1000 Korean words for everyday use – Basic vocabulary from K-dramas #76

Welcome back. This is the 76th 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 “맡다, 가능하다, 이해, 막다, 순간” with sample sentences.
Click the play button below to listen to all the words and sample sentences in this post.


Basic Korean words : 맡다, 가능하다, 이해, 막다, 순간


376. 맡다 [mat-tta] – to take charge of, to undertake

– 맡다 [mat-tta] embodies the essence of “taking charge” or “undertaking” a task. It means to take responsibility for a task or project.
– 맡다 is the basic form, and 맡기다 [mat-gi-da] is a causative verb (as in English have/let/get + someone+ do something) by adding “기” [gi].

Example sentences:

이 프로젝트를 맡게 되었어요. I’ve been assigned this project.


377. 가능하다 [ga-neung-ha-da] – to be possible

– 가능하다 [ga-neung-ha-da] means “to be possible” and 가능성 [ga-neung-seong] means “possibility”.

Example sentences:

이것이 가능한 일인가요? Is this possible?
그렇게 될 가능성이 높아요. The possibility of that happening is high.


378. 이해 [i-hae] – understanding

– 이해 [i-hae] encapsulates the concept of “understanding”. 이해하다 [i-hae-ha-da] is its verb form and means “to understand”.

Example sentences:

이제 이해가 되었어요. It makes sense now.
그 문제를 이해하기 어려워요. It’s hard to understand that problem.


379. 막다 [mak-tta] – to block, to obstruct

– 막다 [mak-tta] means “to block, to obstruct”, indicating an action that impedes progress.

Example sentences:

길을 막지 마세요. Don’t block the way.


380. 순간 [sun-gan] – moment, instant

– 순간 [sun-gan] means “moment” or “instant”, a fleeting unit of time.

Example sentences:

그 순간 카메라를 꺼내 사진을 찍었어요. I took a picture with my camera in that moment.


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 맡다, 가능하다, 이해하다, 막다 by tenses.

Present tense Past tense Future tense
맡다 맡아요 맡았어요 맡을 거예요
가능하다 가능해요 가능했어요 가능할 거예요
이해하다 이해해요 이해했어요 이해할 거예요
막다 막아요 막았어요 막을 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 맡다, 가능하다, 이해하다, 막다 by speech levels.

Formal polite Informal polite Informal plain
맡다 맡습니다 맡아요 맡아
가능하다 가능합니다 가능해요 가능해
이해하다 이해합니다 이해해요 이해해
막다 막습니다 막아요 막아

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