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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.' – J. Y. Park Jan 7 '18 at 4:17
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  • 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.

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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.

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