안녕 친구들~ Koreanstudyjunkie here to clear up a small misunderstanding that some people have often when studying Korean. It is yet again 2 words that in some situations have the same meaning. The main instance of this in Korean is when talking about height. Let's get into it!
Quick Explanation :
작다 = Small
짧다 = Short
However, both of these words have several meanings so let’s look at them now:
작다 = Small
Small; little [lower than others or average in length, area, volume, etc.]
Ex: 키가 작아요 = I’m short (have a small height)
2. Small (fit) [Not fitting since the size is smaller than required.]
Ex: 새 구두가 너무 작아요 = These new shoes are too small.
3. Small; Little [Lower than others or average in magnitude, scope, degree, importance, etc.]
Ex: 작은 문제 = A small problem
Low; Weak [for volume - Low or weak.]
Ex: 작은 목소리 = A small voice
4. Narrow-minded [(for character, thoughts, etc.) Narrow and not great.]
Ex: 그는 마음이 매우 작아 = He’s so narrow minded.
5. Small (amount) [Low in amount or denomination.]
Ex: 예날에 천원도 작은 돈이 아니었어요.
= In the old days, even 1,000 won was not a small amount of money.
짧다 = Short
Short [The distance between the two ends of a space or object being close]
Ex: 지수는 긴 머리를 남자처럼 짧게 잘랐어
= Jisoo cut her long hair short like a guys (hair).
2. Short [The time period between two points in time being brief.]
Ex: 우유는 유통 기간이 짧으니까 얼른 먹어야 해
= The milk expiration date is short, we have to finish it quickly
3. Short [The length or number of a text or words being short or small.]
Ex: 나 시간 없으니까 짧게 말해 = I don’t have time, so keep it brief [speak briefly]
4. Deficient [Inadequate in the amount or level of capital, ideas, ability, etc.]
Ex: 저는 영어가 짧습니다 = My English is not good.
WAYS TO USE IT:
Number One: Use To Describe Nouns
작다 → 작 + 은 = 작은 [Noun] = A small [Noun]
짧다 → 짧 + 은 = 짧은 [Noun] = A short [Noun]
키가 작은 여자 = A woman who is short (who was a small height)
짧은 치마를 입다 = to wear a short skirt
Number Two: Add -게
-게 is used to turn verbs and adjectives into adverbs. It can be like adding an ‘ly’ to some words. Or you can think of it as meaning ‘In a manner that is…’
작게 - In a manner that is small
짧게 - briefly, in a manner that is short
글씨를 아주 작게 쓰세요. = Please write the letters very small
1(일)인치 더 짧게 해 주세요. = Make it an inch shorter.
Number Three: At The Very End Of A Sentence
새로운 생각이 짧아요 = I’m short on Ideas.
그녀의 목소리는 너무 작아요 = She has such a tiny voice.
We have reached the conclusion of this lesson and hopefully now you have a better understand of how each of them is used and their differences in usage. Honestly, it's almost the same as English.
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