.

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