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Advanced Korean Words to Help You Become a Fluent Speaker

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As you approach an advanced level in Korean, it’s crucial that you don’t become complacent. This stage is a good time to start adding more advanced words and phrases to your vocabulary. 

In this blog post, you will learn the most common advanced Korean words that you’ll need to know in order to pass a Korean language exam, study at a Korean university, or work in Korea. 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Advanced Academic Words
  2. Advanced Business Words
  3. Advanced Medical Words
  4. Advanced Legal Words
  5. Alternative Words for Acing Korean Writing/Essays
  6. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You with Your Korean Studies

1. Advanced Academic Words

We’ll start our advanced Korean vocabulary list with a variety of words related to academia. Learning these words will help you understand lectures and add flair to your academic writing. 

동물학dongmulhakzoology

Example: 

  • 난 동물학자가 되고 싶어.
    Nan dongmulhakjaga doego sipeo.
    “I want to be a zoologist.”

지구과학jigugwahakearth science

Example: 

  • 저는 우주 현상 공포증이 있어서 지구 과학을 공부할 때 힘들었습니다.
    Jeoneun uju hyeonsang gongpojeungi isseoseo jigu gwahageul gongbuhal ttae himdeureotseumnida.
    “I had a phobia of space phenomena, so it was difficult when I was studying earth science.”

가설gaseolhypothesis

Examples: 

  • 그 가설은 검증이 필요해 보입니다.
    Geu gaseoreun geomjeungi piryohae boimnida.
    “That hypothesis looks like it needs validation.”
  • 꿈의 기능에 대한 가설
    kkumui gineunge daehan gaseol
    “a hypothesis about the function of dreams”

이론i-rontheory

Example:

  • 과학자들은 진화 이론을 높이 평가한다.
    Gwahakjadeureun jinhwa ironeul nopi pyeonggahanda.
    “Scientists hold the theory of evolution in high regard.”

그 결과 바탕으로geu gyeolgwareul batangeurobased on the results

Example:

  • 실험 결과를 바탕으로, 우리는 토끼가 야행성 동물이라는 결론을 내릴 수 있었다.
    Silheom gyeolgwareul batangeuro, urineun tokkiga yahaengseong dongmuliraneun gyeolloneul naelil su isseotda.
    “Based on the results of the experiment, we have concluded that rabbits are nocturnal creatures.”

그 결과geu gyeolgwaAs a result

Example:

  • 실험의 결과는 결론에 이르지 못했다. 그 결과, 실험을 반복해야 했다.
    Silheomui gyeolgwaneun gyeollone ireuji mothaetda. Geu gyeolgwa, silheomeul banbokaeya haetda.
    “The results of the experiment were inconclusive. As a result, the research had to be repeated.”

동창회dongchanghoeclass reunion

Example:

  • 우리는 교가를 부르면서 동창회를 마쳤다.
    Urineun gyogareul bureumyeonseo dongchanghoereul machyeotda.
    “We ended our class reunion by singing the alma mater.”

입학 허가 ipak heogaadmission

Example:

  • 우리 아들이 법대에 입학 허가를 받아 냈어요!
    Uri adeuri boepdaee ipak heogareul bad-a naesseoyo!
    “My son got admission to law school!”

인류학illyuhakanthropology

Example:

  • 사회 인류학은 사회 과학의 한가지이다.
    Sahoe illyuhakeun sahoe gwahakui hangajiida.
    “Social anthropology is one of the social sciences.”

심리학simnihakpsychology

Example:

  • 심리학에는 임상심리와 심리상담이 있어요.
    Simnihageneun imsangsimniwa simnisangdami isseoyo.
    “There is clinical and counseling psychology.”

성적 증명서seongjeok jeungmyeongseotranscript

Example:

  • 성적 증명서 다섯 통이 필요해요.
    Seongjeok jeungmyeongseo daseot tongi piryohaeyo.
    “I need five copies of my academic transcript.”

등록금deungrokgeumtuition

Example:

  • 난 대학 등록금을 내기 위해 돈을 좀 따로 모아 두었어.
    Nan daehak deungrokgeumeul naegi wihae doneul jom ttaro moa dueosseo.
    “I’ve put some money aside for college fees.”

장학금janghakgeumscholarship

Example:

  • 내 여동생은 장학금을 여러 번 받아서 부러워.
    Nae yeodongsaengeun deungrokgeumeul yeoreo beon badaseo bureowo.
    “My sister received several scholarships, so I feel envious.”

강의실ganguisillecture hall

Example:

  • 학생들이 강의실에 가득 찼다.
    Hagsaengdeuri ganguisire gadeuk chatda.
    “Students crowded the lecture hall.”

경영관리학 석사gyeongyeonggwallihak seoksaMBA

Example:

  • 나는 경영 관리학 석사를 2021년에 취득하였다.
    Naneun gyeongyeonggwallihak seoksareul 2021nyeone chwideukhayeotda.
    “I obtained my degree in business administration in the year 2001.”

건축학geonchukakarchitecture

Example:

  • 저는 대학에서 건축학을 공부했습니다.
    Jeoneun daehageseo geonchukakeul gongbuhaetseumnida.
    “I studied architecture in college.”

졸업증명서joreopjeungmyeongseograduation certificate / diploma

Example:

A: 
졸업 증명서는 무엇인가요?
Joreopjeungmyeongseoneun mueosingayo?
“What is the graduation certificate?”

B: 
졸업 증명서는 능력을 증명하는 보증서입니다.
Joreopjeungmyeongseoneun neungnyeogeul jeungmyeonghaneun bojeungseoimnida.
“The graduation certificate is a certificate of proficiency.”


추천서chucheonseorecommendation

Example:

  • 그는 가짜 추천서를 써서 그 직장에 들어갔다.
    Geuneun gajja chucheonseoreul sseoseo geu jikjange deureogatda.
    “He entered the job with a fake recommendation letter.”

휴학하다hyuhakadato take time off from school

Example:

  • 1년을 휴학했던데, 왜 학교를 휴학했었나요?
    Ilhaknyeoneul hyuhakaetdeonde, wae hakgyoreul hyuhakaesseonnayo?
    “You took a year off from school. Why did you take a leave of absence from school?”

퇴학당하다toehakdanghadato be expelled from school

Example:

  • 나는 고등학교 마지막 해에 퇴학당한적이 있다.
    Naneun godeunghakgyo majimak haee toehakdanghanjeogi itda.
    “I was expelled from school in the last year of high school.”

학사학위haksa hagwibachelor’s degree

Example:

  • 학사 학위로는 지리학을 공부했습니다.
    Haksa hagwironeun jirihageul gongbuhaetseumnida.
    “With a bachelor’s degree, I studied geography.”

석사학위seoksa hagwimaster’s degree

Example:

  • 그는 경영학 석사 학위 소지자이다.
    Geuneun gyeongyeonghak seoksa hagwi sojijaida.
    “He has a master’s in Business Administration.”

박사학위baksahagwidoctorate

Example:

  • 그는 한의학 박사학위를 받았다.
    Geuneun hanuihak baksahagwireul badatda.
    “He received a doctorate in Oriental medicine.”

초고chogofirst draft

Example:

  • 이것은 저의 연설문 초고예요. 읽어볼래요?
    Igeoseun jeoui yeonseolmun chogoyeyo. Ilgeobollaeyo?
    “This is the first draft of my speech. Would you like to read it?”

완성안wanseonganfinal draft

Example:

  • 잭은 논문의 최종안에 대해 선생님이 다소 까다롭게 군다고 생각했다.
    Jageun nonmunui choejongane daehae seonsaengnimi daso kkadaropge gundago saenggakhaetda.
    “Jack thought that his teacher was being rather finicky about the final draft of the paper.”

A Korean Learner Studying Advanced Korean Business Words

2. Advanced Business Words

Another essential set of words in Korean for advanced learners are those related to the business world. This is especially true if you plan to work or do business in Korea one day! 

매출총이익maechulchongiikgross profit

Example:

  • 매출총이익은 1억 4백만 달러가 증가하여 19억 달러가 되었다.
    Maechulchongiigeun ireok sabaebaengman dalleoga jeunggahayeo sipgueok dalleoga doeeotda.
    “The gross profit increased from $104 million to $1.9 billion.”

고정자산gojeongjasanfixed asset

Example:

  • 대지, 사무실, 창고, 공장, 장비와 가구 등은 고정자산에 속한다.
    Daeji, samusil, changgo, gongjang, jangbiwa gigu deungeun gojeongjasane sokanda.
    “Land, offices, warehouses, factories, equipment, and furniture are capital assets.”

채권자chaegwonjacreditor

Example:

  • 금융기관이 채권자와 채무자 사이에서 중개인 역할을 한다.
    Geumyunggigwani chaegwonjawa chaemuja saieseo junggaein yeoghareul handa.
    “Financial institutions act as intermediaries between lenders and borrowers.”

비용biyongexpense / cost

Example:

  • 그 회사는 소송 비용 때문에 거의 파산 지경이 되었다.
    Geu hoesaneun sosong biyong ttaemune geoui pasan jigyeongi doeeotda.
    “The company was almost bankrupted by legal costs.”

순이익suniiknet profit

Example:

  • 그 가게는 한 달 순이익이 500만 원이다.
    Geu gageneun han dal suniigi obaegman wonida.
    “That store earns five million won in net profit.”

수익suikrevenue

Example:

  • 그 회사는 수익성 좋은 해외 시장과 연결된 후 수익이 갑절로 늘었다.
    Geu hoesaneun suikseong joeun haeoe sijanggwa yeongyeoldoen hu suigi gabjeollo neureotda.
    “The company has doubled its profits since plugging into lucrative overseas markets.”

부채buchaeliability

Example:

  • 그 회사는 600만 달러가 넘는 부채가 누적되어 있었다.
    Geu hoesaneun yukbaegman dalleoga neomneun buchaega nujeokdoeeo isseotda.
    “The firm had accrued debts of over $6 million.”

유동 자산yudong jasancurrent asset

Example:

  • 유동 자산이 유동 부채보다 적다.
    Yudong jasani yudong buchaeboda jeokda.
    “The current assets are less than the current liabilities.”

노무비nomubilabor expense

Example:

  • 노무비를 삭감하다.
    Nomubireul sakgamhada.
    “Cut down the labor expense.”

승인seunginapproval

Example:

  • 그 계획은 조건 없이 승인되었다.
    Geu gyehoegeun jogeon eopsi seungindoeeotda.
    “The plan was approved without qualification.”

광고gwanggoadvertisement / commercial

Example:

  • 그녀는 TV 광고 방송을 위한 보이스오버 일로 많은 돈을 번다.
    Geunyeoneun TV gwanggo bangsongeul wihan boiseuobeo illo maneun doneul beonda.
    “She earns a lot of money doing voice-overs for TV commercials.”

논제nonjetopic of discussion

Example:

  • 가장 중요한 논제 중 하나는 북한이었다.
    Gajang jungyohan nonje jung hananeun bukanieotda.
    “One of the most important topics of discussion was North Korea.”

부서buseodepartment / division

Example:

  • 그의 부서가 우리 부서와 합칠 것이다.
    Geuui buseoga uri buseowa hapchil geosida.
    “His department will merge with mine.”

불이익 buriikdisadvantage

Example:

  • 이번 프로젝트의 실패로 우리 회사는 큰 불이익을 겪었다.
    Ibeon peurojegteuui silpaero uri hoesaneun keun buriigeul gyeokkeotda.
    “Our company suffered a huge disadvantage due to the failure of this project.”

분배bunbaedistribution / division

Example:

  • 그 재산의 잔여 유산은 그의 자녀들에게 공평하게 분배되었다.
    Geu jaesanui janyeo yusaneun geuui janyeodeurege gongpyeonghage bunbaedoeeotda.
    “The remainder of the estate was divided equally among his children.”

영수증 yeongsujeungreceipt

Example:

  • 영수증을 명세서와 대조하여 확인해 보세요.
    Yeongsujeungeul myeongsesowa daejohayeo hwaginhae boseyo.
    “Check your receipts against the statement.”

수수료susuryocommission

Example:

  • 시간당 수수료는 현재 500원입니다.
    Sigandang yeongsujeungneun hyeonjae obaegwonimnida.
    “The hourly commission is currently 500 won.”

기업간의gieopganuiB2B

Example:

  • 이 직책은 기업간의 전화 상담 업무를 맡게 됩니다.
    I jikchageun gieopganui jeonhwa sangdam eommureul matge doemnida.
    “This position will be responsible for business-to-business calls.”

* There is a word for “B2B” in Korean, as written above, but it’s more common to just say “B2B.”

Check out Which Adjective Describes Your Personality Best? PART 2 on our website to learn more adjectives in Korean.

기업 / 소비자간의gieop / sobijaganuiB2C

Example:

  • 우리팀은 대체로 기업, 소비자간의 업무만 하게 됩니다.
    Uritimeun daechero gieop, sobijaganui eommuman hage doemnida.
    “Our team usually only does B2C business.”

* There is a word for “B2C” in Korean, as written above, but it’s rarely used. 

사업가saeopgaentrepreneur

Example:

  • 두 명의 사업가가 테러범들에게 납치되었다.
    Du myeongui saeopgaga tereobeomdeurege napchidoeeotda.
    “Two businessmen have been kidnapped by terrorists.”

투자 수익률tuja suingnyulReturn on Investment (ROI)

Example:

  • 보내주신 자료로 보아서는 투자 수익률 수치는 현실적이라고 생각됩니다.
    Bonaejusin jaryoro boaseoneun tuja suingnyul suchineun hyeonsiljeogirago saenggakdoemnida.
    “Based on the information you sent me, I think that the ROI numbers appear to be realistic.”

* It is more common to say “ROI” than 투자수익률 in Korea.

글로벌 시장geullobeol sijangglobal market

Example:

  • 본사는 한국 정부가 승인한 글로벌 시장개척 전문기업입니다.
    Bonsaneun hanguk jeongbuga seunginhan geullobeol sijanggaecheok jeonmungieobimnida.
    “Our company is a global market developer authorized by the Korean government.”

유통시장yutongsijangsecondary market

Example:

  • 정부는 왜곡된 유통시장을 바로잡기 위해 노력하고 있다.
    Jeongbuneun waegokdoen yutongsijangeul barojapgi wihae noryeokago itda.
    “The government is striving to rectify the distorted [misrepresented] distribution market.”

경쟁gyeongjaengcompetition

Example:

  • 경쟁이 날이 갈수록 치열해지고 있다.
    Gyeongjaengi nari galsurok chiyeolhaejigo itda.
    “Competition is getting hotter day by day.”

비교bigyocomparison

Example:

  • 그에 비교해, 교육비는 작년에 증가했다.
    Geue bigyohae, gyoyukbineun jagnyeone jeunggahaetda.
    “By comparison, expenditure on education increased last year.”

A Male Student Learning Advanced Korean Medical Words

3. Advanced Medical Words

Whether you want to study medicine in South Korea or you happen to find yourself in the hospital, you’ll greatly benefit from knowing these advanced Korean vocabulary words related to the medical world. 

일반 진료의사 ilban jillyouisaGP (general practitioner)

Example:

  • 가장 수가 많은 일반 진료 분야 의사의 연령대와 성별은 무엇입니까?
    Gajang suga maneun ilban jillyo bunya uisaui yeollyeongdaewa seongbyeoreun mueosimnikka?
    “What age range and sex has the highest number of doctors in general practice?”

