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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You Must Know This In Korean Verbs

Have you been studying Korean for a while?

If you have been studying for a month or over a year, this topic can still be confusing if you haven’t had a chance to really understand the difference in the two types of verbs.

Intransitive verb VS Transitive verb

Intransitive verb is a type of verb that doesn’t have a direct object in a sentence.
Transitive verb is another type of verb that has one or more than one direct object in a sentence.

I still find this explanation not helpful.. I learned my English as a second language having my native mother tongue as Korean.
I was struggling to understand different language terminologies which got me confused even more..

I wish someone could explain how it worked in sentence examples and got me understand the concept this way.

As a Korean language instructor, I’ve been teaching Korean for about 10 years and helped many students who had a beginner’s level starting from alphabet to a speaking level without really teaching terminologies.

Therefore, I know this method of teaching works! 🙂

Here are two set of verbs that I will explain in this post and if you have questions, please feel free to leave comments below.

Listen to Kpop
Enjoying the sound

1. 들리다 VS 듣다

들리다 and 듣다 verbs can both be found as ‘to hear’ and ‘ to listen’ in dictionary, because that’s a natural way to interpret them in English.

However, if you are truly learning Korean and want to learn more about grammar, here is how you can think.

들리다 ‘to be heard’

들리다 is ‘to be heard’ as the Korean verb doesn’t require a direct object. That means you will always use a subject with this verb and ‘to be heard’ makes most sense and you cannot use an object with ‘to be heard’.

Example 1.

멀리서 소리가 들려요. I hear the sound from far away. ➡️ interpret to “The sound from far away is heard.”

In the example, 소리 (sound) is a subject noun and 가 is the subject particle. There is no object noun.

멀리서 소리가 들려요.

Example 2.

응급차 사이런 소리가 들렸어요. I heard the siren of an emergency vehicle.
➡️ interpret to “The siren of an emergency vehicle was heard.”

응급차 사이런 소리 (emergency siren sound) is the subject and 가 is the subject particle. There is no object noun.

응급차 사이런 소리가 들렸어요.

듣다 ‘to hear’ or ‘to listen to’

듣다 is ‘to hear’ and ‘to listen to’. The Korean verb allows/ needs a direct object. Just like the English verbs, they require a direct object.

Example 1.

제 친구의 좋은 소식을 들었어요. I heard my friend’s good news.

제 친구의 좋은 소식 (my friend’s good news) is a direct object to the verb. 을 is the object particle after a syllable that ends with a consonant. The verb here is 듣다 and it’s conjugated to 들었어요 for past tense.
A subject in this sentence is omitted but you can add 저는 as I with subject particle if you want.

제 친구의 좋은 소식을 들었어요.

Example 2.

저는 케이팝을 매일 들어요. I listen to K-POP every day.

저 is I in polite and 는 is the subject particle. 케이팝 (K-POP) is the direct object and 을 is the object particle. The verb 들어요 requires an object.

저는 케이팝을 매일 들어요.

At the finish line

2. 끝나다 VS 끝내다

끝나다 ‘to finish’

끝나다 is a verb that doesn’t require a direct object noun. English verb ‘to finish’ can have an object or not depending on the context. Therefore, think of the Korean verb as the English verb that doesn’t need an object.

Example 1.

그 영화가 끝났어요. The movie finished.

그 영화 is the subject noun and 가 is the subject particle. The verb 끝났어요 is the past tense and doesn’t allow a direct object.

그 영화가 끝났어요.

Example 2.

학교는 4시에 끝나요. School finishes at 4.

학교 is a subject noun and 는 is the subject particle. 4시에 is ‘at 4’ and 끝나요 again doesn’t allow a direct object.

학교는 4시에 끝나요.

끝내다 ‘to complete’

끝내다 is a verb that requires a direct object. Thus, it’s good to think of this verb as ‘to complete’ in English. Although ‘to finish’ can have a direct object, but that verb also doesn’t require a direct object under some circumstances. Therefore, by thinking it as ‘to complete’, it simplifies remembering the grammar rules.

Example 1.

(저는) 숙제를 끝냈어요. I completed the homework.

저 is I in polite with 는 the subject particle and 숙제 (homework) is the object noun with 를 object particle. 끝냈어요 is in past tense and required a direct object.

(저는) 숙제를 끝냈어요.

Example 2.

(저는) 2시까지 일을 끝내야 돼요. I have to complete work by 2.

저 is I in polite with 는 the subject particle and 2시까지 is by two. 일 (work) is the object noun with the 을 object particle. 끝내야 돼요 is ‘have to complete’ and required a direct object.

(저는) 2시까지 일을 끝내야 돼요.

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How To Read And Write Date In Korean

Date In Korean

Learning numbers in Korean itself can be overwhelming.
Once you master numbers, you think you can easily figure out how to say Date in Korean.

