How to Say ‘Hot’ in Korean

Last Updated on February 16, 2021 by 90 Day Korean
A cup of hot coffee on a table

Do you know how to order a hot americano at a cafe in Seoul yet? What about how to describe the temperature at the peak of summer? What about any other phrase for which you might need the word ‘hot’?

If your answer is ‘no’, or you find that you just don’t know, then this lesson on how to say ‘hot’ in Korean is perfect for you! Let’s get started, shall we?

A cup of hot coffee on a table

‘Hot’ in Korean

There are two main words you can use to describe ‘hot’ in Korean, depending on which you are talking about. Note that with these words some exceptions exist as well.

You may wish to use the verb 뜨겁다 (ddeugeobda) when the temperature of something, such as your hair curler or meal or coffee, is hot or even burning. This word can be used to describe other events and popular phenomenons to mean they are “cool” or “popular now”. The other word, 덥다 (deobda) is used especially to describe hot weather. It can also be used in a similar context as 뜨겁다 (ddeugeobda), for example to describe hot water.

chinese hot pot

Sometimes you may also hear the word 따뜻하다 (daddeuthada) used in similar instances, but its meaning is more ‘warm’ rather than ‘hot’. With that said, it is important to note that while you might describe the coffee you just burnt your tongue on as 뜨거워요 (ddeugeowoyo) – the standard form of the verb 뜨겁다 (ddeugeobda) – you would actually order your hot coffee using the verb 따뜻하다 (daddeuthada) at the coffee shop.

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A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?

Sample Sentences

hot water spring


커피가 뜨거워서 조심하세요 (kheophiga ddeugeoweoseo josimhaseyo)

Please be careful as the coffee is hot.

그 문제에 대한 논란이 뜨거워요 (geu munjee daehan nollani ddeugeowoyo)

That issue is being hotly debated.

왜 더운 물 안나와요? (wae deoun mul annawayo?)

Why is there no hot water?


그 남자의 몸은 완전 뜨겁지 않을까? (geu namjae momeun wanjeon ddeugeobji aneulgga?)

Isn’t his body so hot?

오늘 몸이 덥네… (oneul momi deobne…)

I have a fever today.

오늘 날씨가 매우 더워! (oneul nalssiga maeu deowo!)

Today’s weather is extremely hot!

So now that you know how to say “hot” in Korean why don’t you ask your Korean friends if they won’t share a “hot” cup of tea with you! ^^

Do you have a word or phrase you’d like to know how to say in Korean? Let us know in the comments below and maybe our next article will be just what you’re looking for!

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Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

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