마취과 의사machwigwa uisaanesthesiologist

Example:

  • 저의 아버지께서는 마취과 의사였습니다.
    Jeoui abeojikkeseoneun yeollyeongdaewa seongbyeoreun mueosimnikkayeossseumnida.
    “My father was an anesthesiologist.”

외과 의사oegwa uisasurgeon

Example:

  • 외과의사가 소년의 뇌종양을 제거했다.
    Oegwa uisaga sonyeonui noejongyangeul jegohaetda.
    “The surgeon removed the boy’s brain tumor.”

간호사ganhosanurse

Example:

  • 간호사가 나의 친구를 휠체어에 태우고 복도를 따라 갔다.
    Ganhosaga naui chingureul hwilcheeoe taeugo bokdoreul ttara gatda.
    “The nurse wheeled my friend along the corridor.”

산부인과 의사sanbuingwa uisagynecologist

Example:

  • 수미는 어른이 되어서 산부인과 의사가 되어야겠다고 결심했습니다.
    Sumineun eoreuni doeeoseo sanbuingwa uisaga doeeoyagetdago gyeolsimhaetseumnida.
    “Sumi decided to become a gynecologist when she becomes an adult.”

출혈chulhyeolbleeding

Example:

  • 의사들은 그 출혈을 멎게 할 수가 없었다.
    Uisadereun geu chulhyeoreul meotge hal suga eopseotda.
    “Doctors couldn’t stop the bleeding.”

뇌진탕noejintangconcussion

Example:

  • 그는 뇌진탕으로 병원에 실려 갔다.
    Geuneun noejintangeuro byeongwone sillyeo gatda.
    “He was taken to the hospital with a concussion.”

흉통hyungtongchest pain

Example:

  • 심한 흉통이 심장마비의 징조이다.
    Simhan hyungtongi simjangmabiui jingjoida.
    “Severe chest pain is a sign of a heart attack.”

변비byeonbiconstipation

Example:

  • 변비에 걸렸으면, 하제를 복용하는것이 좋다.
    Byeonbie geollyeosseumyeon, hajereul bogyonghaneungeosi jota.
    “If you’re constipated, it is better to take a laxative.”

맥박maekbakpulse

Example:

  • 그의 맥박율이 갑자기 떨어졌다.
    geuui maekbagyuri gapjagi tteoreojyeotda.
    “His pulse rate dropped suddenly.”

혈액 샘플hyeoraek saempeulblood sample

Example: 

  • 의사들이 그 남자의 혈액 샘플에 대해 몇 가지 검사를 더 해 보기로 했다.
    Uisadeuri geu namjaui hyeoraek saempeure daehae myeot gaji geomsareul deo hae bogiro haetda.
    “The doctors decided to run some more tests on the blood samples.”

찰과상chalgwasanggraze

Example:

  • 놀랍게도 그 남자는 그 사고에서 찰과상 하나 입지 않고 살아남았다.
    Nollapgedo geu namjaneun geu sagoeseo chalgwasang hana ipji anko saranamatda.
    “Amazingly, he survived the accident without a scratch.”

꽃가루 알레르기kkotgaru allereugihay fever

Example:

  • 저는 꽃가루 알레르기가 있어요.
    Jeoneun kkotgaru allereugiga isseoyo.
    “I have an allergy to pollen.”

치질chijilhemorrhoids

Example: 

  • 저는 치질 때문에 의자에 앉을 수 없었어요.
    Jeoneun chijil ttaemune uijae anjeul su eopseosseoyo.
    “I couldn’t sit in a chair because of my hemorrhoids.”

살 속으로 파고드는 발톱sal sogeuro pagodeuneun baltopingrown toenail

Example:

  • 살 속으로 파고드는 발톱이 있는데 정말 아파.
    Sal sogeuro pagodeuneun baltobi inneunde jeongmal apa.
    “I have an ingrown toenail, and it is really painful.”

저체온증 jeocheonjeunghypothermia

Example: 

  • 그 남자는 야간 산행 중에 저체온증을 보였다.
    Geu namjaneun yagan sanhaeng junge jeocheonjeungeul boyeotda.
    “He showed signs of hypothermia while night hiking.”

백혈병baekyeolbyeongleukemia

Example:

  • 대부분의 백혈병 환자들은 어떤 종류의 약물 치료를 받는다. 
    Daebubunui baekyeolbyeong hwanjadeureun eotteon jongnyuui yangmul chiryoreul banneunda.
    “Most leukemia patients undergo some sort of drug therapy.”

백혈병baekyeolbyeongleukemia

Example: 

  • 정신분열증은 극도로 복잡한 정신 질환이다.
    Jeongsinbunyeoljeungeun geukdoro bokjapan jeongsin jilhwanida.
    “Schizophrenia is an extremely complex mental illness.”

디스크diseukeuslipped disc

Example:

  • 우리 할머니는 디스크로 고생을 많이 하셨다.
    Uri halmeonineun diseukeuro gosaengeul mani hasyeotda.
    “My grandmother struggled a lot with discs.”

뇌졸중noejoljungstroke

Example: 

  • 과체중인 사람들은 심장마비나 뇌졸중의 위험이 있다.
    Gwachejungin saramdeureun simjangmabina noejoljungui wiheomi itda.
    “People who are overweight run a risk of a heart attack or stroke.”

광견병gwanggyeonbyeongrabies

Example: 

  • 내 친구는 광견병 예방 접종을 했다.
    Nae chinguneun gwanggyeonbyeong yebang jeopjongeul haetda.
    “My friend got a preventive shot for rabies.”

바이러스baireoseuvirus

Example: 

  • 이 약은 바이러스가 자기 복제를 하지 못하게 한다.
    I yageun baireoseuga jagi bokjereul haji mothage handa.
    “This drug prevents the virus from replicating itself.”

휠체어hwilcheeowheelchair

Example: 

  • 폴이 힘겹게 휠체어에서 빠져나왔다.
    Pori himgyeopge hwilcheeoeseo ppajyeonawatda.
    “Paul struggled out of his wheelchair.”

메스꺼움을 느끼다meseukkeoumeul neukkidato feel sick 

Example: 

  • 왜 그러는지 모르겠는데, 비행기를 탈 때마다 나는 메스꺼움을 느껴.
    Wae geureoneunji moreugetneunde, bihaenggireul tal ttaemada naneun meseukkeoumeul neukkyeo.
    “I don’t know why, but I get nauseous whenever I fly.”

절뚝거리다jeolttukgeoridato limp

Example: 

  • 우리 집 강아지가 갑자기 절뚝거리기 시작하더니 잘 걷지를 못하더라고.
    Uri jip gangajiga gapjagi jeolttukgeorigi sijakadeoni jal geotjireul motadeorago.
    “My dog ​​suddenly started limping and couldn’t walk well.”

A Woman with Glasses on Is Holding Advanced Korean Legal Books

4. Advanced Legal Words

Now, let’s look at a few advanced Korean words related to the legal system. These words will help you have more complex conversations with native speakers, follow the news, and maybe even get through law school!

재판jaepantrial

Example: 

  • 형사 재판은 2월 14일에 열립니다.
    Hyeungsa jaepaneun iwol sipsaire yeollimnida.
    “The criminal trial takes place on February 14.”

탄핵tanhaekimpeachment

Example: 

  • 총리는 뇌물을 받아서 탄핵되었다.
    Chonrineun noemureul badaseo tanhaekdoeeotda.
    “The prime minister was impeached for taking a bribe.”

법정 연령beopjeongyeonryeonglegal age

Example: 

  • 술을 사려면 법정연령이 되어야 한다.
    Sureul saryeonyeon beopjeongyeonryeongi doeeoya handa.
    “You must be of legal age to buy liquor.”

법정 공휴일beopjeong gonghyuil legal holiday

Example: 

  • 3월 1일은 한국에서 법정 공휴일이예요.
    Samwol ilireun hangugeseo beopjeong gonghyuiriyeyo.
    “March 1 is a legal holiday in Korea.”

절도죄jeoldojoelarceny

Example: 

  • 그 청소년은 네 건의 절도죄로 기소되었다
    Geu cheongsonyeoneun ne geonui jeoldojoero gisodoeeotda.
    “The youth was charged with four counts of larceny.”

몸값momgapransom

Example:

  • 유괴된 아이들은 모두 몸값이 지불되어 무사히 집으로 돌아왔다.
    Yugoedoen aideureun modu momgapsi jibuldoeeo musahi jibeuro dorawatda.
    “The kidnapper demanded a ransom for the children and returned them home unharmed.”

검사geomsaprosecution 

Example:  

  • 검사는 피고에게 무기징역을 구형했다.
    Geomsaneun pigoege mugijingyeogeul guhyeonghaetda.
    “The prosecution demanded life imprisonment for the accused.”

무기징역mugijingyeoklife imprisonment

Example: 

  • 그는 무기징역을 선고 받았다.
    Geuneun mugijingyeogeul seongo badatda.
    “He was sentenced to life imprisonment.”

영장yeongjangwarrant

Example: 

  • 그에 대한 구속 영장이 발부되었다.
    Geue daehan yeongjangi balbudoeeotda.
    “A warrant has been issued for his arrest.”

증인jeunginwitness

Example: 

  • 그 서명에 대해서는 두 명의 증인이 증언했다.
    Geu seomyeonge daehaeseoneun du myeongui jeungini jeungeonhaetda.
    “The signature was attested by two witnesses.”

유언장yueonjangwill

Example: 

  • 당신의 유언장은 변호사에게 맡겨 두어야 합니다.
    Dangsinui yueonjangeun byeonhosaege matgyeo dueoya hamnida.
    “Your will should be lodged with your lawyer.”

조직적인 범죄 jojikjeogin beomjoeorganized crime

Example:  

  • 마약과 조직적 범죄와의 관련성이 있을 수도 있어요. 
    Mayakgwa jojikjeok beomjoewaui gwanryeonseongi isseul sudo isseoyo.
    “There might be a connection between drugs and organized crime.”

보증인bojeunginguarantor

Example: 

  • 보증인이 되어주시겠습니까?
    Bojeungini doeeojusigetsseumnikka?
    “Could you act as a guarantor?”

주민등록등본 jumindeungrokdeungboncertified copy of one’s residence registration

Example: 

  • 주민등록등본 한 통을 제출해 주세요.
    Jumindeungrokdeungbon han tongeul jechulhae juseyo.
    “Please submit a certified copy of your residence registration.”

유죄의yujoeuiguilty

Example:

  • 유죄의 평결이 내렸다.
    Yujoeui pangyeori naeryeotda.
    “A verdict of ‘guilty’ was returned.”

탄원서tanwonseopetition

Example: 

  • 동물 대상 실험 반대 탄원서에 서명해주시겠습니까?
    Dongmul daesang silheom bandae tanwonseoe semyeonghaejusigetseumnikka?
    “Could you sign a petition against animal testing?”

효력hyoryeokeffective (power)

Example: 

  • 이거는 법적 효력이 있는 거야 알지?
    Igeo beopjyeok hyoryeogi itneun geoya, alji?
    “You know that this has legal power, right?”

위증wijeungperjury

Example: 

  • 판사는 증인에게 위증하지 말라고 경고했다.
    Pansaneun jeunginege wijeunghaji mallago gyeonggohaetda.
    “The judge warned the witness not to commit perjury.”

기소되다gisodoedato be charged with

Example: 

  • 그는 갈취 혐의로 체포되어 기소되었다.
    Geuneun galchwi hyeomuiro chepodoeeo gisodoeeotda.
    “He was arrested and charged with extortion.”

위임사항wiimsahangterms of reference

Example: 

  • 그것의 위임사항이 뭐니?
    Geugesui wiimsahangi mwoni?
    “What are its terms of reference?”

투표tupyovote

Example:

  • 그는 투표를 거부함으로써 불만을 표했다. 
    Geuneun tupyoreul geobuhameuroseo bulmaneul pyohaetda.
    “He signaled his discontent by refusing to vote.”

증언jeungeontestimony

Example: 

  • 증언하는 것을 제가 거부해도 됩니까?
    Jega jeungeonhaneun geoseul geobuhal su issseumnikka?
    “Can I refuse to give testimony?”

대법원daebeobwonsupreme court

Example: 

  • 대법원은 서울에 위치해 있다.
    Daebeobwoneun seoure wichihae itda.
    “The Supreme Court is located in Seoul.”

기록 관리girok gwallirecordkeeping

Example: 

  • 기록 관리가 제대로 되고 있지 않아 그 문제의 전체 규모를 파악하기가 어렵다.
    Girok gwalliga jedero doego itji ana geu munjeui jeonche gyumoreul paakagiga eoryeopda.
    “Poor recordkeeping makes it difficult to determine the full extent of the problem.”

Two University Students Are Studying Advanced Korean Words to Pass an Exam

5. Alternative Words for Acing Korean Writing/Essays

Finally, here are some simpler Korean words and phrases (top row) followed by their more advanced counterparts (bottom row). Learning how to use these advanced Korean words and phrases correctly will help you score higher on exams and essays. 

말리다 (mallida) – “to stop someone from doing something”
만류하다 (manryuhada) – “to stop someone from doing something”

Examples:

  • 직원들의 만류에도 불구하고 사장님은 회사를 그만뒀다.
    Jigwondeurui mallyuedo bulguhago sajangnimeun hoesareul geumandwotda.
    “Despite the pressure from the employees, the boss quit the company.”
  • 가족들의 만류에도 불구하고 아버지는 전 재산을 기부했다. 
    Gajokdeurui mallyuedo bulguhago abeojineun jeon jaesaneul gibuhaetda.
    “In spite of family reluctance, his father donated all his fortune.”

서로 함께 행동을 주고 받다 (seoro hamkke haengdongeul jugo batda) – “to give and take action together”
상호작용 하다 (sanghojagyong hada) – “to interact with each other”

Examples: 

  • 수업시간에는 교사와 학생들은 서로 함께 행동을 주고 받는것이 중요합니다.
    Sueopsiganeneun gyosawa haksaengdeureun seoro hamkke haengdongeul jugo batneungeosi jungyohamnida.
    “It is important that a teacher and students give and take action together.”
  • 수업시간에는 교사와 학생들의 상호작용이 중요합니다. 
    Sueopsiganeneun gyosawa haksaengdeurui sanghojagyongi jungyojahmida.
    “Teacher-student interaction is important in class.”

사람을 보는 능력 (sarameul boneun neungnyeok) – “the ability to see people”
안목 (anmok) – “discerning eye”

Examples:

  • 다양한 경험을 하여 사람을 보는 능력을 길러야 합니다. 
    Dayanghan gyeongheomeul hayeo sarameul boneun neungnyeogeul gilleoya hamnida.
    “You need to develop your ability to see people through various experiences.”
  • 다양한 경험을 하여 안목을 길러야 합니다. 
    Dayanghan gyeongheomeul hayeo anmogeul gilleoya hamnida.
    “You need to develop your eyes through various experiences.”