But, if you don’t know the rules provided in this post, you still may be in a confusing state. If you are encountering the situation, I will help you learn how to use Date. You are in the right place. 😉

First, let’s learn to say the words.

Year: 년 [nyeon]
Month: 월 [weor]
Day: 일 [ir]

Year, Month, Date in Korean

You must know these three rules below when you say date in Korean.

Rule 1. Korean date ALWAYS starts with Year.

In fact, the order in Date in Korean doesn’t change. It’s always Year (년) – Month (월) – Day (일).

Therefore, it’s always easy to recognize which is for what.

However, in English, it usually seems to start with month, but sometimes also start with date or year. As someone who lives in Canada, this has confused me. I first thought it was because I was an immigrant here. Later on, I realized it was not just me who was confused about it as I witnessed other born and raised Canadian also had the same problems. XD

Maybe that’s whyRule 3 is created to solve the issue.

Rule 2. Read it in Chinese (Sino) system

Number Systems In Korean

First of all, did you know there are two different number systems in Korean language?

Chinese (Sino) system and Korean system

I won’t explain details about the two systems as that’s going to be a topic for a separate post. I’d like to mention here you would need to use the Chinese (Sino) number system with Date.

Korean number system goes up to 100 (Korean people don’t really use 100 온 in a daily life). Any figure that can have over 100 ends up used with the Chinese system. In the date case, you use the Chinese number system for all 년, 월, 일.

Rule 3. Korean month 월 is always associated with numbers

Korean month is always associated with numbers which means there are no words to describe specific month like English. For example, number 4 has a representative word which is April.

As I mentioned in Rule 1, maybe someone had to invent the words to clear the confusion as the order of date in English can be versatile. But, of course, this is just my total assumption.

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How To Say Your Country In Korean

Country names in Korean

World map

I am going to show you country names of the world and how to write them in Korean based on English or original language phonetic sound. When you read Korean, it may not be exactly the same sound you are used to as there are certain English letters that Korean alphabet doesn’t have.

Here is how we replace English letters to Korean letters. But this can change really depending on how the syllables make up a sound.

English lettersKorean letter replacement
f ㅂ / ㅍ
thㄷ / ㄸ / ㅅ / ㅆ/ ㅌ
r / l

We (Korean) may have chosen to use Korean words to say Island, Democratic Republic and United included in some country names.

The recordings repeat each country twice. The first time is the sound for each broken down syllable and the second time is the sound to speak it naturally.

You can play the recordings placed below each English alphabet letters (from a to z) to confirm how to say the names in Korean.

How To Say South Korea and North Korea in Korean

대한민국 or 한국 South Korea (official name: Republic of Korea)
북한 North Korea (official name: Democratic people’s republic of Korea)


How To Say All Other Countries


Afghanistan 아프가니스탄
Albania 알바니아
Algeria 알제리
Andorra 안도라
Angola 앙골라
Argentina 아르헨티나
Armenia 아르메니아
Australia 호주
Austria 오스트리아
Azerbaijan 아제르바이잔



Bahamas 바하마
Bahrain 바레인
Bangladesh 방글라데시
Barbados 바베이도스
Belarus 벨라루스
Belgium 벨기에
Belize 벨리즈
Benin 베냉
Bhutan 부탄
Bolivia 볼리비아
Bosnia and Herzegovina 보스니아헤르체고비나
Botswana 보츠와나
Brazil 브라질
Brunei 브루나이
Bulgaria 불가리아
Burkina Faso 부르키나 파소
Burundi 부룬디



Cabo Verde 카보베르데
Cambodia 캄보디아
Cameroon 카메룬
Canada 캐나다
Central African Republic 남아프리카 공화국
Chad 차드
Chile 칠레
China 중국
Colombia 콜롬비아
Comoros 코모로
Cook Islands 쿡제도
Costa Rica 코스타리카
Croatia 크로아티아
Cuba 쿠바
Cyprus 키프로스
Czech Republic 체코



Democratic Republic of the Congo 콩고 민주 공화국
Denmark 덴마크
Djibouti 지부티
Dominica 도미니카
Dominican Republic 도미니카 공화국



Ecuador 에콰도르
Egypt 이집트
El Salvador 엘살바도르
Equatorial Guinea 적도 기니
Eritrea 에리트레아
Estonia 에스토니아
Ethiopia 에티오피아



Faroe Islands 페로 제도
Fiji 피지
Finland 핀란드
France 프랑스



Gabon 가봉
Gambia 감비아
Georgia 조지아
Germany 독일
Ghana 가나
Greece 그리스
Grenada 그레나다
Guatemala 과테말라
Guinea 기니
Guinea-Bissau 기니비사우
Guyana 가이아나



Haiti 아이티
Honduras 온두라스
Hungary 헝가리



Iceland 아이슬란드
India 인도
Indonesia 인도네시아
Iran 이란
Iraq 이라크
Ireland 아일랜드
Israel 이스라엘
Italy 이탈리아



