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Feeling when to use the Topic Marker (은/는) | Korean FAQ

I've made several videos already (and there are countless more online) about the Topic Marker and how to use it.

The Topic Marker is used for marking the topic of whatever conversation you're currently having - or an individual sentence. There are some things it's used for, and others it's not. This video is not going to be an explanation of how and when to use the Topic Marker.

Instead, this video is about what the feeling of the Topic Marker is, to help you better understand when you should or shouldn't use it.

The post Feeling when to use the Topic Marker (은/는) | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site – 사천왕사지 (Gyeongju)

The Tortoise Based Biseok at Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site in Gyeongju.

Temple Site History

This is the former site of Sacheonwangsa Temple, which was built in 679 A.D. during Later Silla (668-935 A.D.). It was the first temple to be built by the Silla Kingdom after the unification of the Three Kingdoms (Silla, Baekje, and Goguryeo). The Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site is located near the royal tombs of King Sinmun of Silla (r. 681-692 A.D.) and Queen Seondeok (r. 632-647 A.D.) at the foot of Mt. Nangsan (99.5 m) in Gyeongju. The foundation of the temple is rooted in the protection and safety of the Korean peninsula through the protection of the Buddha. It can be said that Sacheonwangsa Temple was built as a nation protecting temple.

Sacheonwangsa Temple means “The Four Heavenly Kings Temple” in English. And it was established in 674 A.D. to call upon the power of the Buddha to help defeat the forces of Tang China (618-907 A.D.), who were preparing to invade the Silla Kingdom. Having allied themselves with the Chinese Tang Dynasty in the 7th century, and under the rule of King Muyeol of Silla (654-661), Silla was able to defeat and subjugate the Baekje Kingdom. Then in 668 A.D., now under the rule of King Munmu of Silla (661-681 A.D.), and through the leadership of Gim Yu-shin (595-673 A.D.), the Silla Kingdom defeated and conquered the Goguryeo Kingdom to the north. It was after these two victories, and the unification of the Korean peninsula under Unified Silla rule, that Silla would have a decade long war to expel Chinese forces from the Korean peninsula. The Tang Dynasty wanted to create Tang colonies to unify their kingdom as far north as Pyongyang.

According to a legend, the Tang forces were quickly approaching the Korean peninsula, when there was not enough time to complete the temple. Construction of Sacheonwangsa Temple began in 674 A.D. with the advanced warning that Tang China were sending an army of half a million soldiers across the sea to attack the Silla Kingdom in the Jeongju area. The plans for the invasion of the Korean peninsula were discovered in February, 674 A.D. by the monk Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.). Immediately, Uisang-daesa returned to Silla and informed King Munmu of the Tang plans. Surprised by such a revelation, King Munmu of Silla sought the advice of the monk Myeongnang.

The monk Myeongnang went to Tang China to study in 642 A.D. There he learned Esoteric Buddhism, which believed that by reciting the words of the Buddha you could attain Buddhahood. After returning to Korea, Myeongnang created the Sinin sect of Buddhism, which focused on the esoteric form of Buddhism. This Sinin method of Buddhist speech is believed to have helped destroy the seaward Tang Chinese forces. By reciting incantations, it was believed that if a person had a disease, or was in mortal danger, or a nation was in danger, the Four Heavenly Kings would come and defend that person or nation with seventy thousand spirit soldiers.

Myeongnang instructed King Munmu of Silla to build a temple, which would become Sacheonwangsa Temple, in an effort to help thwart Chinese aggression and gain favour with the Buddha’s intervention on the Silla Kingdom’s side. Quickly, a makeshift shrine hall was created out of silk fabric and rice straw. A Buddhist altar was constructed and Buddhist incantations were performed to pray for the the kingdom from destruction at the hands of the Tang China army. Before the battle even started between the Silla and Tang forces, a great wind arose and sunk the Tang’s entire fleet and the forces it carried. The temple’s construction was completed five years later in 679 A.D.

The temple site was partially destroyed during Japanese Colonial Rule (1910-1945) with the construction of railroad tracks across the northern part of the temple grounds. Through an extensive excavation that was conducted from 2006 to 2009, the remains of various buildings were found at the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site, including a central gate, two foundations for wooden pagodas, a main shrine hall, and a lecture hall. The arrangement of the temple grounds are typical of Silla temples like those found at the Gameunsa-ji Temple Site in eastern Gyeongju and the neighbouring Hwangnyongsa-ji Temple Site in central Gyeongju.

Presently, there is one flagpole support at the entry to the temple grounds from the highway, and there are two additional tortoise-shaped pedestals that were also found. Shards of green-glazed brick carved with depictions of guardians were also excavated from the site around the foundations to the wooden pagodas that formerly stood at Sacheonwangsa Temple. It’s believed that these bricks were made by Yangji, the greatest sculptor of the Silla Dynasty.

The temple is also famous for its connection with the eminent monk Wolmyeong, who left behind two famous poems, Dosolga or “Song of the Heaven of Joy” in English, and Jemangmaega or “Song for My Deceased Sister” in English.

Temple Site Myth

Before Sacheonwangsa Temple was completed, and according to the Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms) it’s stated of Queen Seondeok of Silla (r. 632-647 A.D.):

“…one day while the Queen was still in perfect health, she called her courtiers together and said ‘I will surely die in a certain year, in a certain month, on a certain day. When I am gone, bury me in the middle of Doricheon [Tushita].’ The courtiers did not know the place and asked the Queen where it was, whereupon she pointed to the southern hill called Wolf Mountain [present day Mt. Nangsan].’

Queen Seondeok’s Tomb on Mt. Nangsan in Gyeongju.

“On the very day she had predicted the Queen died, and her ashes were interred on the site she had chosen. Ten years later (656) the great King Munmu had Sacheonwangsa Temple built beneath the Queen’s tomb. Buddhist scripture alludes to two heavens called – Doricheon [Tushita] and Sacheonwangcheon [Sumeru]. All were amazed at the Queen’s premonition and knowledge of the afterlife.”

