Level 4 Lesson 13 / Word builder 4 / 불(不)

Download Available

Welcome to another lesson in the Word Builder series. In the Word Builder lessons, we introduce letters and words that work as building blocks of the Korean vocabulary. They are not necessarily all Hanja words based on Chinese characters, but many of them are.

Hope you enjoy this lesson, and we are looking at the word “부/불” [bu/bul].


You can download a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here.

  • Lawrence

    Thanks for another great lesson! I’m learning Korean and Chinese characters right now (my main language is Cantonese), and this helps accomplish both :D I’m recently listening to a song which contains 불안 and this lesson affirms my knowledge which is always helpful!

    • http://twitter.com/kyeongeun Kyeong-eun Choi

      Lawrence :)
      I’m happy to hear that you like this lesson!
      You can’t forget the word when you find it in the song! :D
      화이팅!! ^^

  • caddie

    이 레슨을 만들어주셔서 감사합니다! ^_^

    선생님들이 수고하셨어요! ^_^
    즐거운 하루 보내세요!!!

    • 케디 씨는 코멘투 쓴거 제일 빠른거 같아요~ ㅎㅎ

    • http://twitter.com/kyeongeun Kyeong-eun Choi

      caddie :)
      감사합니다!! 한국어가 점점 늘고 있어요!! 멋져요!
      코멘트로 항상 한국어 연습해서 그런거죠? ㅋㅋㅋ
      오늘도 한국어 공부 열심히 하세요! ^^

      ㅎㅎㅎ 맞아요. 케디 씨는 모든 레슨에 코멘트를 쓰고 있어요. 제일 빠르게!! 아주 멋져요!

    • caddie

      완 씨랑 경은 씨가 답장 해주셔서 고마워요.^_^
      네, 제가 한국어로 코멘트를 쓰려고 해요.이렇게 연습 하면 한국어를 빠르게 늘 수 있는 것 같아요.ㅋㅋㅋ

    • 네, 분명해요~ ㅋㅋㅋ

  • sujin378


    이 레슨은 완전 좋았습니다^^
    불만하는 건 없습니다~ ㅋㅋ


    • http://twitter.com/kyeongeun Kyeong-eun Choi

      sujin378 :)
      완전 좋았어요? 저도 코멘트 보니까 완전 좋아요! ㅋㅋ
      불만 없어요? 저도 불만 없어요!!
      한국어 공부 재미있게 해요! 화이팅 ^^

  • Trent

    Another great Word Builder lesson. I enjoy reading these and printing them for reference.

    Of course, the question I now have is: what does 불고기 really mean? I know 고기 is meat. Where does the 불 come from? I’m pretty sure 불고기 doesn’t mean “not meat” :)

    • sujin378

      Dear Trent,

      Your question is good, hehe. 불 in 불고기 means “fire” ^^

    • http://twitter.com/kyeongeun Kyeong-eun Choi

      Trent :)
      Thanks a lot. 불고기 is Hangeul, it’s not Hanja words based on Chinese characters. :D sujin is right 불 in 불고기 means “fire”. :D

      Thanks sujin378. :D

  • Samier

    우와! Word builders을 너무 좋아요!

    I’ll be sure to look out for words that start with 부/불 ^^


    • http://twitter.com/kyeongeun Kyeong-eun Choi

      Samier :)
      감사합니다!! I hope that you can find a lot of words that start with 부/ 불!! 화이팅! ^^

  • 불완전이야~~~ 불만이에요. ㅋㅋ

    • http://twitter.com/kyeongeun Kyeong-eun Choi


      뭐가 불만이에요?
      불만이 뭐예요?

      진짜 불만 있어요?
      거짓말이죠? ㅋㅋㅋ

    • 음….. 조금이죠. 그저 word builder lesson를 많이 더 만들으세요! word builder lesson 너무 너무 좋아하니까요, 충분하지 않아요~ :P

  • Previously


    이런 레슨이 되게 좋아요!
    오랫동안 불/부의 차이에 대해서 궁금해서 드디어 설명됬어요.
    저는 한자와 이야기 레슨들 특히 도움이 될 것 같아요.
    다시 감사합니다.

