Questions tagged [vocabulary]

General questions about word meanings, or finding an appropriate word.

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What are the differences in usage and meaning between 아름답다, 예쁘다, 이쁘다 and 곱다?

These four words basically means 'beautiful', 'lovely', 'pretty', according to Naver Online Dictionary: 아름답다, 예쁘다, and 곱다. From my own experience, it seems to me that 예쁘다 and 이쁘다 have the same ...
Taladris's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
632 views

What does 착 mean when prefixed to a word?

What does 착 mean when prefixed to a word? 발신정지 mean stop outgoing calls (on a mobile phone) 착발신정지 means stop both outgoing and incoming calls Exactly how does 착 function in this case? Are there any ...
Leftium's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
4k views

Talking About Hair Color in Korean

I have a question about expressing hair color in Korean. For example, how would I say in Korean that my girlfriend has brown hair? What about saying someone is a red-head, or is blonde?
DC 541's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
516 views

What's the adjective for feeling intense cold pain? (while at the dentist)

What's the adjective for feeling intense cold/pain? (while at the dentist) I hear this all the time when I get a dental cleaning, but I haven't been able to find the word in a dictionary. It roughly ...
Leftium's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do you ask for someone's shoe size in Korean?

How do you ask for someone's shoe size in Korean? I've heard it before at bowling allies. I think it is something like: 몇 씨이에요?
Leftium's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
2k views

If a wife works and her husband stays at home, are 집사람 and 바깥분 still appropriate for "wife" and "husband" respectively?

Have the 'inside-person' and 'outside-person' meanings of 집사람 and 바깥분 faded sufficiently that they still mean 'wife' and 'husband' in all cases? If someone is a house husband, might it seem like ...
Нет войне's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
330 views

Are there any other words that contain 짱 in the same way as '얼짱'?

얼짱 means something like 'top face' and is presumably a contraction of '얼굴' with '짱'. 몸짱 Also seems to be possible (seeming to refer to bodybuilders!) Is this form restricted to these cases, or are ...
Нет войне's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are the words 이상 and 이하 inclusive?

The words 이상 and 이하 can follow a number to mean "more than" or "less than": 3년 이상 However, it's not always clear if the number itself is included: does the above mean "more than 3 years" or "3 ...
gaeguri's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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Why is there a difference in these translations of 'Grace', 'Power' and 'Precision' for my taekwondo belts?

I am a martial artist, and for years I have had what I thought were the Korean symbols for Grace, Power and Precision put on my belts. Recently, our Grandmaster (Native born Korean) did me the honor ...
JohnP's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
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What are the differences between 힘들다 and 어렵다?

Both seems to mean 'to be difficult' or 'to be hard'. Is there a difference between them, in meaning or in usage (spoken/written, formal/informal)?
Taladris's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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What is the difference between 볼 and 뺨?

My dictionary translates them both as "cheek". Can they be used more or less interchangeably?
vievievie's user avatar
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7 votes
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Exact meaning of 마디

I learned that 마디 could be used as a countword for words. Indeed, the dictionary has examples like "한 마디도 안 했다" - I didn't say a word. However, I'm reading an article (here, unfortunately behind a ...
gaeguri's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
528 views

Are there equivalent to 때문에 with a positive/negative connotation?

If I am correct, the 'Noun+때문에 / Verb+기 때문에' structure is a neutral way to express a cause. For example, 비 때문에 늦었어요 (I was late because of the rain) expresses a negative cause, whereas 여자친구 때문에 행복해요 (...
Taladris's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
241 views

What's the word for "obsolete"?

How can I say "That technology is obsolete" in Korean? I haven't found a good translation in any dictionary, and my Korean friends say I should use "그 테크놀로지는 더 이상 사용되지 않습니다". That essentially means "...
Verax's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
381 views

Relationship of '된', '되게', and '되다'

It seems that '된' can mean 'hard': 된 밥 – hard-boiled rice 된 일 – a hard job I'm not sure if this is the same 된 as in 된장 – 'thick sauce' There is also an adverbial form, meaning 'very': ...
Нет войне's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does '어찌하다' have a distinct meaning to '어떠하다'/'어떡하다'?

