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400+ Essential Intermediate Korean Words

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Someone Counting Stacks of Coins

Learn to count large numbers in Korean.

Are you ready to move past the beginner stage and enter more exciting territory in your language studies? 

In this blog post, you’ll find a massive list of over 400 intermediate Korean words for learners who are ready to level up. We’ve also included links to plenty of additional study materials where you can get more intermediate Korean practice, find example sentences, and hear the pronunciation of essential words. 

All set to dip your toes into the waters of intermediate Korean with KoreanClass101.com? Let’s go, then! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Counting Large Numbers
  2. Nouns for the Intermediate Level
  3. Verbs for the Intermediate Level
  4. Adjectives for the Intermediate Level
  5. Adverbs for the Intermediate Level
  6. Grammar Rules for the Intermediate Level
  7. How can KoreanClass101 help?

1. Counting Large Numbers 

NumberSino-KoreanNative-KoreanMeaning
2,000이천 (icheon)“two thousand”
3,000삼천 (samcheon)    “three thousand”
4,000사천 (sacheon“four thousand”
5,000오천 (ocheon“five thousand”
6,000육천 (yukcheon)“six thousand”
7,000칠천 (chilcheon)“seven thousand”
8,000팔천 (palcheon)“eight thousand”
9,000구천 (gucheon)“nine thousand”
10,000만 (man)드먼* (deumeon)“ten thousand”
20,000이만 (iman)“twenty thousand”
30,000삼만 (samman)“thirty thousand”
40,000사만 (saman)“forty thousand”
50,000오만 (oman)“fifty thousand”
60,000육만 (yukman)“sixty thousand”
70,000칠만 (chilman)“seventy thousand”
80,000팔만 (palman)“eighty thousand”
90,000구만 (guman)“ninety thousand”
100,000백만 (baengman)“one hundred thousand”
1,000,000천만 (cheonman)“one million”
100,000,000억 (eok)잘* (jal)“one hundred million”
1,000,000,000,000조 (jo)울* (ul)“one trillion”

*드먼 (deumeon), 잘 (jal), and 울 (ul) are rarely used in spoken/written language. Use the numbers from Sino-Korean instead. 

Bonus Pages:


The Word Noun against a Blue Background

2. Nouns for the Intermediate Level

Our next set of intermediate Korean vocabulary words consists of some commonly used nouns you can begin practicing right away. Learning these words will allow you to converse with native speakers on a greater variety of topics. 

