top of page

The Difference Between 좋다 & 좋아하다 | 좋다 vs 좋아하다 | 싫다 vs 싫어하다

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Welcome to or welcome back to another lesson. In this lesson, I'll tell you the difference between 좋다 & 좋아하다, as well as 싫다 & 싫어하다. Link to the original post I made is here~

좋다 vs 좋아하다 & 싫다 vs 싫어하다

Both 좋다 and 좋아하다 can mean "to like" something, but their use is different and they can't be interchanged.

These are commonly mixed up by Korean learners, because 좋다 can be translated can sometimes "to like". However, It's sole meaning is "to be good".

좋다 = to be good

It is a descriptive verb and It is used anytime you are describing something as "good". Use it with the particles 이/가.


좋은 아이디어 = good idea

김치가 좋아요 = kimchi is good

If you were to say "김치를 좋아요" that would be wrong and make no sense. (을/를) can only be used on a thing that is being affected or acted on by something else. The object marker (을/를) can only be used with an action verb.

Therefore if you were acting on the kimchi or doing something to the kimchi then it would be correct.

For example:

I am making Kimchi.

저는 김치를 요리하고 있어요.

This rule applies to all descriptive verbs they can never use 을/를 .

좋아하다 = to like

This word is an action verb, meaning it "acts" on things. It should be used with 을/를.

For example:

저는 김치를 좋아해요.

If you were to say "김치가 좋아해요" that wouldn't be correct either. By using -가 you've made 김치 the subject of the sentence. Meaning 김치 is the one doing the liking. "Kimchi likes.." or "Kimchi is liking (something) -- which doesn't make sense.


With all that being said, 좋다 can sometimes be used as "to like" but It depends on the context. 좋아하다 can only ever be used to mean "to like". It cannot be used as "to be good" at all. I recommend watching Go Billy's Video on this topic, he goes into a little more detail about it.

What about 싫다 & 싫어하다?

Now these 2 are a bit different from 좋다/좋아하다. You may think these 2 are opposite sides of the same coin, but 싫다/싫어하다 are a bit different and seem to follow somewhat different rules. Honestly, I still confuse these 2 and never seem to know which is exactly right. These 2 are sometimes used interchangeably, which Is okay as long as you use the right particles as I covered earlier.

싫다 = to not be liked, to be disliked

싫어하다 = to dislike (something)

These can both be used to say "I don't like (something)". 싫다 is a descriptive verb & 싫어하다is an action verb.

When you are speaking about your own self (in first person) finding something undesirable or worthy of despise, you can use 싫다. However, when you are speaking about how someone else feels 싫어하다 is more appropriate to use. This phenomenon is a whole other grammar structure V + 아/어하다, I won't go over it in this post but I'll show some examples.

For Example:

아프다 = 아파하다

슬프다 = 슬퍼하다

미안하다 = 미안해 하다

-고 싶다 = -고 싶어 하다

I still think that even with this as a rule to follow, you can use 싫어하다 for yourself as well. I think I have seen even native speakers use it like this. It may be another exception, because many people still use it even when speaking about theirself. Remember to only use 싫어하다 with 을/를, otherwise it's incorrect. You have to have an object to act on.


There it is. Now you hopefully know the difference between 좋다/싫다 & 좋아하다/싫어하다. That's it for this lesson, but I have plenty more for you to learn and study. Be sure to leave a like if you learned something and comment below if you have any questions.

2,785 views1 comment

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating

you are really good at explaining the difference 👍

Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page