I have seen 무엇이 어찌한다 translated as "something does something", and 무엇이 어떠하다 translated as "something is some way". However, I have also read that 어찌하다 is another form of 어떡하다 - which looks to me very ...
Нет войне's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is the politest way in Korean to say that someone is 'old'?

I am aware of 낡은 and 오래 된, but I'm not sure that these are suitable for saying that an (esteemed) person is old. (I'm sure 헌 probably isn't either!) What is the politest way to say that someone is ...
Нет войне's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
6k views

필요하다, 필요 있다, 필요로 하다 : what's the difference in meaning and usage?

I was aware of '필요하다' '필요 있다' both meaning 'to be necessary', and on Naver Dictionary saw that the first translation of 'need' is '필요로 하다'. What is the difference in meaning and usage, if any, ...
Нет войне's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
706 views

Is there a word that can be used to mean 'wear' in general?

There are a number of words that mean 'wear' in certain situations - for example, 쓰다, 메다, 신다, 매다, and so on. 왜 선글라스를 쓰고있어? Why are you wearing sunglasses? 초등학생들은 어깨에 가방을 메고 가요. Elementary ...
Нет войне's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is there a female equivalent of '인마'?

koreanwikiproject states that '인마' is short for '이놈아', and is usually used towards males (which would make sense as '놈' is an impolite way of saying 'man'). Is there a female equivalent, or is there ...
Нет войне's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

What does '여보세요' mean in the middle of a conversation?

I learned '여보세요' as a way of saying 'Hello?' at the start of a conversation on the phone. However, I have heard it said in the middle of conversations too - sometimes when it seemed like people were ...
Нет войне's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

Does 'Gee' (as in the 소녀시대 song) have any Korean meaning?

Simple question about an old song. Does 'Gee' in the 소녀시대 song of the same name have any meaning in Korean? If not, is it a non-lexical vocable or just a borrowing of the slightly dated English ...
Нет войне's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
110 views

Can 저 be used for abstract things?

According to most simple explanations, the demonstrative 이 can be used to talk about real physical things close to the speaker, 그 for things nearer the listener, and 저 things far from both. But 이 ...
Нет войне's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
13k views

Difference between 되었어요 and 됐어요?

What is the Difference between 되었어요 and 됐어요? For example: -서울에 산 지 얼마나 되었어요? -오 년 됐어요. Or -일 년 육 개월 정도 되었어요. I know both answers are correct.
Hanna's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
189 views

What is the natural way to refer to in-laws of an unexpected gender?

If my father's sister has a husband, I call him 고모부. If my father's younger brother has a wife, I call her 숙모. If my father's sister has a wife, what do I call her? If my father's younger brother ...
Gabriel C. Drummond-Cole's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

What's the difference between these "break" verbs: 깨다/깨지다/깨뜨리다?

깨다, 깨지다, and 깨뜨리다 come up as "break" when looked up. What's the difference, how are they used?
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13 votes
1 answer
199 views

Are colors interchangeable

Red is 빨간색 or 홍색. Green is 초록색 or 녹색. Blue is 파란색 or 청색. In each case, the first version is "pure Korean" while the second version comes from Chinese. Probably there are many other examples. Is ...
Gabriel C. Drummond-Cole's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
9k views

What's the difference between the ways to say "try", 시도하다, 노력하다, 하려고 하다, and 해 보다?

There's some confusion between different ways to say "try": 시도하다 노력하다 ~려고 하다 ~어/아 보다 Are they used differently, or are the interchangeable?
user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
15k views

What's the difference between 마지막으로 and 드디어?

As the title says, what's the difference between 드디어 and 마지막으로? They're both "finally" but are they any different?
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