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You may heard of “맛있다” but what’s the real meaning behind?

‘맛있다!’, ‘맛있어!’, ‘맛있어요!’

Probably, you already know they all mean “delicious” but what’s the real literal meaning?
“있다” and its antonym “없다” are extremely common words that are impossible to learn the Korean language without them. In short, they are essential vocabs that must be encoded into your brain.
To cut a long story short, try these quizzes. Knowing examples is an indispensable step to understanding new expressions.

korean expression for delicious

Ans: 3 Taste

funny and boring in Korean

Ans: 2 Fun

style and dull in Korean

Ans: 3 Coolness

have and don't have in Korean

Korean words having '있다' '없다'

If I have to match “있다/없다” with a single English word, I would choose “have/don’t have” or “有没有“ in Chinese. Of course, the meaning of “있다/없다” can go beyond “have/don’t have”. I am just equalising the pair for simplicity. The above are just a few of the tons of expressions involving “있다/없다”. They are merely the simplest ones I can find for the short quizzes.

“있다/없다” is to show one’s existence. Any existence. You can say “사과가 없어요” (There aren’t apples”) or shout “증거 있어!?” ( You got evidence!?) when you are fighting with someone who accuses you of wrongdoing. Or you can even reply “그냥 있어…” (Ya… I’m just here.) When someone asks how you have been, just to show that you are alive on earth and still breathing.

GIF: There was, nope there wasn’t. 
The GIF is just for fun. If you don’t understand, it’s okay! Don’t have to be bothered with the special ending “~데요” if you are not an advanced learner.

When you learn Korean, you will encounter “있다/없다” frequently. Just reading a post may not make you understand 100% but you will eventually get a grasp of the whole meaning when you do enough reading.

Read also

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