Tag Archives: Featured

Place + 하고| [Word of the Day]


Yesterday we looked at connecting people. You may have noticed that I haven’t added too much information with this and that’s because this week is serving a dual purpose. This first half of this is to refresh your memory and the second half is to introduce how to properly use 하고.

Let’s get started!

장소 | “place”

하고 | “and” (conversational)


  • 커피 숍 하고 커피 탁자 | “coffee shop and coffee table”
  • 공원 하고 동물원 | “park and zoo”
  • 내 집 하고 내 차 | “my house and my car”

Okay so I kinda combined places and things in a couple of these examples but you see how it can be used with both because again these are nouns and 하고 is used to connect two nouns.

That’s it for today!

하고, (이)랑, 과 / 와 (Nouns + “and”) informal/formal usage| [Grammar of the Week]


As much fun as I had doing those videos, I knew it was time to get back to the grammar lessons. I’ll probably be having a hard time keeping this up after this weekend since I’ll be in graduate school soon. However, I’m going to do my best to stay on top of this.

Also! Mark your calendars for September 7, 2017! If you haven’t heard already, duolingo will be releasing the Korean version on that date so make sure you download it when it’s available!

Let’s get started!

To keep in sync with the topic of “and” I decided to kind of return to this but also add to it as well. This lesson will be different than what you remember here before and we’re going to take each one at a time for the next three weeks because the distinctions are important.

하고, (이)랑, 과 / 와 are all particles and must be added to the end of a noun to connect it to another noun.


  • 하고 | conversational
  • (이)랑 | conversational
  • 과 / 와 | writing or formal speech

For now, we will be looking at 하고.  This is probably the one you will use more frequently when you’re talking to others, however, you still should be aware of the other ways to say “and”.

  • 하고 | conversational
    • i.e.,
      • 펜 하고 종이 | “pen and paper”

Examples for the rest of the week!

Let’s Talk Titles. Addressing Others Properly in Korean | [Grammar of the “Day”] / Foreign Language Tip


Today’s topic is an important one. It’s a bit of a grammar lesson as well as a “Foreign Language Tip” specifically for those learning Korean. This is one of those lessons that you should really keep in mind in the event you are visiting Korea in the future and decide to speak in Korean.

Titles are Important

It is really important that you refer to people in the proper manner in Korean. If you don’t, it’s considered rude. There’s no way around that. Unless that person has specifically told you that it’s okay you can just call them something else like, for example, their name or a nickname.


Unless told otherwise, like stated before, you truly need to be using the proper titles for people. This is a sign of respect and it dignifies the person you’re speaking with.

“But respect is earned not given! And furthermore, what if they aren’t my supervisor or anything like that?”

You still need to properly address others when you speak to them (unless stated otherwise by that person). In America, it’s not a huge deal if you don’t address people properly because to be honest, it’s just not that serious in the states. However, Korea is not the United States. The customs are different and so are the manners so you have to keep that in mind when visiting another country.

Types of Titles: (Examples)

  • 교수님 | Professor
  • 선생님 | Teacher
  • 사장님 | Company President/Boss

No Title? No problem!

  • -씨
    • equal or lower status
    • rude if you’re their junior
    • used after given name when equal
      • i.e., 민정 – 씨 (Min-jeong “shi”)
    • Not used between people of same gender
      • I was told this and I also read this somewhere so I guess this is just one of those unspoken rules or something. I don’t know. 
  • 선배 (seonbae) | senior
    • Not close? Add -님
      • 선배님
  • 후배 (hubae) | junior
    • Not close? Add -님
      • 후배님

And if you are close to this person… try one of the below.

  • 형 (hyeong) | older brother
    • used by men
  • 누나 (nuna) | older sister
    • used by men
  • 언니 (eonni) | older sister
    • used by women
  • 오빠 (oppa) | older brother
    • used by women

Okay so that’s it for this week! Next week we’ll return to more posts on how to start up a conversation involving an activity!




Foreign Language Tip 2 #26 | Does Kpop Really Teach Korean Too?

Okay, so you’ve been following my blog for a while, ever so often you’ll notice that some times there’s a WOTD post entitled “Kpop Teaches Korean Too”. So you click on it and you’re seeing words and phrases being picked out and translated but the real question on your mind is, are you really learning Korean from this?

