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Let's Learn Korean Vocabulary for describing Taste

In this post, we are going to learn Korean vocabulary that describes taste! Koreans love eating (well, who wouldn't?). If you get invited to any of your Korean friends' places, they will probably ask "Have you eaten? Would you like something to eat?" Often they will serve you some food. So when you learn the words to describe taste, you can easily practice using them when you eat something with your Korean friends. This will come in very handy!

맛있어요/ 맛없어요

맛 is taste.

We say 맛있어요 when something is delicious and tasty.

있어요 literally means 'to exist'. So, 맛있어요 is like 'there is taste', which means tasty, and delicious.

Then, how do you say when something doesn't taste good?

맛없어요. = It doesn't taste good.

없어요 literally means 'to NOT exist'. So, 맛없어요 means 'there is NO taste' but the whole phrase 맛없어요 is used to mean it's not tasty or it tastes bad.


delicious, tasty


It doesn't taste good, It tastes bad

Adverbs : 아주, 진짜, 정말, 너무

Now, before we continue to learn the words to describe 'sweet, sour, bitter,' and so on, it might be helpful to learn some adverbs that indicate degrees. These words are commonly used and you will frequently hear Korean people using them




really, truly




too- , so-


a little bit

food with different taste
Korean vocabulary for describing taste

Vocabulary for describing taste

Now let's go over the basic vocabulary for describing taste.

Basic Form

English Term



to be sweet



to be bland



to be spicy



to be salty



to be sour



to be bitter


Now it's best to learn them in sentences. It's easier to memorize the meaning as well.

  • 초콜릿이 아주 달아요 The chocolate is very sweet.

  • 설탕이 진짜 달아요 The sugar is really sweet.

  • 국이 너무 싱거워요 The soup is too bland.

  • 떡볶이가 진짜 매워요 Tteokbokki (Korean spicy rick cake dish) is really spicy.

  • 고추장이 정말 매워요 Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste) is really hot.

  • 바닷물이 정말 짜요 The seawater is really salty.

  • 소금이 아주 짜요 The salt is very salty.

  • 레몬이 너무 시어요 The lemon is too sour.

  • 식초가 진짜 시어요 The vinegar is very sour.

  • 커피가 아주 써요 Coffee is very bitter.

  • 약이 아주 써요 The medicine is very bitter.

*이/가 subject marker/ subject particle

이/가 is added to the end of the subject word in a sentence. It is used to introduce new information or emphasize a certain situation. 이 [i] is used if the subject ends in a consonant, and 가 [ga] is used if the subject ends in a vowel.

1 Comment

Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor
Jun 30, 2023

I do like me a spicy Tteokbokki (copied and pasted the spelling) 😁😋

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