When I have a sentence where I want to list many objects using and/or, like

I have an apple, an orange, a pear, a watermelon, and a papaya.

should the (ㄱ)와 or (이)나 be used after each object, or should there only be one attached to the second-to-last object, before the last one (like English does)?

  • It should be used after each object, otherwise use commas to separate them.
    – user237
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


(이)나 is pretty much the equivalent of 'or' (although, it's a more restrictive 'or' since 아니면 covers the part that (이)나 can't). However, in a list that doesn't outline options or selections to choose from, you don't use (이)나.

As for your example, we can do both:

  • 사과 오렌지 수박 파파야가 있다.
  • 사과, 오렌지, 배, 수박, (그리고) 파파야(가/도) 있다.
  • Hello, blimpy. When a preceding block ends with a vowel (사과), '와' should be used. "사과와", not "사과과"
    – user7
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 6:29
  • +1 for mentioning 그리고, I just came across this style yesterday and wondered how common it is.
    – 파울울
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 7:31
  • So I either attach one to each, or don't attach anything at all (if using comma)? Could you clarify 그리고? Is it some form of emphasis or just another way to express things?
    – busukxuan
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 9:42
  • Yes, that's my understanding of it. Also, there are other conjunctions (하고, (이)랑) that do what 와/과 do. As for 그리고, there probably is some emphasis in the form of finishing up an enumeration. However, I wouldn't worry about that distinction too much since using or not using 그리고 is more of a preference. @Rathony, thanks for the correction.
    – blimpy
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 11:19
  • @파울울 I'm not too sure on how frequently its used, but it definitely is a pattern you can find in many situations. Actually, my preference is listing in that way without the 그리고.
    – blimpy
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 11:19

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