Korean Lessons: How Many Ways Can We Use ‘Go’ and ‘Come’?

By writing this post — by examining the Korean words below more closely — I’ve gained a greater understanding of my difficulty reading English subtitles in Korean TV dramas. English subtitles seem to be so long, while actors seem to be saying so little. They appear to use far fewer syllables to express themselves. Another reason for the shorter discourse may be that much of what they say is based on context, so they don’t need to say certain words like English speakers have to. This shortens the Korean sentence and makes the English translation seem quite lengthy.

Of course this theory is based on my limited experience of Korean, but when I watched Secret Garden yesterday on mysoju.com, I had to keep pressing pause to stay with the dialogue. The actors seemed to say one sentence, but the subtitles were written in three! It’s it very hard to keep up with a lengthy written dialogue when scenes switch over following the actors’ speedy verbal pace.

Below are words I had fun playing with today. It’s especially the last four words that brought about the above written reflection. Please feel free to correct, or question me if you notice anything wrong or confusing. This is very much an experiment in my language learning.

가다 (To go); 오다 (To come)

Notice how the ending of each colored word (verb) end with either of these two verbs.


to go back or to die. this form of dying is much more polite than the one you might hear students talk about, 죽다; to come back


to take; to bring

Bus 타고가다/고오다

to take the bus to go; to take the bus to come

Jacket 입고가다/고오다

to put on the jacket to go; to put on the jacket to come

Tuque 쓰고가다/고오다

to put on the tuque to go; to put on the tuque to come

Sneakers 신고가다/고오다

to put on the sneakers to go; to put on the sneakers to come

Related articles

Why Is This Word Stuck in My Head!?

법정하다 (beop-jeong-ha-da)

– to provide (something) by law.

Who knows where I picked this one up. It’s amazing to notice what vocabulary sticks. Yesterday I couldn’t even remember how I should address my sister-in-law, but I remember the verb for making something lawful? Linguistics is truly a mystery.

Hmmm…curious how ‘law’ is involved in both the English versions of the words I was playing with. Just noticed that, and I like it.

Sorry 아가씨 agassi! (miss/madmoiselle)

Twilight Dragonflies

After years of trying to capture the ethereal beauty of dragonflies in flight, I believe I finally caught it this evening. I hope this video brings you much calm and peace.


Tiny Flower Dancing in the Sun

When I came upon this lone bright pink flower, sprouted from the muted gray matter of the earth, I was immediately inspired to take a photo, but I kept having a hard time capturing the beauty that I saw. That is when I realized that not only was I inspired by the flower, but that I was also mesmerized by the sun’s visual cadence.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Colorful Korea!

I had such a great time going through my old photos to find something suitable for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge,  under the theme, Colorful. An inspiring idea by the fantastic WordPress people. Now they have hundreds of bloggers smiling and laughing, but most importantly noticing the kaleidoscope of beauty that makes up their lives. Thank you WordPress!

Buddha’s Birthday Lanterns


My niece and I in our hanboks for Lunar New Year

Korean dumplings (mandu 만두)

Posting once a week!

I’ve been having a lot of fun with this blog since summer vacation started, and I’d like to keep myself motivated to continue posting as often as possible. By writing this post, I’m committing to posting at least once a week, but I’d really like to try for each day. What I’m really interested in is participating in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.



Three Red Cars in a Row? Whoa!

Considering the video a made for my post, One of These Just Ain’t Like the Others, I was pretty shocked when I stepped out of my car tonight and noticed I had parked among some comrades.

Bong-soong-ah (봉숭아) Korean Nail Dye

To decorate their nails, Korean women used to crush up petals and leaves from the bong-soong-ah (봉숭아) flower (or bong-seon-hwa (봉 선 화), create a paste with water, apply it and then wrap their nails with a protective cover. In the recent past, they tied each nail with plastic wrap to keep the paste from staining everything as the slept through the night. This is how long it took for the color to come out. Now we can buy a pre-crushed powder that dries onto the nail in 30 minutes. Ahhh, progress.

In this video, my mother-in-law applies my first ever coating of bong-soong-ah.

The Camera-Shy Little Blue Beetle

As I walked among our pumpkin patch yesterday, a glimmer of blue flickering in the sunlight caught my attention. Unbeknownst to this little blue beetle, he would be the perfect model for today’s post. But unbeknownst to me, he would be the one in charge of the photo shoot. He was having none of my paparazzi-like behavior.