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Words for Family Members in Korean

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Learning a new language often starts with the most fundamental and intimate vocabulary: family. In Korean culture, family is at the heart of social life, and knowing how to address family members is essential. Here’s a guide to the most common words for family members in Korean, complete with definitions and example sentences.

가족 (Gajok) – This word means “family” in a general sense. It encompasses the entire family unit, including immediate and extended members.
우리 가족은 매년 해변으로 여행을 갑니다. (Our family goes on a trip to the beach every year.)

부모님 (Bumonim) – This is a respectful term for “parents.” It is a combination of “father” and “mother” with an honorific suffix.
부모님은 항상 저를 응원해 주셨어요. (My parents have always supported me.)

어머니 (Eomeoni) – This word means “mother” and is more formal and respectful than “엄마 (eomma).”
어머니께서는 제가 항상 건강하기를 바라세요. (My mother always wishes for me to be healthy.)

아버지 (Abeoji) – This is a formal and respectful term for “father,” similar in formality to “어머니 (eomeoni).”
아버지와 낚시를 갈 계획을 세우고 있어요. (I’m planning to go fishing with my father.)

형 (Hyeong) – Older brother (when you are male). It’s a term used by males to refer to their older brothers.
형은 제가 항상 존경하는 사람입니다. (My older brother is someone I always respect.)

누나 (Nuna) – Older sister (when you are male). This term is used by males to address their older sisters.
누나와 저는 주말마다 영화를 봅니다. (My older sister and I watch movies every weekend.)

오빠 (Oppa) – Older brother (when you are female). A term used by females to address their older brothers.
오빠가 제 생일 선물로 책을 샀어요. (My older brother bought a book for my birthday gift.)

언니 (Eonni) – Older sister (when you are female). Used by females to refer to their older sisters.
언니는 저보다 두 살 많아요. (My older sister is two years older than me.)

동생 (Dongsaeng) – This term means “younger sibling” and is gender-neutral. It can refer to both a younger brother or sister.
동생과 같이 게임을 하는 걸 좋아해요. (I like playing games with my younger sibling.)

아들 (Adeul) – This word means “son,” and it’s used when referring to one’s own or someone else’s son.
우리 아들은 이제 고등학교에 갑니다. (Our son is now going to high school.)

딸 (Ddal) – This term refers to a “daughter.” It is equivalent to “아들 (adeul)” but for a female child.
딸은 요즘 피아노 연주에 푹 빠져 있어요. (My daughter is really into playing the piano these days.)

할아버지 (Harabeoji) – This is the respectful term for “grandfather.”
할아버지께서는 젊었을 때 농부셨어요. (My grandfather was a farmer when he was young.)

할머니 (Halmeoni) – This term is used for “grandmother” and carries a sense of respect and fondness.
할머니는 맛있는 김치를 만드시는데 유명하세요. (My grandmother is famous for making delicious kimchi.)

Korean family terms are not only indicative of the familial relationship but also reflect the importance of hierarchy and respect in Korean culture. When you learn these words, you’re not only expanding your vocabulary but also gaining insight into the values that shape Korean society. Happy learning!

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