    예: 저는 외국인이니까 연습을 많이 해도 제 말은 부자연스럽죠.. ㅋㅋ

    • http://twitter.com/kyeongeun Kyeong-eun Choi

      Previously :)
      음……… 연습을 정말 많이 했죠?
      한국어가 정말 자연스러워요! 부자연스럽지 않아요! ^^
      앞으로도 꾸준히 공부하면 완전 자연스러워 질 것 같아요.
      화이팅! ^^

    • The Gorn

      코멘트 다 읽는 것 정말 이로워요! 저 매일 진짜 점점 늘고 있어요! 완전 늘고 있어요!

  • 선생님들 안녕하세요.

    요즘은 휴대폰없이 너무 불편합니다.
    휴대폰을 가지고 잊었을 때, 하루에 불안 해 졌을거예요.
    선생님들, 제 문장에서 실수가 있다면 좀 고쳐주세요.
    절 좀 가르쳐주세요.
    감사합니다. ^.^

    재미있게 시간을 보내세요. ^o^

    • http://twitter.com/siesta87 Hyojin An

      준 씨! as always, let me help you make these sentences even better sentences :)

      요즘은 휴대폰없이 너무 불편합니다. -> 요즘은 휴대폰(핸드폰)이 없어서 너무 불편합니다.
      휴대폰을 가지고 잊었을 때, 하루에 불안 해 졌을거예요.
      이 문장은 잘 모르겠어요 ㅠ.ㅠ 휴대폰을 가지고 있었을 때 불안했나요? 영어로 설명해주세요 :)

    • 선생님께

      긴 문장을 고쳐 주셔서 정말 감사합니다.
      항상 도와 주셔서 감사합니다.

      학교에서 (휴대전화) 핸드폰을 잊어버리고 안 가져 왔어요.
      그리고 불안해요.
      중요한 전화 메시지가 받을 수 없다면 걱정해요.
      핸드폰을 잊어버리면 기분을 안 좋아해요.
      기분이 좋지 않아요!
      문장에서 실수가도 있다면 좀 고쳐주세요.
      선생님들이 수고하셨습니다!
      즐거운 하루 보내세요!

    • 선생님께

      긴 문장을 고쳐 주셔서 정말 감사합니다.
      항상 도와 주셔서 감사합니다.

      학교에서 (휴대전화) 핸드폰을 잊어버리고 안 가져 왔어요. 그리고 불안해요.
      중요한 전화 메시지가 받을 수 없다면 걱정해요.
      핸드폰을 잊어버리면 기분을 안 좋아해요.
      기분이 좋지 않아요.

      문장에서 실수가도 있다면 좀 고쳐주세요.
      선생님들이 수고하셨습니다!
      즐거운 하루 보내세요!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aline-Martini/641608576 Aline Martini

    I really enjoy Word Builder lessons !!! Since I already know japanese, it becomes easier for me to learn new korean words when I have a chinese character to associate it with ;-) TTIMK team, thank you very much !! ^ __ ~

    • http://twitter.com/siesta87 Hyojin An

      Hello, Aline!
      Glad you enjoyed the lesson :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Philip-Coleman/1160605177 Philip Coleman

    Your examples with 부 (instead of 불) all begin with alveolar/post-alveolar voiced consonants… So there’s a similar place and manner of articulation. And those would be kind of hard (for me) to say with 불. I imagine that’s a coincidence, but I figured I may as well mention it, to be a smartass.

    Are there other words that have 불 + ㄷ or 불 + ㅈ? Or, on the other hand, 부 + vowel, or other place/manner of articulation (excluding ㄷ and ㅈ)?

    In other news, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, TTMIK! Thank you!!^^

  • nadine

    I totally agree with Kyeong-eun ssi! 현빈 완전좋아요! :)

    Thanks for the lesson!

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      현빈 좋아하는 사람이 너무 많아요. ^^

    • nadine

      네! 김주원로 그는 너무 좋았어요 haha

    • The Gorn

      누가 현빈이예요?

  • Jun

    January 20, 2011선생님들께

    긴 문장을 고쳐 주셔서 정말 감사합니다.
    항상 도와 주셔서 감사합니다.

