I saw this example sentence:

만철는 중국에 사는 조선족이랍니다

(They say that) Mancheol is a Korean who lives in China.

is '이' here the subject particle '이'?

I think I have also heard people say things like 수현이가 아침 식사 안 먹었어.

Why would it not just be 수현이 아침 식사 안 먹었어?

2 Answers 2


Here 이 is not a particle, but a suffix added to human's name whose last character has final consonant. (See here)

  • 지현이
  • 아영이
  • 아름이
  • 정복이
  • *철수이
  • *영희이

When someone call one's full name, adding the suffix '이' is unnatural.

김아영은 눈 깜짝할 사이 사라졌다.

particles usually can be omitted, so 수현이 아침 식사 안 먹었어? is allowed.

  • Thanks. What is the purpose of adding the '이', given that most particles have both a version that can attach to consonants, and a version that can attach to vowels? Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 7:18
  • @topomorto It is used to make the tone of the speaker even. Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 7:30
  • 1
    Can it be seen as a form of diminutive?
    – busukxuan
    Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 10:08
  • 1
    @busukxuan In my experience, yes it can be - and a little rude sometimes. When I was initially learning, I would do it sometimes just to be informed that it was rude. I'm still not 100% sure now to be honest.
    – user12
    Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 17:11

I know the other answer is brilliant, but I would tend to say in this way:

이 in this case is not a particle, and with no meaning at all. It is used to clarify some pronunciation nuances.

For example, 만철을 used as object, when speaking, could be heard also as 만처를. If then the question arise: Is the name 만처 or 만철? To clarify the difference, we add 이 sometimes to names with a consonant ending, as in 만철이를. That is one of the purpose of the existence of 이.

Correct me if I am wrong.

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