끝나다 (kkeunnada) – “to finish”
종료하다 (jongryohada) – “to quit”

Examples:

  • 그것보다는, 그는 끝내기로 결정했다.
    Geugeotbodaneun, geuneun kkeunnaegiro gyeoljeonghaetda.
    “Rather, he has decided to finish.”
  • 그것보다는, 그는 종료하기로 결정했다.
    Geugeotbodaneun, geuneun jongryohagiro gyeoljeonghaetda.
    “Rather, he has decided to quit.”

주다 (juda) – “to give”
제공하다 (jegonghada) – “to provide”

Examples:

  • 당신의 신분을 증명할 뭔가를 줄 수 있습니까?
    Dangsinui sinbuneul jeungmyeonghal mwongareul jul su itseumnikka?
    “Can you give any proof of identity?”
  • 당신의 신분을 증명할 뭔가를 제시할 수 있습니까?
    Dangsinui sinbuneul jeungmyeonghal mwongareul jegong hal su itseumnikka?
    “Can you provide any proof of identity?”

배우다 (baeuda) – “to learn”
학습하다 (hakseupada) – “to learn”

Examples:

  • 네가 영어를 배우는 이유가 뭐니?
    Nega yeongeoreul baeuneun iyuga mwoni?
    “What is your reason for learning English?”
  • 네가 영어를 학습하는 이유가 뭐니?
    Nega yeongeoreul hakseupaneun iyuga mwoni?
    “What is your reason for learning English?”

더하다 (deohada) – “to add”
추가하다 (chugahada) – “to add”

Examples:

  • 로즈마리, 레몬즙, 뚱딴지, 생크림, 소금, 후추를 더하다.
    Rojeumari, lemonjeup, ttungttanji, saengkeurim, sogeum, huchureul deohada.
    “Add rosemary, lemon juice, Jerusalem artichokes, heavy cream, salt, and pepper.”
  • 로즈마리, 레몬즙, 뚱딴지, 생크림, 소금, 후추를 추가하다.
    Rojeumari, lemonjeup, ttungttanji, saengkeurim, sogeum, huchureul chugahada.
    “Add rosemary, lemon juice, Jerusalem artichokes, heavy cream, salt, and pepper.”

가지다 (gajida) – “to have”
소유하다 (soyuhada) – “to own”

Examples:

  • 그 국민투표에 참가할 권리를 가지다
    Geu gugmintupyoe chamgahal gwonlireul gajida
    “have the right to vote in the plebiscite”
  • 그 국민투표에 참가할 권리를 소유하다
    Geu gugmintupyoe chamgahal gwonlireul soyuhada
    “have the right to vote in the plebiscite”

들어오다 (deureooda) – “to come into” / “to enter”
유입되다 (yuipdoeda) – “to come” / “to enter” / “to come into”

Examples:

  • 이 바이러스는 외국에서 들어온 것 같습니다.
    I baireoseuneun oegugeseo dereoon geot gatseumnida.
    “This virus seems to have come from abroad.”
  • 이 바이러스는 외국에서 유입된 것 같습니다. 
    I baireoseuneun oegugeseo yuipdoen geot gatseumnida.
    “This virus seems to have come from abroad.”

주고 받다 (jugo batda) – “to exchange”
교류하다 (gyoryuhada) – “to exchange”

Examples:

  • 정보를 주고 받다 
    jeongboreul jugo batda
    “to exchange information”
  • 정보를 교류하다 
    jeongboreul gyoryuhada
    “to exchange information”

좋게 바꾸다 (joke bakkuda) – “to make something better”
개선하다 (gaeseonhada) – “to improve”

Examples:

  • 정책을 좋게 바꿔서 더 편리하게 생활 할 수 있도록 돕겠습니다.
    Jeongchaegeul joke bakkwoseo deo pyeollihage saenghwal hal su itdorok dopgetseumnida.
    “We will make our policies better to help you live more conveniently.”
  • 정책을 개선해서 더 편리하게 생활 할 수 있도록 돕겠습니다.
    Jeongchaegeul gaeseonhaeseo deo pyeollihage saenghwal hal su itdorok dopgetseumnida.
    “We will improve our policies to help you live more conveniently.”

많은 사람들 (maneun saramdeul) – “many people”
인파가 몰리다 (inpaga mollida) – “crowded”

Examples:

  • 1월 1일 해돋이를 보려고 동해 바다에 많은 사람들이 모였다.
    Iwol iril haedojireul boryeogo donghae badae maneun saramdeuri moyeotda.
    “Many people gathered at the East Sea to see the sunrise on January 1.”
  • 1월 1일 해돋이를 보려고 동해 바다에 많은 인파가 몰렸다. 
    Iwol iril haedojireul boryeogo donghae badae maneun inpaga mollyeotda.
    “A large crowd of people gathered at the East Sea to see the sunrise on January 1.”

선택하다 (seontaekada) – “to choose” / “to select”
발탁하다 (baltakada) – “to select”

Examples:

  • A회사는 광고모델로 김씨를 선택했다.
    Ahoesaneun gwanggomodello gimssireul seontaekaetda.
    “Company A chose Kim as its advertising model.”
  • A회사는 광고모델로 김씨를 발탁했다.
    Ahoesaneun gwanggomodello gimssireul baltakaetda.
    “Company A selected Mr. Kim as an advertising model.”

아주 원하다 (aju wonhada) – “to want something badly”
염원하다 (yeomwonhada) – “to wish”

Examples:

  • 국민들의 아주 원하는 것을 꼭 이뤄드리겠습니다. 
    Gukmindeurui aju wonhaneun geoseul kkok irwodeurigetsseumnida.
    “We will surely achieve what the people want.”
  • 국민들의 염원을 꼭 이뤄드리겠습니다. 
    Gukmindeurui yeomwoneul kkok irwodeurigetsseumnida.
    “We will surely fulfill what the people wish.”

길 (gil) – “street”
경로 (gyeongro) – “route” / “direction”

Examples:

  • 졸업식에 참가하시는 분들을 위해 오시는 길를 홈페이지에 안내하도록 하겠습니다.
    Joreopsige chamgahasineun bundeureul wihae osineun gilleul hompeijie annaehadorok hagetseumnida.
    “For those who are participating in the graduation ceremony, we will provide the directions on the website.”
  • 졸업식에 참가하시는 분들을 위해 오시는 경로를 홈페이지에 안내하도록 하겠습니다. 
    Joreopsige chamgahasineun bundeureul wihae osineun gyeongroreul hompeijie annaehadorok hagetseumnida.
    “For those who are participating in the graduation ceremony, we will provide the directions on the website.”

시작한 장소 (sijakan jangso) – “place from which something started”
발원지 (barwonji) – “origin”

Examples:

  • 그 바이러스가 시작한 장소는 부산이라고 합니다 .
    Geu baileoseuga sijakan jangsoneun busanirago hamnida.
    “The place where the virus started is called Busan.”
  • 그 바이러스의 발원지는 부산이라고 합니다.
    Geu baileoseuga barwonjineun jangsoneun busanirago hamnida.
    “The place where the virus originated is called Busan.”

일이 없어지다 (iri eopseojida) – “to lose one’s job”
밥줄이 끊기다 (bapjuri kkeunkida) – Direct translation: “The rice line is cut off”

Examples:

  • 갑자기 일이 없어졌다. 앞으로 생계가 막막해졌다.
    Gapjagi iri eopseojyeotda. Apeuro saenggyega mangmakaejyeotda.
    “Suddenly, there was no work. I’m at a loss over how to make ends meet.”
  • 당장 밥줄이 끊겼다. 앞으로 생계가 막막하다.
    Dangjang bapjuri kkeunkyeotda. Apeuro saenggyega mangmakaejyeotda.
    “There is no more work. I’m at a loss over how to make ends meet.”

사람이 없다 (sarami eopda) – “no one is here” 
발길이 끊기다 (balgiri kkeunkida) – Direct translation: “Be cut off”

Examples:

  • 레스토랑에 바퀴벌레가 나온 후 사람들이 오지 않아 가게에 사람이 한명도 없었다. 
    Reseutorange bakwibeollega naon hu saramdeuri oji ana gagee sarami hanmyeongdo eopseotda.
    “After cockroaches appeared in the restaurant, no people came, so there were no people in the store.”
  • 레스토랑에 바퀴벌레가 나온 후 사람들의 발길이 끊겼다. 
    Reseutorange bakwibeollega naon hu saramdeuri balgiri kkeunkyeotda.
    “After cockroaches appeared in the restaurant, people stopped coming.”

의미하다 (uimihada) – “to mean”
시사하다 (sisahada) – “to suggest”

Examples:

  • 그 뉴스는 한국 교육의 현실을 의미하고 있다. 
    Geu nyuseuneun hanguk gyoyugui hyeonsireul uimihago itda.
    “The news indicates the reality of Korean education.”
  • 그 뉴스는 한국 교육의 현실을 시사하고 있다.
    Geu nyuseuneun hanguk gyoyugui hyeonsireul sisahago itda.
    “The news suggests the reality of Korean education.”

끝에서 끝까지 한번에 보다 (kkeuteseo kkeutkkaji hanbeone boda) – “look at everything at once from end to end”
머리부터 발끝까지 훑어보다 (meoributeo balkkeutkkaji hulteoboda) – “scan from head to toe”

Examples:

  • 그 사람은 나를 만나자마자 끝에서 끝까지 한번에 보곤 인사도 하지 않고 그냥 걸어갔다.
    Geu sarameun nareul mannajamaja kkeuteseo kkeutkkaji hanbeone bogon insado haji anko geunyang georeogatda.
    As soon as he met me, he looked at me from end to end and walked away without saying hello.
  • 그 사람은 나를 만나자마자 머리부터 발끝까지 훑어보고는 인사도 하지 않고 그냥 걸어갔다.
    Geu sarameun nareul mannajamaja meoributeo balkkeutkkaji hulteobogoneun insado haji anko geunyang georeogatda.
    As soon as he met me, he looked from head to toe and walked away without saying hello.

모든 것 (modeun geot) – “everything”
일거수 일투족 (ilgeosu iltujok) – “everything” 

Examples: 

  • 교도소의 씨씨티비는 범죄자의 모든것을 항상 기록하고 있다.
    Gyodosoui ssissitibineun beomjoejaui modeungeoseul hangsang gilokago itda.
    “The prison’s CCTV keeps track of all the criminals.”
  • 교도소의 씨씨티비는 범죄자의 일거수일투족을 항상 기록하고 있다.
    Gyodosoui ssissitibineun beomjoejaui ilgeosu iltujogeul hangsang gilokago itda.
    “The prison’s CCTV always records every move of the criminal.”

사실과 다르게 거짓을 전달하다 (sasilgwa dareuge geojiseul jeondalhada) – “to convey a lie differently from the facts”
왜곡하다 (waegokada) – “to distort” / “to twist”

Examples:

  • 역사를 사실과 다르게하여 거짓을 전달하는 것은 용서할 수 없는 일이다.
    Yeoksareul sasilgwa dareugehayeo geojiseul jeondalhaneun geoseun yongseohal su eomneun irida.
    “It is unforgivable to make history different from facts to convey lies.”
  • 역사를 왜곡하여 가르치는 일은 용서할 수 없는 일이다.
    Yeoksareul waegokayeo gareuchineun ireun yongseohal su eomneun irida.
    “Teaching history by twisting it is unforgivable.”

결과의 원인이 되다 (gyeolgwaui wonini doeda) – “to cause consequences”
초래하다 (choraehada) – “to redound”

Examples: 

  • 한번의 실수가 위험한 결과의 원인이 될 수도 있으니까 조심하세요. 
    Hanbeonui silsuga wiheomhan gyeolgwaui wonini doel sudo isseunikka josimhaseyo.
    “Be careful, as a single mistake can cause dangerous consequences.”
  • 한번의 실수가 위험한 결과를 초래할 수도 있으니까 조심하세요. 
    Hanbeonui silsuga wiheomhan gyeolgwareul choraehal sudo isseunikka josimhaseyo.
    “Be careful, as a single mistake can have dangerous consequences.”

먼저하다 (meonjeohada) – “to do first”
선행되다 (seonhaengdoeda) “to precede”

Examples: 

  • 대학교 기숙사에 들어오기 위해서는 건강검진을 먼저 해야 합니다. 
    Daehakgyo gisugsae deureoogi wihaeseoneun geonganggeomjineul meonjeo haeya hamnida.
    “In order to enter the university dormitory, you must first undergo a medical examination.”
  • 대학교 기숙사에 들어오기 위해서는 건강검진이 선행돼야 합니다. 
    Daehakgyo gisugsae deureoogi wihaeseoneun geonganggeomjini seonhaengdwaeya hamnida.
    “A medical examination must precede your entrance to the university dormitory.”

가방끈이 길다 (gabangkkeuni gilda) – “learn a lot and have a high education”
Advanced word: 많이 배워 학력이 높다 (mani baewo hagnyeogi nopda) – “learn a lot and have a high education”

Examples:

  • 가방끈이 긴 사람이 오히려 이해관계에 더 철저하다.
    Gabangkkeuni gin sarami ohiryeo ihaegwangyei deo cheoljeohada.
    “Those with a high degree of education who have learned a lot are rather thorough in their interest.”
  • 많이 배워 학력이 높은 사람이 오히려 이해관계에 더 철저하다.
    Mani baewo hagnyeogi nopeun sarami ohiryeo ihaegwangyei deo cheoljeohada.
    “Those with a high degree of education who have learned a lot are rather thorough in their interest.”

가방끈이 짧다 (gabangkkeuni jjalda) – “have a low academic background”
많이 배우지 못해 학력이 낮다 (mani baeuji motae hagnyeogi natda) – “have a low academic background”

Examples:

  • 어려운 집안 사정으로 가방끈이 짧았던 아버지는 자식만큼은 대학에 보내려고 무진장 애를 쓰셨다.
    Eeoryeoun jiban sajeongeuro gabangkkeuni jjalbatdeon abeojineun jasikmankeumeun daehage bonaeryeogo mujinjang aereul sseusyeotda.
    “My father, who had a low academic background, struggled to send his children to college.”
  • 어려운 집안 사정으로 많이 배우지 못해 학력이 낮았던 아버지는 자식만큼은 대학에 보내려고 무진장 애를 쓰셨다.
    Eeoryeoun jiban sajeongeuro mani baeuji motae hagnyeogi najatdeon abeojineun jasikmankeumeun daehage bonaeryeogo mujinjang aereul sseusyeotd.
    “My father, whose education was low because he couldn’t learn much due to difficult family circumstances, struggled to send his children to college.”

마음속 깊이 원통한 생각이 맺히게 하다 (maeumsok gipi wontonghan saenggagi maechige hada) – “make deep thoughts of sadness in the heart”
가슴에 못을 박다 (gaseume moseul bakda) – “nail in the chest”

Examples:

  • 그는 부모님 마음속 깊이 원통한 생각이 맺히게 했다.
    Geuneun bumonim maeumsok gipi wontonghan saenggagi maechige haetda.
    “He made a sad new angle deep in his parents’ hearts.”
  • 그는 부모님 가슴에 못을 박는 불효를 저질렀다.
    Geuneun bumonim gaseume moseul bagneun bulhyoreul jeojilleotda.
    “He nailed his parents’ chests by being unfaithful to his spouse.”

