Top 100 Korean Words For Beginners

Top 100 Korean words

When I started learning the Korean language I found textbooks to be boring. Just following the book made it take a long time to finally learn the top 100 Korean words for daily life.

So here is my list of the top 100. But there’s a twist.

When you’re learning a new language, I found that you tend to think in your original language first. Since I was not familiar with the words in my target language, I always thought of the words I wanted to say in English first, regardless of whether those words were the most common in Korean or not.

And that makes sense. Until you’re more familiar with a new language, you’re going to be translating every word in your head as you basically translate yourself.

So here instead is a list of the top 100 most common English words, in Korean, that actually you are more likely to use when trying to express yourself at a basic, beginner stage.*

The Top 100 Korean Words to Learn

  1. About (as in, talk about yourself): _ 대해서
  2. After: _후에
  3. Again: 다시
  4. All: 모든
  5. And: 과
  6. Any (as in, I couldn’t find any):
  7. At: 에서
  8. Because (as in, because of you): _ 때문에
  9. Before: _전에
  10. Bring: 가져오다
  11. But: 하지만
  12. Can: _ 수있다
  13. Cant _ 못하다
  14. Come: 오다
  15. Culture: 문화
  16. Dad: 아버지
  17. Day: 일
  18. Do: 하다
  19. Don’t know: 모르다
  20. Eat: 먹다
  21. Find: 찾다
  22. From (as in, from then until now): _부터
  23. Front: (as in, in front of something) 앞
  24. Get: 받다
  25. Give: 주다
  26. Go: 가다
  27. Good (as in, a good neighbor): 좋은_
  28. Have: _ 있다
  29. He: 그
  30. Her (as in, her friend): 그녀의
  31. Her: 그녀
  32. Here: 여기에
  33. Him: 그를
  34. His (as in, his ugly car): 그의
  35. How (as in, how did you do that?): 어떻게 _
  36. House/home: 집
  37. I: 나는 [Note, don’t refer to yourself this way to high status people].
  38. If: _면
  39. In: _ 에서
  40. It: 그것
  41. Know: 알다
  42. Last (as in, last Christmas): 지난
  43. Like: 좋다
  44. Like (as in, to be similar): 같다
  45. Little (as in, a little salt): 좀
  46. Live: 살다
  47. Look: 보이다
  48. Make (as in, make some trouble): 만들다
  49. Man: 남자
  50. Many: 많은_
  51. Mom: 어머니
  52. More (as in, one more time): _더
  53. Month: 달
  54. My: 내
  55. New: 새로운
  56. No: 아니
  57. Now: 지금
  58. On: 에
  59. One: 한
  60. Only (as in, only you understand me): 만
  61. Other: 다른 것
  62. Our: 우리의
  63. People: 사람
  64. Question:  문제
  65. Say: 말하다
  66. See: 보다
  67. Second (as in, one second): 초
  68. She: 그녀는
  69. So: 그래서
  70. Some: 약간
  71. Sound: 소리
  72. Take: 갖다
  73. Tell: 말하다
  74. That: 그
  75. Their: 그들의
  76. There: 저쪽에
  77. These: 이들
  78. They: 그들
  79. Thing: 것
  80. Think: 생각하다
  81. This: 이것
  82. Those: 그것
  83. Time (as in, what is the time?): 시간
  84. Two: 두/이
  85. Use: 이용하다
  86. Very: 아주
  87. Want (as in, I want to go shopping): 하고 싶다
  88. Way (as in, which way?): 길
  89. We: 우리
  90. Well (as in, well done!): 잘
  91. What (as in, what are you talking about?): 뭐
  92. When: 언제
  93. Which: 어느
  94. Who: 누구
  95. Why: 왜
  96. With: 와
  97. Work: 일
  98. Year: 년
  99. You: 너
  100. Your: 너의

Things You Need

To make full use of this list you will have to know how to read Korean characters or script, also called Hangeul.

It might sound like a pain but honestly it is one of the easiest things you will ever do. It will take you 30 minutes and I promise you will feel like a rockstar when you’ve mastered it.

You can find a bunch of videos online, but here is one that I found fast and useful:

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*Ps. I will admit that I dropped out a lot of very common but non-beginner words such as grammatical connectors. If you want to learn more Korean grammar, check out Talk To Me In Korean’s great grammar lessons here.

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