6 In Audio Blog 말하기 연습/ Korean learning journey (:/ Korean Lessons

Do you know your 띄어쓰기?

띄어쓰기 is something that plague (almost) every speaker of Korean – be it a Korean teacher or a foreign learner. I still remember how my Korean teacher at KU kept telling us that even they themselves are kinda horrible at it. It was pretty amusing when she write down some stuff on the board and the spacing was different from what was written in the textbook.

Actually, sometimes I think that 띄어쓰기 may be more difficult for the Korean than the foreign learner and it has got to do with how we learn it. Koreans tend to send text messages in one whole chunk (no spacing) and tends to also be more lax when it comes to colloquial writing / chatting.

On the other hand, the foreign learner is exposed to the ‘rigid textbook’ and this makes us obey the rules more strictly compared to the Koreans. Nevertheless, over the years I have problems with quite a few 띄어쓰기 rules.

I’m now reading a list of common mistakes of 띄어쓰기 and here’s a few to share!

만큼: seriously, this is mind boggling. I can never remember to write them with a spacing or not.

The rule – spacing after a verb/adjective, but NOT with nouns

갈 수 밖에 –> 갈 수밖에

두번 –> 두 번

재수없게 –> 제수 없게

필요없어 –> 필요 없어

한번도 –> 한 번도

한 번 쯤은 –> 한 번쯤은

절대로 안돼 –> 절대로 안 돼

and the list goes on.

Did you already know everything on this list? ㅎㅎ

Tada! An audio blog that I made ages ago and just uploaded!


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  • Reply
    4 February, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Actually, sometimes I think that 띄어쓰기 may be more difficult for the Korean than the foreign learner and it has got to do with how we learn it.

    Since beginning, I pay attention to 띄어쓰기 so whenever I practice making sentences, I want to make sure I put spaces in the right place. I google some phrases/sentences to learn how the spacing should be and the result sometimes is not helping since the sentences in the result are written with minimum usage of spaces. ㅋㅋ

    • Reply
      4 February, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      ㅎㅎㅎ i know what u mean! i tried googling sometimes too and i give up at seeing all the different answers

  • Reply
    5 February, 2012 at 1:35 PM


    i think i only got like 1/3 of that list right. 필요 없다, really?

    i’ve always used it as 필요없다, probably because i think of it as one word (unnecessary) rather than two (not necessary).

    • Reply
      5 February, 2012 at 11:56 PM

      it may be the ‘correct’ version, but people may in fact not use it xD

  • Reply
    6 February, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Whoa, I got almost every one on the list wrong! And I think my past Korean teachers (who were not trained teachers–they taught at a church affiliated Saturday Korean school–but who did at least go to uni in Korea before coming to the U.S.) would also get most of them wrong. Where did you find the spacing list? I really don’t see this topic covered much in Korean books for English speakers.

    Oh, OT, but can you recommend a source for learning idioms and fixed expressions? TTMIK does them occasionally and it’s piqued my interest. (I realize how few I know…) Thanks.

    • Reply
      7 February, 2012 at 8:03 PM

      mmm i have an idiom book but it is written in chinese! i havent really come across a good source for them yet, will look around and let u know!

      I found the spacing list in my book KBS한국어능력시험 완벽 준비서. haha it’s a ridiculously difficult book aimed at preparing KOREANS for their own ermm national proficiency exam.. supposedly if u want to erm enter broadcasting industry or something along the lines.

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