Most Common Spelling Mistakes People Make in Korean Orthography

There are hundreds and thousands of words that are most commonly misspelled in Korean orthography, a.k.a. “words you need to stop misspelling”. Spelling check is a cardinal step to communicate with others and to deliver its right meanings! Whether it is for blogs, resumé or submissions to college, it is a fundamental thing that everyone should be doing it right for anything at any time.

Foreigners who learn Korean language, Hangul, always say that Korean has a very difficult grammar and its orthography being even worse. That can be true in some cases, but once you get to know the proper orthography, it will be much easier for you to write Korean with proper spellings! Here are some words that are frequently misspelled in Korean language. Here are some words that are most commonly misspelled in Korean language.


1) 어떻하지? vs 어떡하지?

A lot of people tend to use ‘어하지’ in this case, however the right answer for this question is [어하지].

* ( [어하지] means the samething as 어떻게 해, which basically means “what if” )

You use this word in the context to ask someone what should I do if this happens or how do I manage to do this .

  • 그런데 내가 또 지면 하지? – But what if I lose again?
  • 해요? – What am I going to do?
  • 만일 그녀가 초콜릿을 싫어하면 어떡하지? – What if she doesn’t like chocolates?


2) 왠지? vs 웬지?

This is also one of the most commonly misspelled words in Korean as well. However, [지] is the right answer in this case!

* ( [지] means the same thing as 왜 그런지 모르게, which really means “without knowing why or somehow” )

So you use [지] if you want to express why you don’t know if something happened. On the other hand, 지 really menas what happened to this, so the sentence would totally have a different meaning if you use the wrong one!

  • 오늘은 왠지 식욕이 없네. – My appetite is off for some reason.
  • 그렇지만 나는 왠지 그가 전혀 믿기지 않았습니다. – But somehow, I don’t quite believe him.
  • 나도 왠지 모르겠는데, 너 요새 변한 것 같아. – Now all of a sudden, I don’t know but you seem different.


3) 왔데요? vs 왔대요?

This can be tricky, but GOOD NEWS! Both of these words are correct if they are used right!

[~] is used when someone else tells you about their own experience with something, and you use [~] when you are informing or passing on about something you’ve heard from someone else to the third person.

  • 배가 고프데요 – The person who is talking at the moment was hungry in the past
  • 배가 고프대요 – Someone else (third person) is hungry


4) 낳다? vs 낫다?

These words are both right depending on their uses as well. :-)

Firstly, [다] means to produce, to give birth, to engender or to achieve something. On the other hand, [다] means to recuperate, to revive, and that something is better than another.

  • 그녀가 아이를 낳았다. – She gave a birth to a child.
  • 좋은 계획은 좋은 결과를 낳는다. – Good plans lead to Good results.
  • 한번 보는 것이 천마디의 말보다 낫다. – A picture is worth a thousands words.
  • 감기가 낫기 까지 상당한 시간이 걸렸어요. – It took me a long time to get over my cold.
  • 우리는 집에 가서 감기가 나을 수 (= 낫다) 있도록 쉴 것이다. – We’re going to go home and nurse our colds.


More misspelled Korean words

Incorrectly spelled words are coloured in red, and the words that are spelled correctly are coloured in blue.






몇일/ 몇 일 며칠

금새 금세



어의없다 어이없다




Categories: 2015

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