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Questions tagged [word-usage]

For questions about the correct usage of a given word.

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20 votes
3 answers
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Reference frame for come and go

What is the frame of reference for "come" (오다) and "go" (가다)? As in, if I'm outside a house, and a person I'm talking to is between myself and the house, should I tell him to "go" to the house or "...
Dima Tisnek's user avatar
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
  • 3,979
11 votes
2 answers
748 views

What is the difference between 지 and 걸?

I have read the following sentences: 여자는 차가 어디에 있는지 몰라요. 아이들은 아기가 자는 걸 몰라요. I guess the meaning is the following: The woman doesn't know where her car is. The children doesn't know that the infant ...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 2,291
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of 까 in the song Gangnam Style?

"Gangnam style" is a famous Korean song. At a certain point, the lyrics go: 지금부터 갈데까지 가볼 까? Jigeum buteo gal-de-kkaji gabol kka? I have managed to analyse this as follows: Jigeum means &...
MickG's user avatar
  • 387
9 votes
3 answers
60k views

Difference between usage of 에 and 에서?

I have seen "에/에서" being used to express "at, in, on." It seems like "에/에서" can be used to express a location without any specific indicators like, "앞, 뒤, 옆, 안, etc." How are 에, 에서 used differently ...
Amacelia's user avatar
  • 832
9 votes
2 answers
4k views

Problems in 에게서, 한테서 and (으)로부터

These three words are equivalent to "from" in English, and can be applied to anything which the one benefited got benefit from. The difference of 에게서 and 한테서 are quite easy to be grasped: 에게서 used ...
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9 votes
3 answers
522 views

Two lines of 사랑해 당신을

I came across a song called Sarang hae (I love you). Part of the lyrics go: 멀리 떠나버련 못 잊을 님이여 Meolli tteonabeoryeon Mot ijeul nim i yo It is rather unfortunate that this part of the lyrics only ...
MickG's user avatar
  • 387
9 votes
3 answers
381 views

Why use 가 in 의사가 되세요?

I'm learning about the usage on (으)세요, but my textbook explains that you cannot use 이다 in (으세요) form. So the following sentence is invalid: 의사이세요 However, the textbook says the correct form is ...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 2,291
9 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is there a difference between 가지고 오다/가다 and 가져가다/가져오다?

As far as I am aware, these forms all mean take/bring (depending on the frame of reference). Is there any difference in meaning or usage between 가지고 오다/가다 and 가져가다/가져오다? Or are they entirely ...
Нет войне's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
13k views

Use of 주시다 and 드리다

So far I have encountered examples of using 주시다 and 드리다. And I know sometimes 주시다 used instead of 드리다 and vice versa. Like: 전해 주시겠습니까? 전해 드리겠습니까? -> wrong 알려 주셔서 감사드립니다 알려 주셔서 감사주십니다 -> wrong ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
549 views

Expressing "more and more"

So I see different forms in Korean to express the meaning "more and more", for instance: 더욱더 풍성해졌습니다 -> become more and more thrive. 더욱더, 더더욱, 더욱, 더욱이, 더욱더욱 seemed to be expressing the same thing. ...
user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
5k views

Differentiating 아주, 너무, 매우, 무척

I thought that the first two words can interchangeably be used. However, I realized that there are some words which 아주 has to be used while for the others 매우 used. Example: 아주 좋아요. (매우 is not used) ...
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
502 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
  • 1,155
8 votes
1 answer
15k views

The particle (이)야 and its exact meaning

I am new to this particle and I found that its meaning varies. Currently, here is my interpretation: Emphasizing a difference (Please explain this one, I don't quite get it) Ex. 남이야 하나 마나 우린 꼭 합시다. -...
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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
  • 2,291
7 votes
1 answer
178 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
  • 1,155
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

Expressing the word "cold"

So I learnt that there are several words to express the meaning "cold", they include: 춥다, 차갑다, 차다, 시원하다, 쌀쌀하다, 서늘하다, 식다 The first one is no doubt the "cold" that we feel due to weather, the second ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Need clarification on 는 셈이다

I have seen 는 셈이다 in the grammar list, and the documentation explained that it means 는 것 같다. However, I am confused on the difference in usage between them. Usually I would see 는 것 같다 in texts, but ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Difference between 지 않다 and 지가 않다

I am always confused with these two. As 가, being used as subject particle, is of no meaning at all, I wonder what are the differences in meaning or usage. I usually see 지 않다: 그녀는 예쁘지 않다. 넌 가지 않을 수 ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
450 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
7 votes
2 answers
129 views

Vocabularies often appear on textbook but seldom used in real life

천만에요 is a well-known Korean expression which almost always appear on Korean language textbooks. But that expression is rarely used in real life. (To be more precise, I think the frequency of that ...
JSong's user avatar
  • 1,668
7 votes
4 answers
381 views

Expressing "from A to B" in a more concise way

In Korean, the simplest way to express 'from A to B' is no doubt 'A부터 B까지', or '부터' could be replaced by '에서' as in "A에서 B까지'. However, this requires adding a particle to both nouns. Is there a ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

What's a natural way to say that someone works somewhere (for a job)?