KoreanRomanizationMeaning
고민 gomin“woe”
고백gobaek“confession”
고집 gojip“persistence”
고통 gotong“suffering”
공공장소gongongjangso“public place”
공사gongsa“construction”
공통 gongtong“common”
공해gonghae“pollution”
과소비gwasobi“overspending”
과음gwaeum“heavy drinking”
관계자gwangyeja“participant”
관광gwangwang“sightseeing”
관심gwansim“interest”
기념일ginyeomil“anniversary”
기대gidae“expectation”
기록gilok“record”
나들이nadeuri“outing”
나머지nameoji“the rest”
난방nanbang“heating”
남녀노소namnyeonoso“men and women of all ages”
남녀평등namnyeopyeongdeung“gender equality”
눈치nunchi“sense”
노선noseon“route”
능동적neungdongjeok“active”
능력neungryeok“ability”
냉방병naengbangbyeong“air-conditioning”
노약자 noyakja“the old and infirm”
단기간 dangigan“short period of time”
단체danche“organization”
독립dongnip“independence”
도전dojeon“challenge”
도난donan“theft”
답변dapbyeon“answer”
당장dangjang“right now”
당황 danghwang“embarrassment”
대도시daedosi“major city”
대량daelyang“large quantity”
대접daejeop“reception”
대중daejung“the general public”
대책daechaek“countermeasure”
대출daechul“loan”
대표daepyo“representative”
대형daehyeong“large”
더위deowi“the heat”
도구dogu“tool”
맞벌이matbeori“dual-career”
매표소maepyoso“box office”
명품myeongpum“masterpiece”
모범생mobeomsaeng“model student”
모험심 moheomsim“adventure”
목적지mokjeokji“destination”
무관심mugwansim“indifference”
무소식 musosik“no news”
밑줄mitjul“underscore”
민족minjok“people” (as in an ethnic group)
무시 musi“disregard”
문제점 munjejeom“problem”
문화유산munhwayusan“cultural heritage”
미혼mihon“unmarried (person)”
민요minyo“folk song”
민속놀이minsoknori“folk game”
발달baldal“development”
발명balmyeong“invention”
발전baljeon“development”
방해banghae“disturbance”
방향 banghyang“direction”
배우자 baeuja“spouse”
버릇 beoreut“habit”
범위beomwi“range”
범죄beomjoe“crime”
beop“the law”
변화 byeonhwa“alteration”
별명byeolmyeong“nickname”
부작용 bujagyong“side effect”
부잣집bujatjip“rich family”
부주의bujuui“carelessness”
분리수거bullisugeo“separate collection”
분실bunsil“loss”
불경기 bulgyeonggi“depression”
불면증 bulmyeonjeung“insomnia”
불안감burangam“anxiety”
불평bulpyeong“misfortune”
비만biman“obesity”
생중계saengjunggye“live broadcast”
생필품saengpilpum“daily necessity”
생활비 saenghwalbi“living expenses”
세월sewol“time”
세대sedae“generation”
세금 segeum“tax”
성형seonghyeong“plastic surgery”
성실seongsil“faithfulness”
성별seongbyeol“gender”
성능seongneung“performance”
선착순seonchaksun“first-come, first-served basis”
선진국 seonjinguk“developed country”
양보yangbo“yield”
연상yeonsang“elder”
억양eogyang“intonation”
언론eonron“the press”
엊그제eotgeuje“a couple days ago”
용돈yongdon“pocket money”
용기yonggi“courage”
욕심yoksim“greed”
요청yocheong“request”
요약yoyak“summary”
요구yogu“demand”
왕복wangbok“both ways”
열대야yeoldaeya“tropical night”
영향yeonghyang“influence”
예외yeoe“exception”
오염oyeom“pollution”
온돌ondol“Korean floor heating”
오해ohae“misunderstanding”
자신감jasingam“self-confidence”
자극적 jageugjeok“exciting”
자격 jagyeok“qualification”
정치인jeongchiin“politician”
절반jeolban“half”
전통jeontong“tradition”
전부jeonbu“all”
전문가jeonmunga“expert”
전망 jeonmang“prospect”
저장jeojang“save” / “storage”
재해 jaehae“disaster”
재산 jaesan“property”
장기적  janggijeok“long-term”
잔소리 jansoli“nitpicking”
자존심jajonsim“one’s pride”
차례charye“order”
채식주의자chaesikjuuija“vegetarian”
친환경chinhwangyeong“eco-friendly”
출신chulsin“someone’s ancestry”
추위chuwi“the cold”
추억chueok“memory”
추가chuga“addition”
최초choecho“the first”
최종choejong“the final”
최저choejeo“minimum”
최신choesin“the newest”
최대choedae“maximum”
초보자choboja“beginner”
참을성chameulseong“patience”
책임chaegim“responsibility”
철학cheolhak“philosophy”
체격chegyeok“build” (person’s appearance)
첫인상cheotinsang“first impression”
통계tonggye“statistics”
통증tongjeung“pain”
핑계pinggye“excuse”
피해pihae“harm”
품절pumjeol“sold out”
표정pyojeong“someone’s expression”
폭우pogu“heavy rain”
폭식poksik“binge”
폭설pokseol“heavy snow”
평소 pyeongso“ordinary day”
편식pyeonsik“unbalanced diet”
평생pyeongsaeng“whole life”
한국학hangughak“Korean studies”
한눈hannun“a glance”
희생자 huisaengja“victim”
호칭hoching“title”
호기심 hogisim“curiosity”
혜택hyetaek“benefit”
형편hyeongpyeon“circumstances”
형태hyeongtae“form”
현대인hyeondaein“contemporary man”
해결책haegyeolchaek“solution”
항공료hanggongryo“airfare”
할부halbu“monthly installment plan”
한지hanji“traditional Korean paper”
한정식hanjeongsik“Korean-style meal”
한숨hansum“sigh”

Bonus Page:


The Word Verb against a Blue Background

3. Verbs for the Intermediate Level

Verbs are another invaluable part of speech, and we need them to express complete thoughts. Below is a list of intermediate Korean verbs you should start practicing in order to have more engaging conversations with native speakers. 

