1000 Korean words for everyday use – Basic vocabulary from K-dramas #75

Welcome back. This is the 75th 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 “차다, 공부, 길다, 팔다, 헤어지다” with sample sentences.
Click the play button below to listen to all the words and sample sentences in this post.


Basic Korean words : 차다, 공부, 길다, 팔다, 헤어지다


371. 차다 [cha-da] – to kick, to dump / to be full of / to be cold

– 차다 [cha-da] means “to kick” or “to dump”. It also means “to be full (of)” when referring to containers.
– On the other hand, 차다 [cha-da] and 차갑다 [cha-gap-da] describe being cold, both in terms of weather and emotion.
– 채우다 [chae-u-da] includes the concept of “filling” something. 채우다 is a transitive verb meaning “to fill (something)”, while 차다 is an intransitive verb meaning “to fill (oneself)”.

Example sentences:

그를 밖으로 차버렸어요. I kicked him out.
냉장고가 음식으로 차 있어요. The fridge is full of food.
날씨가 차가워서 외출하기 싫어요. It’s so cold outside that I don’t want to go out.
컵을 물로 채워주세요. Please fill the cup with water.


372. 공부 [gong-bu] – studying, study

– 공부 [gong-bu] means “studying” or “study”. When paired with 하다 [ha-da] (to do), it becomes 공부하다 [gong-bu-ha-da], meaning “to study”.

Example sentences:

공부를 열심히 해야 해요. You need to study hard.
근데 그걸 왜 공부해요? But why do you study that?


373. 길다 [gil-da] – to be long

– 길다 [gil-da] means “to be long”. When describing objects, 긴 [gin] is its adjective form and takes on the meaning of “long”.

Example sentences:

이 영화는 너무 길어요. This film is too long.
긴 여행 끝에 집에 돌아왔어요. I returned home after a long journey.


374. 팔다 [pal-da] – to sell

– 팔다 [pal-da] means the direct action of “selling”. The opposite of 팔다 is 사다 [sa-da] (to buy).

Example sentences:

그 가게에서 옷을 팔고 있어요. They sell clothes in this shop.


375. 헤어지다 [he-eo-ji-da] – to break up, to part ways

– 헤어지다 [he-eo-ji-da] captures the poignant act of ‘breaking up’ or ‘parting’. The opposite of 헤어지다 is 만나다 [man-na-da] (to meet).
– It’s often paired with 이별 [i-byeol], which conveys the idea of farewell and separation.

Example sentences:

그들은 서로 헤어지게 되었어요. They finally broke up.
이별 노래 들으니 눈물이 나. Breakup songs make me cry.


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 차다, 길다, 팔다, 헤어지다 by tenses.

Present tense Past tense Future tense
차다 차요 찼어요 찰 거예요
길다 길어요 길었어요 길 거예요
팔다 팔아요 팔았어요 팔 거예요
헤어지다 헤어져요 헤어졌어요 헤어질 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 차다, 길다, 팔다, 헤어지다 by speech levels.

Formal polite Informal polite Informal plain
차다 찹니다 차요
길다 깁니다 길어요 길어
팔다 팝니다 팔아요 팔아
헤어지다 헤어집니다 헤어져요 헤어져

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