상대편에게 모진 마음을 먹거나 흉악한 생각을 하다 (sangdaepyeonege mojin maeumeul meokgeona hyungakan saenggageul hada) – “feeling hard on the other side” or “thinking wickedly”
가슴에 칼을 품다 (gaseume kareul pumda) – “hold a sword in one’s chest”

Examples:

  • 당신이 그 말을 한 이후로 저 사람은 당신에게 모진 마음을 먹거나 흉악한 생각을 하고 있으니 조심하시오.
    Dangsini geu mareul han ihuro jeo sarameun dangsinege mojin maeumeul meokgeona hyungakan saenggageul hago isseuni josimhasio.
    “Be careful; since you said that, he’s been hard on you or has nasty thoughts.”
  • 당신이 그 말을 한 이후로 저 사람은 가슴에 칼을 품고 있으니 조심하시오.
    Dangsini geu mareul han ihuro jeo sarameun gaseume kareul pumgo isseuni josimhasio.
    “Be careful; he has a sword in his chest since you said that.”

불안하고 초조하여 마음을 펴지 못하고 있다 (buranhago chojohayeo maeumeul pyeoji motago itda) – “feeling anxious”
가슴이 콩알만 해지다 (gaseumi kongalman haejida) – “one’s heart grows like a bean”

Examples:

  • 무서운 폭음을 듣고 가슴이 불안하고 초조하여 마음을 펴지 못해졌다.
    Museoun pogeumeul deutgo gaseumi buranhago chojohayeo maeumeul pyeoji motaejyeotda.
    “When I heard the terrible binge drinking, my heart was anxious and nervous, and I couldn’t open my heart.”
  • 무서운 폭음을 듣고 가슴이 콩알만 해졌다.
    Museoun pogeumeul deutgo gaseumi kongalman haejeotda.
    “When I heard the terrible binge drinking, my heart became a bean.”

공격의 의도나 불평불만이 있다 (gonggyeogui uidona bulpyeongbulmani itda) – “intent to attack or complain about”
가시가 돋다 (gasiga dotda) – “intent to attack or complain about”

Examples:

  • 그는 공격의 의도나 불평불만으로 그녀에게 상처를 주었다.
    Geuneun gonggyeogui uidona bulpyeongbulmaneuro geunyeoege sangcheoreul judeotda.
    “He hurt her with the intention of attacking or complaining.”
  • 그는 가시가 돋은 말을 하여 그녀에게 상처를 주었다.
    Geuneun gasiga dodeun mareul hayeo geunyeoege sangcheoreul judeotda.
    “He hurt her with the intention of attacking or complaining.”

앙칼지고 고집이 세다 (angkaljigo gojibi seda) – “be stubborn”
가시가 세다 (gasiga seda) – “be stubborn”

Examples:

  • 그 아이는 앙칼지고 고집이 세기 때문에 만만치가 않다.
    Geu aineun angkaljigo gojibi segi ttaemune manmanchiga anta.
    “The child is anxious and stubborn, so it is not easy.”
  • 그 아이는 가시가 세어 만만치가 않다.
    Geu aineun gasiga seeo manmanchiga anta.
    “The child has so many thorns that it is not easy.”

주목을 받다 (jumogeul batda) – “attract attention”
각광을 받다 (gakgwangeul batda) – “be in the limelight” or “to gain attention”

Examples:

  • 우리 회사의 제품이 해외 시장에서 주목을 받기 시작했다.
    Uri hoesaui jepumi haeoe sijangeseo jumogeul batgi sijakaetda.
    “Our company’s products have begun to attract attention in overseas markets.”
  • 우리 회사의 제품이 해외 시장에서 각광을 받기 시작했다.
    Uri hoesaui jepumi haeoe sijangeseo gakgwangeul batgi sijakaetda.
    “Our company’s products have begun to gain attention in overseas markets.”

용기나 줏대 없이 남에게 굽히다 (yonggina jutdae eopsi namege gupida) – “bend to others without courage”
간도 쓸개도 없다 (gando sseulgaedo eopda) – “bend to others without courage”

Example:

  • 넌 간도 쓸개도 없니? 
    Neon gando sseulgaedo eopni?
    “Do you have neither a liver nor a gallbladder?” / “Are you being a coward?”

몹시 놀라다 (mopsi nollada) – “to be terribly surprised”
간이 떨어지다 (gani tteoreojida) – “to run out of liver” = “to be terribly surprised”

Examples:

  • 갑작스러운 폭발음에 몹시 놀랐다.
    Gapjakseureoun pokbareume mopsi nollatda.
    “I was terribly surprised by the sudden explosion.”
  • 갑작스러운 폭발음에 간이 떨어질 뻔했다.
    Gapjakseureoun pokbareume gani tteoreojil ppeonhaetda.
    “I was terribly surprised by the sudden explosion.”

겁이 없다 (geobi eopda) – “to have no fear”
간이 크다 (gani keuda) – “liver is large” = “to have no fear”

Examples:

  • 그는 보기보다 겁이 없다.
    Geuneun bogiboda geobi eopda.
    “He is less fearful than he looks.”
  • 그는 보기보다 간이 크다.
    Geuneun bogiboda gani keuda.
    “He is less fearful than he looks.”

서로 엇비슷할 정도의 아주 작은 차이 (seoro eotbiseutal jeongdoui aju jageun chai) – “very small differences that are similar to each other”
간발의 차이 (ganbarui chai) – “a small difference”

Examples:

  • 이번 달리기에서 나는 서로 엇비슷할 정도의 아주 작은 차이로 그를 이겼다.
    Ibeon dalligieseo naneun seoro eotbiseutal jeongdoui aju jageun chairo geureul igyeotda.
    “In this run, I beat him with very small differences that are similar to each other.”
  • 이번 달리기에서 나는 간발의 차이로 그를 이겼다.
    Ibeon dalligieseo naneun ganbarui chairo geureul igyeotda.
    “In this run, I beat him by a small margin.”

함부로 치고 때리다 (hamburo chigo ttaerida) – “to beat someone aggressively”
개 패듯하다 (gae paedeutada) – “to beat a dog aggressively”

Example:

  • 그렇게 사람을 개 패듯 하니 모든 사람들이 너를 싫어하잖아.
    Geureoke saremeul gae paedeusi hani modeun salamdeuri neoreul silreohajana.
    “Everyone hates you because you beat people like a dog.”

거짓말을 자주하다 (geojinmareul jajuhada) – “to lie often”
거짓말을 밥 먹듯 하다 (geojinmareul bap meokdeut hada) – “to lie often”

Examples:

  • 그 사람은 평소에 거짓말을 자주 하니  믿을수가 없어.
    Geu sarameun pyeongsoe geojinmareul jajuhani mideulsuga eopseo.
    “I can’t believe that person because he usually lies a lot.”
  • 그 사람은 평소에 거짓말을 밥 먹듯 하니 믿을수가 없어.
    Geu sarameun pyeongsoe geojinmareul bap meokdeut hani mideulsuga eopseo.
    “I can’t believe that person because he usually lies a lot.”

감정이 몹시 격해진 상태로 말하다 (gamjeongi mopsi gyeokaejin sangtaero malhada) – “to speak in a state of intense emotion”
거품을 물다 (geopumeul mulda) – “to speak in a state of intense emotion”

Examples:

  • 경찰서에 잡혀 온 교통사고 가해자는 자신이 오히려 피해자라며 감정이 몹시 격해진 상태로 말했다.
    Gyeongchalseoe japyeo on gyotongsago gahaejaneun jasini ohiryeo pihaejaramyeo ggamjeongi mopsi gyeokaejin sangtaero malhaetda.
    “The perpetrator of a traffic accident who was caught by the police said that he was rather a victim, and in a state of intense emotion.”
  • 경찰서에 잡혀 온 교통사고 가해자는 자신이 오히려 피해자라며 거품을 물고 대들었다.
    Gyeongchalseoe japyeo on gyotongsago gahaejaneun jasini ohiryeo pihaejaramyeo geopumeul mulgo daedeureotda.
    “The perpetrator of a traffic accident who was caught by the police said that he was rather a victim, and in a state of intense emotion.”

마음이 복잡하다 (maeumi bokjapada) – “feeling worried”
걱정이 태산이다 (geokjeongi taesanida) – “feeling worried”

Examples:

  • 앞으로 어떻게 살지 생각을 하니 마음이 복잡하다.
    Apeuro eotteoke salji saenggageul hani maeumi bokjapada.
    “I’m worried about how I’ll live in the future.”
  • 앞으로 어떻게 살지 생각을 하니 걱정이 태산이야.
    Apeuro eotteoke salji saenggageul hani geokjeongi taesanida.
    “I’m worried about how I’ll live in the future.”

매우 빨리 도망치다 (maeu ppalli domangchida) – “to run away very quickly”
걸음아 나 살려라 (georeuma na sallyeora) – “to run away very quickly”

Examples:

  • 호랑이를 보자마자 매우 빨리 도망쳤다.
    Horangireul bojamaja maeu ppalli domangchyeotda.
    “When I saw the tiger, I stepped up to save myself and ran away.”
  • 호랑이를 보자 걸음아 날 살려라 하고 달아났다.
    Horangireul bojamaja georeuma na sallyeora hago daranatda.
    “When I saw the tiger, I stepped up to save myself and ran away.”

물에 빠져 죽다 (mure ppajyeo jukda) – “to die from drowning”
고기밥이 되다 (gogibabi doeda) – “to die from drowning”

Examples:

  • 그 배에 타고 있던 사람들은 모두 물에 빠져 죽었다.
    Geu baee tago itdeon saramdeureun modu mure ppajyeo jugeotda.
    “All the people on the boat drowned.”
  • 그 배에 타고 있던 사람들은 모두 물에 빠져 고기밥이 되었다.
    Geu baee tago itdeon saramdeureun modu mure gogibabi doeeotda.
    “All the people on the boat drowned.”

긴장을 누그러뜨리다 (ginjangeul nugeureotteurida) – “to relieve tension”
고삐를 늦추다 (goppireul neutchuda) – “to relieve tension”

Examples:

  • 적군은 추격의 긴장을 누그러뜨리지 않았다.
    Jeokguneun chugyeogui ginjangeul nugeureotteuriji anatda.
    “The enemy forces did not ease the tension in the pursuit.”
  • 적군은 추격의 고삐를 늦추지 않았다.
    Jeokguneun chugyeogui goppireul neutchuji anatda.
    “The enemy forces did not ease the tension in the pursuit.”

앞으로 고생을 겪을 게 뻔하다. (Apeuro gosaengeul gyeokkeul ge ppeonhada.) – “It is almost certain that you will suffer in the future.”
고생문이 훤하다. (Gosaengmuni hwonhada.) – “It is almost certain that you will suffer in the future.”

Examples:

  • 너 이렇게 지내면 앞으로 고생을 겪을 게 뻔해.
    Neo ireoke jinaemyeon apeuro gosaengeul gyeokkeul ge ppeonhae.
    “If you stay like this, it’s obvious that you will suffer in the future.”
  • 너 이렇게 지내면 고생문이 훤해.
    Neo ireoke jinaemyeon gosaengmuni hwonhae.
    “If you stay like this, it’s obvious that you will suffer in the future.”

서로 앙숙 관계이다 (seoro angsuk gwangyeida) – “don’t get along together”
고양이와 개이다 (goyangiwa gaeida) – “don’t get along together”

Examples:

  • 두 사람은 서로 앙숙 관계이다.
    Du sarameun seoro angsuk gwangyeida.
    “The two have a hard relationship with each other.”
  • 두 사람은 고양이와 개의 관계이다.
    Du sarameun goyangiwa gaeui gwangyeida.
    “The two have a hard relationship with each other.”

사이가 틀어지다 (saiga teureojida) – “separated from one another”
금이 가다 (geumi gada) – “separated from one another”

Examples:

  • 서로 사이가 틀어졌다.
    Seuro saiga teureojyeotda.
    “We’ve gotten a bit different from each other.”
  • 우정에 금이 가다.
    Ujeonge geumi gada.
    “We’ve gotten a bit different from each other.”

슬그머니 피하다 (seulgeumeoni pihada) – “to sneak away”
꽁무니를 빼다 (kkongmunireul ppaeda) – “to sneak away”

Examples:

  • 내가 쳐다보니까 그 남자 슬그머니 피하더라고.
    Naega chyeodabonikka geu namja seulgeumeoni pihadeorago.
    “When I looked at him, he sneakily avoided me.”
  • 내가 쳐다보니까 그 남자 꽁무니를 빼더라고.
    Naega chyeodabonikka geu namja kkongmunireul ppaedeorago.
    “When I looked at him, he sneakily avoided me.”

나쁜 평가가 내려지다 (nappeun pyeonggaga naeryeojida) – “to have a bad reputation”
꼬리표가 붙다 (kkoripyoga butda) – “to have a bad reputation”

Examples:

  • 전과자라는 나쁜 평가가 내려지자 그 후로는 모두들 그와 어울리는 것을 꺼려했다.
    Jeongwajaraneun nappeun pyeonggaga naeryeojija geu huroneun modudeul geuwa eoullineun geoseul kkeoryeohaetda.
    “Everyone was reluctant to hang out with him because he had a bad reputation.”
  • 전과자라는 꼬리표가 붙자 그 후로는 모두들 그와 어울리는 것을 꺼려했다.
    Jeongwajaraneun kkoripyoga butja geu huroneun modudeul geuwa eoullineun geoseul kkeoryeohaetda.
    “Everyone was reluctant to hang out with him after he developed a bad reputation.”

We’ve covered several synonyms! Want to learn antonyms now? Then check out Antonyms: 15 Ways to Describe Opposites on KoreanClass101.com! 

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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”

Bonus Pages:


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7. How can KoreanClass101 help?

In this article, we looked at the most practical intermediate Korean words. It can be overwhelming to memorize all of them, but once you get there, you’ll be able to start advancing toward a more advanced level. 

Have more questions? Feel free to leave us a comment or ask our Korean tutors on KoreanClass101.com.

If you would like to continue learning with us, make sure to create your free lifetime account today. It’s our aim to make your learning journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible, and we provide our learners with a number of intuitive resources. Not sure where to start? Why not head over to our free vocabulary lists or get a feel for our intermediate Korean lessons

Happy Korean learning!

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88 Korean Words for Animals

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Do you know how to say the names of different animals in Korean? 

Learning animal words in a foreign language is a fun way to expand your vocabulary. Because animals are such a hot topic of discussion, having these words up your sleeve can also help you engage in conversations with native speakers. 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to 88 animal words in Korean. This includes animal names, important animal body parts, and Korean expressions that mention animals. 

Let’s go!

A Picture of Pets
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Pets
  2. Farm Animals
  3. In the Wild / Forest / Safari (Land Animals)
  4. In the Ocean (Aquatic / Marine Animals)
  5. Bugs and Insects
  6. Birds
  7. Animal Body Parts
  8. Animal-Related Proverbs and Idioms
  9. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn More Korean

1. Pets

Research conducted in 2020 shows that the most popular pets in South Korea are dogs (83.9%), followed by cats (32.8%) and fish (2.2%). When asked about their favorite animals (and not just pets), Koreans indicated an interest in tigers, Eurasian eagle-owls, and Japanese tree frogs. 