    학교에서 (휴대전화) 핸드폰을 잊어버리고 안 가져 왔어요. 그리고 불안해요.
    중요한 전화 메시지가 받을 수 없다면 걱정해요.
    핸드폰을 잊어버리면 기분을 안 좋아해요.
    그래서 기분이 너무 좋지 않아요.

    문장에서 실수가도 있다면 좀 고쳐주세요.
    선생님들이 수고하셨습니다!
    즐거운 하루 보내세요!

  • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

    핸드폰을 잊어버리면 기분을 안 좋아해요.

    >핸드폰을 잊어버리면 기분아 안 좋아요.

    그리고 불안해요.

    > 그래서 불안해요.

    한국어 잘 쓰셨어요. 멋져요.

    • 선생님, 안녕하세요.

      제 문장을 고쳐 주셔서 정말 감사합니다.

      즐거운 하루 보내세요! ^.^

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jake-See/515464732 Jake See


    I am Chinese and from previous lessons, I have taken for granted that 안 functions the sames as 不 but this lesson says otherwise.

    May I ask how is this different from 안 as it also seems to be a negate a verb?


  • wintergreen

    선생님들, 안녕하세요!

    이 레슨을 잘 들었어요.

    한국어로 쓰기 할 때 항상 불안해요.
    문장을 부정확하게 쓰거나 부적절한 말을 쓸가봐 걱정이 있어요.
    또 부주의 할 때 불완전한 문장도 자주 써요.

    이레슨에서 단어를 많이 배웠어요. 정말 감사합니다. ^^

    선생님들 즐거운 하루 보내세요. ^^

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      실수를 통해서 더 많이 배울 수 있으니까, 실수를 두려워하지 마세요. ^^

      한국어 너무 잘 쓰시네요. 멋져요!

    • wintergreen

      선생님, 감사합니다!

      앞으로 한국어를 더 열심히 공부할게요.

      즐거운 하루 보내세요! ^^

  • alexans

    Can I make a request? Can you guys speak more korean, and also, can you speak Korean slower.

    한국어를 더 많이 하고 더 천천히 해 주세요

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      As there are a lot of lessons to be released so you will have many Korean expressions through them and as we also upload review videos at TalkToMeInKorean youtube channel so you will listen the expressions which we spoke slowly. Thanks for your feedback. :)

  • alex


    불만 이에요.

    Does that mean both “It’s only light,” and “It’s a complaint.” ?

    (along with any other possible meanings)

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      불만이에요 means “It’s a complaint (like you wrote)” or “I am dissatisfied with it”, but it doesn’t mean “it’s only light”.

      Well when you say 불만이에요, most of people will regard it as “(I am) dissatisfied with it”.

  • daniel


    I would like to comment on something from the PDF file,

    “There is no set rule to when 不 is written as “불” and when it is
    written as “부” in Korean, so it always depends on the certain word.”

    Actually I’ve noticed that it tends to be 부 when followed by a syllable beginning with ㄷ or ㅈ, as with 부도덕 (不道德), 부정 (不正) and 부족 (不足), and 불 everywhere else, as in 불편 (不便), 불행 (不幸) et cetera.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hee-Lee/100002453367433 Hee Lee

    another great lesson , i can guess almost all the word since it sounds so similart to Vietnamese , especially the word 주의 , its exactly the same

  • fb

    I have a question about these Word Builder lessons…
    I understand that they are to expand our vocabulary; however, I was curious if both the words that make up the examples [ex: 불안] are Sino-Korean words or just the root words [불 in this case]?

    Also, here you say that 안 means comfortable, relaxed. I was thinking that 안 was ‘not’ when used with verbs? Does 안 mean comfortable just in this context or in general? And if it means that in general, would you be able to use 안 or 불 as a stand-alone word [like they are nouns], or only in cases like 불안?

    Hope you can answer. Thank-you!

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      The word 불안 is consisted with Sino-Korean words. 안(安) means “to be comfortable and to be” relaxed and if the 불(不) is added in front of the sino korean word, the meaning is changed negative.

      We don’t use just one letter of them, like 불, or 안.

      I hope my comment helps you.

