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Lesson 135: 성 – Character or a Range of Quality

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Vocabulary
Introduction

성 (性) = Character or a Range of Some Quality
성 (成) = Completion
성 (誠) = Loyalty, Effort, Devotion

 

 

Vocabulary

This is another lesson where I back up my grammar with lists of words. Some of the words I use in this lesson are new to you, and some you have already seen. Here is a list of words used in this lesson that have not been introduced previously.

The words are placed in the order that they appear in this lesson, and separated by the different sections in which they appear.

남성 = male

Examples:
운동을 할 때 보통 남성이 여성보다 근육이 빨리 생겨요
= When exercising, usually men gain muscle quicker than women

이 회사는 여성과 남성에게 동등한 기회를 줘요
= This company provides equal opportunities for women and men

여성 = female

Common Usages:
여성스럽다 = to be feminine, ladylike

Examples:
세상에는 아직도 여성의 인권이 매우 낮은 곳이 많습니다
= In this world even now, there are still many places where the rights of women are terribly low

점점 더 일하는 여성들이 많아지면서 어린이집 수요는 늘고 있어요
= Gradually as there are more females who are working, the demand for day cares is increasing

운동을 할 때 보통 남성이 여성보다 근육이 빨리 생겨요
= When exercising, usually men gain muscle quicker than women

음성 = negative

Examples:
제 코로나 검사 결과는 음성이었어요
= My COVID-19 test result came negative

어제 코로나 검사를 했는데 다행히 음성이 나왔어요
= Yesterday I took a COVID test, and thankfully it came out negative

양성 = positive

Examples:
제 코로나 검사 결과는 양성이었어요
= My COVID-19 test result came positive

코로나 검사를 했는데 양성이 나왔어요
= I did a COVID test and it came out positive

인성 = character

Common Usages:
인성 교육 = character education

Examples:
그 사람의 인성은 좋기로 소문났어요
= He had a great reputation as a good person

사람을 만날 때 무엇보다도 중요한 건 인성이에요
= When meeting a person, what is more important than anything is the character

정체성 = identity

Common Usages:
성 정체성 혼란 = gender identity confusion

Examples:
청소년기에는 종종 정체성에 혼란이 오기도 해요
= When you go through adolescence, it is common to question your identity

보통 청소년기에 정체성에 혼란이 와요
= Teenagers usually go through identity confusion while going through puberty

성향 = one’s tendency, disposition

Examples:
아이들의 성향에 따라 말을 하는 속도가 달라요
= Depending on the disposition of each child, the speed in which each kid talks (or starts talking) is different

폭력적인 성향을 보이는 사람과 결혼하면 안돼요
= You shouldn’t marry someone that tends to be violent

습성 = habits

Examples:
습한 곳을 좋아하는 것은 지렁이의 습성이에요
= It’s a tendency of worms to like humid places

동물의 습성과 특성을 잘 이해하기 위해 책을 샀어요
= In order to understand the habits and characteristics of animals, I bought a book

개성 = individuality, personality

Examples:
그 사람은 특별한 개성이 있어요
= That person has a special personality

각 학생마다 개성에 따라 가지고 다니는 필통도 달라요
= As each students’ personality is different, so is the pencil case that they carry around

이 그림이 유명한 이유는 화가만의 개성과 특징이 작품에 잘 나타나 있기 때문이에요
= The reason why this painting is famous is because the characteristics and personality, specific only to this painter are clearly shown

특성 = characteristic

Examples:
동물의 습성과 특성을 잘 이해하기 위해 책을 샀어요
= In order to understand the habits and characteristics of animals, I bought a book

그 영화는 그 감독의 특성을 잘 보여줍니다
= The movie showcases the characteristics of that director well

진실성 = truthfulness

Examples:
그 사람의 말은 항상 진실성이 부족해요
= That person’s words always lack sincerity

그 사람이 말할 때마다 진실성이 느껴져요
= Every time that person speaks, you can feel sincerity

위험성 = dangerousness

Examples:
이 약의 위험성을 잘 알려지지 않았어요
= The danger of this drug/medicine was not well known

