I find it really hard to decide when to add 속 to express "in ~" in Korean. For example,

저는 집에서 놀아요.

곰 새끼는 푸른 풀 에서 놀아요.

Can I change the sentences above to the following?

저는 집 속에서 놀아요.

곰 새끼는 푸른 풀에서 놀아요.

What meanings do they turn to, if I change the sentences like that? And how should I decide if I add 속 or not?


In addition to Usin Jung's answer, the difference is that 집(house) can be considered a place, but 풀(grass) is not.

Hence you can say "집에서 놀아요" or "집에 도착했어요", but you can't say "풀에서 놀아요" or "풀에 도착했어요." If you say the latter, people would probably think you're talking about a pool (수영장).

If you change 풀 to 풀밭 or 숲 then it's okay again (e.g., "곰은 풀밭에서 놀아요"), because now they are places.


"집 안" is more appropriate than "집 속". Everything else is fine. "속" contains the edges of the interior, while "안" represents the center of the interior. For another example, "물 속" is less awkward than "물 안".

Korean "-에" or "-에서" is similar to English "at". Therefore, "안" and "속" express additional meaning. Most of the time, it's okay not to use "안" or "속".

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