1000 Korean words for everyday use – Basic vocabulary from K-dramas #10

Welcome back. This is the 10th post in the series of 1000 Korean words for everyday use by analyzing the word frequency of more than 1,000 episodes of Korean dramas.

Today, let’s explore the meaning and context of 5 key Korean words “근데, 그냥, 모르다, 어디, 누구” with sample sentences.
Click the play button below to listen to all the words and sample sentences in this post.


Basic Korean words : 근데, 그냥, 모르다, 어디, 누구


46. 근데 [geun-de] – but, however

– 근데 [geun-de] and 그런데 [geu-reon-de] are used to introduce contrasting or contradictory information in a sentence. They serve as transitional phrases to present an unexpected or contrasting element in relation to the previous statement.

Example sentences:

너무 바빠. 근데 왜? I am too busy. But why?
그런데, 그 일을 아니? However, do you know anything about it?


47. 그냥 [geu-nyang] – just, simply

– 그냥 [geu-nyang] means “just” or “simply”. It is used to indicate that an action is done without any special reason or explanation.

Example sentences:

그냥 여기 앉아서 기다려. Just sit here and wait.


48. 모르다 [mo-reu-da] – not to know

– 모르다 [mo-reu-da] means “not to know”. It’s used to indicate a lack of knowledge or awareness.

Example sentences:

몰라서 물어? Are you asking because you don’t know?


49. 어디 [eo-di] – where

– 어디 [eo-di] means “where”. It is used to ask about the location or place of something or someone.

Example sentences:

어디 가고 싶어? Where would you like to go?


50. 누구 [nu-gu] – who

– 누구 [nu-gu] is used to mean “who”.
– 누가 [nu-ga] is a variation of 누구 [nu-gu] and also means “who”.
– The words “누구” and “누가” originally refer to the same concept, “who”. However, “누가” is a contracted form of “누구+가”, where “가” [ga] is a subject particle used in the nominative case. When “가” is added to “누구”, the result is the more concise form “누가”.

Example sentences:

누구세요? Who are you?
뭔 소리야, 누가 누굴 죽여? What are you talking about, who’s killing who?


Grammar & Study Resources

Here’s an explanation of the pattern verb stem + 아서/어서 in English:

Verb stem + 아서/어서

This pattern is used to connect two clauses or sentences in Korean. It’s often translated into English as “and” or “so”, indicating a sequential or causal relationship between the actions or events described in the clauses. The choice between 아서 and 어서 depends on the last vowel of the verb stem.
The basic way to get the verb/adjective stem is to remove 다 from the verb/adjective.
If there is a vowel ㅏ or ㅗ on the final syllable of the adjective/verb stem, 아서 is used.
If there is a vowel other than ㅏ or ㅗ on the final syllable of the adjective/verb stem, 어서 is used.

1) Sequential actions: If you want to express two actions that happen one after the other, you can use 아서/어서 to connect them.
– 먼저 일어나서 먹었어. I woke up first and then ate.
2) Cause and effect: You can use 아서/어서 to show a cause and effect relationship between actions or events.
– 비가 와서 우산을 가져왔어. It was raining, so I brought an umbrella.

1) Verb stems ending with the vowel ㅏ and ㅗ + 아서:
– 가다 → 가 + 아서 → 가서 Go → Go + 아서 → Went and (then)
– 보다 → 보 + 아서 → 보아서 See → See + 아서 → Saw and (then)
2) Verb stems ending with the other vowels + 어서:
– 먹다 → 먹 + 어서 → 먹어서 Eat → Eat + 어서 → Ate and (then)
– 만들다 → 만들 + 어서 → 만들어서 Make → Make + 어서 → Made and (then)

Remember that this pattern is used to connect two actions and the verb in the second sentence should be conjugated according to its context. Also pay attention to the last vowel of the verb stem to choose between 아서 and 어서.

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