그 나라에 들어가면 위험성이 커요
= There is a high danger if you enter that country

관련성 = relevancy

Examples:
이 사건과 저 사건의 관련성이 아예 없어요
= This incident has absolutely no relevance to that matter

이 사건과 그 문제의 관련성을 잘 파악해야 돼요
= We should investigate the relevance of this incident and that problem

독창성 = creativity, originality

Examples:
독창성의 제일 뛰어난 작품을 고르는 것이 이 대회의 목표예요
= Choosing the piece with the most outstanding creativity is the goal of this contest

그 예술가의 독창성과 창의성은 유명해요
= That artist is famous for their creativity and originality

창의성 = creativity

Examples:
창의성을 발달시키는 데 좋은 것 중 하나는 독서예요
= Reading is one of the ways to increase one’s creativity

점점 사회에서 창의성의 중요성이 커지고 있어요
= Gradually the importance of creativity is growing in society

그 아이의 창의성은 매우 뛰어나요
= That child’s creativity is very outstanding

필요성 = necessity

Examples:
어렸을 때는 돈의 필요성을 잘 몰랐어요
= When we were young, we didn’t know the importance of money

이 프로젝트의 필요성을 이해하는 것이 중요해요
= Understanding the necessity of this project is important

다양성 = diversity

Examples:
이 도시는 다양성을 받아들이고 존중해요
= This city embraces and respects diversity

오늘의 수업 주제는 한국 음식의 다양성에 대해 공부하는 거예요
= The subject of today’s class is the study of Korean food diversity

전염성 = contagiousness

Common Usages:
전염성이 높다 = to be of high contagiousness

Examples:
그 질병은 높은 전염성으로 많은 사람들에게 퍼졌어요
= The disease spread widely with high contagiousness

독감은 전염성이 매우 강하니 외출 후 손을 꼭 씻어야 돼요
= The contagiousness of the flu is very strong, so after going outside, make sure to wash your hands

찬성 = approval

Examples:
이 의견에 대해 찬성을 하는 사람은 손을 들어 주세요
= People in agreement about this opinion, please raise your hands

이 결정에 대해 찬성하시는 분은 손을 들어주세요
= Please raise your hand if you agree with this decision

완성 = completion

Common Usages:
미완성 = incompletion

Examples:
발명품을 완성하자마자 그 과학자는 특허를 냈어요
= As soon as the scientist completed his invention, he/she got it patented

작품을 완성하자마자 바로 저에게 알려주세요
= As soon as you have completed this piece, please let me know immediately

미완성 = incompletion

Examples:
아직 작품이 미완성 상태인데 마감이 얼마 남지 않았어요
= The work is still incomplete, so there isn’t much time left until the deadline

몇몇 훌륭한 화가들의 작품은 아직도 미완성으로 남아 있어요
= The works of some great artists are still left incomplete

형성 = development

Examples:
올바른 자아 형성을 위해서는 부모님의 역할이 중요해요
= The role of parents is important for proper self-development

아이들의 성격 형성에 매우 중요한 것은 부모님의 관심이에요
= The personality development of one’s child is a very important interest of parents

성과 = result

Common Usages:
성과급 = bonus, performance related pay
눈부신 성과 = outstanding result
눈에 띄는 성과 = outstanding result

Examples:
오랜 노력 끝에 좋은 성과를 내서 기분이 매우 좋아요
= The results at the end of a long period of effort were favorable, so I’m in a great mood

이 프로젝트의 성과가 매우 좋아서 특별 성과급을 받았어요
= The project results were exceptionally good, so I received a special performance bonus

한 시간 동안 회의에서 입씨름만 하다가 성과 없이 끝났지 뭐
= After just bickering for an hour during the meeting without any result, we just had to finish the meeting

성과급 = bonus, performance related pay

Examples:
이번 달 성과급을 받기 위해서는 목표 달성이 중요해요
= Achieving goals is important to receive performance-related pay this month

이 프로젝트의 성과가 매우 좋아서 특별 성과급을 받았어요
= The project results were exceptionally good, so I received a special performance bonus