It was just over thirty years after the death of Queen Seondeok that Sacheonwangsa Temple was completed near Mt. Nangsan. This mountain was believed to be Mt. Sumeru, which is the centre of Buddhist cosmology, and it’s guarded by the Four Heavenly Kings, or “The Sacheonwang” in Korean. And while the Samguk Yusa is a bit off with the year of Sacheonwangsa Temple’s founding, the story highlights just how important and influential Buddhism was to the Silla Kingdom and its people’s thinking.

Temple Site Excavation

Perhaps the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site is most famous for the three wild-eyed green-glazed sculpture tiles that were unearthed on the site. These three tiles depict guardians that are now housed at the Gyeongju National Museum in their permanent collection.

The western wooden pagoda foundation with a part of the green-glazed tiles (Picture courtesy of the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site).

Sacheonwangsa Temple came to prominence, once more, in 1916, during Japanese Colonial Rule (1910-1945). At this time, the Japanese historian Ayukai Fusanoshin discovered a shard of the green-glazed tile with an image of a Buddhist deity seated on a monster at the temple site. In 1918, the Japanese Government General started an excavation project at the Sacheonwanga-ji Temple Site in hopes of uncovering even more fragments of the green tiles. This excavation resulted in the unearthing of the temple boundaries, the layout of the temple, and the scale of the temple size. However, what it did not do was locate the exact location of the origins of these fragmentary tiles, and whether there might be more. The tile shards that were discovered were then placed in the custody of the Gyeongju branch of the Government General, which is presently the Gyeongju National Museum.

After Korea regained its independence in 1945 from the Japanese, additional research revealed that the fragmentary tile pieces at the museum in fact came from two separate images. However, further site discoveries were discontinued. Finally in 2006, the Gyeongju National Research Institute decided to conduct an extensive excavation of the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site. This excavation would last until 2012, and it would uncover numerous artifacts including additional tile shards.

During the seven year project, it was revealed that these tile fragments were situated around the base of the wooden pagodas that once took up residence on the temple grounds in the eastern and western sections of the temple site. Each base consisted of two sets of three sculptural tiles on each side of the pagoda. There were different guardian images that appeared around the base of these wooden pagodas. In total, there would have been a total of forty-eight tiles adorning the base of both the eastern and western wooden pagodas at Sacheonwangsa Temple.

The three green-glazed tiles found at the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site (Picture courtesy of the Korean Heritage website).

In total, there were about two hundred green-glazed tile fragments that were discovered on the temple site. After a long and difficult process which included 3-D scanning of the tile images, the Gyeongju National Research Institute successfully re-assembled the pieces to form three different distinctive tiles bearing the image of guardians.

In these three guardian tiles, one guardian is holding a sword in their left hand, while another tile guardian has a bow and arrow, while the other is holding a sword in their right hand. What’s interesting about these three images is the inclusion of the Indian mythological sea creature from Hinduism. Makara is included on the corner edges of the tiles. Also, the appearance of the three guardian deities allows historians to believe that their creator, the monk Yangji, who was a Buddhist monk, was originally from either Western or Central Asia.

An aerial shot of the present day Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site (Picture courtesy of the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site).

Temple Site Layout

You first approach the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site off of the busy Saneop-ro Road, which leads up to Bulguksa Temple to the south. The first thing to greet you at the temple site is the stone flagpole support to the left near a cluster of trees and flowers. Straight ahead, you’ll notice the wall of sheet metal that once acted as the barrier between the excavation site and the rest of Gyeongju. It’s a little strange that it still stands nearly ten years later.

But surpassing this strangeness are the pair of tortoise based biseok that stand to the right down the embankment of the road. Of the two, the one to the left is better preserved, but both are without heads. It’s unclear whether they were broken off, or they simply fell off. It seems as though the two were a monument for King Munmu of Silla, as there are places for a protective cover to be placed. With all that being said, it’s rather strange to find two historic monuments that are over 1,300 years old being placed where they are.

To the far right of the sheet metal wall, and past the parking lot, you’ll find an opening up through the forest that now surrounds the temple site. You’ll enter the temple grounds from the north-east side. Straight ahead of you is an elevated foundation. This, and the one to its rear, are called Dongdanseok-ji and Seodanseok-ji. It’s unclear what these sites formerly housed; but based upon the design of other similar Silla temple sites, it would appear as though one of these foundations were used as a lecture hall.

To the left of these two stone foundation sites, you’ll see a long rectangular elevated site. This is known as the Geumdang-ji, which was the former site for the main hall at Sacheonwangsa Temple. The elevated stone foundation appears to be around thirty metres long and twenty metres wide. Some of the foundation stones still stand in place on the site.

And to the left of the Geumdang-ji site you’ll find the stone foundations for the once standing western and eastern wooden pagodas at Sacheonwangsa Temple. Sacheonwangsa Temple became the first Silla temple to have twin pagodas in its temple courtyard. Before that, it was the custom to have a single pagoda in the main temple courtyard. This style is then duplicated by the twin stone pagodas at Gameunsa Temple. It was from these two locations that the aforementioned green-glazed tile shards were taken from. Presently, while the eastern pagoda site is left uncovered, the western pagoda site has scaffolding over top of it, and the ground is covered in blue tarps.

A couple notes about the temple site. First, even though the temple site’s excavation was completed nearly ten years ago, the site is still occupied by the excavation and the detritus. Another interesting point to be made about the temple site is that during Japanese Colonial Rule a railway track was run through the north-east portion of the temple grounds cutting off a portion of the former Sacheonwangsa Temple grounds.

How To Get There

From the Gyeongju Train Station, you’ll be able to get to the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site. There’s a bus station called the “Gyeongju St., Post Office Stop – 경주역, 우체국 정류장” from out in front of the train station. You can take any number of buses to get to the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site like Bus #11, #153, #601, #602, #603, #604, #605, #607, and #609. After seven stops, you’ll need to get off at the “Namsan Ipgu Stop.” From this stop, you’ll need to walk three minutes, or two hundred metres, to get to the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site.

