I am aware of a number of Korean verbs meaning 'move'.

For a while I thought 움직이다 would have been right for this situation, but I'm not sure I've noticed Koreans using this in this way.

I've heard 이사하다 to talk about moving house, but not moving furniture.

Perhaps 옮기다 could be used? But I felt that put the focus on 'carrying' something, rather than the result of the action (the position change).

How do I say "I moved the table", meaning that I put it in a different place in the room?

Would it be a different word if I was moving it to a different room, or a different house? Or depending on how I moved it (carrying, pushing, etc.)?

  • @Rathony thanks for the edit - I looked that word up and still spelled it wrong! Sep 18, 2016 at 10:41
  • Always my pleasure. A small tip. When you write a Korean word, it is helpful if you ask yourself if you are writing it as it sounds (소리 나는 대로). Most of the time, it is wrong if you write it as it sounds. You will get there if you keep practicing it. Cheers!
    – user7
    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:15
  • "Most of the time, it is wrong if you write it as it sounds." - that sounds interesting. If I asked a question here "How can I improve my spelling without looking every word up in a dictionary", do you think that would be too broad? Sep 18, 2016 at 11:41
  • No, as long as it helps learners, why not? But some examples like 움직이다, 움지기다 would be helpful and make it less broad. :-)
    – user7
    Sep 18, 2016 at 11:45
  • 1
    Also keep in mind that 이사하다 is an intransitive verb: when you move, you just say "이사했어요", not "집을 이사했어요".
    – jick
    Sep 18, 2016 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


It is not an easy question to answer, but I will try using some examples as they might sound the same to learners.

The verb '움직이다' sounds more general than '옮기다' or '이동하다'. For example, if you find a person unconscious who can move only his eyes, you can ask

내 말이 들리면 눈을 움직여 보실래요? (Literally) Can you move your eyes if you hear me?

Here, '움직이다' means a very small movement. How far can you move your eyes? Not very far. Therefore, if you say "책상을 움직였다." you never know whether you moved it an inch to balance it or to move it to another room. But it is more likely that people would understand you moved it a little bit so that you can find something or adjust its balance.

'옮기다' implies moving from A place to B place. It is a causative form of the verb '옮다' which means 'catch (a disease or infection)'. A disease should (literally) move from one patient to another if he gets infected. Therefore, 옮기다 has this connotation. If you say, "책상을 옮겼다." it would mean you moved a desk from A place to B place.

You could consider using '이동하다', but it sounds less colloquial because '이동' is from Chinese characters.

You can never use '이사하다' as it means (as you mentioned) moving to a different house unless you want to make a joke.

내 말이 들리면 눈을 옮겨 보실래요?

It sounds very weird because there is no place to move your eyes to.

내 말이 들리면 눈을 이동해 보실래요?

It sounds weird, too, albeit not as much as "눈을 옮겨 보실래요?".

I don't think there is a different word that indicates how you moved it (carrying, pushing, etc.). '밀어서 움직이다, 옮기다, 이동하다' mean 'move something by pushing it' and '들어서 움직이다, 옮기다, 이동하다' mean 'move something by lifting it'.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.