1000 Korean words for everyday use – Basic vocabulary from K-dramas #33

Welcome back. This is the 33rd 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 “아들, 예쁘다, 믿다, 기다리다, 계속” with sample sentences.
Click the play button below to listen to all the words and sample sentences in this post.


Basic Korean words : 아들, 예쁘다, 믿다, 기다리다, 계속


161. 아들 [a-deul] – son

– 아들 [a-deul] means “son” and refers to a male offspring in relation to his parents.

Example sentence:

제 아들이 대학에 갔어요. My son went to college.


162. 예쁘다 [ye-ppu-da] – to be pretty, beautiful

– 이쁘다 [i-ppu-da] is an alternate spelling of 예쁘다 [ye-ppu-da], both meaning “to be pretty” or “beautiful”. It describes the attractiveness or pleasing appearance of someone or something.

Example sentences:

그녀는 정말 예뻐. She is really beautiful.
이 옷이 참 이쁘네요. This outfit is very pretty.
(* Here, 참 emphasizes the degree of prettiness.)


163. 믿다 [mit-tta] – to believe

– 믿다 [mit-tta] means “to believe”. It means to have confidence or trust in something or someone.
– 믿음 [mi-deum] is its noun form and means “belief” or “faith”.

Example sentences:

전 그의 말을 믿어요. I believe what he says.
믿음, 소망, 사랑 중에 제일은 사랑이라. Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.


164. 기다리다 [gi-da-ri-da] – to wait

– 기다리다 [gi-da-ri-da] means “to wait”. It means to remain in a state of expectation for something to happen.

Example sentence:

기다려요, 곧 도착할 거예요. Wait, it will arrive soon.


165. 계속 [gye-sok] – continuously, still

– 계속 [gye-sok] means “continuously” or “still”. It refers to the continuation of an action or condition.

Example sentence:

계속 노력하세요. Keep trying.


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.


*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 예쁘다, 믿다, 기다리다, 도착하다 by tenses.

Present tense Past tense Future tense
예쁘다 예뻐요 예뻤어요 예쁠 거예요
믿다 믿어요 믿었어요 믿을 거예요
기다리다 기다려요 기다렸어요 기다릴 거예요
도착하다 도착해요 도착했어요 도착할 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 예쁘다, 믿다, 기다리다, 도착하다 by speech levels.

Formal polite Informal polite Informal plain
예쁘다 예쁩니다 예뻐요 예뻐
믿다 믿습니다 믿어요 믿어
기다리다 기다립니다 기다려요 기다려
도착하다 도착합니다 도착해요 도착해

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