Today’s word of the day at Morning Land is the word 시아버지. 시아버지 (Hanja: 媤~) means ‘father-in-law’. As you may have noticed now, the Hanja 媤 [시] is what turns the word in ‘in-law’, just like it does in 시부모님 (Hanja: 媤父母~). A few words for the husband’s side of the family uses this same system even when the base word is a native Korean word like 아버지.

Example Sentence with 시아버지

The word 시아버지 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 아버지 (and 부모님 and 어머니) to address them. directly.

우리 시아버지는 엄격해 보이시지만 놀기 좋아하는 성격이셔요.

My father-in-law looks strict, but he likes to play.

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

  • 우리 시아버지는: The topic of this sentence is 우리 시아버지는 so we add the topic particle -은/는. We use -는 specifically because 시아버지 doesn’t end in a batchim (consonant).
  • 엄격해 보이시지만: A lot is a happening here so let’s break it down:
    • First, we use -아/어 보이다 with the adjective 엄격하다 to indicate the father-in-law’s appearance looks like he is strict. We turn it into an honorific form due to the topic 시아버지.
    • Additionally, we are adding contrast to this sentence, so we use the contrast form -지만. This has the end result of 엄격해 보이시지만.
  • 놀기: We nominalize the verb 놀다 since we want to indicate he likes to play. To do this, we use the nominalization form -기.
  • 좋아하는: We use the noun phrase form -(으)ㄴ/는 for as we want to indicate what type of character our father-in-law has. For this, we use the verb present tense form -는.
  • 성격이셔요: We are merely stating a fact what his character is so we can use the present tense of the copula verb 이다. 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 시아버지, who we need to honour.


Korean / 한국어 Hanja / 한자 English / 여어
우리 We, us; Our
시아버지 媤~ Father-in-law
엄격하다 嚴格~ To be strict, to be stern
놀다 To play
좋아하다 To like
성격 性格 Character, personality, temper
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