Let’s Talk About: 6000 Most Common Korean Words Part 1


So, I was reading this awesome blog FlickerOfKorean and she had an entry about how she found the official list –

And it hit me: That is something that is PERFECT to cover! Why not! We’ll have to do sections of it – because we KNOW we aren’t going to hit all at once, right? – but it is a good one to have in between longer explanations and all that fun stuff.

I need to work on some word recognition. I may not know how to quite use them yet, but hey, it is good to be able to see a word and know what it means – or in the future, be able to recognize how it is being used, etc.

So! We will start with that!
The ENTRY OF INSPIRATION – click here!

Let’s get started!


First I wanted to state:
I did organize the list. I made sure that the list showed by Frequency rating so… there we go. I am going to hit the first few… I am unsure of how many words. Kind of just wanted to see where this takes me.


감 – Exclamation/interjection 고 – Proper Noun 관 – (Cannon?)
대 – Pronouns 동 – Verbs 명 – Noun
보 – Secondary Verb 부 – Adverbs 불 – Impossible to analyze
수 – Number?/investigative? 의 – Dependent Noun 형 – Adjective

The author of this list was kind enough to explain the shorthand they used for Part of Speech. Now some of these I am not 100% about in regards to what exactly they mean, but I was able to figure out majority. We may also understand more as we go along. But for now, this is something we can refer to.

Okay! So the first word on this list!


I had to do a lot of searching, and I found a good explanation for this one: Thank you Learn Korean: LP’s Korean Language Learning.

Simply: This word attaches to (descriptive) verbs or adjectives and turns them into nouns!

(This also explains the Part of Speech label – it is dependent upon a noun!)

Anyway, I would go more into depth, but it seems like something that would be complex and something you learn more about as you go on in Korean. But for now, I will show a small section they showed on Learn Korean: LP’s Korean Language Learning:


Again, I HIGHLY recommend you visit the website for full explanation. (I put a link to it twice… click any of them because they both lead to the same page. ;D)

Now this one is a lot easier for me – I know this one!!


하다! To do. To make. To etc. That is a verb that makes a lot of sense to see often. Seeing as even we have touched upon it here in our most utter beginner Korean and the frequency we have seen it and how it applies, it surprises me not!



I won’t go into this too much – because we talk about it a lot. To have. To exist.

We are still working on this and learning it and… again. Makes sense that it is so high on the list. It has POS as Secondary Verb as well as Adjective… and I can see that. So again, won’t break this down too much.


Next word!


This one… has many meanings from the looks of it. I am guessing they are talking about the verb “become” or “be” or “come.” (My main vote though – “become.” Just saying.)

I looked and saw that the additional extra note was available… and was of no help to me. XD

어른이 ~

Means Adult from what I was seeing. So I couldn’t….
OH! Maybe it means like, to BECOME AN ADULT type of deal? I think that is what I am sticking with! (But if anyone else actually knows, I would love to hear from you!)

This is becoming so much more confusing that I thought it would be.


I almost surrendered… when I stumbled across my good ol’ friend:
How To Study Korean – Lesson 45

I got smart and typed in 수 Grammar into Google. Thank goodness. And the first line that lead me to know I was FINALLY looking in the right place?
“In this lesson, you will learn about the noun “수” in Korean.”
Right. NOUN. The POS that the list stated!

And like always, How To Study Korean explains it BEAUTIFULLY! In fact, let’s just quote them:

If you look up “수” in the dictionary, the definition will be something similar to “ability” or “capability” but it is not used as a stand-alone noun.

If we describe “수” with the verb “to study” (공부하다), we can get:

공부할 수: the ability to study

I highly recommend the WHOLE LESSON (Let’s face it, I recommend the whole site. I really need to sit down and just work on that alone because it is fantastic. Truly is.)

But this gives us a good idea what what it is. And it actually helped me understand why it says “dependent noun” – which they called Pseudo-noun.

You just HAVE to love the good references. Really.




I am sorry guys. I am going to take a break from these, which means that is the end of this entry! This list is going to be a hard one, but I think it is nice to see these words and prepare to see them in our future.

Plus it makes me do more research. Who knows, I may find new references to use and such which is ALWAYS a plus.

But my brain is really done. Thank you so much for sticking around as I stumble a bit with this new list. We will come back and visit it from time to time, and maybe as time goes on, our understanding will just be better where more of it may make sense.

Until next time –



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