Jamaica 자메이카
Japan 일본
Jordan 요르단



Kazakhstan 카자흐스탄
Kenya 케냐
Kiribati 키리바시
Kuwait 쿠웨이트
Kyrgyzstan 키르기스스탄



Laos 라오스
Lativa 라트비아
Lebanon 레바논
Lesotho 레소토
Liberia 라이베리아
Libya 리비아
Lithuania 리투아니아
Luxembourg 룩셈부르크



Madagascar 마다가스카르
Malawi 말라위
Malaysia 말레이시아
Maldives 몰디브
Mali 말리
Malta 몰타
Marshall Islands 마셜
Mauritania 모리타니
Mauritius 모리셔스
Mexico 멕시코
Micronesia 미크로네시아
Monaco 모나코
Mongolia 몽골
Montenegro 몬테네그로
Morocco 모로코
Mozambique 모잠비크
Myanmar 미얀마



Namibia 나미비아
Nauru 나우루
Nepal 네팔
Netherlands 네덜란드
New Zealand 뉴질랜드
Nicaragua 니카라과
Niger 니제르
Nigeria 나이지리아
Niue 니우에 섬
Norway 노르웨이



Oman 오만



Pakistan 파키스탄
Palau 팔라우
Panama 파나마
Papua New Guinea 파푸아뉴기니
Paraguay 파라과이
Peru 페루
Philippines 필리핀
Poland 폴란드
Portugal 포르투갈



Qatar 카타르



Republic of Moldova 몰도바
Romania 루마니아
Russia 러시아
Rwanda 르완다



Saint Kitts and Nevis 세인트키츠 네비스
Saint Lucia 세인트루시아
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 세인트빈센트그레나딘
Samoa 사모아
San Marino 산마리노
Sao Tome and Principe 상투메프린시페
Saudi Arabia 사우디아라비아
Senegal 세네갈
Serbia 세르비아
Seychelles 세이셸
Sierra Leone 시에라리온
Singapore 싱가폴
Slovakia 슬로바키아
Slovenia 슬로베니아
Solomon Islands 솔로몬 제도
Somalia 소말리아
South Africa 남아프리카 공화국
South Sudan 남수단
Spain 스페인
Sri Lanka 스리랑카
Sudan 수단
Suriname 수리남
Swaziland 스와질란드
Sweden 스웨덴
Switzerland 스위스
Syria 시리아



Tadjikistan 타지키스탄
Taiwan 대만
Tanzania 탄자니아
Thailand 태국
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 구 유고슬라비아 마케도니아 공화국
Timor-Leste 동티모르
Togo 토고
Tokelau 토켈라우
Tonga 통가
Trinidad and Tobago 트리니다드토바고
Tunisia 튀니지
Turkey 터키
Turkmenistan 투르크메니스탄
Tuvalu 투발루



Uganda 우간다
Ukraine 우크라이나
United Arab Emirates 아랍 에미리트 연합국
United Kingdom 영국
United Republic of Tanzania 탄자니아
United States of America 미국
Uruguay 우루과이
Uzbekistan 우즈베키스탄



Vanuatu 비누아투
Vatican City 바티칸시국
Venezuela 베네주엘라
Vietnam 베트남



Yemen 예멘



Zambia 잠비아
Zimbabwe 짐바브웨


Please let me know if I missed any country and comment below where you are from by filling the blank with your country name 🙂

저는 _______에서 왔어요.

I am from _______.

How To Say Zodiac Signs In Korean

무슨 별자리예요?

What’s your zodiac sign?

무슨 별자리예요?

무슨 which
별 star
자리 seat
별자리 zodiac sign
예요 be verb from 이다 (dictionary)

To answer the question

My zodiac sign is _________.

If the zodiac sign ends with a vowel:
제 별자리는 ________예요.

If the zodiac sign ends with a consonant:
제 별자리는 ________이에요.

Zodiac signs with each recording

양자리 Aries / the Ram (3월 21일~4월 19일)

황소자리 Taurus / the Bull (4월 20일~5월 20일)

쌍둥이자리 Gemini / the Twins (5월 21일~6월 21일)

게자리 Cancer / the Crab (6월 22일~7월 22일)

사자자리 Leo / the Lion (7월 23일~8월 22일)

처녀자리 Virgo / the Virgin (8월 23일~9월 23일)

천칭자리 Libra / the Scales (9월 24일~10월 22일)

전갈자리 Scorpio / the Scorpion (10월 23일~11월 22일)

사수자리 Sagittarius / the Archer (11월 23일~12월 24일)

염소자리 Capricorn / the Goat (12월 25일~1월 19일)

물병자리 Aquarius / the Water Bearer (1월 20일~2월 18일)

물고기자리 Pisces / the Fishes (2월 19일~3월 20일)

Rabbit Bunny Character Korean Stickers
Korean notebooks