Learn 5 different Eng meanings for a Korean verb 쓰다

ONE Korean verb that has MULTIPLE meanings in English

In terms of learning new vocabulary in foreign language, it can be confusing or frustrating when you realize there are multiple meanings in one single verb in the new language.

Today’s post is all about finding out what can be translated to when you use 쓰다 verb.

쓰다 verb

As far as my knowledge at this moment, this verb can have 5 different meanings in English depending on contexts.

1. to write

For the first one, when you write a book or a letter, this is the verb you use.

오늘 저는 편지를 써요. I write a letter today. 

오늘 저는 편지를 써요.

2. to wear (glasses, hat)

The second meaning of 쓰다 is to wear specifically for glasses and a hat. We use different verbs of ‘to wear’ for different types of clothing and this will be a separate blog post.

우리 엄마는 안경을 써요. My mom wears glasses.

우리 엄마는 안경을 써요.

3. to spend (money)

For the third one, this means ‘to spend’ and this is specifically for money. In English, you can use ‘spend’ for time, but there is a different verb to say “spend time”. The #3 of 쓰다 is for “spending money”.

지난 주말에 저는 쇼핑에 돈을 많이 썼어요. Last weekend, I spent a lot of money on shopping.

주말에 저는 쇼핑에 돈을 많이 썼어요

4. to be bitter

This fourth one means ‘to be bitter’ when you express taste of certain food. I do find certain vegetables are more bitter than others.. XD

이 야채는 너무 써요. This vegetable is really bitter.

이 야채는 너무 써요

5. to use

This meaning is generally for the meaning of ‘to use’. When you use any types of things such as a cell phone or a cup and many more, you use 쓰다.

항상 새로운 방법을 쓰려고 노력해요. I always try to use new methods.

항상 새로운 방법을 쓰려고 노력해요

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Secrets To Learn Korean Vocabulary Fast

How To Improve Korean FAST

How To Describe Feelings and Improve Korean

Are you learning Korean language?

Regardless of which level you are at, you might be overwhelmed when it comes to learning Korean vocabulary.

I get this same question from my students very often. My general answer is..

It depends..!


1. Find out WHY you are learning Korean

It really does depend on many different things; especially for what purpose you are learning Korean.

You could be learning Korean because you;
– love K-POP.
– watch Korean drama all the time and you want to know what they are saying without looking at subtitles.
– admire Korean fashion and beauty products.
– want to go to Korea to teach English.
– have Korean boyfriend or girlfriend and want to learn Korean to communicate with them and their family members.
– are into online games or Korean traditional Baduk game.
and so on…

If I didn’t cover your reason here, leave a comment below, because I’d love to get to know you and how you got into Korean language 🙂

Obviously, you will have to focus on vocabulary which that you will most likely to use depending on the purpose.


2. Figure out what interests you in your language

Most likely, you will understand better in new language if you already have knowledge and understand concept about subjects in your language.

Find out today what you are genuinely interested in and associate the vocabulary from your language to Korean 🙂


3. Learn massive verbs

I think learning all the new words in new language can be daunting. For learning Korean, I highly suggest you to start with verbs. I believe that verbs are the most effective words you can deliver message with a limited number of vocabulary. A great thing about learning Korean verbs is that you can easily convert verbs into nouns, adjectives and adverbs.


Click HERE to download your FREE PDF of 245 regular verbs in all different tenses.

Korean verbs

4. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes

I started to learn English when I was at the elementary school in South Korea. I really enjoyed learning the language and was very dedicated to study it driven by my own motivation. Learning English on a day to day consistently helped me to improve the language. However, another big factor that helped me most was I was not afraid of making mistakes. I could make the most stupid mistakes and said jumbled words mixed with Korean words. But I also went up to English speakers to practice a couple of phrases I learned from schools or Hollywood movies. This was the time back in the early 90s, and it was VERY rare to see non-Koreans on streets in South Korea. These days, there are so many online websites and social medias where you can instantly be connected with people who are in the same interests. You should take advantage of that. Most importantly, don’t feel discouraged by someone who is way more proficient in Korean, because everyone at one point started from learning the Korean alphabet just like you did or you plan to do. Make progress bit by bit everyday.

Good luck!

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