구성 = formation

Examples:
오이는 거의 90 퍼센트가 물로 구성되어 있어요
= Cucumbers are composed of 90 percent water

가족의 형태는 가족 구성에 따라 핵가족, 대가족으로 크게 나눠져요
= The formation of one’s family is greatly divided into the nuclear family and the extended family

이 소설의 인물 구성은 다른 작품들과는 매우 다르기 때문에 인물에 더 집중을 해서 읽어야 해요
= Since this novel’s character formation is so different from other works, it’s necessary to read it with more concentration and focus on the character

조성 = construction, creation

Common Usages:
분위기 조성 = creation of an atmosphere

Examples:
이 학교는 공부 분위기 조성이 잘 되어 있어서 유명해요
= This school is well-known for its good construction of an atmosphere conducive to studying

좋은 학습 분위기 조성을 위해서는 선생님의 역할이 중요해요
= The role of the teacher is important in the creation of a good learning atmosphere

충성 = loyalty, allegiance devotion

Examples:
나라에 충성을 다해 열심히 근무하겠습니다
= I pledge my total loyalty to work diligently for the country

저는 나라에 평생 충성할 것을 약속했어요
= I promised my country that I would show my loyalty for my whole life

성의 = sincerity

Common Usages:
성의를 보이다 = to show sincerity
성의를 표시하다 = to show sincerity

Examples:
무엇보다도 중요한 것은 성의를 보여주는 것이에요
= Above all else it’s important to show sincerity

그의 성의 있는 태도는 주변 사람들에게 긍정적인 영향을 미칩니다
= His sincere attitude has a positive impact on the people around him

성실하다 = to be faithful

그 사람은 매우 성실하기 때문에 모든 사람이 그를 좋아해요
= That person is very faithful, so everybody likes him

그 사람은 항상 성실하고 신뢰할 수 있는 일꾼이에요
= That person is always a diligent and trustworthy worker

For help memorizing these words, try using our mobile app.

 

Introduction

In this lesson, you will learn about the syllable 성. The purpose of this lesson was to discuss the meaning of 성 when used to indicate a range of some quality. However, I figured while I was discussing this one meaning, I might as well discuss some of the others. In this lesson, I will discuss the following meanings of 성:

성 =性 = Character or a range of some quality
성 =成 = Completion
성 =誠 = Loyalty, effort, devotion

Let’s get started!

 

 

() = Character or a Range of Some Quality

You do not particularly need to pay attention to the Hanja characters of each meaning of 성, but I have organized this lesson based on these characters. The first meaning I would like to talk about is when the meaning comes from the Hanja character 性.

One of the most common places you will see this usage of 성 used is in a noun to refer to the characteristic or nature of that particular noun. This meaning lends itself to be used often in words that deal with a person’s (or thing’s) characteristic or identity. A common word where you have seen this meaning of 성 before is in the word 성격 (one’s personality). For example:

저는 외모보다 성격이 더 중요하다고 생각해요
= I think personality is more important than looks

Below is a list of many words where you will see this usage of 성:

남성 = male
여성 = female
음성 = negative
양성 = positive
인성 = character
성향 = tendency, disposition
습성 = habits
개성 = individuality, personality
특성 = special characteristic
정체성 = identity

성 Used with the Noun Form of ~하다 Adjectives

When added to the noun form of –하다 adjectives (or sometimes verbs), the newly created noun usually refers to the range or degree of that particular noun. Let’s look at a couple of examples using words introduced in previous lessons:

가능하다 = to be possible
가능성 = possibility

The word 가능성 refers to the range or degree of something being possible – the possibility of something. When used in a sentence, the speaker would typically indicate specifically where in this range a particular item falls. For example:

내일 비가 올 가능성이 높아요 = There is a high possibility it will rain tomorrow
아빠가 다시 돌아올 가능성이 없어요 = There is no possibility dad will return again

Of course, the speaker could simply refer to the range itself. For example:

우리가 내일 비가 올 가능성을 알아야 돼요 = We need to know the possibility of it raining tomorrow

Below are other examples of –성 used after a noun where the noun also has a –하다 form. In some cases, because of the nature of the noun that is created when removing –하다, it is typically more common to use the -성 version of the noun than the non-성 version of the noun:

