You might know one or two ways to say ‘Stop’ in Korean already but might be unfamiliar with the difference or when to use them. Hopefully this summary makes things a little clearer.
I have kept the really common words above the cut, and the less commonly used words below the cut…. At least know the ones above the cut - it might be slightly rarer for you to use the others.
그만하다 is the verb you have probably already heard a lot from dramas and variety shows. There is actually a very specific use for this. 그만하다 is used when stopping an action halfway through and is only used for actions performed by people (it cannot be used for inanimate objects). This is why people always say 그만해 when someone is doing something annoying.
- 얘기 그만해! - Stop talking!
- 오늘은 그만할까요? - Shall we stop for today? [Shall we call it a day]
멈추다 is used to when talking about stopping/pausing something that has an ongoing action or movement. This can be used with people and objects. So this is a universal way to say stop.
- 차가 멈췄어요 - The car stopped
- 생각을 멈춰야 돼 - I need to stop thinking
그만두다 - to stop/quit something because you want to stop - this is used for actions, intentions or ongoing activities like work
- 일을 그만두고 싶어요 - I want to quit my job
- 담배를 그만둘 거예요 - I will quit/stop smoking
서다 - to stop momentarily, to halt momentarily - can be used for both vehicles and people but is used for things that are moving in a direction (e.g. a moving car or a person running)
- 이 버스는 세 정거장에서만 선다 - This bus only stops at three bus stops
- 기차는 수원역에서 오후 3시 반에 선다 - The train stops at Suwon Station at 3:30pm
- Note: These sample sentences are written with the declarative plain speech level because most formal written announcements would be written using this
세우다 - to make someone or something stop for a moment. Similarly to 서다 it is used for people and vehicles that are moving
- 저거에 세워 주세요 - Please stop over there (often used when you are in a taxi - I will do a post on taxi vocab later)
- 나는 자전거를 세웠어요 - I stopped my bike
NOW CONTINUE READING - more under the cut!