Overall Rating: 4/10

Unfortunately, there is almost nothing that remains at the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site other than the stone flag supports and the twin tortoise based biseok. The foundation stones are impressive, especially when you imagine just how spectacular the twin wooden pagodas must have looked like as they reached up into the Gyeongju sky. Now, passing through the knee high wild grass that grows at the temple site, all you are left with are thoughts of what had once been. It’s quite the experience to make your way around the temple site alone with your thoughts.

The twin tortoise based biseok out in front of the temple site.
The entry to the walled-off temple site to the north-east.
The still scaffolded western wooden pagoda foundation site.
And the elevated eastern wooden pagoda foundation at the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site.
The foundation for the Geumdang-ji (main hall) at the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site.
The view from on top of the Geumdang-ji with some of the foundation stones still remaining.
The foundation stones to Seodanseok-ji.
The railway tracks to the north-east that bisect the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site.

(으)로 "Using" | Live Class Abridged

The particle (으)로 has a large variety of different usages, but one of the most common ways it gets used is to mean "Toward" or "Using."

Using (으)로 to mean "Toward" is pretty straightforward, but using it to mean "Using" is a bit different.

In a future live stream I'll also explain some more of the uses of (으)로, but this live stream focuses on how it means "Using."

The post (으)로 "Using" | Live Class Abridged appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Jowang-shin – The Fireplace King Spirit: 조왕신

Jowang-shin at Anjeokam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

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One of the more uncommon figures you’ll find at a Korean Buddhist temple is Jowang-shin, or “The Fireplace King Spirit” in English. I have yet to see a shrine hall dedicated to this shaman deity; instead, where you’ll find Jowang-shin is in the kitchen area of a temple or hermitage. And even then, it’s very uncommon to see this shaman deity. In all of my travels, which includes nearly five hundred Korean Buddhist temples and hermitages, I’ve only come across three Jowang-shin murals. So who exactly is this figure? What’s it supposed to represent? And what do they look like?

The History of Jowang-shin

Traditionally, Jowang-shin was thought of as the shaman deity of fire and the hearth. As a result, Jowang-shin was customarily found inside a Korean home. But over the past several decades, this shaman deity has all but disappeared.

Jowang-shin was worshiped on the Korean peninsula for over a millennium, ever since the Three Kingdoms Period (57 B.C – 668 A.D.). Jowang-shin goes by a few different names. You can hear the shaman deity being referred to as Jo-shin (Kitchen Deity – 조신), Jowang-gakshi (The Woman Who is the King of the Kitchen – 조왕각시), Jowang-daeshin (Great King Deity of the Kitchen – 조왕대신), and Buddumak-shin (Deity of the Hearth – 부뚜막신). All five names for Jowang-shin are used interchangeably.

Traditionally, Jowang-shin was embodied as a bowl of water held on the clay altar above the hearth in a Korean kitchen. The housewife would awake early in the morning and pour fresh water from the nearby well into the bowl that was meant to symbolize Jowang-shin. After doing this, the housewife would kneel in front of the bowl and pray for good luck. Also, during important festivals, Jowang-shin would be honoured with rice cakes and various fruit.

There were five rules that a housewife would have to follow to ensure a happy and prosperous household. They were:

  • 1. Do not curse around the hearth.
  • 2. Do not sit on the hearth.
  • 3. Do not place your feet on the hearth.
  • 4. Maintain a clean kitchen.
  • 5. You can worship other deities in the kitchen.

Jowang-shin would then make known to the heavens what was happening inside the home. If the rules were followed, Jowang-shin would be a benevolent deity. However, if any of the rules weren’t followed or they were broken, Jowang-shin could be a vengeful deity.

Jowang-shin at Wonhyoam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Jowang-shin and Korean Buddhism

In Korean Buddhism, Jowang-shin is a shamanic tutelary deity. Inside a Buddhist temple, you’ll occasionally find this deity housed inside the kitchen area. Jowang-shin has a special altar inside the kitchen called a Jowang-dan. You’ll often find a portrait on the wall above the altar depicting Jowang-shin.

The kitchen, traditionally, was seen as being a symbol of the overall prosperity of a home. A good fire signified a prosperous home, while a home without a fire represented poverty because traditionally all meals came from fire. This also translated to a Korean Buddhist temple or hermitage.

As a shaman deity, Jowang-shin is considered a guardian of the dharma. But in the pantheon of shaman deities, Jowang-shin is a minor folk-Buddhist deity behind the more popular shaman deities like Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), Chilseong (The Seven Stars), and Yongwang (The Dragon King).

What Does Jowang-shin Look Like?

So what exactly does Jowang-shin look like? Jowang-shin is male. He’s typically middle aged, and he sports a long black beard not too dissimilar to the one you’ll find Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) sporting. Jowang-shin holds his black beard with one hand, while the other is holding a fan or a wooden tablet. Jowang-shin is a king, so he’s dressed in royal clothes. He sits upon a throne. And behind his throne you’ll see banners with Chinese characters written on them. Of note, Jowang-shin’s feet never touch the ground, and his eyes look out towards the kitchen.


The three examples I’ve found in Korea are all found in the southern part of the peninsula. Two are found on Mt. Cheonseongsan in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do at Anjeokam Hermitage and Wonhyoam Hermitage. The other great example of Jowang-shin can be found at Daewonam Hermitage on the Pyochungsa Temple grounds in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do.


Jowang-shin is definitely one of the more difficult shaman deities to find at a Korean Buddhist temple. He can often be confused for Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld). But what sets Jowang-shin apart from the Siwang is his location. Jowang-shin is always found inside the kitchen. So the next time you’re at a Korean Buddhist temple, have a look around the kitchen, if you’re allowed. You might just be surprised to find one of the more obscure shaman deities that takes up residence in and around Korean Buddhist temples and hermitages.

Jowang-shin at Daewonam Hermitage in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Why you need to know Formal Speech | Korean FAQ

I've seen many beginners who are learning Korean misuse 나 ("I," "me") together with the 니다 form (such as 입니다).

