Level 8 Korean Grammar

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1

Advanced Idiomatic Expressions / 눈 (eye) – Part 1

2

Advanced Idiomatic Expressions / 눈 (eye) – Part 2

3

Right after + V-ing / -기가 무섭게, -기가 바쁘게

4

N + that (someone) used to + V / -던

5

Advanced Situational Expressions: Refusing in Korean

6

It means … / -(ㄴ/는)다는 뜻이에요

7

Word Builder 15 / 점 (點)

8

I hope …, I wish … / -(으)면 좋겠어요

9

Past Tense (Various Types) / 과거시제 총정리

10

Advanced Idiomatic Expressions – 귀 (ear)

11

Sentence Building Drill 12

12

Present Tense (Various Types) / 현재시제 총정리

13

Word Builder 16 / 주 (主)

14

Advanced Situational Expressions: Agreeing

15

Future Tense (Various Types) / 미래시제 총정리

16

Advanced Idiomatic Expressions – 가슴 (chest, heart, breast)

17

If only it’s not … / -만 아니면

18

In the same way that …, just like someone did … / -(으)ㄴ 대로

19

Even if I would have to, even if that means I have to / -는 한이 있더라도

20

Sentence Building Drill 13

21

Advanced Idiomatic Expressions – 머리 (head, hair)

22

Word Builder 17 / 상 (上)

23

Advanced Situational Expressions: Making Suggestions in Korean

24

It is just that …, I only … / -(으)ㄹ 따름이다

25

Advanced Situational Expressions: Defending in Korean

26

Advanced Idiomatic Expressions – 몸 (body)

27

Advanced Situational Expressions: Complimenting in Korean

28

despite, in spite of / -에도 불구하고

29

Advanced Situational Expressions: When You Feel Happy

30

Sentence Building Drill 14

Advanced Idiomatic Expressions – 귀 (ear)

In this lesson, we will be talking about the use of the word 귀 (ear) in Korean idioms. If you study with this series, you will learn many idiomatic expressions that are based upon a certain Korean word and used in everyday Korean conversation. In order to fully understand and use the expressions introduced in this series, it is essential that you understand the grammatical structure of the sentence and check out any previous related TTMIK lessons so you can grasp the full meaning of these idioms.

This is an Advanced Idiomatic Expressions lesson related to 귀, the ears! In order to fully understand and use the expressions introduced in this series, it is essential that you understand the grammatical structure of the sentences. When you come across a grammar point that you are unfamiliar with, please go back and review the related lessons. 


Keyword:

귀 = ear


1. 귀가 밝다 = to have good ears 

(밝다 = to be bright) 

→ Just as with the expression 눈이 밝다, the literal translation of 밝다 is “to be bright”, but the actual meaning of 귀가 밝다 is that you have good ears. “To hear well” or “can hear well” translates to 잘 들을 수 있다 or 잘 들리다 in Korean, but in many cases, it is more natural to say that your 귀 is 밝다.  This refers to your hearing capabilities, not whether you can actually hear a particular sound a certain situation. In the case of the latter, if you want to say “I can’t hear it clearly (due to other noise or small sound)” in Korean, you can say “잘 안 들려요”.


Ex) 젊었을 때는 저도 귀가 밝았는데, 지금은 작은 소리는 잘 안 들려요. 

(= I also used to have good ears when I was young, but I can’t hear small sounds now.) 


2. 귀를 기울이다 = to pay attention to a sound or to what someone says 

(기울이다 = to make something lean/tilt) 

→ When you want to pay attention to a certain sound, you naturally want to get your ears closer to the source of the sound. Even though you are “leaning” your whole body closer to the sound, in Korean you say that you lean ear toward something. “귀를 기울이다” can mean both “trying to hear something well” and “paying attention to what someone says”. 


Ex) 아이들이 선생님이 해 주는 이야기를 귀를 기울여서 듣고 있었어요.

(= The children were listening to the story their teacher was telling them with full attention.)


3. 귀에 대고 속삭이다 = to whisper into someone’s ears

(대다 = to put something close to something else, 속삭이다 = to whisper)

→ You could just say 귀에 속삭이다 to mean “to whisper into someone’s ears”, but by adding 대고, you’re describing the action of getting closer to someone before whispering.  The dictionary form of 대고 is 대다, which literally means to put something close to something else, and in this expression, it means that the mouth is put close to the ear before whispering. 


Ex) 귀에 대고 속삭이지 말고 크게 말해요.

(= Don’t whisper to each other secretly. Speak loudly (to everyone).)


4. 귀 먹다 = to be deaf, to be not able to hear

(먹다 = to eat)

→ When someone can’t hear something well, you can use the expression 귀 먹다 or 귀가 먹다. Originally, the word 먹다 translates to “to eat”, but not in this case. 귀(가) 먹다 can be used toward someone who can’t hear due to old age, but you can also hear people say “귀 먹었어(요)?” to someone who can’t seem to understand or doesn’t care about what they hear, even though they can hear. 


Ex) 저 귀 안 먹었어요. 조용히 말해요.

(= I’m not deaf. Speak quietly.)


5. 귀가 간지럽다 = to feel like someone is talking behind one’s back

(간지럽다 = to feel itchy)


There is no way to spy on everyone and know when people are talking about you, but you can use the expression “귀가 간지럽다" when you want to refer to the fact that people talk about you when you are not around. It’s usually used in the past tense after you’ve discovered that people talked about you in your absence. 


Ex) 어쩐지 오늘 귀가 간지러웠어요.

(= No wonder my ears were itchy today. = I see that you’ve talked about me.)


6. 귀가 얇다 = to be easily influenced by what others say

(얇다 = to be thin)

→ If your ears are thin, it will be easy for words to penetrate and go into your brain. 귀가 얇다 is a figurative way of saying that someone is easily influenced by what he or she hears. 


Ex) 그 사람은 귀가 얇아서 설득하기 쉬워요.

(= He is easily influenced by what people say so he’s easy to persuade.)


7. 귀에 못이 박히도록 (듣다) = to have heard something too much already

(못 = callus, 박히다 = to be embedded, to be stuck, -도록 = to the extent of...) 

→ 못 usually means “cannot” or “nail”, but in this case, it refers to “callus”, or the harden skin on your hand due to heavy usage. When you hear something over and over again, your ear will (figuratively) develop hardened skin because of that.  Therefore, when you say “귀에 못이 박히도록 (듣다)”, it means that you’ve (heard) something over and over again, so much so that it makes you sick or upset. 


Ex) 그 얘기는 귀에 못이 박히도록 들었어요.

(= I’ve heard that story so much. I don’t need to hear it again.)

In this lesson, we will be talking about the use of the word 귀 (ear) in Korean idioms. If you study with this series, you will learn many idiomatic expressions that are based upon a certain Korean word and used in everyday Korean conversation. In order to fully understand and use the expressions introduced in this series, it is essential that you understand the grammatical structure of the sentence and check out any previous related TTMIK lessons so you can grasp the full meaning of these idioms.
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