Normally I would use 일 하다 to express that I (or someone else) works somewhere - e.g. 나는 출판사에서 일한다. But I wonder if this is a bit 'childish', or if it focuses on the action of working rather than the ...
Нет войне's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
211 views

제가 김밥을 준비할까요? 그럼 부탁해요 or 준비합시다

This question below is from my Korean textbook. A 제가 김밥을 준비할까요? B 네,_________________ a) 그럼 부탁해요. b) 준비합시다. The answer is the option a. However, I am wondering why b doesn't work here? Thanks.
emnha's user avatar
  • 1,903
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

Not sure when to use 씨?

I thought 씨's function was to identify a name in a sentence. Is that the case? In which cases would I use 씨? Would I address my friend as ___씨? Or can they just be called by their name?
Amacelia's user avatar
  • 832
6 votes
2 answers
9k 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
  • 876
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it common for Koreans to say '내일 모레' to mean 'the day after tomorrow'?

I thought '모레' meant 'the day after tomorrow', but today I heard some Koreans saying '내일 모레'. I confirmed with them that they meant 'the day after tomorrow'. Is this common? Why add the '내일' ?
Нет войне's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
8k views

What does 제 mean in this sentence?

In the following sentence: 비행기가 제 시간에 출발해요? What does the 제 mean? It seems to me that my is not the correct usage here...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 2,291
6 votes
1 answer
7k views

What does the particle -이자 mean?

If you pass 이자 (alone or attached to a noun) to Google Translate or Naver Translate, they both translate it as "interest" but the same two apps also use it as a particle (a postfix) that seems to mean ...
AlexBottoni'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
  • 1,155
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

Use of 의존명사(dependent noun) "바"

I actually don't use 네이버 국어사전 usually, but using another dictionary, as in here: http://dict.hjenglish.com/kr/ Here, the dependent noun 바 was explained like this: Matter (I think similar to 일)(Which ...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Family-in-law terms

Are these terms OK? Father-in-law (my wife's father) = 장인 어른 Father-in-law (my husband's father) = 아버님 Mother-in-law (my wife's mother) = 장모님 Mother-in-law (my husband's mother) = 어머님 Brother-in-...
Rick's user avatar
  • 223
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
  • 1,155
5 votes
3 answers
986 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
  • 1,155
5 votes
2 answers
19k 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
  • 2,291
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I tell if 시키다 means 'let' something happen or 'cause' something to happen?

One straightforward meaning of 시키다 is to 'order' something: 나는 냉커피를 시켰다 – I ordered an iced coffee Outside of that, it seems that it can often mean 'make' or 'cause' something to happen: 그 뉴스는 ...
Нет войне's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
453 views

Is the figurative meaning of 걸리다 only used with illnesses?

걸리다 - meaning to be caught or 'hooked' by something - is used for illnesses: 감기에 걸리다 - to catch a cold 병에 걸리다 - to get sick Are there any common usages of this sense of 걸리다 other than with ...
Нет войне's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
915 views

Structure of a Korean maths question (단, 대하여)

While looking at some 수능 maths questions, I noticed some common pattern using the words 단 and 대하여. Here is an example: 전체집합 U={1,2,3,4,5,6}에 대하여 두 부분집합 A, B는 다음 조건을 만족시킨다. 두 지합 A화 B를 정하는 경우의 수는? (단, ...
Taladris's user avatar
  • 2,180
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
1k views

Difference 동일한 vs 똑같은

I found today in a translation that 동일한 was used in a place where my personal Korean linguistic pattern would be to use 똑같은. While I might surmise that one could generally use either, I am curious if ...
제이 죤스톤's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
4k views

Need clarification on use of 아무래도 and 어쩌면

As far as I know, 아무래도 is used to emphasize the grammar 는 것 같다. 어쩌면 is used to emphasize the grammar ㄹ지 모른다. But the point is, I have seen these words being used also in other situations. That ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
481 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
  • 1,155
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are there any ways to make diminutive forms of nouns in Korean?

Many languages have a way to create diminutive forms, which can denote small size, or be a term of endearment. One English example is "-y" : dog becomes doggy, Bob can become Bobby, and so on. In ...
Нет войне's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
462 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
5 votes
2 answers
330 views

Using 이다 with location : how do Koreans interpret sentences like 어디야? or 집이 서울이 아니거든요

Naively translated, "어디야?" "역이야" would be something like "Where is it?" "It's the station". But it would normally be understood as "Where are you?" "I'm at the station". Somewhat similarly, I've ...
Нет войне's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
1k views

How can 이상하다 be used with 네요 grammar?

I'm a little confused about how 이상하다 can be used with 네요 grammar. For example consider you want to talk about an strange child. Is "이상한 아이네요!" a correct form? Is "아이가 이상하네요!" correct?
Hanna's user avatar
  • 876
4 votes
2 answers
749 views

How should 미남이시라구요 be split?

The root word in 미남이시라구요 is 미남 (Noun) to mean a handsome man and the full translation for the sentence "changes the noun to adjective" to mean you're handsome or is it just a short form of the ...
alvas's user avatar
  • 347
4 votes
2 answers
916 views

What's the extra meaning of ‘삽질하다’, literally meaning ‘to shovel’?

I've seen many Koreans (especially developers) use the word ‘삽질하다’. What's the meaning it implies? It doesn't seem to mean ‘to shovel’, which is its original meaning (‘삽’ (shovel) + ‘-질’ (-ing) + ‘-...
Константин Ван's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

춘추, 연세, 나이 meaning age

연세 is more honorific than 나이, and I could often hear people use these two words. However, I am a bit lost as to the occasions to use these two. I could only say 나이 is used to describe a third party ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
108 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