One of those days when I feel like I suck in Korean. Back to the basics. If I ask you to name the various meanings / uses of the basic verb 하다, how many can you actually name? Or how many do you actually know?
We usually learn that the verb means ‘to do’, and we are familiar with uses such as 공부하다, 숙제를 하다 etc. But what about things like 그녀는 목걸이를 하고 출근했다? Did she ‘do the necklace’ or is there some other meaning at work?
A simple search on k-Naver dic turns up the following meanings:
1. To carry out an action
예) 공부를 하다
2. To prepare / make something to eat or wear
예) 옷을 한 벌을 했다 – to prepare a set of clothes
3. To show an expression or emotion
예) 어두운 얼굴을 하다
4. To eat / drink something or smoke
예) 커피 하실래요? – would you want a cup of coffee?
5. To put on some kind of jewellery
예) 묵걸이를 하다
The list goes on. The English Naver dictionary comes up with TWENTY meanings for 하다. Please refer to it.
To the beginner, it may seem really impossible to learn all the meanings at one go and you will probably like OMG why so many meanings?!! How to differentiate??? and get freaked out. Don’t worry, you are not expected to know everything at one go. I’ve (thankfully) never came across any textbook that explains them all at one go. And in fact, I’ve learnt some of its meanings through exposure to Korean and reading, instead of a formal textbook. It’s nice to revisit the list at this point, but for beginners, do not freak out at the list.
For now, just treat the verb has ‘to do’ and then learn the additional meanings and nuances as you come across the verb in other uses.
This goes for other words that you might come across. Many of the words have multiple meanings and nuances. Do not feel obliged to learn all the meanings at one go. Instead, concentrate on the meanings that is applicable to the sentence / context that you see the word/verb being used in. In that way, you won’t get too overwhelmed ^^
hehe that being said, did you learn a new use of 하다 today? ^^