A common example could be this sentence, 나는 빌리입니다. While it grammatically makes sense, and there are situations where it can be used correctly, for the most part it's used incorrectly by learners and should be avoided completely.

Here's my explanation why it's wrong, how it may be used, and how to avoid making this mistake.

The post Why you need to know Formal Speech | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Korean Verbs – The Complete List

In this lesson, we will introduce you to Korean verbs! They are the most important part of most sentences in the Korean language, so you will want to learn and memorize as many different verbs as possible. Have fun learning these useful and common Korean verbs presented below! Because Korean verbs are typically listed with -다 added to their stems in dictionaries, we will also do so here.

Korean Verbs

Korean Verbs

In Korea, a verb is called 동사. They have 4 different classifications, namely active, descriptive, existential, and copulas. All these verb classifications are made up of a verb stem and a suffix.

One thing unique about it is that once you get to have a lot of verb vocabulary and know how to conjugate them, you’ll be able to make your own simple Korean sentence. A Korean verb doesn’t need to have a subject to make it stand on its own. A Korean verb, when properly conjugated, can be a sentence on its own.

List of common and useful Korean verbs

Below is a list of useful verbs that will help you build a simple Korean sentence. These are commonly used in conversations. These verbs are in their dictionary form. If you want to verify their meaning, you can use these forms to look them up in the dictionary.

