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Korean Imitating Words BAM 쾅! GRRRR 으르렁! And many more

KOREAN IMITATING WORDS

CONTINUED FROM Complete Beginner Lesson – GRAMMAR : ADVERBS CONJUGATION RULES ~게 / ~히 / ~이 / ~히 / ~적으로 / ESSENTIAL KOREAN ADVERBS / ADVERB MARKERS

In Korean, there are words that imitate movements and shapes (의태어) and sounds (의성어), to make a sentence sound more realistic! Below are some of the examples. They are similar in concept, and often used interchangeably (because when an action makes a sound, is it about the action or the sound?) No need to split hairs!

쾅! 휙! 으르렁! 쿨쿨… 컹컹! 쪽! 철퍽! 어쩌고 저쩌고 통! 통!

As the name suggests, imitating words describe a movement (action), shape, and sounds, so they come before a predicate (verb or adjective)! Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Play the audio clip for pronunciation.

imitating word + 하고

대포가 펑! 하고 발사했어요.
A canon went boom” and launched.

imitating word by itself

박수를 짝짝짝 쳤어요.
(I) clapped hands, clap clap clap!

물을 꿀꺽꿀꺽 하고 마셔요.
(He) goes gulp-gulp” and drinks water.

라면을 후루룩 먹어요.
(They) eat ramen slurp-slurp.

Notice how they are used in different ways? The left examples 펑! and 꿀꺽꿀꺽 are followed by 하고, which could be translated as “goes/went” (not literally “to go somewhere”).

Conversely, the right examples are used by themselves, without 하고. They are both correct and can be used interchangeably!

So the above examples, you could have just said 대포가 펑! 발사했어요, without using 하고, to mean “A canon launched, boom!” and 물을 꿀꺽꿀꺽 마셔요, or, the other way around by adding 하고. Easy, right?

KOREAN IMITATING WORDS
(SAMPLE) PRACTICE QUIZ

Pick the most appropriate imitating word to fill in the blanks.

농구공이 ________ 튀었어요. A basketball bounced _______. = 농구공이 ________ 하고 튀었어요. A basketball went _______ and bounced.

Remember – there are two ways to use an imitating word.

제트기가 ________ 하고 사라졌어요. A jet went _______ and disappeared. = 제트기가 ________ 사라졌어요. A jet disappeared. ______!

_____! 폭탄이 터졌어요! A bomb exploded. _____! = ______! 하고 폭탄이 터졌어요! A bomb went _____ and exploded.

ANSWER: 통!통! / 휙! / 쾅!

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