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모두 vs 다

안녕하세요 여러분! Yet again another pair of words that often confuse us Korean learners. Today, I'll try to clear up the confusion and tell you the difference between these 2 words.


다 and 모두 can both be used as ADVERBS or NOUNS and often have a meaning of "all". 다 is used more often as an adverb - being placed right before the verb. While 모두 is used more with nouns. They can be interchangeable if they both mean "everything without an exception." 다 in my opinion gets used a bit more often in everyday speech these days as 모두 can seem a bit more formal.


The Meaning & Usage of 다

Much like 모두, 다 can be used as both a noun and adverb to mean “everything” “everyone” and “all” respectively. In this way, 모두 and 다 are interchangeable; however, 다 often sounds more casual. It is also possible to combine the two words to form 모두 다.

Example Sentences:

머리부터 발끝까지 모두 다 좋아해요 = From your head to your toes, I love everything (about you).

(Noun) 이것이 지금 내가 가진 돈의 예요. = This is all the money I have right now.

(Adverb) 이제  왔어. 내리자! = We're here now. Get out!

나의 친구는  좋은 사람들뿐이다 = All (of) my friends are good people.

너 야채  먹어. = Eat all of your vegetables.

너희 둘  간다구? 좋았어! = You're both coming? Great!

Another varitation: 다들 = everyone

KEEP IN MIND: 다 can be used before verb to say an action has been finished (e.g., 다 먹었어요 – I’ve finished eating, 숙제를 다 했어요 – I’ve finished my homework.). 모두 is not used in this way.

The Meaning & Usage of 모두

When used as a noun, it can be translated as “everything” or sometimes “everyone,” while when used as an adverb, its translation is closer to “all”.

Example Sentences:

(Adverb) 모두 샀나요? = Did you buy everything?

모든 = all + noun OR every + noun

When using 모두 to directly describe other nouns, it must be modified into its adjective form, 모든. This would then be translated as “ALL nouns” or “EVERY noun”.

Example Sentences:

모든 사람들이 다 그렇게 생각하는 것은 아닙니다. = Not everyone thinks like that

모든 사람들 = All people

모든 셔츠는 10% 할인된다. = All shirts are 10% off.

모든 셔츠 = All shirts, Every shirt

그녀는 모든 창문을 닫았어. = She closed all the windows. / She closed every window.

모든 창문 = All windows, Every window

진정해! 모든 게 잘 될 거야!

Relax! Everything will be OK.

게 is an abbreviated form of 것이 (것 + 이 particle)

것 = thing

Literally 모든 것 means every thing

그들은 모든 문제를 해결해야 했어요. = They had to solve all the problems. / They had to solve every problem.


I've made a ton more lessons like this one, you can click the highted words to read:

달 vs 월 vs 개월, and a lot more.

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