Word Builder lessons are designed to help you understand how to expand your vocabulary by learning/understanding some common and basic building blocks of Korean words. The words and letters introduced through Word Builder lessons are not necessarily all Chinese characters, or 한자 [han-ja]. Though many of them are based on Chinese characters, the meanings can be different from modern-day Chinese. Your goal, through these lessons, is to understand how words are formed and remember the keywords in Korean to expand your Korean vocabulary from there. You certainly don’t have to memorize the Hanja characters, but if you want to, feel free!
Today’s keyword is 상.
The Chinese character for this is 上. There are many other Chinese characters (or Hanja letters) that are used for 상, so keep in mind that not all the words that have 상 in them have related meanings.
The word 상 (上) is related to “up”, “high”, or “on”.
상 (high) + 하 (low) = 상하 (上下) = above and below, 1st and 2nd volumes of a book
상 (up) + 경 (Seoul) = 상경 (上京) = going (up) to Seoul
상 (high) + 위 (rank, position) = 상위 (上位) = high rank
상 (high) + 반 (half) + 기 (period) = 상반기 (上半期) = first half of the year
상 (high) + 사 (be in charge) = 상사 (上司) = boss
상 (up) + 장 (market, yard) = 상장 (上場) = go public and be listed on the stock market
상 (high) + 급 (grade) = 상급 (上級) = advanced, higher level
상 (up) + 공 (empty, air) = 상공 (上空) = sky (above a certain place)
상 (up) + 승 (go up) = 상승 (上昇) = increase, rise, climb
상 (high) + 류 (flow) = 상류 (上流) = upper class, upper region of a river
북 (north) + 상 (go up) = 북상 (北上) = going north (e.g. typhoon)
사 (history) + 상 (on) = 사상 (史上) = in history, all-time
업무 (work) + 상 (on) = 업무상 (業務上) = for work, for business
조 (grandfather) + 상 (high) = 조상 (祖上) = ancestor
상 (up) + 의 (clothes) = 상의 (上衣) = (clothes) one’s top
정 (top) + 상 (on) = 정상 (頂上) = top, summit
세 (humanity) + 상 (on) = 세상 (世上) = world
옥 (house) + 상 (on) = 옥상 (屋上) = rooftop