KoreanRomanizationMeaning
가라앉다garaanda“to sink”
가리다garida“to hide”
간섭하다ganseophada“to interfere”
갇히다 gachida“to be shut up”
갈아입다garaipda“to change (clothes)”
갖추다gatchuda“to prepare”
갚다 gapda“to repay”
개발하다   gaebalhada“to develop”
거절하다  geojeolhada“to refuse”
결심하다  gyeolsimhada“to decide”
나아가다naagada“to advance”
나아지다   naajida“to improve”
나타나다   natanada“to appear”
날아다니다  naradanida“to fly about”
날아오르다   naraoreuda“to fly up”
남기다  namgida“to leave”
낭비하다  nangbihada“to waste”
낮추다natchuda“to lower”
낳다nata“to give birth to”
내려보다naeryeoboda“to look down”
담당하다damdanghada“to take charge of”
돌아다니다doradanida“to get around”
돌려보내다dollyeobonaeda“to return”
데치다dechida“to blanch”
덮이다deop-ida“to be covered with”
던지다deonjida“to throw”
대하다daehada“to face”
대신하다daesinhada“to replace”
당하다danghada“to suffer”
당기다dang-gida“to pull”
마련하다   maryeonhada“to prepare”
마무리하다   mamurihada“to finish”
마음먹다   maeummeokda“to make up one’s mind”
마주치다   majuchida“to come across”
막히다  makida“to be clogged with”
망가뜨리다  manggatteurida“to be destroyed”
망가지다   manggajida“to be destroyed”
망설이다   mangseorida“to hesitate”
망하다   manghada“to go under”
맞추다  matchuda“to adjust”
버려지다   beoryeojida“to be left out”
버티다  beotida“to endure”
번갈다   beongalda“to take turns”
벌리다 beollida  “to open”
벗기다  beotgida“to take off”
벗어나다   beoseonada“to get out of”
보살피다  bosalpida“to look after”
부러지다   bureojida“to be broken”
불어나다  bureonada“to increase”
붐비다  bumbida“to be crowded with”
서두르다   seodureuda“to hurry”
섞다  seoktda“to mix with”
선택하다  seontaekada“to choose”
성공하다  seonggonghada“to succeed”
세다 seda  “to count up”
속이다 sogida  “to deceive”
수리하다 surihada  “to repair”
수선하다suseonhada  “to repair”
숙이다  sugida“to bend”
숨기다  sumgida“to hide”
여쭈다  yeojjuda  “to ask”
연장하다 yeonjanghada   “to extend”
염려하다 yeomryeohada   “to worry about”
예상하다  yesanghada  “to anticipate”
예측하다  yecheukada  “to predict”
옮기다  omgida  “to move”
외우다   oeuda   “to memorize”
외치다   oechida   “to cry out”
응모하다   eungmohada“to enter for”
의심하다  uisimhada  “to doubt”
제공하다   jegonghada   “to be offered”
제외하다  jeoehada  “to exclude”
제출하다   jechulhada   “to submit”
주고받다  jugobatda  “to exchange”
주어지다  jueojida  “to be given”
줄어들다  jul-eodeulda  “to decrease”
중단하다   jungdanhada   “to stop”
지나가다   jinagada“to pass by”
지나치다   jinachida   “to pass by”
집다  jipda  “to pick up”
차리다  charida   “to prepare”
차지하다 chajihada “to take possession of”
참석하다  chamseokada  “to attend”
찾아내다 chajanaeda   “to find out”
채우다   chaeuda   “to fill in”
챙기다  chaenggida  “to pack up”
처리하다 cheorihada  “to handle”
쳐다보다 chyeodaboda   “to look at”
추진하다   chujinhada   “to propel”
치다   chida   “to hit”
토하다   tohada   “to vomit”
포기하다  pogihada  “to give up”
표현하다  pyohyeonhada  “to express”
피하다  pihada  “to avoid”
합치다  hapchida  “to unite”
해결하다  haegyeolhada  “to settle”
해보다   haeboda   “to try”
향하다   hyanghada   “to face”
허락하다   heorakada   “to permit”
헤어지다  heeojida“to part from”

Bonus Pages:

    → As you may have noticed, some of these verbs have similar spellings and pronunciations even though they mean different things. To learn more about this topic, visit our blog post 14 Confusing Korean Verbs that Sound Similar.
The Abbreviation Adj. against a Blue Background

4. Adjectives for the Intermediate Level

As an intermediate Korean learner, you may wish to begin giving more vivid descriptions when speaking or writing. Picking up the most common adjectives is one of the best ways to start doing this! 

