밖, 바깥 – Korean Words vs Words #2

3 Speed Only

With Explanation

Interchangeable Cases

Both 밖 and 바깥 means outside. In many cases, both of them are interchangeable if you use it for physical outside.

Examples

건물 밖으로 나가자. / 건물 바깥으로 나가자.
Let's go outside.

밖에 눈이 많이 왔다. / 바깥에 눈이 많이 왔다.
It snowed a lot outside.

봉투 밖에 뭐라고 써 있는 것 같은데? / 봉투 바깥에 뭐라고 써 있는 것 같은데?
It seems that there is something written on the outside of the envelope.

Only 밖

밖 is used when the boundary is abstract concept. We all have our limits in our knowledge, ability, or expectation. When something happens outside that abstract boundary, only 밖 is used to describe that situation.

Examples

전직 판사가 부당한 판결을 합리화하려는 상식 밖의 발언을 하자 듣던 사람 모두가 당황했다.
When the ex-judge told the preposterous rationalization of improper judgment, everyone was taken aback.

워낙 잘 하는 아이라 그런 실수는 안 할 줄 알았는데 예상 밖이었다.
We all thought that she wouldn't make such a mistake as she is so good at it; it was really unexpected.

사업을 제대로 하려면 능력 밖의 일에는 손 대지 말아야 한다.
If you want to do your business well, you should not handle the things beyond your ability.

In examples above, you should not use the word, 바깥.

Only 바깥

When you want to describe something outside or exterior, then you must use 바깥 in front of the word, not 밖. 바깥 세상, 바깥 주머니, 바깥 공기 are correct, 밖 세상, 밖 주머니, 밖 공기 are rarely used.

Examples

바깥 봉투에 내 이름이 써 있길래 나한테 온 것인지 알았는데, 큰 봉투 안에 작은 봉투 여러 개를 넣어서 우리 가족에게 보낸 것이었다.
As my name was written on the outer envelope, I thought it was sent to me; but, it was sent to my family with a bundle of small envelopes in a big one.

I intentionally used the word, 바깥 봉투, to compare it with 봉투 바깥. When we use the 바깥 봉투, there are more than two envelopes, so you just called outer or exterior one 바깥 봉투. 봉투 바깥 means the out or outside of the envelope. To sum up, if 바깥 is used in front of a word, then it means outer or exterior; on the other hand, if it is on the back, it means out(side) of.

라푼젤은 성 안에서만 살다 보니 바깥 세상이 궁금했어요. 하지만 엄마는 허락해 주지 않았답니다.
Rapunzel was curious about the outside world as she has only lived in the castle, but her mother didn't allow her to go out.

코트 바깥 주머니에 장갑을 항상 넣어 놓고 다녔는데 없는 것을 보니 어디 두고 온 것 같아. 찾으러 가 볼게. 기다리고 있어.
I usually put my gloves in the outer pockets of my coats, but they are not there. I think I left it somewhere. I'll go find them. Please wait.