뜨겁다, 덥다, 맵다, 치열하다 – Korean Words vs. Words S2 #21

When something is hot, Koreans use the words like 뜨겁다, 덥다, 맵다, 치열하다. We will learn the difference between them today.

뜨겁다

When you touch something with your body and it is hot, then it is 뜨겁다.

커피가 뜨거우니 조심하세요.
Be careful with hot coffee.

You can see this phrase in every coffee cup you bought in the coffee shop.

뜨거운 라면 국물을 후후 불어 가며 먹었다.
I blew and ate the hot 라면 soup.

When the feeling is fierce, it is also called hot. It's also true in Korean. You can use 뜨겁다 here.

진심으로 뜨거운 감사를 드립니다.
I really want to thank you.

두 팀 간의 1위 다툼이 뜨겁습니다.
The competition for the first place is really hot.

덥다

When the air around you is hot and you can feel it with your body, it is 덥다. When you say something is 뜨겁다, there are usually physical contact or you will touch it soon. However, 덥다 is usually for the air, so it doesn't need any contact.

날씨가 벌써부터 많이 덥다
The weather is already hot.

이번 여름은 더 더울 것 같다.
The summer this year is likely to be hotter.

In the last episode, we learned about the cold words, 춥다, 차다, 차갑다. Compared to these words, 뜨겁다 is the opposite of 차다 and 차갑다. 덥다 is the opposite of 춥다.

However, one interesting thing is that there are some native speakers that speak 덥다 to mean 뜨거운. They talk like 더운 커피 or 더운 국물. Although you can find this usage in the dictionary, it is really rare in reality.

맵다

When the taste is hot, it is 맵다.

처음에는 김치가 매워서 많이 못 먹었는데 지금은 괜찮다.
At first, I couldn't eat 김치 a lot because it's hot, but it's OK now.

한국 음식은 맵기보다는 단 것 같다.
It seems that Korean foods are more sweet than hot.

치열하다

When the competition or match is fierce, you can use the word, 치열하다.

기업 간의 생존 경쟁이 치열하다.
The competition between companies for survival is hot.

우리 팀이 치열한 접전 끝에 3:2로 이겼다.
After the hot match, our team won the game with the score of 3:2.