Here are the names of common pets in Korean:

강아지(gangaji)“puppy”
(gae)“dog”
고양이(goyangi)“cat”
햄스터(haemseuteo)“hamster”
토끼(tokki)“rabbit”
친칠라(chinchilla)“chinchilla”
(sae)“bird”
금붕어(geumbungeo)“goldfish”
(baem)“snake”
애완동물(aewandongmu)“pet”
애완견 (aewangyeon)“pet dog”

Example: 

A: 좋아하는 애완동물이 뭐예요?
A: Joahaneun aewandongmuri mwoyeyo? 
A: “What’s your favorite pet?”

B: 저는 햄스터를 좋아해서 지금 여섯 마리 키우고 있어요.
B: Jeoneun haemseuteoreul joahaeseo jigeum yeoseot mari kiugo isseoyo.
B: “I like hamsters, and currently have six.”

    ★ You can visit our free vocabulary list Animal Names to learn the names of even more animals, along with their pronunciation!

A Picture of Goats on a Farm

2. Farm Animals

Fun fact: Cows, pigs, and chickens are the three main farm animals in South Korea.

(so)“cow”
돼지(dwaeji)“pig”
(dak)“chicken”
(yang)“sheep”
알파카(alpaka)“alpaca”
오리(ori)“duck”
(mal)“horse”
염소(yeomso)“goat”
당나귀(dangnagwi)“donkey”
거위(geowi)“goose”
개구리(gaeguri)“frog”
멧돼지(metdwaeji)“wild boar”
송아지(songaji)“calf”

Example: 

A: 우리 할아버지 농장 운영하시는데, 구경하러 갈래? 소랑 돼지 엄청 많아.
A: Uri harabeoji nongjang unyeonghasineunde, gugyeonghareo gallae? Sorang dwaeji eomcheong mana.
A: “My grandfather runs a farm. Did you want to go and see? There are so many cows and pigs.”

B: 응, 좋아!
B: Eung, joa!
B: “Yes, sure!”

    ★ Do you want to learn what sounds animals make in Korean? Check out Sounds That Animals Make to hear their onomatopoeia for yourself! 
    ★ You can also visit our lesson Farm Animals in Korean to learn more relevant words. 
    ★ For advanced learners, we recommend our lesson How Do You Feel About Animals in Zoos? You’ll get to hear about a Korean speaker’s trip to a zoo in Japan that caused her to question how she felt about caging wild animals.

A Picture of a Lion

3. In the Wild / Forest / Safari (Land Animals)

Fun fact: Did you know that the national symbol of South Korea is the tiger? There used to be tigers in Korea, but they’re now extinct. 

You might also like to know that the national bird of South Korea is the Oriental magpie, and the national flower is the Hibiscus syriacus

Want to learn more? Check out the page National symbols of South Korea on Wikipedia!

Now, here are the names of common wild animals in Korean:

사슴(saseum)“deer”
사자(saja)“lion”
호랑이(horangi)“tiger”
원숭이(wonsungi)“monkey”
하마(hama)“hippo”
코뿔소(koppulso)“rhino”
얼룩말(eollugmal)“zebra”
코끼리(kokkiri)“elephant”
여우(yeou)“fox”
(gom)“bear”
늑대(neukdae)“wolf”

Example: 

A: 한국의 상징 동물이 뭔지 알아?
A: Hangugui sangjing dongmuri mwonji ara?
A: “Do you know what the national animal of Korea is?”

B: 응, 호랑이잖아.
B: Eung, horangijana.
B: “Yeah, it’s a tiger.”


A Picture of Marine and Aquatic Animals

4. In the Ocean (Aquatic / Marine Animals)

Considering that South Korea has roughly 1500 miles of coastline, it should come as no surprise that we enjoy a diverse population of marine life. 

Here are the names of common aquatic animals in Korean:

돌고래(dolgorae)“dolphin”
물고기(mulgogi)“fish”
고래(gorae)“whale”
문어(muneo)“octopus”
오징어(ojingeo)“squid”
조개(jogae)“clam”
물개(mulgae)“seal”
해파리(haepari)“jellyfish”
 (ge)“crab”
상어(sangeo)“shark”
바닷가재(badaggajae)“lobster”
펭귄(penggwin)“penguin”
송어(songeo)“trout”
물개(mulgae)“seal”
거북이(geobugi)“turtle”


A Picture of a Ladybug

5. Bugs and Insects

While we may not like bugs all that much, they do comprise an essential part of the world’s ecosystem. Let’s take a look at what the most common ones are called in Korean:

(beol)“bee”
거미(geomi)“spider”
달팽이(dalpaengi)“snail”
나비 (nabi)“butterfly”
잠자리(jamjari)“dragonfly”
무당 벌레(mudang beolle)“ladybug”
메뚜기(mettugi)“grasshopper”
사마귀(samagwi)“mantis”
물 거미(mul geomi)“water spider”
애벌레(aebeolle)“larva”
바퀴벌레(bakwibeolle)“cockroach”
개미(gaemi)“ant”

A Picture of Blue Papagalakia Birds

6. Birds 

Did you know there are 583 species of birds in South Korea? While we can’t list all of them here, we’ve included below the names of common birds in South Korea and around the globe:

독수리(doksuril)“eagle”
홍학(honghak)“flamingo”
왜가리(waegali)“heron”
암탉(amtak)“hen”
올빼미(olppaemi)“owl”
공작(gongjak)“peacock”
망아지(mangaji)“foal”
새끼 양(saekki yang)“lamb”
비둘기(bidulgi)“pigeon”
칠면조(chilmyeonjo)“turkey”
황새(hwangsae)“stork”
백조(baekjo)“swan”

A Picture of an Orange Feather

7. Animal Body Parts

Now that you’ve learned the names of many different animals in the Korean language, let’s briefly look at what we call the most important animal body parts.

 부리(buri)“beak”
깃털(gitteol) “feather”
 (ppul) “horn”
말굽(malgup)“horse”
 입마개(ipmagae)“muzzle”
 발톱(baltop)“claw”
 이빨 (ippal) “teeth”
꼬리 (kkori)“tail”

    ★ Would you like to learn the sounds animals make in Korean? Then visit our lesson 10 Animal Sounds!

A Picture of an Old Lady

8. Animal-Related Proverbs and Idioms

Korean animal proverbs and idioms are easy to understand, and Koreans use them every day. Here are just a few of them for you.

하룻강아지 범 무서운줄 모른다Harutgangaji beom museounjul moreunda.“A day-old puppy is not afraid of a tiger.”
This means that an inexperienced person doesn’t know when to be cautious. The meaning can be either positive or negative, depending on how one uses it. 

Example: 

A: 뭐? 신입사원이 매니저한테 소리를 질렀다고?
A: Mwo? Sinipsawoni maenijeohante sorireul jilleotdago?
A: “What? The new employee yelled at the manager?”

B: 그러니까… 하룻강아지 범 무서운줄 모른다더니..
B: Geureonikka…harutgangaji beom museounjul moreundadeoni..
B: “I know right… A day-old puppy is not afraid of a tiger…”

고래싸움에 새우 등 터진다Goraessaume saeu deung teojinda.“When whales fight, the shrimp’s back breaks.”
This means that when two big powers fight against each other, the little bystander is the victim. 

Example: 

A: 오늘 아침 어머니와 아버지가 싸우시는데 그 앞에 서 있다가, 공연히 고래싸움에 새우 등 터질 뻔했어.
A: Oneul achim eomeoniwa abeojiga ssausineunde geu ape seo itdaga, gongyeoni goraessaume saeu deung teojil ppeonhaesseo.
A: “My mother and father were fighting this morning, and I was standing in front of them, and the shrimp’s back almost broke in the fight.”

B: 그러게 왜 앞에 서 있었어?
B: Geureoge wae ape seo isseosseo?
B: “So why were you standing in front of them (in the first place)?”

우물 안 개구리umul an gaeguri“a frog in a well”
The English equivalent is “a big fish in a small pond,” but the Korean idiom has more of a negative connotation.

Example: 

우물 안 개구리가 되지 않으려면 기존에서 벗어난 사고 방식이 필요하다.
Umul an gaeguriga doeji aneuryeomyeon gijoneseo beoseonan sago bangsigi piryohada.
“If you don’t want to be a frog in the well, we really want to change things.”

소 귀에 경 읽기so gwie gyeong ikgi“reading the Bible to a cow”
The English equivalent is “to fall on deaf ears.” This means that even though you try your best to explain something to an ignorant person, they will never understand.

Example: 

요즘 어린 학생들은 어른이 지적을 해도 듣지 않아. 정말 소 귀에 경 읽기야.
Yojeum eorin haksaengdeureun eoreuni jijeogeul haedo deutji ana. Jeongmal so gwie gyeong ikgiya.
“These days, young people don’t listen even when adults point things out. It feels like reading the Bible to a cow.”

호랑이도 제 말하면 온다 Horangido je malhamyeon onda.“Even the tiger will come when it’s mentioned.”
The English equivalent is “Speak of the devil.”

Example: 

호랑이도 제말하면 온다더니, 앨리스가 여기 왔어.
Horangido je malhamyeon ondadeoni, alliseuga yeogi wasseo.
“Speaking of the devil. Alice is here.”

9. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn More Korean

You’ve just learned 88 animal words in Korean, as well as a few popular animal-related expressions. 

What’s your favorite animal? Do you know its name in Korean? 

If you would like to continue learning the Korean language, create your free lifetime account on KoreanClass101.com today! We make learning fun and provide our students with a number of effective and entertaining resources: free vocabulary lists, audio and video lessons, and much more! You can also head over to our YouTube channel to learn Korean while watching fun videos.

Happy learning!

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Essential Korean Phone Conversation Phrases

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Knowing how to communicate over the phone is an essential skill. 

Whether you want to make a reservation at a restaurant or discuss business plans with your long-distance colleague, you’ll need to pick up the phone! 

Holding a phone conversation is difficult enough in one’s native language, let alone in a foreign language like Korean! But don’t worry. 

In this article, you’ll learn some essential Korean phone conversation phrases and see dialogue examples showing how they might be used. By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll be able to confidently make a phone call in Korean for any situation!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Picking up the Phone
  2. Saying Who You Are
  3. Stating the Reason for Your Call
  4. Asking to Speak to Someone
  5. Asking Someone to Wait
  6. Leaving a Message
  7. Asking for Clarification
  8. Sample Phone Conversations
  9. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Master the Korean Language

1. Picking up the Phone

There are a number of different ways to answer the phone in Korean. The standard phrase is 여보세요 (yeoboseyo), though if you’re in a business setting or calling customer service, they’ll answer the phone differently. 

Below, you’ll find a few different phrases that are used to answer a phone call in Korean. 

1) 여보세요 (yeoboseyo

You’ve likely heard this phrase many times already if you watch Korean dramas! 

여보세요 (yeoboseyo), meaning “hello” in English, is the standard Korean phone greeting and is only used over the phone. Keep in mind that there are no “polite” or “casual” ways to answer the phone in Korean; we use this set phrase by default, unless we’re answering the phone in a business context (more on this later). 

The phrase 여보세요 (yeoboseyo) is a combination of several words: 

  • 여기 (yeogi) – “here”
  • 보다 (boda) – “to see”
  • 세요 (seyo) – “~do”

Additional Notes: Another common way to answer the phone is with the elongated sound 네 (ne), meaning “yes.” This greeting is commonly used by elders in Korea. 

Example:

A:
여보세요.
(Yeoboseyo.)
“Hello.”

B:
여보세요, 누구세요?
(Yeoboseyo, nuguseyo?)
“Hello, who is this?”

2) 무엇을 도와드릴까요? (Mueoseul dowadeurilkkayo?

This phrase means “How may I help you?” in English. It’s commonly used by customer service representatives to start a conversation with the caller. They usually state the name of the company, followed by their name, before saying this phrase. 

Example:

A 회사의 김미영입니다. 무엇을 도와드릴까요?
(A hoesaui gimmiyeongimnida. Mueoseul dowadeurilkkayo?)
“This is A company’s Kim Mi-yeong speaking. How may I help you?”

3) 뭐 해? (Mwo hae?

This is a more casual greeting used both on the phone and in 카카오톡 (kakaotok), or “Kakaotalk.” Kakaotalk, commonly referred to as 카톡 (katok) or “KaTalk” in South Korea, is a free mobile instant messaging application (similar to Line, WeChat, etc.). The majority of Koreans use Kakaotalk to send messages and call each other.

There is a casual form and a more polite form of this phrase, both meaning “What are you up to?”

  • Casual: 뭐 해? (Mwo hae?)
  • Polite: 지금 뭐 하세요? (Jigeum mwo haseyo?)

Both versions are commonly used to initiate conversation, but you need to make sure that you and the other person have established rapport before using either one. If you say this to a stranger or someone you don’t know well, you may sound rude or the receiver may misinterpret your intentions.

    → Check out our lesson Calling on Skype to learn more about saying hello over the phone.

A Lady Laying Down on the Carpet while Talking on the Phone with a Friend

2. Saying Who You Are

It’s important to say who you are before jumping into the topic you want to talk about. There are different Korean phone phrases you can use to introduce yourself, so let’s have a look at each one. 

1) [회사이름] 의 [이름]입니다. ([Hoesaileum] ui [ireum]imnida.)

This phrase translates to: “This is [name] of the [company’s name].”

It’s a formal way to introduce yourself over the phone and it’s commonly used in business settings. 

While 여보세요 (yeoboseyo) is the standard phone call greeting in Korea, you should avoid using it in business settings or other formal contexts as it sounds less professional. 

When a receptionist answers the phone, for example, they usually say [회사이름] 의 [이름]입니다. You can reply using the same phrase pattern in order to let them know who you are. 

Example:

A: 
코리안클래스101의 폴입니다.
(Koreankeullaseu101ui porimnida.)
“This is Paul from KoreanClass101.”

B: 
안녕하세요, A사의 앨리스입니다.
(Annyeonghaseyo, A-saui aelliseuimnida.)
“Hello, this is Alice from A company.”

2) 안녕하세요, [이름]입니다. (Annyeonghaseyo, [ireum]imnida.

Another common way to introduce yourself in business settings is: 

  • 안녕하세요, [이름]입니다. (Annyeonghaseyo, [ireum]imnida.) – “Hello, this is [name].”

You may also hear this phrase preceded by the sound 네 (ne):

  • 네, 안녕하세요, [이름] 입니다. (Ne, annyeonghaseyo, [ireum]imnida.)

Which phrase is more polite? There’s no right or wrong answer, so choose the version that feels right to you. 

Example:

A: 
네, B사의 진입니다.
(Ne, B-saui jinimnida.)
“Hello, this is Jin from B company.”

B: 
안녕하세요 진씨. 저는 C사의 연아라고합니다.
(Annyeonghaseyo jinssi. Jeoneun C-saui yeonaragohamnida.)
“Hello Jin. This is Yeona from C company.”

3) 안녕하세요, [회사이름] 의 [이름] 입니다. (Annyeonghaseyo, [hoesaileum]ui [ireum] imnida.)

This phone introduction phrase translates to: “Hello. This is [name] of the [company’s name].” It is the most polite and common way to introduce oneself over the phone in business settings. 

Do you see the pattern?

In business settings, you need to greet, state your company, and give your name. 

Once you know this pattern and get some practice using it, you’ll have no problem introducing yourself in formal contexts! 

