1000 Korean words for everyday use – Basic vocabulary from K-dramas #29

Welcome back. This is the 29th 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 “막, 아프다, 타다, 치다, 먼저” with sample sentences.
Click the play button below to listen to all the words and sample sentences in this post.

 

Basic Korean words : 막, 아프다, 타다, 치다, 먼저

 

141. 막 [mak] – just, only / violently

– 막 [mak] can mean “just”, “only”, indicating that something has just happened or that something is done with little effort or preparation. It can also mean “violently” or “recklessly”, describing the way something is done.

Example sentences:

막 도착했어요. I have just arrived.
그는 차를 막 몰았어. He drove recklessly.

 

142. 아프다 [a-peu-da] – to be in pain, to hurt

– 아프다 [a-peu-da] means “to be in pain” or “to hurt”.
– 아픔 [a-peum] is its noun form and means “pain” or “suffering”.

Example sentences:

머리가 아파요. My head hurts.
그의 아픔을 이해해 주세요. Please understand his pain.

 

143. 타다 [ta-da] – to ride, to get on / to burn, to catch fire

– 타다 [ta-da] is used to indicate “riding” or “getting on” a vehicle or means of transport. Sometimes it means “to burn, to catch fire”.
– 태우다 [tae-u-da] is used to indicate “riding” or “getting on” a vehicle or means of transport as well, but it can also mean “burning” or “catching fire”.

Example sentences:

택시를 타고 갈 거예요. I’ll take a taxi there.
나무가 불에 타고 있어요. The tree is burning in the fire.
저도 태워 주세요. Take me for a ride, too.
촛불을 태워봐요. Let’s light the candle on fire.

 

144. 치다 [chi-da] – to hit, to strike

– 치다 [chi-da] means “to hit” something or someone.
– 치이다 [chi-i-da] means “to be hit” by something. It’s a passive form of “치다”.

Example sentences:

공을 쳐. Hit the ball.
그는 차에 치였어. He was hit by a car.

 

145. 먼저 [meon-jeo] – first, beforehand

– 먼저 [meon-jeo] is used to indicate that something happens “first” or “beforehand”.

Example sentence:

먼저 시작해 볼까요? Shall we start first?

 

Grammar & Study Resources

When you come across a verb or adjective word, practicing conjugation according to tense and speech level is a great way to improve your Korean. Consistent practice of conjugation strengthens your command of the language and enhances your ability to communicate effectively and naturally. It’s an essential aspect of becoming proficient in Korean.

*Tense

*Present tense : Adjective/verb stem + ~아/어/해요
*Past tense : Adjective/verb stem + ~았/었/했어요
*Future tense : Adjective/verb stem + ~(으)ㄹ 거예요 / ~ㄹ 게요/ ~겠어요
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, 아요(present tense), 았어요(past tense), 을 거예요(future tense) is used.
If there is a vowel other than ㅏ or ㅗ on the final syllable of the adjective/verb, 어요(present tense), 었어요(past tense), ㄹ 거예요(future tense) is used.
Also, if there is 하다 in the adjective/verb, 하다 changes to 해요(present tense), 했어요(past tense), 할 거예요(future tense).

Below you can see the conjugation of 아프다, 타다, 치다 by tenses.

Present tense Past tense Future tense
아프다 아파요 아팠어요 아플 거예요
타다 타요 탔어요 탈 거예요
치다 쳐요 쳤어요 칠 거예요

*Speech levels

The three most commonly used Korean speech levels are 합쇼체 (formal polite), 해요체 (informal polite) and 해체 (informal plain).
*The formal polite style : Adjective/verb stem + ~(스)ㅂ니다
~(스)ㅂ니다 is used more in formal or public situations including the military, news, reporting presentations, meetings and lectures. It’s mainly used to address large gatherings or people you don’t know personally.
*The informal polite style : Adjective/verb stem + ~아/어/해요
~아/어/해요 is most commonly used in everyday life. Compared to the formal polite style, the informal polite style is softer and less formal, so it is mainly used among family members, friends, shopkeepers and other close acquaintances.
*The informal plain style : Adjective/verb stem + ~아/어/해
As for the informal plain style ~아/어/해, it is mainly used among friends from superiors to people of lower rank and among family members.

Below you can see the conjugation of 아프다, 타다, 치다 by speech levels.

Formal polite Informal polite Informal plain
아프다 아픕니다 아파요 아파
타다 탑니다 타요
치다 칩니다 쳐요

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