Level 4 Lesson 16 / Spacing in Korean / 띄어쓰기


So far we have looked at various grammar points in Korean, and now we feel that it is the right time to touch upon spacing rules in Korean. In English, different words are basically all written separately, but in Korean, there are some cases in which words are written without space between them. Listen in to find out about the basic spacing rules in Korean!

You can download both the PDF lesson notes and the MP3 audio track for this lesson below, and if you want to learn with our various textbooks and workbooks, you can get them on our online bookstore at MyKoreanStore.com. If you have any questions about this lesson, please leave us comments below!

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Go to the Grammar Curriculum page to see all of our grammar lessons.

Level 4 Lesson 16 / Spacing in Korean / 띄어쓰기
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  • Danika

    Kyeong Eun sounds SO cute agreeing and saying stuff 🙂 I did not know that it was called 띄어쓰기 I was like running writing O_o? and then i realized they were totally different words. gosh! thanks for the video ^^

    • Hello Danika!
      Glad you enjoyed the lesson 🙂

  • I’ve always always wondered about this.
    이제 이해할 수 있어요.
    감사합니다! 🙂

    • 안녕하세요, Sherman!
      재미있게 들어 주셔서 감사합니다:)

  • 선생님들께

    이 잘 설명 주셔서 감사합니다.
    내일은 금요일입니다.
    주말이 오고 있어요.
    멋진 시간을 보내세요.^.^

    • 안녕하세요, 준 🙂
      주말 잘 보내세요^^

  • quote: 조용히 걷다 = to walk quietly.

    what if 조용하게 걷다 = ?

    • Caddie

      I guess ” 조용히 걷다 ” and ” 조용하게 걷다 ” are same. ^0^ Not sure it’s right or not. ㅋㅋㅋ… 선생님들이 가르쳐주세요. ^_^

    • 네 Caddie 씨 감사합니다.
      하게 and 이/히 are NOT ALWAYS same^^

      according to vocabs..those are different.
      but.. here 조용히 and 조용하게 are exactly same^^

    • 소연 선생님, can u give more examples?

  • rigo

    very interesting topic
    i sometimes have difficulty telling words apart , not sure when a words starts or ends
    i find japanese a little easier just by looking at the combination of kanji and hiragana
    i guess that once you get to know a lot a words it becomes easier to figure it out

    • thanks for giving us yr opinion^^ how about think like this?
      Korean sentence have definite space which is called 띄어쓰기.
      That helps us to understand sentences effectively, I think.

  • Andy

    Woohoo! I started at Lesson 1.1 a couple months ago, and today I’ve finally caught up. Thanks to all of you at TTMiK. Korean is considered a really difficult language for an English speaker, but you guys explain things really well and I find it quite easy.

    • I’m glad you’ve finally caught up all these lessons. for just a month!
      and thanks for saying thank us 😀

  • wintergreen

    선생님들 안녕하세요!

    띄어쓰기는 어떻게 해야 하는지 자세하게 설명해 주셔서 감사합니다! ^^

    좋은 하루 되세요. ^_^

  • Caddie

    오늘 주제는 진짜 재미있어요! ^_^

    한국어로 띄어쓰기가 이렇게 중요하군요.^0^ 전 중국어도 알아요.중국어 문장에서 띄어쓰기는 없는데 쉽게 이해하는 것 같아요, 중국어를 알면. ㅋㅋㅋ경은 씨가 일본어도 배웠었어요? 저도 일본어를 관심있어요.일본어를 가르쳐주시는 웹사이트가 있는지 몰라요.ㅎㅎㅎ ^_^

    • 와- caddie씨의 한국어는 정말 어메이징!^^
      just one tiny correction!

      I’m intersted in sth. -에 관심있다.
      I’m interested in Japanese. 저는 일본어에 관심있어요.
      I’m also interested in Japanese. 저도 일본어에 관심있어요.^^
      I’m sure that you understand what I mean^^

    • Caddie

      Sonnie 씨가 문장을 고쳐주셔서 감사합니다. ^_^

      네,Sonnie 씨의 설명을 제가 잘 이해할 수 있어요. ㅎㅎㅎ ^_^

  • Samier

    안녕하세요 TTMIK

    So cool! I had to figure most of the spacing structure by observing sentences I saw on the internet ^^;; This lesson made it very clear 😀


    • Thank you for enjoying the lesson and I am pleased to know it helped you. 도움이 되었다니 기뻐요.

