[Ask Hyojin] Difference between 빨간 and 붉은

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The two words 빨간 and 붉은 (both in the adjective form) are interchangeable in many contexts. The basic difference between the two words is that 붉은 is used for something that is always red by nature, and 빨간 is used for something that is more specific and individual.

For example, your lips are always red, so it’s more natural to say that they are 붉은 입술. But if you make them even more red by putting on lip stick, you can say that they become 빨간. And for objects like pens or notebooks, they can be in any color but if they are red, that is more often called 빩간 than 붉은.

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  • Joanne

    감사합니다 for your explanation ^_^

  • Kyoung Kim

    붉은 refers to more subtle red. 빨간 is often used for obvious red.
    붉은 is also more alluring and imaginative than 빨간. When describing an attractive actress, one would say her 붉은 lips are captivating. 빨간 compared to 붉은 is more superficial.

  • zanmin

    what the differnce between this 은색 and 회색 also what the diffentence in saying oppa or hyeongje same goes with noona and jamae

  • zanmin

    what the diffenerent meaning of this 은색 and 회색 also what the diffenence in saying oppa or hyeongje same goes with noona and jamae