KoreanRomanizationMeaning
가늘다  ganeulda “thin”
가능하다 ganeunghada  “possible”
괴롭다  goeropda“painful”
굉장하다   goengjanghada“wonderful”
궁금하다   gunggeumhada“curious about”
귀중하다  gwijunghada“precious”
까다롭다  kkadaropda“particular about”
깐깐하다  kkankkanhada“strict”
깔끔하다   kkalkkeumhada“neat”
귀찮다  gwichanta“troublesome”
낡다  nakta“old” / “worm”
너그럽다  neogeureopda“generous”
넉넉하다 neogneokada  “enough”
놀랍다  nollapda“surprising”
느긋하다 neugeutada  “relaxed”
느끼다  neukkida“greasy”
느리다   neurida“slow”
다양하다   dayanghada“various”
다정하다   dajeonghada“friendly”
단순하다   dansunhada“simple”
단단하다   dandanhada“hard”
담백하다   dambaekada“light”
대단하다  daedanhada“great”
독특하다   dogteukada“unusual”
동일하다   dongilhada“same as”
동그랗다   donggeurata“round”
뒤늦다   dwineutda“belated”
목마르다  mokmareuda“thirsty”
멋지다  meotjida“wonderful”
매콤하다  maekomhada“spicy”
마땅하다  mattanghada“suitable”
무덥다  mudeopda“stifling”
밉다   mipda“detestable”
믿음직스럽다  mideumjikseureopda“reliable”
명량하다   myeongranghada“cheerful”
부드럽다  budeureopda“soft”
버릇없다   beoreuseopda“ill-mannered”
부족하다   bujokada“insufficient”
분명하다  bunmyeonghada“clear”
불쌍하다   bulssanghada“pitiful”
불평등하다  bulpyeongdeunghada“unfair”
뻔하다   ppeonhada“transparent”
불가능하다   bulganeunghada“impossible”
밤늦다  bamneutda“late at night”
색다르다   saekdareuda“different”
상쾌하다   sangkwaehada“refreshing”
사이좋다   saijota“compatible”
상관없다   sanggwaneopda“having nothing to do with”
색다르다  saekdareuda“different”
새롭다  saerobda“fresh”
서늘하다   seoneulhada“chilly”
생생하다  saengsaenghada“vivid”
서투르다seotureuda“unskilled”
선명하다  seonmyeonghada“clear”
안타깝다   antakkapda“sad”
아쉽다   aswipda“sorry”
아깝다  akkapda“valuable”
얇다  yalda“thin”
얌전하다 yamjeonhada“gentle”
엄격하다   eomgyeokada“strict”
여유롭다   yeoyuropda“having time”
연하다  yeonhada“tender”
올바르다  olbaleuda“correct”
익숙하다   iksukada“be used to”
자연스럽다   jayeonseureopda“natural”
중요하다   jungyohada“important”
적절하다  jeogjeolhada“proper”
적당하다  jeokdanghada“proper”
저렴하다   jeoryeomhada“cheap”
점잖다   jeomjanta“gentle”
잘나다   jalnada“better than others”
정확하다   jeonghwakada“exact”
지겹다  jigyeopda“boring”
지루하다  jiruhada“boring”
차분하다   chabunhada“calm”
커다랗다   keodarata“big”
캄캄하다  kamkamhada“very dark”
창피하다   changpihada“shameful”
특별하다  teukbyeolhada“special”
탁하다   takada“murky”
튼튼하다  teunteunhada“solid”
특이하다  teugihada“unusual”
평범하다  pyeongbeomhada“ordinary”
평등하다  pyeongdeunghada“equal”

Bonus Page:

    → Want to study with our Korean instructor Jae? Check out “Best of Jae for Intermediate Learners,” which consists of 10 lessons (43 minutes)! This series will teach you various Korean words and provide you with key cultural insights.

The Abbreviation Adv. against a Blue Background

5. Adverbs for the Intermediate Level

While adjectives describe nouns, adverbs provide additional information about verbs, adjectives, or even other adverbs. Here are just a few of the Korean adverbs you should learn as a student at the intermediate level. 

KoreanRomanizationMeaning
가득gadeuk“full”
결코gyeolko“never”
간신히gansinhi“barely”
겨우gyeou“barely”
간절히ganjeolhi“earnestly”
가만히gamanhi“still”
got“at once”
게다가gedaga“besides”
과연gwayeon“indeed”
골고루golgoru“evenly”
도무지domuji“at all”
대부분daebubun“most of”
대게daege“generally”
대충daechung“roughly”
더구나deoguna“besides”
도대체dodaeche“at all”
더욱deouk“more”
대체로daechero“generally”
도저히dojeohi“utterly”
도리어dorieo“on the contrary”
마음대로maeumdaero“as one likes”
마음껏maeumkkeot“as much as one likes”
모처럼mocheoreom“after a long time”
마침machim“just in time”
마찬가지로machangajiro“likewise”
만일manil“if”
마치machi“as if”
멀리meolli“far”
몰래mollae“secretly”
마침내machimnae“finally”

A Man Studying in a Large Library

Learn Korean grammar rules for the intermediate level.

