Size and importance are often things that are linked to each other. Someone more important has a bigger chair or a larger desk, size is a status symbol. As such, in Korean, a character like 大 [대] is often used to add to the importance or prestige.
The Hanja 大 [대] has the meaning of ‘large, big’, but that meaning is most often not literal. Instead, the character is often added to words to add to the importance or prestige of that word. Thus, it is actually a character with a high frequency in use. Many highly frequently used words incorporate this character, even words you have learned as a beginner such as 대학교 and 대학생. As you have noticed by a noun, the sound of this Hanja is [대].
大 [대] Vocabulary
As mentioned the Hanja 大 [대] appears surprisingly a lot in Korean vocabulary, so it is vital you understand that this character is most often not used in its literal sense. It is rather figuratively used to add to the importance or prestige of the word it is used with. Unfortunately, oftentimes this single character won’t tell you much about the word itself, except that it either is big, prestigious or important.
The character ~ indicates the following part is a pure Korean word and thus has no Hanja counterpart.
We give the verb/adjective meaning of nouns in brackets ‘( )’. As you know Sino-Korean nouns (한자어) can be used as verbs/adjectives with 하다.
|Hanja / 한자||Hangeul / 한글||English / 영어|
|大學校||대학원||College student, university student|
|大部分||대부분||Most of, a great part of|
|大會||대회||Large meeting; General meeting; Conference; Rally|
|大衆交通||대중교통||Public transport, mass transit|
|大韓民國||대한민국||Republic of Korea|