to go가다 (gada)
to teach가르치다 (gareuchida)
to point, to indicate가리키다 (garikida)
to take, to carry가져가다 (gajyeogada)
to bring가져오다 (gayeooda)
to have가지다 (gajida)
to change (one’s clothes)갈아입다 (garaipda)
to change/transfer to (car, metro, train etc.)갈아타다 (garatada)
to close one’s eyes감다 (gamda)
to appreciate, to thank감사하다 (gamsahada)
to hide, to disguise감추다 (gamchuda)
to have갖다 (gatda)
to develop, to create개발하다 (gaebalhada)
to collect; to achieve거두다 (geoduda)
to lie거짓말하다 (geojitmal)
to worry걱정하다 (geokjeonghada)
to walk걷다 (geotda)
to call, to dial걸다 (geolda)
to go on foot, to walk걸어가다 (georeogada)
to come on foot걸어오다 (georeooda)
to experience, to undergo겪다 (gyeokda)
to endure, to bear, to stand견디다 (gyeondida)
to resolve결심하다 (gyeolsimhada)
to be decided결정되다 (gyeoljeongdwida)
to decide결정하다 (gyeoljeonghada)
to marry결혼하다 (gyeolhonhada)
to experience 경험하다 (gyeongheomhada)
to calculate; to pay계산하다 (gyesanhada)
to be continued계속되다 (gyesokdwida)
to continue, to do continuously계속하다 (gyesokhada)
to confess고백하다 (gobaekhada)
to consider고려하다 (goryeohada)
to choose, to select고르다 (goreuda)
to have a hard time, to suffer고생하다 (gosaenghada)
to repair, to fix; to revise고치다 (gochida)
to study공부하다 (gongbuhada)
to wait기다리다 (gidarida)
to expect, to anticipate기대하다 (gidaehada)
to remember기억하다 (gieokhada)
to see the sights, to look around구경하다 (gugyeonghada)
to seek; to get; to rescue, to save구하다 (guhada)
to roast, to grill, to bake굽다 (gupda)
to draw, to paint그리다 (geurida)
to stop, to drop, to quit그만두다 (geumanduda)
to work근무하다 (geunmuhada)
to dream꿈꾸다 (kumkuda)
to boil끓이다 (kkeulida)
to finish끝나다 (keutnada)
to exit나가다 (nagada)
to divide, to split; to share나누다 (nanuda)
to pay내다 (naeda)
to go down내려가다 (naeryeogada)
to come down내려오다 (naeryeooda)
to put (something in)넣다 (neotda)
to sing a song노래하다 (noraehada)
to endeavor, to strive노력하다 (noryeokhada)
to play놀다 (nolda)
to go to; to attend다니다 (danida)
to close닫다 (datda)
to go through, to suffer당하다 (danghada)
to answer대답하다 (daedaphada)
to add더하다 (deohada)
to take (a person)데려가다 (deryeogada)
to bring, to fetch데려오다 (deryeooda)
to pick somebody up데리다 (derida)
to arrive도착하다 (dochakhada)
to run away도망가다 (domanggada)
to help도와주다 (dowajuda)
to take care, to look after돌보다 (dolboda)
to help돕다 (dopda)
to become, to come to되다 (dwida)
to fall, to drop; to fail떨어지다 (ddeoreojida)
to run, to dash뛰다 (ddwida)
to hear, to listen듣다 (deutda)
to enter들어오다 (deureooda)
to prepare, to arrange마련하다 (maryeonhada)
to drink마시다 (masida)
to make 만들다 (mandeulda)
to meet만나다 (mannada)
to touch만지다 (manjida)
to speak말하다 (malhada)
to entrust, to leave맡기다 (matgida)
to tie, to fasten, to wear매다 (maeda)
to stay머무르다 (meomureuda)
to eat먹다 (meokda)
to not know모르다 (moreuda)
to gather, to collect모으다 (moeuda)
to be incapable, to not be able to못하다 (mothada)
to ignore, to neglect무시하다 (musihada)
to ask묻다 (mutda)
to bite물다 (mulda)
to ask물어보다 (mureoboda)
to delay, to postpone; to shift blame미루다 (miruda)
to believe, to trust믿다 (mitda)
to change, to switch바꾸다 (bakkuda)
to change, to be changed바뀌다 (bakkwida)
to wish, to hope, to want바라다 (barada)
to look at바라보다 (baraboda)
to oppose반대하다 (bandaehada)
to get, to take, to receive받다 (batda)
to discover, to find발견하다 (balgyeonhada)
to develop, to advance발달하다 (baldalhada)
to happen, to occur발생하다 (balsaenghada)
to develop, to grow발전하다 (baljeonhada)
to announce, to make public발표하다 (balpyohada)
to visit방문하다 (bangmunhada)
to throw away, to abandon버리다 (beorida)
to undress, take off clothes벗다 (beotda)
to make (money), to earn (money)벌다 (beolda)
to change변하다 (byeonhada)
to change변화하다 (byeonhwahada)
to see, to watch보다 (boda)
to sing; to call (for someone)부르다 (bureuda)
to ask for a favor, to request부탁하다 (butakhada)
to send보내다 (bonaeda)
to fry볶다 (bokda)
to blow불다 (bulda)
to stick붙이다 (butida)
to compare비교하다 (bigyohada)
to borrow, to lend빌리다 (billida)
to fall빠지다 (bbajida)
to remove, to subtract, to take out빼다 (bbaeda)
to learn배우다 (baeuda)
to pull; to select, to choose뽑다 (bbopda)
to buy사다 (sada)
to disappear사라지다 (sarajida)
to use사용하다 (sayonghada)
to love사랑하다 (saranghada)
to live살다 (salda)
to examine, to search, to check살펴보다 (salpyeoboda)
to imagine상상하다 (sangsanghada)
to think생각하다 (saenggakada)
to be formed, to look (like)생기다 (saenggida)
to stand서다 (seoda)
to hurry, rush서두르다 (seodureuda)
to give a present선물하다 (seonmulhada)
to choose, to select선택하다 (seontaekhada)
to explain설명하다 (seolmyeonghada)
to succeed성공하다 (seonggonghada)
to introduce소개하다 (sogaehada)
to shout, to yell소리치다 (sorichida)
to rest, to relax, to take a day off쉬다 (swida)
to start시작하다 (sijakhada)
to make (somebody do); to order시키다 (sikida)
to have a meal식사하다 (siksahada)
to wear (shoes, socks, etc.)신다 (sinda)
to make a mistake실수하다 (silsuhada)
to dislike싫어하다 (sileohada)
to fail실패하다 (silpaehada)
to fight, to argue싸우다 (ssauda)
to mix, to blend섞다 (seokda)
to chop, to slice썰다 (sseolda)
to write; to wear (hat, eyewear)쓰다 (sseuda)
to wash씻다 (ssitda)
to hug, to hold안다 (anda)
to sit앉다 (anda)
to know알다 (alda)
to let somebody know, to inform알리다 (allida)
to check, to investigate; to recognize알아보다 (araboda)
to promise약속하다 (yaksokhada)
to get along; to match어울리다 (eoullida)
to borrow; to gain, to get, to take얻다 (eotda)
to not have없다 (eopda)
to remove, to get rid of없애다 (eopsaeda)
to travel여행하다 (yeohaenghada)
to study, to research연구하다 (yeonguhada)
to practice연습하다 (yeonseubhada)
to open열다 (yeolda)
to come오다 (oda)
to cook요리하다 (yorihada)
to exercise운동하다 (undonghada)
to drive운전하다 (unjeonhada)
to move (around)움직이다 (umjigida)
to cry울다 (ulda)
to laugh웃다 (utda)
to want원하다 (wonhada)
to mean의미하다 (uimihada)
to be이다 (ida)
to win이기다 (igida)
to move (house)이사하다 (isahada)
to talk, chat이야기하다 (iyagihada)
to use이용하다 (iyonghada)
to understand이해하다 (ihaehada)
to work일하다 (ilhada)
to wake up일어나다 (ireonada)
to read읽다 (ilda)
to lose, to be deprived of잃다 (ilta)
to lose something잃어버리다 (ileobeorida)
to wear입다 (ipda)
to forget잊다 (itda)
to forget잊어버리다 (ijeobeorida)
to have있다 (itda)
to sleep자다 (jada)
to cut, to sever자르다 (jareuda)
to go well잘되다 (jaldwida)
to go wrong잘못되다 (jalmotdwida)
to do wrong잘못하다 (jalmothada)
to do something well잘하다 (jalhada)
to go to sleep, to fall asleep잠들다 (jamdeulda)
to sleep잠자다 (jamjada)
to catch, to hold잡다 (japda)
to be caught잡히다 (jabhida)
to measure, to weigh재다 (jaeda)
to write적다 (jeokda)
to call전화하다 (jeonhwahada)
to arrange, to organize정리하다 (jeongrihada)
to decide, to determine정하다 (jeonghada)
to investigate, to look into조사하다 (josahada)
to be careful, to watch out조심하다 (josimhada)
to doze off졸다 (jolda)
to graduate졸업하다 (joreobhada)
to like좋아하다 (joahada)
to be sorry죄송하다 (jwisonghada)
to give주다 (juda)
to order주문하다 (jumunhada)
to die죽다 (jukda)
to prepare준비하다 (junbihada)
to enjoy, to have fun즐기다 (jeulgida)
to increase, to grow증가하다 (jeunggahada)
to lose, to be defeated지다 (jida)
to pass (by)지나가다 (jinagada)
to pass, to go by지나다 (jinada)
to spend one’s time; to get along지내다 (jinaeda)
to delete, to remove지우다 (jiuda)
to steam찌다 (jjida)
to take (a photo)찍다 (jjikda)
to attend, to participate참석하다 (chamseokhada)
to find, to look for찾다 (chatda)
to take, to pack; to take care of챙기다 (chaengida)
to clean청소하다 (cheongsohada)
to invite초대하다 (chodaehada)
to congratulate축하하다 (chukhahada)
to dance춤추다 (chumchuda)
to depart출발하다 (chulbalhada)
to cancel, to revoke취소하다 (chwisohada)
to hit치다 (chida)
to raise, to bring up, to grow키우다 (kiuda)
to take, to ride, to get on타다 (tada)
to be born태어나다 (taeeonada)
to go through; to communicate통하다 (tonghada)
to turn (an object); to twist (an object)틀다 (teulda)
to be wrong, to be incorrect틀리다 (teullida)
to deep fry튀기다 (twigida)
to sell팔다 (palda)
to give up, to abandon포기하다 (pogihada)
to include, to contain포함하다 (pohamhada)
to express, to show표현하다 (pyohyeonhada)
to untie, to unfasten; to solve풀다 (pulda)
to bloom, to blossom피다 (pida)
to avoid, to escape피하다 (pihada)
to need필요하다 (pillyohada)
to do하다 (hada)
to settle, to solve해결하다 (haegyeolhada)
to confirm, to check확인하다 (hwaginhada)
to regret후회하다 (huhwihada)
to stir휘젓다 (hwijeotda)
to flow, to run; to elapse흐르다 (heureuda)
to shake, to swing흔들다 (heundeulda)

Korean Regular Verbs

Korean regular verbs are called 규칙동사 in Korean. They are easy to conjugate. This means they just follow the verb conjugation patterns when you need to conjugate them.