6. Grammar Rules for the Intermediate Level

Now that you’ve become acquainted with several intermediate Korean words, how about we briefly go over some grammar rules you should start learning at this stage? 

1. Saying “I hope” or “I wish”

Rule: In order to express the phrase “I hope” or “I wish,” you just need to add ~았/었으면 좋겠다 (~ass/eoss-eumyeon johgessda) to the end of a verb or adjective. 

For example:

  • 가다 ▷ 갔으면 좋겠다.
    (gada) ▷ (Gasseumyeon joketda.)
    “To go” ▷ “I wish/hope to go.”
  • 안하다 ▷ 안 했으면 좋겠다.
    (anhada) ▷ (An haesseumyeon joketda.)
    “Not to do” ▷ “I wish/hope not to do something.”
  • 내일 일이 없었으면 좋겠어요.
    (Naeil iri eopseosseumyeon jokesseoyo.)
    “I wish I didn’t have work tomorrow.”
  • 오늘 비가 안 왔으면 좋겠어요.
    (Oneul biga an wasseumyeon jokesseoyo.)
    “I hope it doesn’t rain today.”

2. Saying “looks like” or “seems like”

Rule: You can add ~게 보이다 (~ge boida) to the end of an adjective in order to convey how something looks or seems like to you. 

For example:

  • 너 오늘 멋있게 보이네.
    (Neo oneul meositge boine.)
    “You look cool today.”
  • 너 오늘 귀엽게 보이네.
    (Neo oneul gwiyeopge boine.)
    “You look cute today.”
  • 라면 맛있게 보이네.
    (Ramyeon masitge boine.)
    “The ramen looks delicious.”

3. Saying “I said, ‘Let’s…’ “

Rule: ~자 (~ja)  usually means “Let’s…” as in 먹자 (meokja) – “let’s eat” and 자자 (jaja) – “let’s sleep.” By adding ~고 (~go) to ~자 (~ja), the sentence becomes, “I said, ‘Let’s…’ .”

For example:

  • 친구가 점심을 먹자고 했어.
    (Chinguga jeomsimeul meokjago haesseo.)
    “My friend said, ‘Let’s have lunch together.’ ”
  • 남자친구가 동물원에 가자고 했어.
    (Namjachinguga dongmulwone gajago haesseo.)
    “My boyfriend said, ‘Let’s go to the zoo.’ ”
  • 남편이 산책하자고 했지만 저는 너무 피곤해서 안 갔어요.
    (Nampyeoni sanchaekhajago haetjiman jeoneun neomu pigonhaeseo an gasseoyo.)
    “My husband said, ‘Let’s go for a walk,’ but I was too tired, so I didn’t go.”

4. Saying “I asked…”

Rule: When a sentence ends with a verb, add ~(느)냐고 (~[neu]nyago) to indicate that the quote is a question. 

For example:

  • (나는) 여자 친구에게 뭐 먹었느냐고 물어봤어.
    ([Naneun] yeoja chinguege mwo meogeotneunyago mureobwasseo.)
    “I asked my girlfriend what she ate.”
  • 아빠는 나에게 어디 가겠느냐고 물어봤어
    (Appaneun naege eodi gagetneunyago mureobwasseo.)
    “My dad asked me where I will go.”
  • 친구가 나에게 어디 가느냐고 물어봤어.
    (Chinguga naege eodi ganeunyago mureobwasseo.)
    “My friend asked me where I was going.”

5. Expressing the concept of “making somebody do something”

Rule: Attach ~시키다 (~sikida) to the noun form of ~하다 (~hada) verbs.

For example:

  • 만족하다
    (manjokada)
    “to be satisfied”
  • 만족시키다
    (manjoksikida)
    “to make someone satisfied” / “to satisfy”
  • 공부하다
    (gongbuhada)
  • 공부시키다
    (gongbusikida)
    “to make (one) study”
  • 실망하다
    (silmanghada)
    “to be disappointed”
  • 실망시키다
    (silmangsikida)
    “to make (one) disappointed” / “to disappoint”

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