I wrote this sentence,

스크린 골프는 스크린에 치는 거라서 현실 골프랑 많이 다른데 생각보다 비슷한 점이 너무 많이 있었어요.

, and was told that 실제 was more appropriate than 현실. What is the difference between the two and when is one used over the other?

  • Native Korean here. Actually, in your example, 현실 IS a better word, if you meant 'real-life golf.'
    – Lemon
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 4:17

2 Answers 2

  • Even though their meaning is similar, they don't always appear with the same syntax: 실제 is more often used to modify the following noun (실제 상황, 실제 구성, etc.). 현실 is less commonly used in such a way: 현실 세계 means the real world, but I can't think of others.

  • Regarding meanings, 현실 is often "reality" in the sense "the harsh reality", "the situation now", "in practice", or "that's how it works".

    그럴 예산이 없는 게 현실이다. = The reality is that we don't have budget for that.

    현실적으로 불가능한 얘기입니다. = That's impossible in practice.

    It is also used to mean "not a dream/game/VR/etc.":

    꿈인지 현실인지 분간이 안 간다. = I can't tell if this is dream or reality.

    (But I think this is only when "현실" is used by itself, not as "현실 xx".)

    실제 usually means "not fake", "actually existing", or "that actually happened".

    이것은 실제 상황입니다. = This situation is real (not a drill).

    실제로 일어난 일만 말하세요. = Please tell only what actually happened.


Tall white guy here.

I have never seen 현실 used in that way (as an adjective to describe a noun).

I would only use 현실 as a noun, and I would use 실제 as an adjective, so for your question I think 실제 골프 or just 실제골프 is more appropriate.

Whenever I have such an issue, it is also helpful to google "실제골프" and "현실골프" and compare the number of results returned.

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.