    • fb

      I think I understand — Separately, they have individual meanings, but those words cannot be used alone.
      Thanks for all the quick feedback 선생님.
      TTMIK is the best!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Misa-Hughes/542989054 Misa Hughes

    시험이 완전이에요! 문재를 다 정확하게 대답 했을 리가 없는데… 그래도 행복해요, 끝났어 때문에.

    ? ㅎㅎㅎ

    • Gregos

      I know the comment since like month ago, but it helps me to learn, even if nobody read it.

      It seems 완전 means complete in the sense that it’s perfect, not finished. 완전 = perfection, and it’s a noun. So 시험이 완전이에요 means “The exam is perfection” :)
      완전하다 – descriptive verb to be perfect/ to be complete.

      ‘그래도 행복해요, 끝났어 때문에’ = “Still, I’m happy, because I’m finished.” You can’t finish sentence with “because”… 때문에 works like preposition. Similar to 전에. If you want to use it: ‘그래도 끝나기 때문에 행복해요’
      But it sounds like finished test cause you to be happy. so it would still sound weird with 때문에.

      시험을 끝냈어요. – I finished the exam.
      제가 문재를 정확하게 다 대답했을 리가 없는데, 시험이 끝나서 행복해요. – Though it’s impossible that I accurately answered all questions, the exam is finished, so I’m happy.

      About 제가, I’m not sure why, but I feel like it’s should be there. Because the focus on “me”. For other’s maybe it’s possible, but for “me” it’s impossible to answer all correctly.
      If it was 저는, it’s like “as for me, it’s impossible to answer all exam, no matter who does it” like it’s a fact based on your opinion, so it’s wrong to say it.

      Took me lots of time to modify this sentence. I hope it’s correct now. I would probably fail the exam :)

  • Pingback: Construcción de palabras # 4: 불 (不) | Koreanyol()

  • Cynyee

    Hello! thank you for including the chinese words into the word builder. It is easier for me as I know how to read chinese. thank you so much! kamsahamnida. ^^

  • http://www.nerdgirls.com/member/747090/ Betsey

    Your weblog seems to be having some compatibilty problems
    in my firefox browser. The content seems to be running off the webpage pretty bad.
    If you would like you can email me at: [email protected]
    de and I will shoot you over a screen grab of the problem.

  • Claira

    안녕하세요! please check these sentences :)

    왜 불안한 것 같아요? 다 괞찮아요? (Why do you seem so anxious? Is everything alright?)

    저는 여기에 불편해요. 우리 빠르갈 수 있어요? (I feel uncomfortable here. Can we quickly go now?)

    이거 불완전해요. 다시 한본 하세요. (This is incomplete. Please do it again.)

    야, 너 왜 불만 많이 있어요? (Yah, why do you have so many complains?)

    감사합니다! :)

  • JUN

    경은 선생님은 완전 예뻐요.
    그리고 현우 선생님도 완전 멋있어요.
    저도 불만도 없어요.
    걱정하지 마세요. ㅋㅋ

  • Timothy Lim

    Thank you for this website that helped me learned a lot. By the way ,any lesson teach about when to put spacing in 한글?

  • 야나

    참 재미있었어요^^

  • Francesco Colléter

    요즘에 처는 어머니 안데 마니 불만 있어요 남덩생이 대문에. 장난감이 놀에에요 만, 처는 피아노가 연주아되요.
    These days i complain a lot to our mother of my little brother. He only plays with toys while I have to play the piano (in order to learn how to play).

  • John R

    이 숙제가 무척 부정확이에요. This homework is full of mistakes.



    • KyungHwa Sun

      Correction :
      부정확이에요 –> 부정확해요

      However, if you say 이 숙제는 틀린 곳이 너무 많아요, it will be more natural. =)

    • John R

      Thank you. Sorry for the long time to reply.

  • 소피

    이 그림 불완전이에요.

  • César Duarte

    한국어 책은 불완전이에요.

  • Matt

    행동 너무 부적절해. = Your behaviour is very inappropriate.
    저는 부주의했어요. 죄송합니다. = I was careless. I am sorry.
    여자친구의 부모님을 만나는 것을 불안 했어요. = It was uncomfortable meeting my girlfriend’s parents.

    감사합니다 for the lesson!

  • Peter

    불편하면 안 해도 돼요. You don’t have to do it if you’re not comfortable.