Questions tagged [word-choice]

Making the most appropriate choice between words that have similar or overlapping meanings.

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Difference between words 부엌 and 주방

I had originally been taught that "부엌" means kitchen, but recently I came across this word "주방." What is the difference between these two words? Are they typically interchangeable, or are there ...
Taylor's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
7k views

Responding to unfortunate news in Korean

When I lived in Korea, a lady told me her mother had died a few days before. Being very new to the country and language, I told her "죄송합니다." This works in English to say "I'm sorry" in such a ...
Vladhagen's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
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What is the difference between 요즘 and 요새?

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?
Teddy Cross's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
292 views

Why are 다이 and 쓰메끼리 unprofessional?

My friend told me that 다이 (podium) and 쓰메끼리 (nail clippers) are not appropriate for use in a professional setting and that I should use the words 받침 and 손톱깎이 instead. What is unprofessional about ...
Gabriel C. Drummond-Cole's user avatar
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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9 votes
3 answers
10k views

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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9 votes
2 answers
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Is there a Korean equivalent to the verb "to google"?

Google search engine being dominant, the verb "to google" is commonly used to mean "to search using Google", or more generally "to search on Internet". Is there a Korean equivalent fo this verb in ...
Taladris's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
4k views

The difference between 싶어 하다 and 싶어지다?

What is the difference between 싶어 하다 and 싶어지다? The dictionary says that both means want to ~ and should be used as a form of 고 싶어지다. Or to make an example: 누가 얘기하고 싶어 해요. In this sentence, can I ...
Blaszard's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
636 views

Korean word for "marketing," other than "마케팅"

What word would Koreans use to describe marketing before the language was influenced by English? (So can't use "마케팅") I am talking about the business sense: "process of moving goods from producer to ...
Leftium'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
8 votes
3 answers
527 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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8 votes
1 answer
321 views

Difference between 앉으세요 and 앉으실게요

I hear very often an office (bank) clerk or a nurse say 손님 / 환자분, 여기 앉으실게요. (Literally) Customer / Patient, please sit here. Even if it sounds more polite than '앉으세요', I am not sure if it is ...
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8 votes
2 answers
489 views

What's the difference between 특징 and 특점?

I tried using 특점 in a sentence but was told 특징 might be more appropriate. Is there a difference? Here are the definitions from Naver's dictionary: 특점: [명사] 특별히 다른 점. 특징: 다른 것에 비하여 특별히 눈에 뜨이는 점....
vievievie's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
650 views

Is there any chance that a Korean language-learner uses ㅂ니다 ever?

I have learned that there are two forms of conjugates that functions for a polite declarative sentences: 요 and ㅂ니다. However, it seems that most people only use 요 and rarely use ㅂ니다, which I also heard ...
Blaszard's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
841 views

How to say "neutral flavor" in Korean

I was eating this bread, and the thought that came to my mind was "wow, this bread doesn't taste like anything; there's no particular flavor." It had a very light, neutral taste. I want to say "bland,"...
Leftium's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
5k views

How to express "I will do it for you" in Korean

I want to say "I will do it for you" in Korean, to express to the listener that I will do a favor to him. I see at least 4 ways to express it: 저는 너를 위해서 할 거예요. 저는 너를 위해서 할 게요. 저는 너를 위해서 해 줄 거예요. 저는 ...
Taladris's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the difference between 비 and 요금?

Both words are usually translated by "fee" or "fare" or "charge" or "expenses". Here are some examples of usages of 비: 참가비: participation fee 회비: membership fee 관리비: management expenses 생활비: living ...
Taladris's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
569 views

The use of 는 after 에

I have read the following sentence: 휴게실에는 누가 있습니까? However, I don't understand why 는 is required here. Isn't it that 에 is enough to express the location, right? What is the difference between 에 ...
Blaszard's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the difference between 목표 and 목적?

I think the words 목표 and 목적 have slightly different nuances. Which word would be better to describe the goal of a new plan? Is there some other word that would be even better? I've heard one of these ...
Leftium's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
10k views

What is the difference between 싫다 and 싫어하다?

