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안 vs 속

안녕하세요! Today, we're gonna look at the different ways to say "in/inside" and when should you use each one.

안 and 속 can both mean inside. They CAN be used as synonymous, although there are differences.

안 = Inside of a particular range. Things that have an actual inside space like a house or a box, you usually would use 안.

Examples of when to use:

(1) 지하철 안 (inside of subway)

*지하철 속 — Awkward

(2) 교실 안 (inside of classroom.)

*교실 속 — Awkward

(3) 내 시야 안 (inside of sight)

*내 시야 속 — Awkward

속 =Inside of a particular thing other than its crust, edge, or surface. I like to think of it as being deep within something. Things that don't have a clear "inside" space like your mind, you could use 속.


꿈속 = inside a dream

물속 = inside of water

도넛 속 = inside a donut

숲속 = (deep) in the forest

머릿속 = in one's mind; in one's heart

Like I said there are certain times where both can be used.

Here are some examples:

(1) 신발 안, 신발 속 (inside of shoe)

(2) 장갑 안, 장갑 속 (inside of glove)

(3) 상자 안, 상자 속 (inside of box)

(4) 입안, 입속 (inside of mouth) — All are each one word.

(5) 주머니 안, 주머니 속 (inside of pocket)

(6) 지갑 안, 지갑 속 (inside of wallet)

Theses are for things that have some space within themselves. For example, shoes have inner spaces where our feet go in, but we indicate “shoes” usually including the spaces. Such things are often available with both 안 and 속.

There’re also interesting cases with our body parts.

몸안, 몸속 (inside of body)

위 안, 위 속 (inside of stomach)

허파 안, 허파 속 (inside of lung)

입안, 입속 (inside of mouth)

소장 안, 소장 속 (inside of small intestine)

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