The 100 Most Common Korean Words (Official List)

The Most Common Korean Words Revealed!

Most common Korean words

You will find many lists about the most common Korean words on the internet, all giving various results which could make it difficult for you to learn Korean.

It is difficult to categorise and make an inventory of the most common words of ANY language, but luckily for you, we found the OFFICIAL list made by the National Institute of Korean Language!

The Institute created a list of the 6,000 most common Korean words and made the list available to download on their website.

*Type 한국어 학습용 어휘 목록(엑셀 파일) in the search bar after clicking the link to download the excel file.

To get you started we made a summary of the first 100 words, so no matter your Korean level, you’ll find it interesting to check out.

Do you need to know all 6,000 to have a full conversation with a native speaker?

No. You’ll need less than that. Start with the first 20, then 50 words, followed by 100. Study step by step. Consistency is key to language learning

Let’s get to it!

Most Common Korean Words | 1-10

Most Common Korean Words | 11-20

Most Common Korean Words | 21-30

Most Common Korean Words | 31-40

Most Common Korean Words | 41-50

Most Common Korean Words | 51-60

Most Common Korean Words | 61-70

Most Common Korean Words | 71-80

Most Common Korean Words | 81-90

Most Common Korean Words | 91-100

BONUS | Korean Words Quiz

Most Common Korean Words | 1-10

RankKorean WordEnglish Translation
1A thing or an object
2하다To do
3있다To have
4되다To become / To be
6I, me
7He, That
8없다Do not exist, none
9않다To not be

Most Common Korean Words | 11-20

RankKorean WordEnglish Translation
11우리We, our
13아니다To not be
14보다To see
16At the time / Time
18같다To be similar
19주다To give
20대하다To treat, to face

Most Common Korean Words | 21-30

RankKorean WordEnglish Translation
21가다To go
23One, a single
24Word, speech
25Work / Day
26Subject particle
28말하다To speak
29위하다To do for the sake of

Most Common Korean Words | 31-40

RankKorean WordEnglish Translation
31오다To come
32알다To know
33Mr. / Seed
34그렇다To be right / Yes
35크다To be big / Large
36In addition / Again
37사회Social / Society
39Not / Within
40좋다To be good
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Korean Words List | 41-50

RankKorean WordEnglish Translation
42받다To receive
43그것That (thing)
45나오다To come out
46따르다To follow
48문제Problem / Question
50살다To live

Korean Words List | 51-60

Are you still with us?

You’ve just got over 50% of this list, meaning you must be really interested in learning Korean.

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RankKorean WordEnglish Translation
51I / Self / That
52못하다Cannot do
53생각하다To think
54모르다To not know
56만들다To make
57Place / Point
58Two / Couple
59In front of
60경우Case / Instance
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Korean Words List | 61-70

RankKorean WordEnglish Translation
61Centre / Middle
62어떤Which / What kind of
65먹다To eat
66오다To come
67자신Oneself / Myself
69Won (Korean Won – the national currency)

Korean Words List | 71-80

RankKorean WordEnglish Translation
72Person counter
73통하다To pass / To run / Go through
74그러다Then / And so
80Dog / Piece
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Korean Words List | 81-90

RankKorean WordEnglish Translation
82Back / End
83듣다To listen / To hear
84All / Everything
85A little
86들다To hold
87싶다To want,hope
88보이다To show
89가지다To have / To take

Most Common Korean Words | 91-100

Here are the last ten words of this official list.

Were you expecting these words to be the most common? Let us know what you think in the comment section!

RankKorean WordEnglish Translation
92지나다To pass by / To go past
93많이A lot
96인간Person / Human being
97사실Actually / Reality
98나다To emanate / To break out
99이렇다Like this

And there you have it, the 100 Most Common Korean Words as kindly prepared by the National Institute of Korean Language.

Once you’ve learnt these you’ll start to notice them everywhere!

Make sure to bookmark this article to start building yourself a solid foundation of Korean Vocabulary.

Want to learn with a native Korean teacher?

Check out Flexi Classes, our online teaching platform where you can study 24/7 by choosing when, what and with whom to study.


We now provide Korean Courses in Seoul, and offer both individual and group classes.

You’ll even have the possibility to live with a Korean Homestay Family.


We’ve got loads of free resources for you, such as:

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BONUS CONTENT | Interested in other languages too? Why not check out our mega list of 500 Chinese words to learn, the 100 most common Japanese words and the most commonly used words in Vietnamese too.


What is THE most common Korean Word?

The most common Korean word is , meaning thing or object.

What are the TOP 10 most common Korean words?

The top 10 most common Korean words are:

1 – 것 A thing or an object

2 – 하다 To do

3 – 있다 To have

4 – 되다 To become / To be

5 – 수 Number

6 – 나 I, me

7 – 그 He, That

8 – 없다 Do not exist, absent

9 – 않다 To not be

10 – 사람 Person

What is the National Institute of Korean Language?

The National Institute of Korean Language was created in 1984, and became a subsidiary of the Ministry of Culture in 1991.

As seen on their official website, the Institute was “established for the purpose of developing the Korean language, improving the language-life of the people and administering research activities”.

Where to download the official list of the 6,000 most common Korean words?

You can download the official list of the 6,000 most common Korean words created by the National Institute of Korean Language on this website.

Search for 한국어 학습용 어휘 목록(엑셀 파일) in the search bar to download the EXCEL file.

How many words do I need to know to pass the TOPIK 1?

You need to know around 1,500 to 2,000 words to complete TOPIK 1.

To be more precise, the TOPIK 1 exam includes two sub-levels :

1급 you’ll need you to know how to express yourself in simple everyday conversations by making simple sentences from 800 basic words.

2급 includes discussion of familiar topics using about 1,500∼2,000 words, making sure you adapt your speech correctly to formal and informal situations.

Do you provide Korean lessons?

Yes we do.

You can learn Korean online on our Flexi Classes platform, where we offer lessons 24/7, thus catering for all time zones.

Choose your study topic and study time, all classes take place on Zoom.

You can also learn Korean with us directly in Seoul, South Korea, where we offer group and individual classes, with the possibility of living with a Homestay family.

Want More From LTL?

FANCY LEARNING KOREAN? Check out our online Korean courses here.

We offer a 7 day free trial to all online students where you can study Korean 24/7.

Want to study Korean in Korea instead? Our Korean courses in Seoul can either be taken in small groups of no more than 5 students or individually for a more tailored experience.

We even offer incredible homestay experiences in Seoul too.

To top it all off, it certainly doesn’t just end with Korean, in fact we also teach: 

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