Example:

A사의 김미영입니다.
(A-saui gimmiyeongimnida.)
“This is Kim Miyeong of A company.”


4) 나야 (naya

The Korean phrase 나야 (naya), meaning “It’s me,” is commonly used among friends. Feel free to use it when the call receiver knows you well, instead of telling him or her who you are.

There are two other versions of this phrase you could also use: 

  • 어 나야 (eo naya) – “Hey, it’s me.”
  • 나 소연 (na soyeon) – “I’m Soyeon.”

Example:

A: 여보세요? (Yeoboseyo?) – “Hello?”
B: 어 나야. (Eo naya.) – “Hey, it’s me.”
A: 어 안녕. (Eo annyeong.) – “Oh hey, hello.”
B: 뭐 해? (Mwo hae?) – “What are you up to?”
A: 아무것도 안해. (Amugeotdo anhae.) – “Nothing.”

5) 나 [이름] (na [ireum]

This phrase means “It’s [name],” and it’s frequently used among friends. 

Example:

A: 여보세요. (Yeoboseyo?) – “Hello?”
B: 나 소연. (Na soyeon.) – “It’s Soyeon.”


A Person Dialing a Number to Make a Phone Call

3. Stating the Reason for Your Call

A vital step in your Korean phone call conversation is to let the receiver know why you’re calling. Effective communication is key here! 

1) 예약하려고 전화드렸어요. (Yeyaghalyeogo jeonhwadeuryeosseoyo.)

If you plan to meet a friend for lunch or have a dinner date coming up, you’ll need to know this phrase! It means: “I am calling to make a reservation.”

In order to reserve a table for lunch or dinner specifically, you would add the appropriate word to the beginning of the phrase. 

For example, to say “I want to make a reservation for lunch,” add the Korean word for “lunch” to the beginning of this phrase:

A: 
안녕하세요, A 레스토랑입니다.
(Annyeonghaseyo, A reseutorangimnida.)
“Hello, this is A restaurant.”

B: 
안녕하세요, 점심 예약하려고 전화드렸어요.
(Annyeonghaseyo, jeomsim yeyakaryeogo jeonhwadeuryeosseoyo.)
“Hello, I am calling to make a reservation for lunch.”

A: 
네, 몇분이시죠?
(Ne, myeotbunisijyo?)
“Okay, how many people?”

2) 문의 드릴것이 있어서 전화드렸어요. (Munui deurilgeosi isseoseo jeonhwadeuryeosseoyo.) 

Translation: “I am calling because I have an inquiry.”

You can use this phrase if the purpose of your call is to receive an answer to a question or to gain more information about something. 

If you want to make it even more polite or business-like, you could say: 

  • 문의드릴것이 있어서 전화드렸습니다. (Mun-uideulilgeos-i iss-eoseo jeonhwadeulyeossseubnida.)

If you want to say it casually (to a friend, for example), you could say: 

  • 물어볼것이 있어서 전화했어. (Mul-eobolgeos-i iss-eoseo jeonhwahaess-eo.)

Example:

A: 
콜센터 린입니다. 무엇을 도와드릴까요?
(Kolsenteo linimnida. Mueoseul dowadeurilkkayo?)
“This is Lyn from the call center. How may I help you?”

B: 
안녕하세요, 문의드릴것이 있어서 전화드렸어요.
(Annyeonghaseyo, munui deurilgeosi isseoseo jeonhwadeuryeosseoyo.)
“Hello, I am calling because I have an inquiry.”

4) 뭐하고 있는지 궁금해서 전화해봤어. (Mwohago inneunji gunggeumhaeseo jeonhwahaebwasseo.) 

This one means: “I called because I am curious what you are doing now.”

You could say this phrase to a friend or to someone you want to get to know better. 

Example:

A: 
여보세요.
(Yeoboseyo.)
“Hello.”

B: 
어, 나야.
(Eo, naya.)
“Hey, it’s me.”

A: 
어, 무슨일 있어?
(Eo, museunil isseo?)
“Uh, what’s up?”

B: 
뭐하고 있는지 궁금해서 전화해봤어.
(Mwohago inneunji gunggeumhaeseo jeonhwahaebwasseo.)
“I called because I am curious what you are doing now.”

5) 안 본지 너무 오래돼서 잘 지내는지 궁금해서 전화해봤어. (An bonji neomu oraedwaeseo jal jinaeneunji gunggeumhaeseo jeonhwahaebwasseo.

This is a casual way to say: “It’s been awhile since we saw each other, so I called to check up on you.” 

Example:

A: 
여보세요.
(Yeoboseyo.)
“Hello.”

B: 
어, 나야.
(Eo, naya.)
“Hey, it’s me.”

A: 
안본지 너무 오래돼서 잘지내는지 궁금해서 전화해봤어.
(An bonji neomu oraedwaeseo jal jinaeneunji gunggeumhaeseo jeonhwahaebwasseo.)
“It’s been awhile since we saw each other, so I called to check up on you.”

6) 전화했었어? (Jeonhwahaesseosseo?

This is another common Korean phone call phrase, often used to start a conversation. It means: “Did you call?”

Example:

A: 여보세요. (Yeoboseyo.) – “Hello.”
B: 어, 나 소연. 전화했었어? (Eo, na soyeon. Jeonhwahaesseosseo?) – “Hey, it’s Soyeon. Did you call?”
A: 아 어, 했었어. (A eo, haesseosseo.) – “Ah, yeah I did.”


A Lady Studying with a Smartphone

4. Asking to Speak to Someone

If you’re calling a home phone or business line (or if someone else answers your friend’s smartphone!), you might need to ask to speak to another individual. Here are some Korean phrases you can use to do this. 

1) [이름] 집에 있습니까? ([Ileum] jibe issseumnikka?

If you’re trying to reach a friend and someone else picks up the phone, you can use this phrase to ask if they can put your friend on the line. This phrase means: “Is [name] home?”

Example:

A: 여보세요. (Yeoboseyo.) – “Hello.”
B: 어, 나 소연. (Eo, na soyeon.) – “Hey, it’s Soyeon.”
A: 에이미 집에 있습니까? (Eimi jibe issseumnikka?) – “Is Amy home?”

2) ___씨와 통화할 수 있을까요? (___ssiwa tonghwahal su isseulkkayo?) 

This phrase translates to: “Could I speak to ___, please?”

In business settings, it’s good etiquette to use either 씨 (ssi) or 님 (nim) when asking to speak to someone. Both mean “Mr. / Mrs. / Ms.” but 님 (nim) is considered more polite than 씨 (ssi). If you’re not sure which word to use, pay close attention to your colleagues. Which one do they use? If you notice that they use one instead of the other, then follow their lead. 

Example:

A:
코리안클래스101의 폴입니다.
(Koreankeullaeseu101ui porimnida.)
“This is Paul from KoreanClass101.”

B:
안녕하세요, A사의 김미영입니다. 앨리스 씨와 통화할 수 있을까요?
(Annyeonghaseyo, A-saui gimmiyeongimnida. Aelliseu ssiwa tonghwahal su isseulkkayo?)
“Hello, this is Kim Miyeong of A company. Could I speak to Alice, please?”

A:
연결해드리겠습니다.
(Yeongyeolhaedeurigetseumnida.)
“I will put you through.”

3) [Family name] [Job title]님 + 자리에 계신가요? ([Family name] [Job title]nim + jarie gyesingayo?

This phrase means: “Is Mr./Ms. [Name] there?”

It’s a common way to ask if someone is available to speak. 

Example:

A: 
코리안클래스101의 폴입니다.
(Koreankeullaeseu101ui porimnida.)
“This is Paul from KoreanClass101.”

B: 
안녕하세요, A회사의 김미영입니다. 앨리스님 자리에 계신가요?
(Annyeonghaseyo, A-saui gimmiyeongimnida. Alliseunim jarie gyesingayo?)
“Hello, this is Kim Miyeong of A company. Is Alice there?”

A: 
네, 자리에 계십니다. 지금 바로 연결해드리겠습니다.
(Ne, jarie gyesimndal. Jigeum baro yeongyeolhaedeurigetseumnida.)
“Yes, she is here. I will put you through.”

4) [이름] 지금 집에 있어? ([Ireum] jigeum jibe isseo?

This is a casual way to ask “Is [name] at home?”

Example:

A:
여보세요.
(Yeoboseyo.)
“Hello.”

B: 
나 연아인데, 가연이 지금 집에 있어?
(Na yeonainde, gayeoni jigeum jibe isseo?)
“I’m Yeona, is Gayeon at home?”

5) [이름] 바꿔줄래? ([Ireum] bakkwojullae?) 

This is a casual way to ask “Can you put me through to [name?]” If you want to say it politely, use: 

  • [이름] 바꿔주시겠습니까? (Iireum] bakkwojusigetseumnikka?) – “Can you please put me through to [name]?”

Example:

A: 여보세요. (Yeoboseyo.) – “Hello.”
B: 가연이 바꿔줄래? (Gayeoni bakkwojullae?) – “Can you put me through to Gayeon?”

6) [이름] 이랑 통화할 수 있을까? ([Ireum] irang tonghwahal su isseulkka?) 

This is a casual way to ask “Can I speak to [name]?” in Korean. A more polite version is:

  • [이름]씨와 통화할 수 있을까요? ([Ireum] ssiwa tonghwahal su isseulkkayo?) – “Can I please speak to [name]?”

Example:

A: 여보세요. (Yeoboseyo.) – “Hello.”
B: 가연이랑 통화할 수 있을까? (Gayeonirang tonghwahal su isseulkka?) – “Can I speak to Gayeon?”

    → Do you want to boost your confidence in speaking business Korean? Then check out our lesson series Business Korean for Beginners to really learn the ropes!

A Lady Working Overtime at the Office, Talking on the Phone

5. Asking Someone to Wait

Especially in business settings, it’s common practice to ask the other person to wait while you connect them or retrieve requested information. Here are a few ways you can do this in Korean: 

1) 잠시만요. (Jamsimanyo.)

This Korean phone call phrase translates to: “Hold on, please.”

Example:

A: 앨리스님 자리에 계신가요? (Aelliseunim jarie gyesingayo?) – “Could I speak to Alice, please?”
B: 그럼요. 잠시만요. (Geureomyo. Jamsimanyo.) – “Of course. Hold on, please.”

2) 잠시만 기다려주세요. (Jamsiman gidaryeojuseyo.

This phrase has the same meaning as the one above, but it’s considered more polite. 

Example:

A: 앨리스님 자리에 계신가요? (Aelliseunim jarie gyesingayo?) – “Could I speak to Alice, please?”
B: 잠시만 기다려주세요. (Jamsiman gidaryeojuseyo.) – “Hold on, please.”

3) [이름] 씨 연결해 드리겠습니다. ([Ileum] ssi yeongyeolhae deurigetseumnida.)

This phrase means: “I’ll put you through to [name].”

If you ask to speak to someone, the person on the other end of the call may say this phrase to let you know you’re being transferred. You might also hear this phrase used without the name: 

  • 연결해 드리겠습니다. (Yeongyeolhae deurigetseumnida.

Example:

A: 연아 씨 지금 자리에 계신가요? (Yeona ssii jigeum jarie gyesingayo?) – “Could I speak to Yeona, please?”
B: 네, 연결해 드리겠습니다. (Ne, yeongyeolhae deurigetseumnida.) – “Yes, I will put you through.”

4) 죄송하지만 ___씨가 잠시 자리를 비웠습니다. (Joesonghajiman ___ssiga jamsi jalireul biwotseumnida.)

This phrase means: “I’m afraid ___ isn’t in at the moment.”

 죄송 (jeosong) means “sorry” and 하지만 (hajiman) means “but.” Together, it means: “I am sorry, but…” 

Example:

A: 
연아씨 지금 자리에 계신가요?
(Yeona ssii jigeum jarie gyesingayo?)
“Could I speak to Yeona, please?”

B: 
죄송하지만 연아씨가 잠시 자리를 비웠습니다.
(Joesonghajiman yeona ssiga jamsi jalireul biwotseumnida.)
“I am afraid Yeona isn’t in at the moment.”

5) 메시지를 남기시겠어요? (Mesijireul namgisigesseoyo?

If the person you wish to speak to is not available, you may be able to leave a message. The receptionist may ask you: 메시지를 남기시겠어요? (Mesijireul namgisigesseoyo?) – “Would you like to leave a message?”

Broken down, 메시지 (meseji) means “message” and 남기다 (namgida) means “to leave.”

You might also be asked: 

  • 성함이랑 전화번호 알려주시겠어요? (Seonghamirang jeonhwabeonho allyeojusigesseoyo?) – “Could you tell me your name and phone number?”

Example:

A: 
연아씨 지금 자리에 계신가요?
(Yeona ssii jigeum jarie gyesingayo?)
“Could I speak to Yeona, please?”

B:
죄송하지만 연아 씨가 잠시 자리를 비웠습니다. 메시지를 남기시겠어요?
(Joesonghajiman yeona ssiga jamsi jarireul biweotseumnida. Mesijireul namgisigesseoyo?)
“I am afraid Yeona isn’t in at the moment. Would you like to leave a message?”

6) 통화중입니다. (Tonghwajungimnida.) 

This phrase translates to: “He/she is on the phone right now.” 

It’s one of many possible reasons the call receiver might give you for the other party not being available. Here are more reasons you might hear: 

  • 미팅중입니다. (Mitingjungimnida.) – “He/she is in a meeting.”
  • 점심식사중입니다. (Jeomsimsiksajungimnida.) – “He/she is having lunch.” 
  • 지금 자리에 안 계십니다. (Jigeum jarie an gyesimnida.) – “He/she is not in his/her seat right now.” 
  • 외부 미팅중입니다. (Oebu mitingjungimnida.) “He/she is out on a meeting.” 

Example:

A: 연아씨 지금 자리에 계신가요? (Yeona ssii jigeum jarie gyesingayo?) – “Could I speak to Yeona, please?”
B: 연아씨 지금 통화중입니다. (Yeona ssii jigeum tonghwajungimnida) – “Yeona is on the phone right now.”

7) 잠깐만. (Jamkkanman.) / 잠만. (Jamman.

잠만 (jamman) is a shortened version of 잠깐만 (jamkkanman), and it’s considered a slang term. Both versions mean “hold on,” and they’re best used among friends rather than in business settings. 

Example:

A:
나 집에 열쇠 두고 간 것 같은데 한번 봐줄래?
(Na jibe yeolsoe dugo gan geot gateunde hanbeon bwajullae?)
“I think I left my keys at home. Can you have a look at it for me?”

B:
잠깐만.
(Jamkkanman.)
“Hold on.”

8) 지금 전화 못 받는데. (Jigeum jeonhwa mot batneunde.)

This is a casual phrase often used among friends. It means: “I can’t talk on the phone right now.”

Example:

A:
여보세요, 지금 전화가능?
(Yeoboseyo, jigeum jeonhwaganeung?)
“Hello, are you available for a call?”

B: 
미안, 지금 샤워중이라 전화 못 받는데.
(Mian, jigeum syawojungira jeonhwa mot batneunde.)
“I am sorry, I’m taking a shower so I can’t talk right now.”


A Man Talking on the Phone Inside the Bus

6. Leaving a Message

If you’ve made an urgent phone call only to find out the person you need to speak to is unavailable, you can ask to leave a message. Here are three Korean phone phrases you could use: 

1) 전화했었다고 전해주실래요? (Jeonhwahaesseotdago jeonhaejusillaeyo?)