In What is the difference between 좋다 and 좋아하다? the difference between 좋다/좋아하다 can easily be explained both through "good" vs. "like" and through plentiful examples of both in daily life. However, 싫다 ...
Teddy Cross's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
486 views

As a counter word for books, when would it be appropriate to use '부', and when would I use '권'(券)?

In a phrase like 5개월 만에 100만 부 판매 돌파 I'm told that '부' is a counter word for books. But I remember learning that '권' would be a counter word for books. When should I use one, and when the other?
Нет войне's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
5k views

The difference between 너무 and 너무 많이?

In the following sentences: 손님, 너무 걱정하지 마십시오. 너무 많이 운동하지 마십시오. These sentences mean: Sir, don't worry too much. Don't exercise too much. But I don't understand then what is the difference between ...
Blaszard's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
174 views

What is the difference between 도수 versus 빈도?

What is the difference between 도수and 빈도? In an example like this, 제가 단어의 나타나는 도수로 공부하고 있었어요. , I learned that 빈도 was more appropriate but still don't have a clear understanding of the difference.
vievievie's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
433 views

Examples to explain difference between 족보 and 계보

In Google Translate it appears that sometimes both 족보 and 계보 translate to Geneology. I fooled around with it a bit and got Google to give me pedigree for 족보 and lineage for 계보. In Daum the number 1 ...
제이 죤스톤's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

Equivalent to "The Quick Brown Fox...."

I English, there is a sentence that uses every letter of the (English) alphabet: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs (or slight variants of this) Here is another, more unusual, example ...
Vladhagen's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
10k views

Overseas Korean: 교포 vs 해외동포 vs 교민

I've seen 교포, 해외동포, and 교민 used to describe "overseas Koreans", but I'm wondering if there is a difference between the terms. Can they be equally used if the person was born in Korea and then moved ...
ryanbrainard's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
8k views

Difference between 대해서 and 대한?

I know there that: ~ 에 대해서 + noun or verb ~ 에 대한 + only noun but when I used: "인터뷰에 대해서 소식이 없어요?" my friend edited it like this:" 인터뷰에 대한 다른 소식 없나요?" While due to the above rule, I have used 대해서 ...
Hanna's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why 아무도, not 아무가 to express "nobody"?

In the following sentences: 아무도 안 앉아 있어요 아무도 안 뛰어올라요 Why does it require 도 to express nobody...? In the dictionary, 아무 means no one or nobody, so why is it not something like 아무가, which expresses ...
Blaszard's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
380 views

When one is not 고수

When somebody is very good at something (e.g. a video game, a musical instrument) they may be called 고수. Examples: 가라테 고수가 한 남자를 구타해서 죽였다. A karate master beat a man to death. 그리고 학생이 고수가 돼. Thus, ...
haksayng's user avatar
  • 511
6 votes
1 answer
784 views

The ancient form of apology 죄송합니다 고어

I often heard a word to apologize in ancient style drama series. Its pronunciation is similar to 송과하옵니다. However the dictionary tells me that 송과 is 松果 which is a fruit. What is the correct spelling ...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the difference between -(어/아/여)야 하다 and -(어/아/여)야 되다?

I have learned that in order to express must/have to in Korean, you use-(어/아/여)야 하다 and -(어/아/여)야 되다 (depending on the verb stem, you might use 어). For example: 너는 밥을 먹어야 한다. vs 밥을 먹어야 된다. (You ...
Blaszard's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

24 hours - Sino or Pure Korean?

If I remember correctly, when talking about number of hours, we use pure Korean numbers. However I always hear in the drama that 24 hours in Korean is 이십사시간 instead of 스물네시간. Why is that the case? I ...
Samuel C's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

모두 versus 다 as an adverb. What is the difference in this practical example?

