Our weekly Korean lesson feature is back where each week we’ll be bringing you a new useful Korean word – and perhaps occasional phrase – to learn, if you haven’t already that is. Last week we looked at how to introduce yourself here, but as for this week we’ll be finding out how to talk about the weather with these handy phrases.

We’re getting closer to Spring every day but it’s still pretty cold outside in the UK! The verb ‘춥다’ (chub-da) means ‘to be cold’ when talking about weather. You can simply say, “춥다!” if you’re cold or if you’re outside and it’s a cold day.

If you want to conjugate this verb to the simple present tense, it becomes ‘추워요‘ (chu-wo-yo). If you want to say something a little more complex you can say, “오늘은 날씨가 추워요,” (o-neul-eun nal-shi-ga chu-wo-yo) which means ‘Today the weather is cold’, but as with English, we probably don’t say such a long sentence every time we want to say the weather is a little nippy.

(오늘)(은) (날씨)(가) (추워)(요)

오늘 (o-neul) = ‘today’

(eun) = this marks the subject of the sentence. It is a subject marking particle, i.e. the sentence is talking specifically about ‘today’.

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날씨 (nal-shi) = ‘weather’

(ga) = this marks the topic of the sentence. It is a topic marking particle, i.e. the weather is the thing that is cold.

추워 (chu-wo) = This is the informal present tense conjugation of ‘to be cold’. You can say ‘추워’ to your friends and anyone you speak informally to.

(yo) = This indicates that you are using the polite form.

If you wanted to show your surprise at the cold weather, for instance if you walked outside and didn’t expect it to be quite so chilly, you can say, “춥네요,” (chub-ne-yo). This still means exactly the same thing but the ‘‘ (ne) part indicates your surprise. Again, simply remove the ‘‘ ending if you want to speak informally or to yourself.

To recap:

Person A: 오늘은 추워 // It’s cold today.

Person B: 응, 춥네 // Yeah, it is cold today (I didn’t think it would be).

Be careful; when you want to say a ‘thing’ is cold, you must use the verb ‘차갑다’ (cha-gab-da)!


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