Let’s take the following words:

가다 (to go)

보다 (to see)

배우다 (to learn)

만나다 (to meet)

These are regular verbs as they can be easily conjugated using the different Korean verb conjugations. This also applies to Korean adjectives.

For example:

가다 (to go) – 가요

보다 (to see) – 봐요

배우다 (to learn) – 배워요

만나다 (to meet) – 만나요

Korean Irregular Verbs

Korean irregular verbs are known as 불규칙 동사. They change their spelling or form when they’re conjugated. They are known as 불규칙 동사 and usually have 받침 (batchim) in them. They are classified according to the 받침 (batchim) they have. However, it’s also important to know that not all verbs that have 받침 (batchim) in them are irregular.

4 people eating pizza on a table and laughing

Korean irregular verbs are usually given special rules when using a certain verb conjugation pattern. This also applies to Korean adjectives.

Below are lists of the different Korean irregular verbs. These verbs are also in their dictionary form.

ㄷ irregular verbs

These are Korean verbs that have the letter ㄷ as its 받침 (batchim).

to walk걷다 (geotda)
to load싣다 (sitda)
to listen듣다 (deutda)
to ask묻다 (mutda)
to realize깨닫다 (kkaedatda)
to close닫다 (datda)

ㄹ irregular verbs

These are Korean verbs that have the letter ㄹ as its 받침 (batchim).

to play놀다 (nolda)
to carry들다 (deulda)
to make만들다 (mandeulda)
to live살다 (salda)
to know알다 (alda)
to open, unlock열다 (yeolda)
to cry울다 (ulda)
to sell팔다 (palda)

ㅂ irregular verbs

These are Korean verbs that have the letter ㅂ as its 받침 (batchim).

to help돕다 (dopda)
to hate밉다 (mipda)
to envy부럽다 (bureopda)

르 irregular verbs

These are Korean verbs that have 르 as their verb stem ending.

to divide가르다 (gareuda)
to choose고르다 (goreuda)
to roll구르다 (gureuda)
to bring up기르다 (gireuda)
to carry나르다 (nareuda)
to press누르다 (nureuda)
to flow흐르다 (heureuda)
to stab찌르다 (jjireuda)
to cut자르다 (jareuda)
to climb오르다 (oreuda)
to hurry서두르다 (seodureuda)
to call부르다 (bureuda)
to apply, put on바르다 (bareuda)
to not know모르다 (moreuda)
to put around두르다 (dureuda)

ㅅ irregular verbs

These are Korean verbs that have the letter ㅅ as its 받침 (batchim).

to recover낫다 (natda)
to build or construct짓다 (jitda)
to rule긋다 (geutda)
to join or connect something잇다 (itda)

으 irregular verbs

These are Korean verbs that have 으 as their verb stem ending.

to try애쓰다 (aesseuda)
to write쓰다 (sseuda)
to close끄다 (kkeuda)
to rise뜨다 (tteuda)
to gather모으다 (moeuda)

ㅎ irregular verbs or adjectives

These are Korean verbs or adjectives that have the letter ㅎ as its 받침 (batchim).

to be yellow노랗다 (norata)
to be red빨갛다 (ppalgata)
to be black까맣다 (kkamata)
to be white하얗다 (hayata)
in that way그렇다 (geureota)
to be a certain way어떻다 (eotteota)

하다 verbs

Before we get into details what 하다 verbs are, let’s get to know what 하다 means. The verb 하다 in itself simply means “to do” and is considered a regular verb.

You’ll often see the word 하다 in many Korean words, and these are called 하다 verbs.

A kid sleeping and waking up from the bed

The verb 하다 is usually added to words that are nouns to make them a verb. For example, the words 걱정하다 (to worry), 공부하다 (to study), and 노래하다 (to sing). When 하다 is removed from these words, what’s left is a noun: 걱정 (worry), 공부(study), and 노래 (song).

Here are some other examples of words made up of a noun and 하다:

to worry걱정하다 (geokjeonghada)
to study공부하다 (gongbuhada)
to sing노래하다 (noraehada)
to answer대답하다 (daedapada)
to speak말하다 (malhada)
to deliver배달하다 (baedalhada)
to do the laundry빨래하다 (ppallaehada)
to ask a favor부탁하다 (butakada)
to love사랑하다 (saranghada)

Korean Adjectives

In Korea, adjectives are called 형용사. They are also known as descriptive verbs. This is because most of them come from verbs. They are used to describe people, things, events, or experiences.

However, a Korean adjective may originate from a verb, but it can never function as an action verb.

Here are examples of Korean adjectives:

to be glad, happy기쁘다 (gippeuda)
to be angry화나다 (hwanada)
to be sad슬프다 (seulpeuda)
to be sick, painful아프다 (apeuda)
to be scared무섭다 (museopda)
to be annoyed짜증나다 (jjajeungnada)
to be surprised놀라다 (nollada)
to be shy수줍다 (sujupda)
to be interesting재미있다 (jaemiitda)
to not be interesting재미없다 (jaemieopda)
to be loud, noisy시끄럽다 (sikkeureopda)
to be hot뜨겁다 (tteugeopda)

Korean Passive Verbs

A passive verb in Korean is called 피동사. The common suffixes to make a verb in its passive form are 되 or 돼, 이, 히, 리, and 기.

