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Korean Synonyms | Korean words that have the same meaning

Welcome or welcome back to my free Korean lessons. It's Koreanstudyjunkie back again to talk to you about another concept in Korean - synonyms. Aka words that have the same meaning, but look and sound completely different. Unlike, homonyms which are spelled and sound the same, but mean completely different things.

These words can be used interchangeably for the most part. Some words have slight differences and nuances in meaning, but have the same general meaning.

성인 | 어른

Meaning: Adult


입장료는 성인이/어른이 만 원이고 어린이가 삼천 원이에요.

Admission fee is ten thousand won for adults and three thousand won for children.

아이 | 어린이 (elementary aged kid)

Meaning: Kid, Child


우리 아이를 예쁘게 봐 주셔서 고맙습니다.

Thank you for looking at my child beautifully.

놀이공원 안내소에서 부모를 잃어버린 어린이를 보호하고 있다는 방송이 나왔습니다.

The amusement park information center reported that they were protecting children who lost their parents.

극장 (used when speaking about plays as well as a place that shows movies)

> meaning is more of theatre and not cinema

영화관 (not referring to plays at all)

Meaning: Movie Theatre, Cinema


영화관의 스크린이 너무 작아서 나는 영화를 제대로 볼 수 없었어.

The movie theater's screen was so small that I couldn't watch the movie properly.

극장 안은 영화 시사회를 보러 온 관객들로 발을 디딜 틈이 없었어요.

There was no room for the audience to step in the theater to watch the movie premiere.

가족 (refers mainly to people who live together & are related)

식구 (not necessarily referring to blood family, but can be used to do so) - a group of people who work together in the same organization

Meaning: Family


그는 가족들에게는 모든 일이 괜찮은 척했어

He pretended to his family that everything was fine.

우리 사무실 식구들은 점심시간마다 다 같이 식당에 갔어요.

Our office family went to the restaurant together every lunch break.

부엌 | 주방

(No obvious difference in meaning)

Meaning: Kitchen


배가 고픈 아이가 혹시 먹을 것이 있는지 자주 주방/부엌 근처를 왔다 갔다 했어.

A hungry child often went back and forth near the kitchen to see if there was anything to eat.

서점 | 책방

(Exact same meaning no differences)

Meaning: Bookstore


요즘 서점에서는 어떤 책들이 인기가 있나요?

요즘 책방에서는 어떤 책들이 인기가 있나요?

What sorts of books are selling well these days?


There are lots more, but these are just a few to be aware of. You may see or hear one or the other used in sentences. But the great thing is, you're kind of doubling your vocabulary by learning these words.

Speaking of doubling your vocabulary, I know a great resource that can help increase your vocabulary and memorization - check here!


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