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요즘 is an everyday word. 요새 means the same thing, but is used far less often, and (in my experience) people that use 요새 use it consistently. Why is this, and when should I use 요새?

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'요새' is a contracted noun form of 요사이 which means:

[명사] 이제까지의 매우 짧은 동안. A very short period of time up to now.

And 요즘 is that of '요즈음':

[명사] 바로 얼마 전부터 이제까지의 무렵.

They have the same meaning and which one to use is personal style and preference.

요즘 (요즈음) 무슨 일 있어?

and

요새 (요사이) 무슨 일 있어?

don't have any difference in meaning.

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  • ‘요새’ is an abbreviation of ‘요사이’ (in this period), which is a compound word of ‘요 (this)’ and ‘사이 (distance between two things; a period)’.
  • ‘요즘’ is that of ‘요즈음’ (at this timing; in these moments), which is a compound word of ‘요 (this)’ and ‘즈음 (a moment something happens; a timing)’

Well, they're almost synonyms and I can hardly feel the difference. I personally use ‘요새’ for things have been done, and ‘요즘’ for things that are being done, though.

요즘 뭐 해? 요즘 어떻게 지내?

What are you working on these days? How have you been doing?

요새(synonym: 그동안.) 뭐 했어?

What have you done recently?


However, if the period you're referring is relatively short, ‘요새’ can have an extra meaning that ‘요즘’ does not: ‘since a while back, until now’.

아니, 요새(synonym: 지금껏, 지금까지, 그동안.) 어디에 있었던 거야? 죽은 줄 알았잖아!

Where the hell have you been until now? I thought you were dead!

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요즈음=요즘=요사이=요새=nowadays

요즘도 바쁘세요? Are you busy nowadays ?

그는 요즘에 시험 때문에 늦게까지 공부한다. He studied lately for examination nowadays.

요즘에는 모든 것이 빨리 변한다. At this time, everything is changed fast.

요즘 사람들은 참을성이 없어! Present people are not patient.

요새는 입맛이 없다. I have no desire for food nowadays.

요새 세상에 저런 순진한 사람이 다 있다니. How pure man there is nowadays !

요새 돈으로 치면 10만원이 될 것이다. It costs hundred thousand won with respect to present value.

신문 또는 방송은 요즘을 사용한다. 게다가 친하지 않은 사람과 있을 때는 요즘을 쓰도록 권하고 싶다.

Newspaper or broadcasting prefer 요즘. In further, if you are not with intimate person, then we suggest that you would use 요즘.

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