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많이 vs 많아요 | The right way to say "a lot" in Korean

안녕하세요! Koreanstudyjunkie here and we're gonna look at 2 words that basically mean the same thing in Korean when translated, but are quite different.

많이 vs 많다

The first obvious difference would be that 많이 is an adverb and 많다 is an adjective.

많다 (adjective)

Definition: plentiful; many; a lot of

A number, amount, etc., exceeding a certain standard.

Use this when you simply want to describe that there is a large amount or number of something.


어린이들은 친구가 많아요. = Kids have lots of friends.

선물이 정말 많아요! = That’s a lot of presents/gifts.

일이 정말 너무 많아요. = It’s too much work.

많이 (adverb )

Definition: much; in large numbers; in large amounts

In a state in which a number, amount, degree, etc., are larger than a certain standard.

This can be used in combination with another verb to describe the amount of something more specifically in relation to the verb. Adverbs usually are placed right before the verb.


밥을 많이 먹어요. = I eat a lot (of food).

돈이 많이 있어요. = I have a lot of money.

운동을 많이 했어요. = I exercised a lot

Another form of 많다 : 많은

It is used before nouns to describe them. It has basically the same meaning as 많이 and the two can be used interchangeably in almost all cases.


많은 사람 = a lot of people

많은 숙제 = a lot of homework

많은 영화 = a lot of movies

많은 책을 읽었어요. I read a lot of books. (Many books, I read)

책을 많이 읽었어요. I read a lot of books.

많이 있어요 vs 많아요.

There’s not much difference between these two. They can be used interchangeably.


학생들이 많이 있어요. = There are a lot of students

학생들이 많아요. = There are a lot of students

The only difference is that 많이 can be used with a different verb at the end, but 많다 is a verb itself to it must always be at the end of the sentence.

More Examples Of 많다, 많이, & 많은 :

돈이 많아요! = There’s a lot of money!

돈이 많이 있어요. = I have a lot of money! / there is a lot of money!

많은 돈이 있어요 = I have a lot of money! / there is a lot of money!

돈이 많이 벌었어요! = I earned a lot of money!

많은 친구가 있어요 = I have a lot of friends

남동생은 밥이 너무 많이 먹어요 = My little brother eats too much

많은 열쇠를 갖고 있는데 올바른 열쇠를 찾을 수 없어 = I have a lot of keys, but I can't find the right keys


That's all for this post! Hopefully now you know the difference between these two. Other words that you may want to know about are 좋다 vs 좋아하다.

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Hii, just want to say that such differentiating posts are my favourite on your blog. Please keep doing more of them.

I had a question, might be stupid since I am still very much a beginner 🙈🙈

Is 많다 an adjective or verb or both as well? That part was a bit confusing to me in the post! Thank you so much.

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