In the following sentence:

이 책에서 글쓴이는 가능하면 빠른 시간 안에 사과하라고 한다.

(연세한국어 듣기와 읽기 3-1 p.68)

In one dictionary, I could not find an entry for the word (only found 글쓰다), while in another dictionary, I found 글쓴이 means "a writer".

Now I wonder if there are any such exceptions as "a verb + ㄴ/는이" to form a noun that expresses "a person to do that action", or if it is even possible to create that type of word by yourself.

For example, many Korean nouns are created by adding 자, 가, or 사 to express someone to do that action. 기자 for a reporter, 작가 for a novelist, 화가 for a painter, 의사 for a doctor. But these words originate from Chinese while ㄴ/는이 is not.

So is there any other such nouns that use ㄴ/는이 appended to a verb, or is 글쓴이 an exception?

Also, can I create a noun in such a way and make myself understood? (like 싸운이 to mean "a fighter")

2 Answers 2


Note: 글쓴이 is not just "a writer". Almost always, it means the author of a particular piece. (It is literally "one who wrote (the) text" : 글 + 쓴 + 이.)

So, if one says "글쓴이는 이렇게 말했다", then it means we're talking about a particular writing, and we're saying "The author (of this text) said so." Similarly, "작가가 되고 싶어요." means "I want to be a writer", but you cannot say "글쓴이가 되고 싶어요."

Other similar words include 지은이 (from 짓다: pretty much the same as 글쓴이), 옮긴이 (translator), or 만든이 (maker/creator).

Slightly different, but still similar words: 지킴이 ("guardian" - though I think it's restricted to campaigns and stuff, such as 환경 지킴이), or 도우미 (volunteer helper).

As you can see, I think this pattern is rather restricted. You can't just make up words in the same pattern - you may be still understood but it will sound weird.

  • Of course, "이" is a common noun so you can always make a phrase like "X한 이", such as "이 글을 쓴 이" or "나한테 편지를 전해준 이", but these are phrases, not a single word.

You will or will not make yourself understood.

싸운 이 (not 싸운이) means the one who (has/had) fought; it does not mean the one who fights. 싸우는 이 means the one who fights, but it will be better to use 투사, 싸움꾼, 싸움쟁이, 파이터, and other nouns. Unless you refer to the one who fought, you should use well-known nouns to avoid miscommunication.

It is not -ㄴ/는이 but -ㄴ/는 이 because 이 (meaning a person) is 의존 명사. 이 is used not only in -ㄴ/은/는 이 (for example, 다른 곳에서 온 이, 죽은 이, and 옷을 입는 이), but also in -ㄹ/을 이 (평생을 함께할 이 and 일을 맡을 이).

According to the standard dictionary, 글쓴이 is a compound noun (so it was 글 쓴 이). You may attempt to create a compound, but people could misunderstand what you are saying without the proper context.

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