Level 4 Lesson 18 / most, best (superlative) / 최상급, 최고

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In today’s TalkToMeInKorean lesson, we look at how to say “the most + adjective” (using superlatives) in Korean. The basic words you need to know are 가장 and 제일. Find out how they can be used in natural context by listening to the lesson!

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. And after you learn the basics, try writing your own Korean sentences and get corrections from native speakers through HaruKorean, our 1:1 correction service.

  • http://facebook.com/trickymitchell 지아나

    불고기 제일 좋아요. Bulgogi is the best!

    파란색 빨간색보다 제일 좋아요. Blue is better than red.

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      불고기 제일 좋아요. > 불고기가 제일 좋아요.

      파란색 빨간색보다 제일 좋아요. > 파란색이 빨간색보다 더 좋아요.

  • Sherlyn

    안녕하세요~ i am glad that i found ttmik! And i am finally in level four~! It is exactly one month since the last comment! And i have to say that 선생님가 제이 좋아요! ttmik자주 들어요. 정말 감사합니다!

  • starsail

    Thanks for all the lessons, I’ve learned a lot!

    I still don’t quite understand the usage of 최상급 and 최고, though. And I hear those all the time. Are these just slang, a different way of saying 제일 and 가장? Am I missing something?

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      I think you will understand the lesson a lot if you check the pdf file.

      제일 and 가장 is not slang.

      제일 and 가장 are almost the same thing and they can be used interchangeably. 제일 is a sino-Korean word while 가장 is a native Korean word.

  • starsail

    Thanks for explaining 제일 and 가장 but I don’t understand how or if 최상급 and 최고 are used in the same way. They’re listed in the title but don’t seem to come up in the recording or PDF.


    • Greg

      No, you can’t use it exactly in same way. 제일 가장 are adverbs, and 최고 최상 are nouns. So usages are different.
      For example that sentence: 어떤 색깔이 가장 좋아요? 가장 modifies 좋다 and with 최고 you would simply write 어떤 색깔이 최고예요? which color = best?

      and 요즘 가장 인기 있는 가수는 누구예요 = 요즘 최상 가수는 누구예요. 가장 modifies 있다, and 최상 가수 is just so called compound noun.

      Examples 2 and 4 in pdf I don’t see a way to say it with 최고 or 최상, because they both mean “best”, and you need “most”.
      Example 1 can be changed to 이게 최고예요 or 최상이에요.

      Another usage is to say best of something. 여기서 최고의 선생님들이 한국어를 가르쳐요 here the best of teachers are teaching Korean. Here 최고 is possessive (teachers of the best.. a bit opposite order from English).
      or 최고의 최고 선생님들 best of the best teachers. Here it’s again compound noun.
      or 제가 최상의 노력을 해도 잘 안 되었어요. though I did the best of my effort, it didn’t turn out well. Again it’s effort of the best literally, and can write without 의 as compound.

    • starsail

      Thanks Greg! I was really stuck on that because I hear the 최고 so often but I only see the others in written form. Appreciate the explanation! And thanks TTMIK of course for the great lessons^^

  • Cynyee

    thank you for relating 재일 with “jail”.
    now I can remember this term!

  • Andi

    요즘 가장 인기 있는 가수는 싸이예요.

  • britta sheldon

    thank you for the lesson…but, the wrong PDF is showing for this lesson (its the one for level 1 lesson 12). thanks again!

  • jennyB

    Hi. I just saw you change the pdf files and now this lesson appears like level 1 lesson 12. Can you guys change it, please?.

    Thank you :D

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      Hi JennyB,
      I think that there is no problem. This lesson doesn’t look like Level 1 lesson 12.
      Thanks for your comment. :)

  • Della

    저는 PSY를 한국에 가장 인기 것 같아요.

  • Claira

    안녕하세요! :) please correct my sentences.

    이 콘섯트가 제일 좋은 콘섯트 이에요. (This concert is the best concert.)

    이 식당에 제일 맛있는 김밥 있어요. (This restaurant has the most delicious kimbap.)

    가장 좋은 친구를 있어요? (Do you have a best friend?)

    제가 한국 음식 가장 좋아하는 비빔빕 이에요. (My favourite Korean food is Bibimbap.)

    제린이 제일 먼저 말하는 사람 이에요. (Chae-rin is the first person I told.)

    이것 서울에 제일 비싼 호텔 이에요. (This is the most expensive hotel in Seoul.)

    감사합니다! :)

    • http://twitter.com/jinseokjin jinseokjin

      콘섯트 > 콘서트

      가장 좋은 친구를 있어요? > 가장 좋은 친구가 있어요? Well, I will rather say like “정말 친한 친구가 있어요?”.

      비빔빕 이에요 > 비빔밥이에요

      제린이 제일 먼저 말하는 사람 이에요 > 제린이 제가 제일 먼저 얘기한 사람이에요.

      이것 > 이곳이

  • http://www.facebook.com/babaaaac/ Dace

    안녕하세요! 레슨들을 주셔서 감사합니다!

    너는 제일 사랑하는 사람 누구야? – Who is the person you love the most?
    제일 자주 읽은 잡지를 뭐예요? – Which is the magazine you read the most often?
    제일 맛있는 먹을 것 김밥이에요. – The most deicous food is sushi.

  • Kevin Han

    지난 주말에는 ‘너의 목소리가 들려’ 다 봤는데 이잰 이 드라마를 제일 좋아해요!!!!!!!!!!
    너무너무 사랑해요!

  • JUN

    제가 제일 좋아하는 색은 빨간색입니다.
    빨간색이 가장 좋아요.
    TTMIK의 웹 사이트는 가장 웹 사이트입니다. ㅎㅎ

  • Dolsanria

    이제는 2014년서, 요즘 제일 인기 있는 가수는 EXO 생각해요.
    It’s the year 2014 now so I think that EXO is the most popular group (singer) nowadays.

    (Please correct me if I’m wrong. 감사합니다!)

  • Whispurr

    제일 재미있는 거는 새 언어를 학습하는 거 예요.

    • Seokjin Jin


    • Whispurr

      감사합니다~ :-)

    • jannet guiao

      Why is that 새롭다 when followed by vowel becomes 새로운? 새로웠다? Is it also an exception in ㅂ 불규칙?

  • 나하린

    TTMIK 제일 좋아요~~^^
    감사합니다 …

  • Katherine Traylor

    Haha, I actually sort of learned about this ages ago and thought it couldn’t possibly be that easy! English speaker’s bias. : )

  • Francesco Colléter

    제일 첵을 찾할때 제일 서점을 가이요.
    When i’m looking for the best books, i go to the best library.

  • peony

    티티믹 제일 좋아요.^^

  • Eli Leserowitz

    Is there a separate lesson on 최고? this lesson only used 제일, but both words are in the lesson title.

    • Seokjin Jin

      I am sorry. We don’t have the seperate lesson on 최고. However I can correct it if you can write some sentences with 최고.

  • Predrag Bosnic

    TTMIK 제일 좋아요. ^.^