Is there any difference in nuance between 모두 and 다? Are there times when it is more appropriate to use one over the other? Here is a practical example I have been looking at: 재료는 모두 준비되어 있습니다. ...
vievievie's user avatar
  • 1,145
6 votes
1 answer
193 views

Korean words for "damp"

In TOPIKGuide.com's list of 100 most basic Korean adjectives, 4 of them are different words for "damp". 축축하다: Damp, Clammy, Wet 촉촉하다: Moist 습하다: Damp, Moist, Humid 젖다: Get Wet, Damp What are the ...
Daniel Schilling's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How commonly is 풋 used in Korean, and is describing someone's height a common use of it?

How commonly is 풋 used in Korean? The word is mentioned in "The Most AWESOME WORDLIST You Have Ever Seen", a list of 625 words suggested as starting vocabulary for English speakers learning Korean. ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is the difference between 스스로 and 자기?

What is the difference between 스스로 and 자기? I recently wrote the following sentence: 그냥 자기의 도전이라고 생각하고 있다. I am thinking of it as just a challenge for myself. A helpful soul helped me correct it ...
vievievie's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
956 views

Are 씨 or 님 appropriate name suffixes to be polite in an Internet forum?

If one wishes to be polite in reference to another user met in an online forum (e.g., StackOverflow or a Facebook Group), is it appropriate to add 씨 or 님 to the other user's name?
vievievie's user avatar
  • 1,145
5 votes
2 answers
18k views

How to decide which to use from 라고 and 다고?

I have read the following sentences: 의사가 뭐라고 말했어요? 이 약을 하루에 두 번 먹어야 한다고 말했어요 Why does the former sentence use 라고 while the latter uses 다고? My dictionary says both functions like a conjunction that ...
Blaszard's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

The difference between 일 and 한 to mean "one"?

It seems that one month, one week, and one year in Korean are the following: 한 달 (one month) 한 주 (one week) 일 년 (one year) Why do the first two use '한' while the last one uses '일'? And how can I ...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 2,291
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Ways to say "circle" - curious about "원" in this sentence

인생은 원이 아니라 무한한 직선이다 That translates to Life isn’t a circle, it’s an infinite, straight line. Is there a contextual requirement for when to say 원 and when to say 동그라미? Are there other ways to say ...
제이 죤스톤's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
12k views

difference between 잘자요 and 굿나잇

When translating 잘자요 and 굿나잇 they both come up as meaning "Good night". Is there a contextual difference between them, if so what is this difference and when do I have to use which one?
J_rite's user avatar
  • 153
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
  • 165
5 votes
1 answer
445 views

Is there a difference between 물결 and 파도?

I understand them both as wave, but I'm not sure if there's a difference in nuance.
vievievie's user avatar
  • 1,145
5 votes
2 answers
99 views

Translation of 'find' in the sense of 'discover' or 'conclude'

'find' in English can have a sense of 'discover' or 'conclude' - we talk about scientific 'findings', or 'finding someone guilty' in a legal setting. In an English sentence like Birds were found ...
Нет войне's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
457 views

How can I say "You must not do it" as imperative

I learned that the only Korean grammar that can express the meaning "must" : (으)면 안 되다. But I am not so sure if this can mean an absolute "must" in this case as the meaning for it should be "If..., ...
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
5k views

What is the difference between ways to say "motivation", e.g. 자극 and 동기 부여?

It seems that both 자극 and 동기 부여 can be translations for "motivation". How do these words differ and what are example usages?
파울울's user avatar
  • 969
4 votes
2 answers
562 views

What is the right word for nationality in Korean?

In the dictionary, Korean is translated to '한국 사람'. But Google translates it like 'Korea Love'? Do all other nationalities in Korean also end with '사람'?
vico's user avatar
  • 177
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
4 votes
2 answers
107 views

How often is “서바나” used to refer to Spain?

Naver lists “서바나” as a translation of Spain. Is this used at all in modern Korean? Is it archaic or frowned upon compared to “스페인”?
2021kolpi's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
336 views

Why this sentence are wrong?

I read in a Korean textbook the following sentence: 그는 대학교에 합격해서 정말 기쁘다 The textbook said this is correct. But to the next sentence 그는 대학교에 합격해서 정말 기뻤어? This textbook said that the sentence is ...
Thai Trinh's user avatar