Another example from a previous lesson is:

중요하다 = to be important
중요성 = importance

이 문제의 중요성을 알리기 위해 영상을 만들었어요
= In order to inform you of the importance of this problem, I made a video

Below are example sentences following this usage of 성 with new words from this lesson’s vocabulary list:

진실하다 = to be honest, to be truthful
진실성 = truthfulness, sincerity

그 사람의 말은 항상 진실성이 부족해요
= That person’s words always lack sincerity

그 사람이 말할 때마다 진실성이 느껴져요
= Every time that person speaks, you can feel sincerity


위험하다 = to be dangerous
위험성 = dangerousness (danger)

그 나라에 들어가면 위험성이 커요
= There is a high danger if you enter that country

이 약의 위험성을 잘 알려지지 않았어요
= The danger of this drug/medicine was not well known


관련하다 = to be relevant to
관련성 = relevancy

이 사건과 저 사건의 관련성이 아예 없어요
= This incident has absolutely no relevance to that matter


독창하다 = to be creative/original
독창성 = creativity/originality

독창성이 제일 뛰어난 작품을 고르는 것이 이 대회의 목표예요
= Choosing the piece with the most outstanding creativity is the goal of this contest


창의하다 = to be creative
창의성 = creativity

그 아이의 창의성은 매우 뛰어나요
= That child’s creativity is very outstanding


필요하다 = to need
필요성 = necessity

어렸을 때는 돈의 필요성을 잘 몰랐어요
= When we were young, we didn’t know the importance of money


다양하다 = to be diverse
다양성 = diversity

오늘의 수업 주제는 한국 음식의 다양성에 대해 공부하는 거예요
= The subject of today’s class is the study of Korean food diversity


전염하다 = to be contagious
전염성 = contagiousness

독감은 전염성이 매우 강하니 외출 후 손을 꼭 씻어야 돼요
= The contagiousness of the flu is very strong, so after going outside, make sure to wash your hands

I love the word 전염성 in Korean because this translates to a word that I would never say in English. With your new understanding of –and how it is used, you can see why. 전염성 refers to how contagious something is – if it is highly contagious or low. How would we refer to this in English? Contagiousness? What is cool when you are able to communicate in multiple languages is you can pick and choose words depending on their feeling in a particular language. Sometimes it is easier to express a thought/meaning in one language compared to another. 전염성 is a good example, as this is something I would have a hard time representing in English.

 

 

성 Used with nouns that feel like adjectives but don’t have a ~하다 adjective form

Below is a list of nouns that 성 is commonly attached to. In this list, 성 is attached to nouns that don’t have a –하다 form  (or at least, not a common one):

산성 = acidity
지성 = intelligence
적성 = aptitude
관성 = inertia
감성 = sensitivity
극성 = polarity
독성 = toxicity
효율성 = effectiveness
사회성 = sociability

Because these words don’t have a ~하다 form, there is no natural adjective-form for those nouns. For example:

중요성 translates to “importance.” If the importance is high, you could say that it is “important.” Important in Korean is “중요하다.”

위험성 translates to “dangerousness.” If the dangerousness is high, you could say that it is “dangerous.” Dangerous in Korean is “위험하다.”

You can’t do this with the words in the previous list. That is, these are not adjectives that describe the respective property from above:

Some of these are actually words, but words that have an entirely different meaning than above.

산하다
지하다
적하다
관하다
감하다
극하다
독하다
효율하다
사회하다

Although these –성 words don’t have a natural adjective form in Korean, most of them have a perfect adjective form in English. For example:

If something has a high acidity, it is acidic

If something has a high sensitivity, it is sensitive

If something has a high toxicity, it is toxic

If something has a high efficiency, it is efficient

In Korean, you cannot use the words 산하다, 감하다, 독하다 and 효율하다 to describe mean acidic, sensitive, toxic and efficient. Instead, with these words – and the others described along with them – other adjectives must be used along with them to describe their property. For example:

산성이 높은 비를 산성비라고 해요
= Rain with a high acidity is called “acid rain”

내 아이를 지성이 높은 아이로 키우고 싶어
= I want to raise my child as a child with high intelligence

적성이 맞는 일을 찾는 게 제 목표예요
= It is my goal to find a job that is right for me

Here is another Korean idea that is hard to translate to English. 적성이 맞다 is used to describe a job that is perfect for one particular person’s interests and abilities.

