I started learning Korean recently and I’m learning future tense.

I need some help regarding my approach to a word.

사다 - to buy

Since 사 ends with a vowel, I assume it’s future tense would be:

살 거예요

But I remembered encountering 살 거예요 which is “to live” in future tense.

Am I learning it wrongly?

  • 1
    사다 - buy, 살다 - live
    – user17915
    Mar 12, 2021 at 12:31
  • 3
    Nope, you learned it correct. Homonyms it is
    – Coconut
    Mar 12, 2021 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


They are near-homonyms.

살 거예요 "will live" is pronounced [살ː꺼예요]

살 거예요 "will buy" is pronounced [살꺼예요]

In other words, the first syllable is long when it's "will live", and short when it's "will buy".

However, in the Seoul dialect, the vowel length distinction is disappearing, so they're complete homophones there.

  • 2
    I think "disappearing" is an understatement: probably better to say "almost completely disappeared."
    – jick
    Mar 17, 2021 at 17:54

'사다' (buy) and '살다' (live) both have future tense '살 거예요'.

Native Koreans distinguish '살 거예요' (will buy) and '살 거예요' (will live) by context, not by the lengths of vowels.

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