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Warm Up Your Brain
속 means ‘mind’ and 상해요 means ‘go bad’ or ‘rot’. Can you guess what it means?
속상해요 Meaning in Korean
I’m upset / I’m not in a good mood
Basic form : 속상하다
반말(informal non-honorific) form : 속상해
Negative form with 해요 speech style : 안속상해요
속상하다 means ‘to be upset’. However, it can be different than ‘being upset’ in English. It’s more similar to being sad or down with a little bit of anger because there is nothing you can do or you didn’t do something about it. It’s not toward to a person mostly, it’s toward to a situation.
속상하다 is a complex word that is made of 2 words : 속 and 상하다. 속 means ‘inside’, ‘mind’ or ‘stomach’. 상하다 means ‘to be damaged’, ‘go bad (rot)’ especially with food, skin and feeling. So, 속상하다 technically means ‘one’s mind goes bad (gets hurt)’ like food goes bad.
Understand 속상해요 Better
I’ll tell you an example situation to help you understanding. It’s like your mother didn’t want to have or buy something for herself while she used only bad and old stuffs and you found out she really didn’t take care of herself because she only cared of you. At the moment, you felt like ‘I gave her money to buy things but she still used old stuffs’ and you got 속상하다 because she didn’t want to have good things for herself.
Upset / Angry With 속상해요
Korean dictionaries say 속상하다 can be ‘to be angry’ also. But to native Koreans, 속상하다 and anger are very different emotions. Yeah maybe sometimes ‘화나다(to be angry)’ can be used instead but it wouldn’t be so same. 속상하다 is a very mixed feeling with bitterness and sadness and a litttttttle bit of anger.
How To Use
A: 속상한 일 있어요?
Something bad happened to you?
B: 아뇨. 저는 괜찮아요
No. I’m fine
A: 나는 이거만 됐다
I’m okay with this
B: 엄마 속상하게 왜그래
Mom, why do you make me feel bad
My computer is dead
So I’m so sad
안녕 교체가능한 내 친구
Goodbye my replaceable friend
In Real Life
Koreans actually don’t use 속상해요 much in real life. It sounds too gentle… lol… not girly. It just sounds too gentle like your grandma or mom asks you why you look so sad. My mom used to ask me when I was not in a good mood but my friends or brother never asked me if I’m 속상하다. A lot of Koreans prefer to ask ‘something bad happened?’ instead because it sounds more neutral.