Today’s word of the day at Morning Land is the word 시부모님. 시부모님 (Hanja: 媤父母~) means ‘parents-in-law’. The parents-in-law are often an important part of Korean family drama’s you see on TV. Oftentimes the relation between the mother-in-law (시어머니) and her daughter-in-law (며느리) are often displayed to dramatic or comedic effect. 시부모님 is a Sino-Korean word, so it does have any Hanja associated with it: 媤父母~. Keep in mind that the suffix -님 is honorific suffix you add to express respect towards the people indicated.

Example Sentence with 시부모님

The word 시부모님 is a word that you can count as one suited more for intermediate and advanced learners. The word is not used when you address the actual parents-in-law, but when you are discussing them with others. You use 부모님 (and 마버지 and 어머니) to address them. directly.

모든 시부모님은 무서운 것 같지만 대부분 시부모님들은 아주 친절하셔요.   

All in-laws seem scary, but most of them are very kind.

To help you better understand the sentences let’s go over the entire sentence word-by-word:

  • 모든 시부모님은: The topic of this sentence is 모든 시부모님 so we add the topic particle -은/는. We use -은 specifically because 시부모님 ends in a batchim (consonant).
  • 무서운 것 같지만: A lot is a happening here so let’s break it down:
    • First, we use -(으)ㄴ/는 것 같다 with the adjective 무섭다, which is a ㅂ irregular verb. Thus it becomes 무서운 것 같다. We use this form because we are presenting an assumption of many on in-laws.
    • Additionally, we are adding contrast to this sentence, so we use the contrast form -지만. This has the end result of 무서운 것 같지만.
  • 대부분 시부모님들은: Because of 대부분 we use the plural particle -들 with 시부모님. Furthermore, for the second clause 대부분 시부모님들 is the topic so we use the topic particle -은/는. We use -은 specifically because 시부모님들 ends in a batchim (consonant).
  • 아주 친절하셔요: We are merely stating a fact so we can use the present tense. For the sake of simplicity, we kept it at the polite style (해요체). Furthermore, we use honorific language (높임말) because the topic of our sentence is 대부분 시부모님들은, who we need to honour.


Korean / 한국어 Hanja / 한자 English / 여어
모든 All, every
시부모님 媤父母~ Parents-in-law
무섭다 To be scary
대부분 部分 Most of, a greater part of
아주 Very, a lot, much
친절하다 親切~ To be kind
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