1000 Korean words for everyday use – Basic vocabulary from K-dramas #12

Welcome back. This is the 12th 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 “자다, 여자, 집, 얘기, 오늘” with sample sentences.
Click the play button below to listen to all the words and sample sentences in this post.


Basic Korean words : 자다, 여자, 집, 얘기, 오늘


56. 자다 [ja-da] – to sleep

– 자다 [ja-da] is the standard verb for “to sleep”. It’s used in casual situations.
– 주무시다 [ju-mu-si-da] is the polite form of “자다” and is used in more formal situations.

Example sentences:

어젯밤에 잠 못 잤어. I couldn’t sleep last night.
조용히 주무세요. Please sleep quietly.


57. 여자 [yeo-ja] – woman

– 여자 [yeo-ja] is a common word for “woman” used in everyday conversation.
– 여인 [yeo-in] is a more formal or literary term for “woman” or “lady”.
– 여성 [yeo-seong] is a broader term referring to the gender “female”. 여성 is often used in more formal or professional contexts, while 여자 and 여인 are more commonly used in everyday speech.

Example sentences:

그 여자, 누구예요?  Who is that woman?
그 여인 정말 우아하게 생겨먹었네. That lady looks really elegant.
이 회사 여성 직원들 정말 능력 있어. The female employees in this company are really competent.


58. 집 [jip] – house

– 집 [jip] is a simple and common word for “house” in Korean.
– 댁 [daek] is a polite term used to refer to someone’s house or home.
– 집안 [jip-an] refers to the interior of a house or the concept of a home.

Example sentences:

그 집은 크고 아름다워요. That house is big and beautiful.
댁이 어디세요? Where is your house?
집안일이 바빠요. I’m busy with housework.


59. 얘기 [yae-gi] – story, talk

– 얘기 [yae-gi] is a shortened form of 이야기 [i-ya-gi]. 얘기 is the more casual and colloquial version of the word, while 이야기 is the full and formal version. Both words have similar meanings, referring to “story” or “talk”. 이야기 is often used in more formal or narrative contexts, while 얘기 is often used in everyday and informal situations.

Example sentences:

오늘 있었던 재미있는 얘기 들려줘. Tell me an interesting story from today.
이야기를 듣다 감동받았어. I was moved when I heard the story.


60. 오늘 [o-neul] – today

– 오늘 [o-neul] is a simple term used to refer to the current day. It can be used as an adverb or a noun and is often used to talk about daily activities and events.

Example sentences:

오늘 어땠어? How was your day today?


Grammar & Study Resources

In Korean, it’s important to know that sentences often omit the subject, which can feel different to English.

Korean sentences rely on context and particles to convey who or what the sentence is about. These particles help to clarify the role of the words in the sentence.

In English, every sentence needs a subject to be grammatically complete and understandable. In Korean, however, the subject can be implied or inferred from the context, which means that sentences can sound simpler without explicitly stating the subject.

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