The suffix 되 or 돼 are used to make a verb ending in 하다 into passive.

For example:

사용하다 (to use)

비교하다 (to compare)

When they are used as a passive verb, they’ll have the following forms:

사용되다 (to be used)

비교되다 (to be compared)

A postman running and singing while walking

The other suffixes 이, 히, 리, and 기 are used for non-하다 verbs. For example,

보다 (to see)

잊다 (to forget)

열다 (to open)

잠그다 (to lock)

They take the following passive forms:

보다 – 보이다 (to be seen)

잊다 – 잊히다 (to be forgotten)

열다 – 열리다 (to be opened)

잠그다 – 잠기다 (to be locked)

How many verb tenses are there in Korean?

Similar to the English language, Korean verbs also have 3 the main verb tenses. They’re the present tense, past tense, and future tense.

Korean verbs also have the progressive tense and perfect tense.

How are Korean verbs formed based on the tenses?

Korean verbs are formed based on the tenses by verb conjugation. If you want to learn about Korean verb conjugation, you can check our resource here.

How do you say the tenses in Korean?

First of all, the Korean word for tense is 시제 (sije). Below are Korean words for the different verb tenses (present, past tense, and future tense).

Present Tense현재시제 (hyeonjaesije)
Past Tense과거시제 (gwageosije)
Future Tense미래시제 (miraesije)

The other verb tense includes the following:

Progressive Tense진행 시제 (jinhaeng sije)
Perfect Tense완료 시제 (wallyo sije)

For the duration of this lesson, you did not need to stress over how to actually put these verbs to use. For this, you would need to know and use Korean conjugations. If you want to get started on forming sentences around these Korean verbs, your next step should be to learn the conjugations, which you can do right here!

The post Korean Verbs – The Complete List appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Getting complimented in Korean (Comedy Skit)

Even as a beginning Korean learner in Korea, I remember being complimented frequently on my Korean. In fact, it seemed as though no matter how good (or poor) my Korean was, I would get compliments. In the beginning, this was very motivating to me, as I felt I was truly improving. However as time went on I started to feel that Koreans simply are surprised to hear any Korean - they're not as picky as I thought at first. It seemed that most native Korean speakers loved to hear when I was trying to speak their language. The compliments only started becoming less frequent as I became able to have full and natural conversations.

The post Getting complimented in Korean (Comedy Skit) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Heungnyunsa Temple – 흥륜사 (Gyeongju)

The View From the Old Temple Site Towards the New Temple Site at Heungnyunsa Temple in Gyeongju.

Temple History

Heungnyunsa Temple was first established by the Goguryeo missionary monk Ado-hwasang. Ado-hwasang came to the Silla Kingdom from the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 B.C. – 668 A.D.) to help spread the teachings of Buddhism. Heungnyunsa Temple was originally built as a poor thatched-roof building. Heungnyunsa Temple was later rebuilt as a great temple of the Silla Kingdom after the martyrdom of the monk Ichadon (501-527 A.D.).

Heungnyunsa Temple, which is also known as Heungnyunsa-ji Temple Site, was the first temple to be officially state-sponsored by the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C. to 935 A.D.) in February, 544 A.D. The temple was expanded and rebuilt from its humble beginnings into a royal temple. So Heungnyunsa Temple served as one of the temples that acted as a protector of both the state and the royal family: a symbol of patriotism, national prosperity, and peace.

During the reign of Queen Seondeok (r. 632-647), and according to the Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia from the Three Kingdoms), an Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) triad and ten Silla saint images made from clay were enshrined in the Golden Hall (main hall) at Heungnyunsa Temple by Kim Yang-do, who was the prime minister during Queen Seondeok’s reign. However, during the decline of the Silla Kingdom, Heungnyunsa Temple was burned to the ground during an uprising. Heungnyunsa Temple was later rebuilt in 921 A.D. The temple was then destroyed, once more, during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). It would remain closed until the 1980’s, when it was reopened in its present form.

With all that being said, there seems to be some dispute as to whether the present location of Heungnyunsa Temple is in fact located on the former temple site of Heungnyunsa-ji Temple Site. The temple site was first accidentally discovered in 1910 during Japanese Colonial Rule (1910-1945). It was presumed at this time to be the Heungnyunsa-ji Temple Site. It was also around this time that the Roof-end Tile with Human Face, or “The Smile of Silla” was discovered at this temple site. It was on this piece of tile that “Yeongmyosa” was written. In 1934, a Japanese doctor named Toshinobu Tanaka bought the “The Smile of Silla” tile from an antique shop in Gyeongju. The Japanese doctor would then bring this historic tile to Japan. But then, in October, 1972, “The Smile of Silla” was donated by Toshinobu Tanaka, through the efforts of the director of the Gyeongju National Museum.

It should also be noted that Yeongmyosa Temple was also a temple established in Gyeongju during the reign of Queen Seondeok (r. 632-647). Some historians have postulated that where Heungnyunsa Temple is presently located is in fact the former site for Yeongmyosa Temple. And where the Gyeongju Technical High School is located, which was also a large former temple site, is actually the Heungnyunsa-ji Temple Site. Further excavation work was completed in June, 1972 and 1977.

Heungnyunsa-ji Temple Site is Historic Site #15. As was previously mentioned, “The Smile of Silla” is now housed at the Gyeongju National Museum, and as of 2018, the roof tile was designated Korean Treasure #2010.

“The Smile of Silla” tile now housed at the Gyeongju National Museum (Picture courtesy of

Temple Myth

There are several stories about Heungnyunsa Temple in the Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms). One story is related to the prime minister, Kim Daeseong (700-774 A.D.). Kim Daeseong, it should be remembered, was the person that founded both Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Hermitage to honour his parents both in his current and past life. As for the story from the Samguk Yusa relating to Heungnyunsa Temple and Kim Daeseong, here is the passage from the Samguk Yusa:

“In the small village of Moryang-ri on the western outskirts of Gyeongju there lived a poor woman named Gyeongcho who had an odd-looking son. The child was the laughing-stock of the village because of his big head and flat forehead like a wall. The people called him Daeseong (Big Wall).

