Foundational Korean: Grammar Basics Course Glossary

Saturday, 25 May 2024, 5:19 PM
Site: Survival Korean: Language and Culture Online
Course: Grammar Basics (FKG)
Glossary: Foundational Korean: Grammar Basics Course Glossary

Dialects (방언)

(Last edited: Monday, 1 August 2022, 6:13 PM)


Dialect is the term for a sociopolitical definition of a language, more so than an actual linguistic one. Dialects are the languages spoken by the people who lack socioeconomic and political power in a society despite otherwise fitting the definition of a language.

Direct Object (목적어)

(Last edited: Thursday, 7 July 2022, 10:35 AM)
Direct Object


A direct object is a noun (or object phrase) that receives the action of the verb. For example, I eat kimchi. Kimchi is being acted upon by the verb eat whereas I, the subject, is doing the action.


Function Words

(Last edited: Thursday, 7 July 2022, 10:36 AM)


Function words are words that exist to explain or create grammatical or structural relationships into which the content words may fit.


Grammar (문법)

(Last edited: Thursday, 7 July 2022, 10:37 AM)


In linguistics, the grammar of a natural language is its set of structural constraints on speakers' or writers' composition of clauses, phrases, and words.


Honorifics (존댓말)

(Last edited: Thursday, 7 July 2022, 10:41 AM)
Honorifics (존댓말)


존댓말 is a term referring to honorific speech in Korean. There are multiple levels of honor (as well as "humble") speech that involves the use of certain pronouns, terms, and verbal morphology that express very specific levels of honor onto others as well as humility on the part of the speaker. If it sounds complicated, it sure can be, but the vast majority of speech is carried out in only a few common speech registers/forms.


Indirect Object (간접 목적어)

(Last edited: Thursday, 7 July 2022, 10:44 AM)
Indirect Object


In grammar, an indirect object is the word or phrase that receives the direct object. For example, I gave kimchi to my friend. "My friend" is the indirect object since they are the recipient (to be very precise, they have a theta role of "goal") of the kimchi, but not being acted upon by the verb "give".


(Last edited: Thursday, 7 July 2022, 10:47 AM)


An infix is an affix inserted inside a word stem (an existing word or the core of a family of words). The only example of this in English is actualy an intensifier (often conflated with a certain curse word) - for example prefix, infix, root, suffix: un-f*******-believe-able

Inflectional Morphology

(Last edited: Thursday, 7 July 2022, 10:51 AM)


Inflectional morphemes (also called simply “inflections”) are suffixes that are applied to words to denote a grammatical meaning. For example, 김치가 is a subject whereas 김치는 is a topic and 김치를 is a direct object. The inflections have changed something about the grammatical meaning of the word. In these cases, it has change the role of word in the subject.


Language (언어)

(Last edited: Thursday, 7 July 2022, 11:07 AM)


A language is a structured system of communication. The definition of where one language ends where another begins can be tricky; dialects and languages are considered to be variations of one another with the language being the system of communication of the powerful and elites of a society. Other systems of communication like Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese are considered to be be separate languages despite have high degrees of mutual intelligibility. 

Loan Words

(Last edited: Friday, 8 July 2022, 11:04 AM)
Loan Words


These are words that Korean has "borrowed" from other languages. Technically speaking, Sino Korean words are actually loan words but due to huge amount of words that are borrowed, how long they have been in the language, they have their own special designation. More common loan words that we think of are things like 피자, 치킨 and so on. Many are even used as Konglish portmanteaus like 핸드폰.