Hello everyone, it’s your Korean teacher Jun and welcome to the 15th Korean Words tutorial! Today we are going to learn core Korean words for the brain activities such as ‘think’ or ‘believe’. After this tutorial, you will be able to express simple but very essential Korean phrases about what you think with 10 core Korean words.






To think
+ To consider / To remember / To recall / To imagine


생각하다 is an informal Korean word describes ‘using your brain’ or ‘doing something on your mind’. It’s similar to the English word ‘to think’ but not perfectly the same.


It mostly describes almost all activities that you can do with your brain such as ‘to remember’, ‘to recall’, ‘to figure out’, ‘to imagine’. You can also use it when you consider something also just like ‘I’ll think about it’.


What you need to know about 생각하다 is that you can’t use it say the phrase ‘I think -’. Koreans say 저는 ~라고 생각합니다 a lot. However, in Korean language, ‘I think -’ is giving an opinion politely, which is the same as ‘in my opinion’ in English.


저는 매일 치킨 먹는 생각을 해요
I imagine / think about eating fried chicken everyday






Thought / thinking / idea


생각 in 생각하다 is a noun that means ‘thought’, ‘thinking’, ‘idea’. However, unlike the Korean word 생각하다, 생각 doesn’t have a meaning for consideration.


Native Koreans don’t say 생각 as a plural (생각들). When they want to be specific to say ‘idea’, then they use the English word 아이디어 (idea)


생각과 치킨
Thoughts and chicken






To be different


다르다 is an informal Korean word that means ‘to be different’. It’s not much different than the English word ‘different’.


However, when you use 다르다 to modify a noun like ‘different person (다른 사람)’, it becomes to have a meaning for ‘other’ or ‘another’.


저는 차차씨랑 달라요
I’m different than you
I’m not you






To be same


같다 is an informal Korean word for ‘to be same’.


같다 is very important and necessary for learning Korean language. 같다 has a major grammatical function in Korean grammar. It makes a conjugation for uncertain assumption like ‘it seems like’, ‘it sounds like’, ‘it looks like’ or ‘I think’.


There are many Korean words that mean ‘to be same’ but they all are based on the Korean word ‘같다. You can easily guess the meaning if you see some new Korean words that have ‘같다’ in them.


이거랑 그거랑 같은거에요
This one and that one are same






To stop (something) / quit (something)


그만하다 is an informal Korean word that means ‘to stop something’. It has a big difference compared to the English word ‘stop’ or ‘quit’. 그만하다 doesn’t describe something stops itself. It always need an object that what a subject stops.


바닥에서 그만 굴러다니세요
Stop rolling on the floor






To focus / to concentrate
+ to center / to be intensive


집중하다 is a bit tricky Korean word to understand. It’s very similar to the English word ‘focus’. 집중하다 has an image ‘things gather at one point’ and this image extends the meaning ‘to focus on one thing’ or ‘to make something as a center’. Normally you can use it to say ‘to focus on something’ or ‘to concentrate on something’.


When you use 집중하다 as an adverb (집중적으로), it describes something is focused or main.


공부하는데 집중하세요
Concentrate on studying






To believe / To trust


믿다 is an informal Korean word that describes an action for ‘accepting something as true’ or ‘believe or trust  someone or something’. Trust and believe both are 믿다 in the informal Korean language.


You can find more Korean words for ‘believe’ and ‘trust’. But you will have almost no chance to see them in casual Korean conversations.


믿다 can be different than ‘believe’ in English. You can’t use it to make your opinion like ‘I believe it’s true’. In that case, 생각하다 is much more natural.


저는 여러분들을 믿어요
I believe in you






To be serious / To mean something


진지하다 is a very tricky Korean word. Korean language has 2 kinds of seriousness (how deep). 1st is an emotion that you are sincere and serious about something. 2nd is a situation that is serious because of troubles or accidents.


진지하다 means the 1st one. Being sincere and serious about something. It’s mostly used in good. It doesn’t have a bad nuance at all. So, you can’t use 진지하다 to say ‘serious damage’ or ‘serious injury’. Consider 진지하다 is the opposite for ‘casual’ or ‘no kidding (lol yeah it may seem a bit stupid but native Koreans say it to show they are not kidding or they are serious about what they talk)’ or ‘to mean something’ like ‘I mean it’.


진지한 영화는 오늘 안보고 싶어요
I don’t want to watch serious movies today






To be serious / To be critical


심각하다 is a formal Korean word that describes ‘a serious or critical status’. This Korean word is what you need to say something like ‘serious problem’ or ‘serious damage’. 심각하다 has a negative nuance that seems to involve bad things. You can also use it to describe your emotion. 심각하다 describes being serious because of accidents, troubles, etc.


I’ll give you an example story. You told bad news to your friend but he kept making a joke because he thought it was you were kidding. Then, you can say ‘저 지금 심각해요 (I’m serious now)’.


이거 문제가 너무 심각해요
This one has a serious trouble






To be careful / To watch out


조심하다 is an informal Korean word that means ‘to be careful’ or ‘to watch out’.


The only difference between 조심하다 and careful is that 조심하다 only means ‘to make sure of avoiding danger and problems’ just like ‘watch out’. You can’t use it like ‘careful consideration’ or ‘a careful piece of art’.


저 미친놈이니까 조심해요
Be careful because I’m a crazy bitch





How To Use The Korean Words Like Natives

I’ll think about it


좋은 생각 있어요
Do you have any good plan?


다른 사람에게 물어봐요
Ask it to another person


이거 같은건가요
Is this same?


그만하셔도 되요
You can stop it


집중을 잘 못하겠어요
I can’t concentrate much


스스로를 믿어요
Believe yourself


저 지금 진지해요
I’m serious now


문제가 심각해요
It has a serious problem


Be careful!


References For Korean Words

Naver Dictionary


korean standard unabridged dictionary