What’s the difference??—Making choices in Korean

Hello, everyone! Back again with another “What’s the difference??” post. This time we’re going to look at choice words in Korean. This post is actually inspired by a question someone asked on Reddit about the difference between seven (seven!) decision/choice words. I answered the question very briefly, but now I’d like to look at the words in more detail. 결정하다, 정하다, 마음먹다, 결심하다, 고르다, 선택하다, and 취하다… what’s the difference? Let’s find out!

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What’s the Difference?? 또 vs. 다시

I feel like it’s been a while since I did a “What’s the difference??” post! Today we’re going to look at two different adverbs, 또 and 다시, that can seem really similar at first glance. In fact, they are interchangeable in some instances, but not always. How are they similar and how are they different?

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Grammar Bite — How do you tell apart descriptive and action verbs?

To tell apart action and descriptive verbs, think about how the verb relates to its subject. If the verb is indicating an action or something that the subject does, then it is an action verb. If the verb is describing a subject or a state that the subject is in, it is a descriptive verb. The distinction is fairly similar, though not completely similar (as you already mentioned!) to the verb/adjective distinction in English. You will gradually develop a feel for it as well. Until then, if you find yourself not quite sure if the word is an action verb or a descriptive verb, you can always hop over to the Korean Naver dictionary. Even if you can’t read the definitions, you can check to see if the word is labeled as 동사 (action verb) or 형용사 (descriptive verb).

Happy studying~

What’s the difference??  문제, 문제점, and 문젯거리

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문제, 문제점, and 문젯거리. In English, we might use “problem” or “question” for all of them. But how exactly are they similar and how are they different? Let’s find out!

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The many faces of 되다

되다 is one of the most useful, and perhaps most confusing, verbs you will encounter while learning Korean. If you were to ask me what it means, my fast-and-easy answer would be “to become.” However, it serves a lot of purposes in a lot of different contexts. Today, we’ll look at some of the most common of its usages.

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Grammar bite — 이르다 and 이르다?!

I was asked before which conjugation of 이르다 is correct, 이르러요 or 일러요. The person who asked had seen both of them and wondered whether one conjugation was preferable to another. The answer is that neither is preferable to the other because they’re different words!

이르다 has more than one meaning, and the two conjugations, 이르러요 and 일러요, come from two different meanings that are two different types of irregulars. Let’s take a look.

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What’s the difference?? 이미, 벌써, and 벌써부터

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When translating Korean to English, “이미,” “벌써,” and “벌써부터” are all commonly translated as “already.” How do we know when to use each one? What makes them different from each other? Let’s find out!

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What’s the difference?? 대답, 답변, 답장, 답안, and more!

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Today, we’ll look at some different words that seem very similar in translation. In English, all of these could be translated simply as “answer.” So, why are there so many words that all basically mean the same thing? When would we use one over the other? Let’s check out the differences between them.

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What’s the difference?? 있으시다 and 계시다

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Thanks to the person who asked this question! 계시다 is the honorific form of 있다… but 있으시다 is used sometimes, too! So what’s the difference? Before we get into that difference, first we have to make sure we understand 있다 itself.

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What’s the difference?? 어느, 어떤, and 무슨

I got the idea to write this post because some friends in a Korean-learning community I’m involved in were asking about it. 어느, 어떤, and 무슨 all seem very similar—perhaps even interchangeable—when you just look at how they are translated to English (that being, I have seen all three of them translated as “which” before). However, they have some important differences in when and how they’re used. Let’s take a look!

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