Translation: “Could you please tell him/her that I called?”

Example:

A:
죄송하지만 연아씨가 잠시 자리를 비웠습니다. 메시지를 남기시겠어요?
(Joesonghajiman yeona ssiga jamsi jarireul biweotseumnida. Mesijireul namgisigesseoyo?)
“I am afraid Yeona isn’t in at the moment. Would you like to leave a message?”

B:  
알겠습니다. 그럼 전화했었다고 전해주실래요?
(Algetseumnida. Geureom keonhwahaesseotdago jeonhaejusillaeyo?)
“Okay. Could you please tell him/her that I called?”

2) 나중에 다시 전화하겠습니다. (Najunge dasi jeonhwahagetseumnida.)

Translation: “I’ll call again later.”

Example:

A:
죄송하지만 연아씨가 잠시 자리를 비웠습니다. 메시지를 남기시겠어요?
(Joesonghajiman yeona ssiga jamsi jarireul biweotseumnida. Mesijireul namgisigesseoyo?)
“I am afraid Yeona isn’t in at the moment. Would you like to leave a message?”

B:
괜찮습니다. 나중에 다시 전화하겠습니다.
(Gwaenchanseumnida. Najunge dasi jeonhwahagetseumnida.)
“Fine. I’ll call again later.”

3) 메시지 남겨주시겠습니까? (Mesijireul namgyeojusigetseumnikka?)

Translation: “Could you leave a message?”

Example:

A: 메시지 남겨주시겠습니까? (Mesijireul namgyeojusigetseumnikka?) – “Could you leave a message?”
B: 전화번호가 어떻게 되시죠? (Jeonhwabeonhoga eotteoke doesijyo?) – “What’s your number?”

A Lady with Headphones Listening to a Korean Song

7. Asking for Clarification

As a non-native speaker making a phone call in the Korean language, you might have difficulty understanding what the other person is saying. This problem could become exacerbated if there’s bad reception in your area. Here are a few phrases you could use to ask for clarification when needed: 

1) 좀 더 크게 말씀해 주시겠어요? (Jom deo keuge malsseumhae jusigesseoyo?

This phrase translates to: “Could you speak up a bit more, please?”

Let’s break it down: 

  • 좀 더 (jom deo) – “a bit more”
  • 크게 (keuge) – “louder”
  • 말씀해 주시겠어요 (malsseumhaejusigesseoyo) – “speak please”

This is a polite/business way to ask someone to speak louder.

Examples:

진호 씨, 죄송하지만 좀 더 크게 말씀해 주시겠어요?
(Jinho ssi, joesonghajiman jom deo keuge malsseumhae jusigesseoyo?)
“Mr. Jinho, I am sorry but could you speak up a bit more, please?”

리나 씨, 목소리가 잘 안 들려요. 좀 더 크게 말씀해 주시겠어요?
(Rina ssi, moksoriga jal an deullyeoyo. Jom deo keuge malsseumhae jusigesseoyo?)
“Ms. Rina, I can barely hear you. Could you speak up a bit more, please?”

2) 다시 말씀해 주시겠어요? (Dasi malsseumhae jusigesseoyo?)

This one means: “Could you repeat that, please?” A common variation is: 

  • 다시한번만 말씀해주시겠어요? (Dasihanbeonman malsseumhaejusigess-eoyo?) – “Could you say that again, please?”

Example:

목소리가 잘 안들렸어요. 다시 말씀해 주시겠어요?
(Moksoriga jal andeullyeosseoyo. Dasi malsseum hae jusigesseoyo?)
“I could not hear you. Could you repeat that, please?”

3) 잘 안들리는데 다시 말씀해 주시겠어요? (Jal andeullineunde dasi malsseumhae jusigesseoyo?

This one translates to: “I’m having a hard time hearing you, can you say that again please?”

We use this phrase to let the person know that we cannot hear his or her voice, and that we’d like them to repeat what they just said. 

Example:

죄송해요. 잘 안들리는데 다시 말씀해 주시겠어요?
(Joesonghaeyo. Jal andeullineunde dasi malsseumhae jusigesseoyo?)
“Sorry, I’m having a hard time hearing you, can you say that again please?”

4) 전화 상태가 너무 안좋은데요. (Jeonhwa sangtaega neomu anjoeundeyo.)

If you’re struggling to hear due to a bad connection, you can use this phrase to let the other person know. The phrase means: “The connection is not good.”

Breaking it down:

  • 전화 상태 (jeonhwa sangtae) – “connection”
  • 너무 (neomu) – “too” 
  • 안 좋은데요 (an joeundeyo) – “is not good”

Examples:

여보세요, 전화 상태가 너무 안좋은데요. 다시 걸어보겠습니다.
(Yeoboseyo, jeonhwa sangtaega neomu anjoeundeyo. Dasi georeobogetseumnida.)
“Hello, the connection is not good. I will try to call you again.”

전화상태가 너무 안좋은데요. 제 목소리 들리시나요?
(Jeonhwa sangtaega neomu anjoeundeyo. Je moksori deullisinayo?)
“The connection is not good. Can you hear my voice?”

여보세요? 전화상태가 너무 안좋은데요. 여보세요?
(Yeoboseyo? Jeonhwa sangtaega neomu anjoeundeyo. Yeoboseyo?)
“Hello? The connection is not good. Hello?”

5) 들리시나요? (Deullisinayo?

This phrase means: “Can you hear me?”

You could say this phrase if you can barely hear the other person over the phone. Alternatively, you could repeat “hello” twice to indicate that the connection is not stable: 

  • 여보세요? 여보세요? (Yeoboseyo? Yeoboseyo?)

Another option is the phrase: 

  • 제 목소리 들리시나요? (Je mogsoli deullisinayo?) – “Can you hear my voice?” 

Example:

A: 
여보세요? 여보세요?
(Yeoboseyo? Yeoboseyo?)
“Hello? Hello?”

B: 
네, 여보세요. 제 목소리 들리시나요?
(Ne, yeoboseyo. Je moksori deullisinayo?)
“Yes, hello. Can you hear my voice?”

A: 
아 네, 이제 들려요.
(A ne, ije deullyeoyo.)
“Yes, I can hear you now.”

6) 뭐라고? (Mworago?

This phrase means “What?” and it’s used among friends. 

Example:

  • 여보세요? 뭐라고? (Yeoboseyo? Mworago?) – “Hello? What?” 

7) 잘 안들려. (Jal andeullyeo.

This phrase means “I can’t hear you,” and it’s used among friends. If you want to say it more politely, it would be: 

  • 잘 안들려요. (Jal andeullyeo.) / 잘 안들립니다. (Jal andeullimnida.)

Examples:

여보세요? 야 잘 안들려. (Yeoboseyo? Ya, jal andeullyeo.) – “Hello? I can’t hear you.”

뭐라고? 잘안들려. (Mworago? Jal andeullyeo.) – “What did you say? I can’t hear you.”

8) 다시 한번 말해줄래? (Dasi hanbeon malhaejullae?

This phrase means “Can you say it again?” and it’s used among friends only. 

Examples:

미안, 다시한번 말해줄래?
Mian, dasi hanbeon malhaejullae?
“Sorry, can you say that again?”

미안, 다시 한번만 말해줄래?
Mian, dasi hanbeonman malhaejullae?
“Sorry, can you say that again?”

잘 안들렸어. 다시한번 말해줄래?
Jal andeullyeosseo. Dasi hanbeon malhaejullae?
“I couldn’t hear you. Can you say that again?”

    →Do you want to know Korea’s country code and other interesting information about Korean telephone numbers? Check out this Wikipedia page on telephone numbers in South Korea.

A Staff Member Scanning a Barcode from a Man’s Phone Screen

8. Sample Phone Conversations 

Now that we’ve gone through different Korean phone call phrases, let’s have a look at a couple of sample conversations. One scenario uses only informal language and the other uses formal language. 

1) Informal Phone Conversation 

Scenario: Two friends (Yeongung and Hyunna) are setting up a time to meet for brunch on a weekend.

영웅: 
여보세요.
(Yeoboseyo.)
“Hello.”

현아: 
어. 영웅. 전화했었어?
(Eo, Yeongung. Jeonhwahaesseoseo?)
“Hey Yeongung. Did you call?”

영웅: 
응. 안본지 오래됐는데 같이 점심이라도 먹을까?
(Eung. Anbonji oraedwaetneunde gachi jeomsimirado meogeulkka?)
“It’s been awhile since we’ve met. Do you want to have lunch with me?”

현아: 
응 좋아. 어디로 갈까?
(Eung joa. Eodiro galkka?)
“Yes, sounds good. Where should we go?”

영웅: 
괜찮은곳 알아. 이번 주 금요일 한 시 어때?
(Gwaenchaneungot ara. IIbeon ju geumyoil han si eottae?)
“I know a good place. How about Friday at one o’clock?”

현아:
응 좋아.
(Eung joa.)
“Yeah, sounds good.”

영웅:
알았어. 그럼 예약 잡고 장소 카톡으로 보낼께.
(Arasseo. Geureom yeyak japgo jangso katogeuro bonaelkke.)
“Okay. I will make a reservation and send a message to you on Kakaotalk.”

현아: 
어어 알았어. 고마워!
(Eoeo arasseo. Gomawo!)
“Okay. Thanks!”

2) Formal Phone Conversation

Scenario: After they’ve set the time and place, Yeongung calls the restaurant to reserve a table. 

웨이터: 
A 레스토랑입니다.
(A reseutorangimnida.)
“This is A restaurant.”

영웅: 
여보세요, 점심 예약하려고 전화드렸어요.
(Yeoboseyo, jeomsim yeyakaryeogo jeonhwadeuryeosseoyo.)
“Hello, I am calling to make a reservation for lunch.”

웨이터: 
네, 언제로 잡아드릴까요?
(Ne, eonjero jabadeurilkkayo?)
“Okay. When would you like to come?”

영웅: 
이번 주 금요일 한 시요.
(Ibeon ju geumyoil han siyo.)
“This Friday at one p.m., please.”

웨이터: 
몇 분이세요?
(Myeot buniseyo?)
“How many people?”

영웅: 
두 명입니다.
(Du myeongimnida.)
“Two people.”

웨이터: 
성함은 어떻게 되세요?
(Seonghameun eotteoke doeseyo?)
“Can I have your name, please?”

영웅: 
김영웅입니다.
(Gimyeongungimnida.)
“It’s Kim Yeongung.”

웨이터:
네 알겠습니다. 이번주 금요일 한 시 김영웅 씨 이름으로 테이블 예약해드리겠습니다.
(Ne algetseumnida. Ibeonju geumyoil han si gimyeongung ssi ireumeuro teibeul yeyakaedeurigetseumnida.)
“Okay. I reserved a table for this Friday at one p.m. under the name of Kim Yeongung.”

영웅: 
네 알겠습니다. 감사합니다.
(Ne algetseumnida. Gamsahamnida.)
“Okay. Thank you.”

웨이터: 
그때 봐.
(Geuttae bwa.)
“See you then.”


A Lady Working with a Laptop

9. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Master the Korean Language

Once you memorize these useful Korean phone call phrases and learn how to use them, you’ll be able to confidently speak on the phone in both formal and informal settings. 

Want to learn more about Korean culture and business etiquette? Or maybe you’d like to study even more practical everyday Korean phrases? Then you should definitely check out KoreanClass101! We provide a range of free learning resources, including vocabulary lists and audio/video lessons. It’s our goal to make learning Korean fun and to infuse each lesson with useful information on Korean culture. 

Create your free lifetime account today and advance your Korean language skills with us!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean

Master Korean Words for Beginners with KoreanClass101!

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If you’ve just started learning Korean, it’s vital for your success that you begin by building a solid vocabulary base. This means studying the most frequently used words in a variety of categories—and eventually learning how to form simple sentences with them! 

But, remember: Baby steps. 

Today, you’ll just be learning some basic Korean words for beginners that you’ll need in order to hold conversations with native speakers. 

Let’s go!

List of Pronouns in English
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Pronouns
  2. Numbers
  3. Nouns
  4. Verbs
  5. Adjectives
  6. Conjunctions
  7. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn Korean

1. Pronouns

The first words you should add to your Korean vocabulary are pronouns. These are the words that we use to refer to ourselves, the people around us, and even animals or objects, without saying the actual name of what we’re referring to. Let’s take a look: 

1) Personal Pronouns

KoreanRomanizationEnglish 
jeo“I”
na“I”
neo“you”
geu“he”
그녀geunyeo“she”
저희jeohui“we” / “us”
우리uri“we” / “us”
그들geudeul“they”
그녀들geunyeodeul“they” (females)

2) Demonstrative Pronouns

There are three main demonstrative pronouns that you need to know: 

  • 이것 (igeot) – “this” is used when the object is near the speaker.
  • 그것 (geugeot) – “that” is used when the object is near the listener.
  • 저것 (jeogeot) – “over there” is used when the object is far from both the speaker and the listener.

Example:

  • 여기에 있어요? (Yeogie isseoyo?) – “Is it here?!”
  • 아니요. 거기에 없습니다. 저기에 있습니다. (Aniyo. Geogie eopseumnida. Jeogie itseumnida.) – “No. It’s not there. It’s over there.”

Practice makes perfect! Check out these pages to learn more demonstrative pronouns: 


Five Even Numbers in Blue Balls

2. Numbers

Another set of simple Korean words to practice as a beginner are numbers. Once you have the basics down, you’ll be well on your way to counting, discussing prices, and more! 

Numbers 1-10

There are two ways to count in Korean:

  1. Sino Korean: Used for dates, money, addresses, phone numbers, etc.
  2. Native Korean: Used for number of items and age 

Let’s take a look at Sino and Native Korean for the numbers 1-10. 

  • 일 (il) / 하나 (hana) – “One”
  • 이 (i) /둘 (dul) – “Two”
  • 삼 (sam) / 셋 (set) – “Three”
  • 사 (sa) / 넷 (net) – “Four”
  • 오 (o) / 다섯 (daseot) – “Five”
  • 육 (yuk) / 여섯 (yeoseot) – “Six”
  • 칠 (chil) / 일곱 (ilgop) – “Seven”
  • 팔 (pal) / 여덟 (yeodeol) – “Eight”
  • 구 (gu) / 아홉 (ahop) – “Nine”
  • 십 (sip) / 열 (yeol) – “Ten”

Example

  • 몇 살이에요? (Myeot sarieyo?) – “How old are you?”
    아홉 살이에요. (Ahop sarieyo.) – “I’m nine years old.” (O)
    구살이에요. (Gusarieyo.) – “I’m nine years old.” (X)
  • 이거 얼마예요? (Igeo eolmayeyo?) – “How much is this?”
    삼천원이에요. (Samcheonwonieyo.) – “It’s 3,000 won.” (O)
    셋천원이에요. (Setcheonwonieyo.) – “It’s 3,000 won.” (X)

Check out Counting Part I: Sino-Korean Numbers, Counting Part II: Pure-Korean Numbers, and Numbers on KoreanClass101.com to practice your counting skills! 

