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The Importance of 띄어쓰기(spacing)

I’m sure you are all aware that 띄어쓰기(spacing) in Korean is just as important as in any other language (with the exception of Japanese and Chinese where spacing isn’t necessary). I’d like to introduce some of the most commonly mentioned examples of the confusion that spacing errors can bring about. ^_^

The first one.

Let’s say you want to write,
“My father is going into the room.”

door00.jpgindexanimatedmanwalkingicon.gif

- father = 아버지
- room = 방
- to go into = 들어가시다 (honorific)

So this becomes

아버지가 방에 들어가십니다.

But

if you change the spacing a little bit and write,

it becomes

“아버지 가방에 들어가십니다.”

(My father is going into the bag.)

briefcase.jpgindexanimatedmanwalkingicon.gif

Haha.

And here’s another interesting example :)

Let’s say you want to say “I bought a tree tonight.”

- tree = 나무

- buy (and come) = 사오다

- tonight = 오늘밤

So this is correctly written in Korean as ”

오늘밤 나무 사왔어.

But if you make a mistake in spacing and write

오늘밤 나 무 사왔어.

It means “I bought some radish tonight.

whiteradish1.jpg

And if you write

오늘 밤나무 사왔어.

It means “I bought a chestnut tree.

These are only some very common examples, and I believe you will experience a lot of spacing-related funny mistakes as you keep studying Korean. :) But no matter how many mistakes you make and no matter how many times you get corrected on spacing, don’t despair :) 띄어쓰기 is often a headache for Korean people too :) And if you want to get some instant help from an automated robot on the internet, you can go to the Naver LAB page here. http://s.lab.naver.com/autospacing/

Thanks for reading!

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