1000 Korean words for everyday use – Basic vocabulary from K-dramas #53

Welcome back. This is the 53rd 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 “무섭다, 확인하다, 벌써, 일어나다, 사진” with sample sentences.
Click the play button below to listen to all the words and sample sentences in this post.


Basic Korean words : 무섭다, 확인하다, 벌써, 일어나다, 사진


261. 무섭다 [mu-seop-tta] – to be frightened, afraid

– 무섭다 [mu-seop-tta] means to be frightened or afraid of something.

Example sentence:

어둠이 무섭네요. The darkness is frightening.


262. 확인하다 [hwa-gin-ha-da] – to check, to verify

– 확인 [hwa-gin] means “check, verification” and 확인하다 [hwa-gin-ha-da] means to confirm or verify something.

Example sentences:

다시 확인해 볼까? Shall we check it again?
잠깐만요. 제가 가서 확인해 볼게요. Just a moment. I’ll go and check.


263. 벌써 [beol-sseo] – already, by now

– 벌써 [beol-sseo] is used to indicate that something has already happened or that a certain amount of time has passed.

Example sentence:

벌써 저녁이에요. It’s already evening.


264. 일어나다 [il-eo-na-da] – to get up, to rise / to happen

– 일어나다 [il-eo-na-da] can have two different meanings. It can mean physically getting up or rising from a sitting or lying position. It can also mean that something is happening or will happen.

Example sentences:

일찍 일어나서 운동을 해요. I get up early to exercise.
무슨 일이 일어났어요? What happened?


265. 사진 [sa-jin] – photo, picture

– 사진 [sa-jin] refers to a photo or picture.

Example sentences:

여행 사진을 찍었어요. I took travel photos.


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 무섭다, 확인하다, 일어나다 by tenses.

Present tense Past tense Future tense
무섭다 무서워요 무서웠어요 무서울 거예요
확인하다 확인해요 확인했어요 확인할 거예요
일어나다 일어나요 일어났어요 일어날 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 무섭다, 확인하다, 일어나다 by speech levels.

Formal polite Informal polite Informal plain
무섭다 무섭습니다 무서워요 무서워
확인하다 확인합니다 확인해요 확인해
일어나다 일어납니다 일어나요 일어나

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