3. Nouns 

Nouns are perhaps the most important part of speech when it comes to getting an idea across. They’re used to identify people, places, things, and even ideas. When used with verbs, they form a complete thought—in a pinch, they can even be used by themselves most of the time! Below are the most essential Korean beginner words in this category. 

1) People and Occupations

Family members

  • 장남 (jangnam) – “oldest son”
  • 첫째아들 (cheotjjaeadeul) – “oldest son”
  • 장녀 (jangnyeo) – “oldest daughter”
  • 첫째 딸 (cheotjjae ttal) – “oldest daughter”
  • 둘째 아들 (duljjae adeul) – “second son”
  • 둘째 딸 (duljjae ttal) – “second daughter”
  • 막내 아들 (mangnae adeul) – “youngest son”
  • 막내 딸 (mangnae ttal) – “youngest daughter”
  • 외아들 (oeadeul) – “only child” (male)
  • 외동딸 (oedongttal) – “only child” (female)
  • 형제 (hyeongje) – “brothers”
  • 자매 (jamae) – “sisters”
  • 언니 (eonni) – “older sister” (of a female sibling)
  • 누나 (nuna) – “older sister” (of a male sibling)
  • 여동생 (yeodongsaeng) – “younger sister”
  • 오빠 (oppa) – “older brother” (of a female sibling)
  • 형 (hyeong) – “older brother” (of a male sibling)
  • 남동생 (namdongsaeng) – “younger brother”
  • 쌍둥이 (ssangdungi) – “twins”

You can also check out Describe Your Family in Korean: “Brother” in Korean and More and Must-Know Terms for Family Members to learn more family-related vocabulary and gain insight into Korean family culture.

Occupations

  • 농부 (nongbu) – “farmer”
  • 시인 (siin) – “poet”
  • 약사 (yaksa) – “pharmacist”
  • 배관공 (baegwangong) – “plumber”
  • 프로 포커 선수 (peuro pokeo seonsu) – “professional poker player”
  • 변호사 (byeonhosa) – “lawyer”
  • 영업 사원 (yeongeop) – “salesperson”
  • 사무원 (samuwon) – “clerk”
  • 엔지니어 (enjinieo) – “engineer”
  • 미용사 (miyongsa) – “beautician”
  • 디자이너 (dijaineo) “designer”
  • 정원사 (jeongwonsa) – “gardener”
  • 영상 제작자 (yeongsang jejakja) – “audio visual producer”
  • 무대 감독 (mudae gamdok) – “stage director”
  • 음악 기획자 (eumak gihoekja) – “music promoter”

We also have a vocabulary list with example sentences titled 20 Common Words for Occupations. Make sure to check it out if you’d like to learn even more occupation names along with their pronunciation. 

Santiago de Compostela in Spain

2) Places Around Town

  • 도서관 (doseogwan) – “library”
  • 서점 (seojeom) – “bookstore”
  • 식당 (sikdang) – “restaurant”
  • 꽃가게 (kkotgage) – “flower shop”
  • 병원 (byeongwon) – “hospital”
  • 학교 (hakgyo) – “school”
  • 백화점 (baekhwajeom) – “department store”
  • 커피숍 (keopisyop) – “coffee shop”
  • 공항 (gonghang) – “airport”
  • 지하철역 (jihacheolyeok) – “subway station”
  • 호텔 (hotel) – “hotel”
  • 시내 (sinae) – “downtown”
  • 바다 (bada) – “beach”
  • 우체국 (ucheguk) – “post office”
  • 은행 (eunhaeng) – “bank”
  • 소방서 (sobangseo) – “fire station”
  • 경찰서 (gyeongchalseo) – “police station”
  • 약국 (yakguk) – “pharmacy”
  • 제과점 (jegwajeom) – “bakery”
  • 슈퍼마켓 (syupeomakes) – “supermarket”
  • 주유소 (juyuso) – “gas station”
  • 방송국 (bangsongguk) – “broadcasting station”

3) School/Office Essentials

  • 펜 (pen) – “pen”
  • 공책 (gongchaek) – “notebook”
  • 연필 (yeonpil) – “pencil”
  • 숙제 (sukje) – “homework”
  • 시험 (siheom) – “exam”
  • 수학 (suhak) – “math”
  • 대학교 (daehakgyo) – “university”
  • 배낭 (baenang) – “backpack”
  • 과학 (gwahak) – “science”
  • 컴퓨터 (keompyuteo) – “computer”
  • 노트북 (noteubuk) – “laptop”
  • 아이폰 (aipon) – “iPhone”

Check out our vocabulary list School Subjects to learn more useful school-related words in Korean.

4) Body Parts

  • 발 (bal) – “foot”
  • 발목 (balmok) – “ankle”
  • 다리 (dari) – “leg”
  • 머리 (meori) – “head”
  • 목 (mok) – “neck”
  • 팔 (pal) – “arm”
  • 팔꿈치 (palkkumchi) – “elbow”
  • 손목 (sonmok) – “wrist”
  • 손 (son) – “hand”
  • 손가락 (songgarak) – “finger”
  • 근육 (geunyuk) – “muscle”
  • 뼈 (ppyeo) – “bone”
  • 척추 (cheokchu) – “backbone”
  • 몸 (mom) – “body”
  • 배 (bae) – “stomach”
  • 무릎 (mureup) – “knee”
  • 피부 (pibu) – “skin”
  • 혈액 (hyeoraek) – “blood”
  • 등 (deung) – “back”
  • 가슴 (gaseum) – “chest”

Want to learn more words for body parts? Check out our free list titled Your Face

5) Food

Korean Food

  • 된장찌개 (doenjangjjigae) – “doenjang jjigae”
  • 떡볶이 (tteokbokki) – “tteokbokki”
  • 김치 (gimchi) – “kimchi”
  • 김치볶음밥 (gimchibokkeumbap) – “kimchi fried rice”
  • 순두부찌개 (sundubujjigae) – “raw bean curd stew”
  • 김치찌개 (gimchijjigae) – “kimchi stew”
  • 부대찌개 (budaejjigae) – “army base stew”
  • 라면 (ramyeon) – “ramen”
  • 냉면 (naengmyeon) – “cold noodle soup”

Fruits and Vegetables

  • 과일 (gwail) – “fruit”
  • 바나나 (banana) – “banana”
  • 사과 (sagwa) – “apple”
  • 야채 (yachae) – “vegetable”
  • 양상추 (yangsangchu) – “lettuce”
  • 토마토 (tomato) – “tomato”
  • 감자 (gamja) – “potato”
  • 당근 (danggeun) – “carrot”
  • 양파 (yangpa) – “onion”
  • 수박 (subak) – “watermelon”
  • 파인애플 (painaepeul) – “pineapple”
  • 메론 (meron) – “melon”
  • 콩 (kong) – “soybean”
  • 살구 (salgu) – “apricot”
  • 옥수수 (oksusu) – “corn”
  • 고구마 (goguma) – “sweet potato”
  • 땅콩 (ttangkong) – “peanut”
  • 순무 (sunmu) – “turnip”
  • 버섯 (beoseot) – “mushroom”
  • 자몽 (jamong) – “grapefruit”
  • 포도 (podo) – “grape”
  • 캐슈넛 (kaesyuneot)  – “cashew nut”
  • 견과 (gyeongwa) – “nut”

An Image of the Word Verb

4. Verbs

Verbs describe actions or states of being, and they help to form a complete thought when used with nouns. To give you a huge vocabulary boost, here are the most common Korean verbs:

  • 오다 (oda) – “to come”
  • 마시다 (masida) – “to drink”
  • 먹다 (meokda) – “to eat”
  • 주다 (juda) – “to give”
  • 가다 (gada) – “to go”
  • 듣다 (deutda) – “to hear”
  • 배우다 (baewuda) – “to learn”
  • 만들다 (mandeulda) – “to make”
  • 앉다 (anta) – “to sit”
  • 자다 (jada) – “to sleep”
  • 찍다 (jjigda) – “to take (a picture)”
  • 쓰다 (sseuda) – “to wear (e.g. eyewear)”
  • 신다 (sinta) – “to wear (e.g. shoes)”
  • 빌리다 (billida) – “to borrow” / “to lend”
  • 전화하다 (jeonhwahada) – “to call someone”
  • 말하다 (malhada) – “to talk”
  • 섞다 (seokta) – “to mix”
  • 굽다 (gupda) – “to grill”
  • 가르치다 (gareuchida) – “to teach”
  • 기다리다 (gidarida) – “to wait”
  • 알다 (alda) – “to know”
  • 모르다 (moreuda) – “to not know”
  • 요리하다 (yorihada) – “to cook”
  • 끓이다 (kkeurida) – “to boil”
  • 걸다 (geolda) – “to call” / “to dial”
  • 청소하다 (cheongsohada) – “to clean”
  • 닫다 (datda) – “to close”
  • 일하다 (ilhada) – “to work”
  • 쉬다 (swida) – “to rest”
  • 운동하다 (undonghada) – “to exercise”
  • 생각하다 (saenggakada) – “to think”
  • 썰다 (sseolda) – “to slice”
  • 튀기다 (twigida) – “to fry”
  • 재다 (jaeda) – “to measure”
  • 볶다 (bokda) – “to fry”
  • 찌다 (jjida) – “to steam”
  • 묻다 (mutda) – “to ask”
  • 내다 (naeda) – “to pay”
  • 결혼하다 (gyeolhonhada) – “to marry”
  • 없다 (eopda) – “to not have”
  • 살다 (salda) – “to live”
  • 죽다 (jukda) – “to die”
  • 찾다 (chatda) – “to find”
  • 꿈꾸다 (kkumkkuda) – “to dream”
  • 좋아하다 (joahada) – “to like”
  • 걱정하다 (geokjeonghada) – “to worry”
  • 약속하다 (yaksokada) – “to promise”
  • 휘젓다 (hwijeotda) – “to stir”
  • 하다 (hada) – “to do”
  • 있다 (itda) – “to have”
  • 거짓말하다 (geojinmalhada) – “to lie”
  • 가지다 (gajida) – “to have”
  • 기억하다 (gieokada) – “to remember”
  • 고백하다 (gobaekada) – “to confess”
  • 죄송하다 (joesonghada) – “to be sorry”
  • 시작하다 (sijakada) – “to start”
  • 싫어하다 (silreohada) – “to hate”
  • 이야기하다 (iyagihada) – “to talk”
  • 연습하다 (yeonseupada) – “to practice”
  • 준비하다 (junbihada) – “to prepare”
  • 태어나다 (taeeonada) – “to be born”
  • 서두르다 (seodureuda) – “to hurry”
  • 사랑하다 (saranghada) – “to love”
  • 축하하다 (chukahada) – “to congratulate”
  • 끝나다 (kkeunnada) – “to finish”
  • 보내다 (bonaeda) – “to send”
  • 사용하다 (sayonghada) – “to use”
  • 팔다 (palda) – “to sell”
  • 싸우다 (ssauda) – “to fight”

The more Korean verbs you learn, the better you’ll be at holding conversations with locals. Check out Top 100 Important Korean Verbs for Beginners and Basic Korean Verb & Adjective Conjugation: Rules & Tips to expand your language skills!

5. Adjectives

Adjectives are used to describe nouns. They can add spice to your conversations and flair to your writing. Learning the basic Korean words below will give you more room for creative expression and help you get your point across! 

  • 화나다 (hwanada) – “angry”
  • 짜증나다 (jjajeungnada) – “annoyed”
  • 나쁘다 (nappeuda) – “bad”
  • 아름답다 (areumdapda) – “beautiful”
  • 크다 (keuda) – “big”
  • 쓰다 (sseuda) – “bitter”
  • 심심하다 (simsimhada) – “bored”
  • 지루하다 (jiruhada) – “boring”
  • 씩씩하다 (ssikssikada) – “brave”
  • 싸다 (ssada) – “cheap”
  • 싸늘하다 (ssaneulhada) – “chilly”
  • 통통하다 (tongtonghada) – “chubby”
  • 깨끗하다 (kkaekkeutada) – “clean”
  • 흐리다 (heurida) – “cloudy”
  • 춥다 (chupda) – “cold”
  • 차갑다 (chagapda) – “cold”
  • 편하다 (pyeonhada) – “comfortable”
  • 편리하다 (pyeonrihada) – “convenient”
  • 시원하다 (siwonhada) – “refreshing”
  • 귀엽다 (gwiyeopda) – “cute”
  • 축축하다 (chukchukada) – “wet”
  • 습하다 (seupada) – “damp”
  • 맛있다 (masitda) – “delicious”
  • 다르다 (dareuda) – “different”
  • 어렵다 (eoryeopda) – “difficult”
  • 더럽다 (deoreopda) – “dirty”
  • 건조하다 (geonjohada) – “dry”
  • 이르다 (ireuda) – “early”
  • 쉽다 (swipda) – “easy”
  • 당황하다 (danghwanghada) – “embarrassed”
  • 비어 있다 (bieoitda) – “empty”
  • 비싸다 (bissada) – “expensive”
  • 빠르다 (ppareuda) – “fast”
  • 뚱뚱하다 (ttungttunghada) – “fat”
  • 기름지다 (gireumjida) – “fatty”
  • 적다 (jeokda) – “few”
  • 신선하다 (sinseonhada) – “fresh”
  • 가득하다 (gadeukada) – “full”
  • 기쁘다 (gippeuda) – “glad”
  • 잘생기다 (jalsaengida) – “handsome”
  • 착하다 (chakada) – “good-natured”
  • 좋다 (jota) – “good”
  • 행복하다 (haengbokada) – “happy”
  • 딱딱하다 (ttakttakada) – “hard”
  • 건강하다 (geonganghada) – “healthy”
  • 높다 (nopda) – “high”
  • 뜨겁다 (tteugeopda) – “hot”
  • 덥다 (deopda) – “hot (weather)”
  • 불편하다 (bulpyeonhada) – “inconvenient”
  • 재미있다 (jaemiissda) – “interesting”
  • 복잡하다 (bokjapada) – “crowded”
  • 늦다 (neutda) – “late”
  • 적다 (jeokda) – “less”
  • 많다 (manta) – “many”

Two Hands Connecting Two Puzzle Pieces

6. Conjunctions

  • 그리고 (geurigo) – “and” / “and then”
  • 그래서 (geuraeseo) – “so” / “so that”
  • 그렇지만 (geureochiman) – “but” / “however” (to express disappointment)
  • 그런데 (geureonde) – “but” / “however”
  • 그러면 (geureomyeon) – “then” / “in this case” / “if it’s so”
  • 아니면 (animyeon) – “or”
  • 때문에 (ddaemune) – “because of”
  • 만약 (manyak) – “if”
  • 그래도 (geuraedo) – “even if”

Want to learn more about conjunctions? Check out the lesson Korean Conjunctions: Add Seaweed, and Meat, and Garlic on our website and visit this Wikibooks page as well. 

7. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn Korean

Today, you’ve learned more than 200 of the most useful basic Korean words for beginners, from pronouns to conjunctions. It takes time to memorize each word and understand when it’s used, but if you study every day, you’ll eventually start to sound like a native speaker.

KoreanClass101 has plenty of free resources designed to help you learn even more Korean—from beginner lessons to advanced content—as well as tools you can use to practice. For example, our free vocabulary lists are a great way to learn new words and practice your pronunciation. 

Good luck with your Korean studies and feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.

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