  • 여러문, 안녕하세요! Have been listening to all your lessons for quite a long time, this is my first comment, haha like finally.. 저는 영어로 ‘애드먼드’ 라고해요.. 그리고, 싱아퍼르에서 살고 대학생입니다.. 🙂

    레슨들은 가르쳐 주셔서 선생님들에게 정말 감사합니다! ㅎㅎ, hope my spacing was correct.. ^^

    • 싱아퍼르에서 살고 대학생입니다.. 🙂
      > 싱가포르에서 살고 있는 대학생입니다.

      레슨들은 가르쳐 주셔서 선생님들에게 정말 감사합니다!\
      >레슨들을 가르쳐 주셔서 (선생님들에게) 정말 감사합니다.

      Your spacing is really good. Good job!

  • 안 녕하 세요! (농담해요)

  • Adam

    Hi there! Your lessons are BRILLIANT, and I will never get tired of your podcasts or the information they bring! 🙂

    However, I do have a question regarding spacing. In my Korean language class, whenever the ‘to be’ verb is used (입니다, 예요, 였어요…), the book we use never has a space between the verb and the noun.

    A few examples:

    우리 친구예요.
    저기는 어디입니까?
    약속이 몇 시였어요?

    Is this correct? Because on your PDF you say that only the 하다 verb attaches to the noun. I hope you can help me!!! 🙂


  • 이 수업도 좋았는데 현우씨, 우리 외국인들이 영어를 보통 할 수 있으며 아이가 아니니까 그렇게 천천히 말을 안 해도 됄 것 같습니다 ^^ 우리 이해할 수 있을 것 같습니다. ㅋㅋ.

    이 수업도 만들어 주셔서 감사합니다~~

  • awesomeguy

    The guy sounds so handsome xD

    Anyways. That’s all I wanted to say, I’m just looking through all the courses quickly from level 1 – 6 to see about what level I can hope to achieve with this website 🙂 It looks promising so far!

  • i can guess this rule almost correctly
    but you make it more clearly

  • maya

    Hi!Thank you very much for your lesson!

    I have a question about spacing,can you help me?
    When we use suffixes as 사람 in 한국사람
    or 씨 & 님 after names, do we need the space or not?and why?

    Thank you

  • 안상현

    ㅋㅋㅋ. 재밋게 봤어요~ ㅎㅎ;;
    I currently live in Hawaii and I was born in Korea and moved here. I just came here to check it out. The girl’s voice is really cute lol..귀엽네 ㅎㅎ

  • Ben

    Why aren’t these lessons (from level 4 lesson 14 onward) on harukorean.com?

  • 준형

    선생님들 안녕하세요^^

    질문 있어요.
    “씨” must have space in between the name?
    for example: “석진 씨” 맞아요? 🙂

    • Perfect!

    • 푸인

      I’m abit confused, actually.

      If you google, there are 50-50 results saying 씨 must have space after the name, but some results are saying there is no need to have space for 씨 after the name.

      Please enlighten me >”<


  • Satoko

    I’m not sure but I guess the reason of no spacing in Japanese language is we use 3 kinds of letters, which is Chinese character(한자), two Japanese characters(Hiragana and Katakana).
    I can give you an example.
    母はハハハと笑った。 Haha wa hahaha to waratta. (My mother laughed “hahaha”. 언마는 하하하라고 웃으셨다.)
    When you write this sentense mixing 3 characters, then you’ll find it’s easy to distingish each word.
    But when you write it all in one of them, it’ll become
    ははははははとわらった。 Then you need spacing like はは は ははは と わらった。
    See? We always use 3 them all, so we don’t need to leave a space between words, I guess:)

  • Satoko

    oops, i found a lot of grammatical mistakes in my last comment, sorry:(

  • ikram Hamizi

    안녕하세요 ^o^ Can someone please tell me how to write ”Intelligent” in korean ? I heard it as Pujironhan but i couldn’t write it right !!