관성이 큰 물체는 움직임을 멈추는 게 어려워요
= Stopping an object with a high (a lot of) momentum is difficult

저는 다른 사람들보다 감성이 더 섬세해요
= I have a more delicate sensitivity than other people

몇몇 뱀은 독성이 강해서 물리면 죽을 수도 있어요
= Some snakes have a high toxicity (are highly toxic), so if bitten, a person could even die

가정제품을 살 때는 효율성이 좋은 제품을 사야 돼요
= When you buy appliances, you should buy products with a good efficiency (efficient products)

물은 극성이 있는 분자예요
= Water is a molecule with polarity (a polar molecule)

Another common noun that is similar to those above is 참을성.

참을성 translates to “patience.” If one’s patience is high, you could say that he/she is “patient.” Patient doesn’t have a commonly-used single-word-translation in Korean. Just like the words discussed above, other adjectives are used along with 참을성 to indicate that one is patient. For example:

그 사람은 참을성이 부족해서 못 기다렸어요 = That person is not patient (lacks patience), so he could not wait

 

 

 

 

성 (成) = Completion

Another meaning of 성 (derived from the Hanja character 成) is to indicate the completion of something.

I talk about the Hanja usage of this character in Hanja Lesson 37.

You have seen this character used in the word 성공 which translates to “success.” For example:

성공을 하기 위해서는 포기해야 할 것들이 있어요
= In order to succeed there will have to be sacrifices

Here is a small list of new words that also containing this usage of 성:

찬성 = approval
이 의견에 대해 찬성을 하는 사람은 손을 들어 주세요
= People in agreement about this opinion, please raise your hands


완성 = completion
작품을 완성하자마자 바로 저에게 알려주세요
= As soon as you have completed this piece, please let me know


미완성 = incompletion
몇몇 훌륭한 화가들의 작품은 아직도 미완성으로 남아 있어요
= The works of some great artists are still left incomplete


형성 = development
아이들의 성격 형성에 매우 중요한 것은 부모님의 관심이에요
= The personality development of one’s child is a very important interest of parents


성과 = result
오랜 노력 끝에 좋은 성과를 내서 기분이 매우 좋아요
= The results at the end of a long period of effort were favorable, so I’m in a great mood


성과급 = bonus/performance related pay
이 프로젝트의 성과가 매우 좋아서 특별 성과급을 받았어요
= The project results were exceptionally good, so I received a special performance bonus


구성 = formation
이 소설의 인물 구성은 다른 작품들과는 매우 다르기 때문에 인물에 더 집중을 해서 읽어야 해요
= Since this novel’s character formation is so different from other works, it’s necessary to read it with more concentration and focus on the character


조성 = construction, creation
좋은 학습 분위기 조성을 위해서는 선생님의 역할이 중요해요
= The role of the teacher is important in the creation of a good learning atmosphere

 

 

성 (誠) = Loyalty, Effort, Devotion

Another meaning of 성 (derived from the Hanja character 誠) is to indicate or describe loyalty, effort or devotion.

You have seen this character used in the word 정성 which translates to “effort” or “devotion.” For example:

정성을 다해서 이 음식을 만들었어요
= I gave it my best when I made this food

Here is a small list of new words that also containing this usage of 성:

충성 = loyalty, allegiance
나라에 충성을 다해 열심히 근무하겠습니다
= I pledge my total loyalty to work diligently for the country


성의 = sincerity
무엇보다도 중요한 것은 성의를 보여주는 것이에요
= Above all else it’s important to show sincerity


성실하다 = to be faithful
그 사람은 매우 성실하기 때문에 모든 사람이 그를 좋아해요
= That person is very faithful, so everybody likes him

That’s it for this lesson!

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