“His mother [Kim Daeseong’s mother] was too poor to feed him, so she gave the lad to a rich neighbour named Bokan as a farm labourer. Daeseong worked so hard that his master liked him very much and gave him a small rice field to feed his mother and himself.

“About that time Cheomgae, a virtuous monk from Heungnyunsa Temple, visited the house of Bokan and asked for a donation for a great ceremony at the temple. Bokan gave him fifty rolls of cotton cloth. The monk bowed in thanks and said, ‘You are loving and giving. The great Buddha is pleased with your donation that he will give you ten thousand times what you have donated, and bless you with long life and happiness.’

“Daeseong overheard this and ran home and told his mother, ‘Now we are poor, and if we do not give something to the temple we will be poorer. Why not give our little rice field for the ceremony so that we may have a great reward in our afterlives?’ His kind-hearted mother readily consented and the rice field was donated to the temple through Cheomgae.

“A few months later Daeseong died. On the night of his death a voice from heaven heard above the house of Kim Munryang (?-771), the prime minister, saying ‘Daeseong, the good boy of Moryang-ri, will be reborn in your family.’

“In great astonishment, the prime minister sent servants to the village, and they found that Daeseong was indeed dead. Wonderful to relate, in the same hour as the heavenly announcement the prime minister’s wife conceived, and in due course gave birth to a boy. The child kept the fingers of his left hand tightly clenched until seven days after his birth, and when at last he opened them, the characters for Daeseong were seen written in gold on his palm. They gave him his old name again and invited his previous mother to care for him.”

Temple Layout

There are two ways to enter Heungnyunsa Temple. There’s the main entry to the north and there’s a southern entry through the back side streets. Passing through the unpainted southern entryway, you’ll emerge on the newer side of the temple grounds. Straight ahead of you is the hexagonal-shaped bell pavilion. This elevated bell pavilion, or “Jong-ru” in Korean, has a beautiful Brahma bell housed inside it with a twisting Poroe atop of the bronze bell. And if you look up near the roof of the interior of the bell pavilion, you’ll notice a Bicheon (Flying Heavenly Deity) sprinkling some magic dust down towards the Brahma Bell.

Behind this Jong-ru is the Daeung-jeon Hall. The exterior walls of the main hall are adorned with several beautiful murals including the Bodhidharma and Dazu Huike (487-593 A.D.) mural, the martyrdom of Ichadon (501-527 A.D.), and a beautiful flowing image of an all-white Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). Stepping inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find a triad on the main altar centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This statue is joined on either side by images of Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power) and Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom). To the right of the main altar, you’ll find an older mural and statue dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). Also to the right is a large Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). And to the left of the main altar, you’ll find a mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars), as well as a long mural dedicated to the martyr, Ichadon.

Behind the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find a collection of stone artifacts from the presumed remains of the historic Heungnyunsa-ji Temple Site. Also, you’ll find a collection of three turtle-based Biseok (stele) to the rear of the Daeung-jeon Hall, as well.

To the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find a collection of buildings. These are the visitors centre and the nuns dorms. It’s also in this area, and up a set of uneven stairs, that you’ll find the former site for Heungnyunsa Temple. This is where the temple is believed to be formerly located. It is now occupied by a trail joined on either side by beautiful azaleas.

One of the more interesting features to Heungnyunsa Temple is the uniquely designed memorial in the courtyard in front of the Daeung-jeon Hall. This memorial looks to be a cross between a pagoda and a stupa. There are four separate lions guarding each of the cardinal directions at the base of the pagoda. There are also Bicheon (Flying Heavenly Deities) adorning the base of the pagoda. As for the body of the memorial, there are in fact no stories to this long, slender, black body. Instead, there are Hanja characters written around five of its six hexagonal sides. And on the front side, you see more Hanja characters joined by a relief of the beheading of Ichadon.

How To Get There

To get to Heungnyunsa Temple from the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll first need to head towards the Daereungwon Royal Tombs and Beopjansa Temple. Before you make it to either one of these sites, you’ll notice Highway 35 to your right. Turn right down this highway/road for about a kilometre. You’ll then see a sign with “Heungryunsa – 흥륜사” on it. This sign is elevated and brown. Head down the road where this sign is located. Walk for about three hundred metres down a side street between country houses and past a ride paddy. To your left you’ll see another sign that reads “Heungnyunsa – 흥륜사” on it. The southern entry to Heungnyunsa Temple is to your right.

Overall Rating: 5/10

While certainly not as spectacular as some of the other major temples in Gyeongju, both Heungnyunsa Temple and the Heungnyunsa-ji Temple Site have a certain charm all their own. Just the history alone of this temple should be enough to draw you in; but when you add the beautiful artwork surrounding the Daeung-jeon Hall, the painting dedicated to Ichadon inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, the beautiful bell pavilion, and the memorial dedicated to Ichadon in the front courtyard, you should definitely make the time for Heungnyunsa Temple. This temple is perfect for those that want to explore a lesser known attraction in Gyeongju.

The walled-off compound of Heungnyunsa Temple.
The back entry gate to the Gyeongju temple.
The Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion) at Heungnyunsa Temple with a newly constructed outdoor shrine dedicated to Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha) to the right rear.
The Daeung-jeon Hall that stands next to the Jong-ru.
One of the murals that adorns the Daeung-jeon Hall. This mural is dedicated to the Bodhidharma and Dazu Huike.
Another of the murals that adorns the Daeung-jeon Hall. This one is dedicated to the martyrdom of the monk Ichadon.
Inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
And a mural dedicated to Ichadon inside the Daeung-jeon Hall to the left of the main altar.
The top portion of the memorial dedicated to Icadhon.
And the body of the memorial with the stone relief dedicated to the sacrifice of Ichadon.
The pathway leading through the Heungnyunsa-ji Temple Site.


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