1000 Korean words for everyday use – Basic vocabulary from K-dramas #46

Welcome back. This is the 46th 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 “오르다, 밤, 인간, 정신, 자꾸” with sample sentences.
Click the play button below to listen to all the words and sample sentences in this post.


Basic Korean words : 오르다, 밤, 인간, 정신, 자꾸


226. 오르다 [o-reu-da] – to rise, to ascend

– 떠오르다 [tteo-o-reu-da] means “to come up” or “to come to mind”. It’s often used to describe an idea or thought that comes to mind.
– 올라가다 [ol-la-ga-da] means “to go up” or “to rise”.
– 올라오다 [ol-la-o-da] is used to express “to come up” or “to rise”, similar to 올라가다.
– 올라타다 [ol-la-ta-da] means “to get on” or “to board”, usually referring to vehicles or transport.

Example sentences:

오르지 못할 나무는 쳐다보지도 마라. Don’t even look at trees you can’t climb.
(*This advice suggests not wasting time on unattainable tasks.)
이 생각이 떠올라서 얘기해봤어요. This thought came up, so I mentioned it.
계단을 올라가세요. Please go up the stairs.
그 새가 나무 위로 올라와요. The bird comes up onto the tree.
버스에 올라타면 바로 와주세요. Please come as soon as you get on the bus.


227. 밤 [bam] – night

– 밤 [bam] means “night” and 낮 [nat] means “day”.
– 밤새 [bam-sae] means “all night” or “overnight” and 밤늦게 [bam-neut-ge] means “late at night”.

Example sentences:

오늘 밤 잘 자요. Sleep well tonight.
밤새 얘기하면서 놀았어요. We talked and played all night.
밤늦게까지 일을 했어요. I worked late into the night.


228. 인간 [in-gan] – human being

– 인간 [in-gan] emphasizes the biological aspect, while 사람(person) [sa-ram] is a common expression referring to a general human being. These terms are often used depending on the situation and context.

Example sentences:

인간의 마음은 복잡해요. The human mind is complex.


229. 정신 [jeong-shin] – mind, spirit

– 정신 [jeong-shin] means the mind or spirit, which includes thoughts, feelings and awareness. It’s about our mental and emotional aspects.

Example sentences:

정신 차려! Get yourself together!
(*This phrase is often used to encourage someone to regain their concentration or composure.)


230. 자꾸 [ja-kku] – repeatedly, continuously

– 자꾸 [ja-kku] is an adverb in Korean that means repeatedly or continuously, indicating the repetitive or ongoing nature of an action or experience.

Example sentences:

그가 자꾸 미소를 지으며 보더라고요. He kept smiling repeatedly.


Grammar & Study Resources

In the Korean language, it is common practice to combine words of Chinese origin (Hanja) with other words of Chinese origin, and similarly to combine words written in the native Korean script (Hangul) with other Hangul words. This combination is often used to convey nuance and increase the richness of expression, providing greater variety in communication.

For example:

The combination of the Chinese word “정신” (mind/spirit) and “육체” (body) results in “정신과 육체”, which emphasizes both the psychological or mental aspect and the biological or physical aspect of human existence.

The combination of the native Korean word “몸” (body) and “마음” (heart/mind) creates “몸과 마음”, indicating the physical aspect of the body and the emotional, mental aspect of the heart/mind.

These combinations of hanja and hanja, or hangul and hangul, make the language more versatile, allowing speakers to convey a wider range of meanings and nuances in different contexts.

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