    • Some Korean Teacher

      The word you mention, “pujironhada,” means “industrious,” not “intelligent.” There are different words meaning “intelligent”: 머리가 좋다; 똑똑하다; etc. It sounds like a dictionary might be a better friend to you than the source that gave you the word for “industrious” instead of “intelligent.”

    • behindtheblack

      In case someone is looking for the word for industrious or hard working, it’s 부지런하다 🙂

  • Francesco Colléter

    일번 그리고 중국어를 띄어쓰기 없습나다. 그런데, 프랑스국 아고 영국 아고 한국어를 이씁니다.
    japanese and chinese languages don’t have space in their sentences. But french, english and korean languages do.

    • Seokjin Jin

      일본어 그리고 중국어에는 띄어쓰기가 없습니다. 그런데 불어, 영어, 한국어에는 있어요.

  • Matt

    Interesting, spacing in Korean seems to be similar to English.

    I have also seen some words with 있다 and 되다 where they are directly attached rather than separated.

    Like 재미 + 있다 = 재미있다 or 맛 + 있다 = 맛있다. Which I assume are the exceptions because they are fixed expressions.

    But I have also seen “살고있는 도시”, where “살 + 고” is directly attached to the “있는”. Is this normal or another exception?

    감사합니다 for the lesson.

  • lemontumblr

    Thanks a lot for this lesson! I have a lot of trouble remembering to put spaces in when I type…since I thought Korean was similar to Chinese in that spaces aren’t necessary ^^;

  • Peter

    한국 TV쇼를 보면, 가끔 띄어쓰기가 없는 영어 단어를 볼 수 있어요. 여를 들어서, Runningman 그리고 Newyork을 몇 번 봤어요.

    If you watch Korean TV shows, sometimes you can see English words without spaces. For example, I’ve seen “Runningman” and “Newyork” a few times.

    • Peter

      그리고 … 현우 씨가 나쁜 사람 아닌 것 같아요. 😉

    • Nonny

      Yeah, that’s probably because, in Korean, both are written without spaces as “a single word”: 런닝맨 and 뉴욕.

  • 감사합니다

  • 야신

    Thank you for the explanation!

  • JF

    안녕하세요?! “턱투미은코리앤” 재미있어요. =)

    Your podcasts are always great! However I think you forgot one rule which is quite confusing for Korean learners as me. With ‘to be’ there is no spacing (at least in your notes there are no spaces as well and I have never seen any spaces so far..) e.g.:


    I think Adam had the same question six years ago. Unfortunately I don’t see any answer from six years ago, so I ask again 😉 Is this correct? And is there a special reason for this?


  • Nathan Harmon

    아주 아주 중요한 주제예요 근데 글 쓰기만에 대해 이야기하죠? 전 듣고 말할때 말이 다 한줄로 발음되는 것같아요 또박또박 말하면 이상하죠?

  • ryebun17

    1. 요즘에 자주 노래방에서 노래불라요.
    2. 태연 씨 보다 그 사람 너무 부지런해요.
    3. 일본 여행 너무 재미있었어요.
    4. 오늘은 진짜 행복한 날이에요!

    1. Recently I often sing at a Norebang.
    2.This guy is more diligent than 태연 씨.
    3. The trip to Japan was really fun.
    4. Today is a really happy day!

    Pls correct me if you see any mistakes! TTMIK 감사합니다!❤️

  • emilie

    나는 안 아직도 저녁 요리하지 않았어요
    i still haven’t cooked dinner yet

    조심해서 들어 주세요
    please listen carefully

    이거 토끼 귀여워요
    this rabbit is cute

    나는 창문으로 오랐어요
    i climbed out of the window

  • Jenifer

    어제 밤에 저는 엑소 음악을 들었어요.
    Last night, I listened to EXO music.

    주말에 뭐할거야?
    What are you going to do on weekend?