This answer is a bit loaded so I’ll answer it in two parts, yes and maybe not.


Depending on how you listen to kpop determines how much you learn. So ask yourself three questions:

  • Am I actively listening?
    • Meaning: I’m seeking to hear words I understand and listening to how it’s pronounced and/or used in the sentence.
  • Am I passively listening?
    • Meaning: I really just like the song so I’ll listen to it but I’m only really just listening. And maybe even humming along too because my part is coming up and I’m about to kill it!
  • Am I kinda listening but not really into it?
    • Meaning: I’m listening but I’m a bit distracted in my thoughts right now.

Let’s start with the positive.

Yes! You’re Actually Learning!

If you answered, “yes” to questions 1 and 2, you are actually learning. (Hey, people learn in different ways!) In both of these scenarios you are actually taking away something from what you’re listening to.

Active Listening

  • You’re paying closer attention to the lyrics and not just the song in general. It’s not just a song that you like and you’re just listening to, this is now study material and you’ll probably listen to it a few more times to make sure you’re really understanding what you hear.
  • You may even write something down that you heard but you’re not 100% sure what it means.

Passive Listening.

  • You’re paying attention to all of it, the lyrics and the beat. And it just so happens you like the song so you might put it on repeat. Of course you’re paying attention to the lyrics, maybe even humming/singing along, but it’s not like you’re going to write anything down.
  • You’re honestly just listening. But you do remember some of the words without the translated lyrics soooo that’s progress!

Either way, something in the lyrics stuck with you and you’ve learned a new word or gained a better understanding of a word you didn’t know. When you apply grammar principles to this new word/phrase, you’ll ultimately find that you’ll be able to properly use it in a sentence or in a regular conversation.

It’s like watching a k-drama. You hear something over and over again and you see how it’s used and how people react when it’s said and in those moments, you’ve learned this new word or phrase and how you can effectively use it. It’s the same with listening to kpop. You hear how it’s pronounced. You hear how it’s used in a sentence. And you can learn how to use it in other ways outside of that song because you were paying attention to the lyrics as you were listening.

I’m sorry to tell you this but…  you’re really not learning anything at all… 

If you answered “yes” to question #3, chances are you aren’t actually learning anything. This goes back to a point I mentioned a while ago about study habits. I said to pick a time and day that works for you and that the length of time is all up to your discretion, be it 5 minutes or 3 hours. If you’re paying attention to what you’re doing, then you’re learning something.

If you’re listening and distracted with a million things on your mind unrelated to what you’re listening to, chances are you haven’t even heard one word that was said and if you did manage to catch it you weren’t really paying attention to the usage or how it was pronounced. In this instance, you’re not really taking anything away from the song. It’s literally just a song that just so happened to come into rotation at that moment.

It’s basically background music.

“But I listen to kpop all the time and I learn new stuff all the time!”

Just because today you didn’t really pay attention doesn’t mean you never will. People listen for different reasons at different times during the day. It’s okay to listen for whatever reason you want, even if it means you’re just listening because you like the song. Everything doesn’t have to be study material all the time.

“But is kpop the only way to passively learn Korean???”

  • Kpop is not the only way to learn passively but it’s a good way to learn some Korean if you love kpop music.

“What if I don’t like kpop?”

  • If you don’t like kpop, then there are tons of other ways to learn! No matter what anyone tells you, you don’t have to like kpop or k-dramas to learn Korean. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it because it’ll only make you dread learning.

“What if I don’t learn that way?”

  • If you don’t learn that way, it’s fine too. It’s just easier for people who do learn through music and songs to listen to kpop and maybe even listening to children’s nursery rhymes.

“I just want to listen to the song! I’m tired of studying all the time!”

  • And this is also okay. It’s good to take breaks and have outlets that have nothing to do with studying and research and blah blah blah! If kpop is your outlet and this is a “No Study Zone”, that’s perfectly fine, regardless of what anyone tells you. There’s no need to use everything in Korean to learn Korean. How you learn best for you is all that matters!

In all honesty, I only listen to kpop just because I like the songs. But every so often, I catch a word or phrase or two that makes that lightbulb go off in my mind and suddenly, I’m all in! Complete active listening mode!


Happy Studying Everybody!