“tsurai” vs. “kurushī”：Are You Sure About That Word Usage?
What is the difference between “辛い(tsurai) and 苦しい(kurushī)”? They have subtle differences. When you feel sad, which is correct: “私は辛いです or 私は苦しいです”? After reading this, you would be answering this question. Let me introduce what their subtle differences are and how you correctly use them such as native speakers today!
Hard/Tough time / 辛苦 / 괴로운 / Đau khổ
“辛い(tsurai)” means “Hard/Tough time” and which has been used as the meaning of “Times or period of trouble, struggle, or unhappiness”. The basic way it is “___(something/someone)は/が辛いです. For instance, “私は辛いです(I’m having a hard time.), “勉強するのは辛いです(To study is a hard time.)”, etc. Ordinally “辛い” describes “emotional pain”, unlike 苦しい. Furthermore, we can write “辛い” and “辛い” as the same “kanji”, however, “辛い” means “spicy and hot”, so the way to use them is completely different such as ”このカレーは辛い(This curry is spicy.)”.
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辛い1日だったー。 (I had a tough day.) (真是难熬的一天。) (괴로운 하루였어.) (Thật là một ngày khó khăn!) (tsurai ichinichi datta-.)
今が一番辛い時だよ。 (It’s the hardest/toughest time.) (现在是最难熬的时刻。) (지금이 가장 힘들 때야.) (Bây giờ là thời điểm khó khăn nhất đấy.!) (ima ga ichiban tsurai toki dayo.)
辛い時は辛いって、言ってもいいんだよ。 (If you are having a hard time, you can say so.) (辛苦的时候，直接说出来也是可以的哦。) (힘들 때는 힘들다고 말해도 괜찮아.) (Khi gặp khó khăn thì cứ nói ra!) (tsurai toki wa tsurai tte, itte mo ī nda yo.)
レイって生きているのが辛いらしいよ。 (I’ve heard Ray’s having a hard time.) (对玲衣来说活着似乎很痛苦。) (레이는 살아있는 것이 괴로운가봐) (Rei có vẻ sống rất khó khăn.) (rei tte ikite iruno ga tsurai rashī yo.)
Short of breath/Heartbreak / 痛苦 / 어려운 / Khó khăn
“苦しい(kurushī)” means “Short of breath” and which has been used as the meaning of “it is difficult to breathe properly, for example, because you are ill or something.”. The basic way it is “___(something/someone)は/が苦しいです such as “(私は)苦しいです(I’m short of breath.). However, “苦しい” have some meanings such as “生活が苦ししい(I am broke.)”, and “胸が苦しい(It’s breaking my heart.)”. So, the meaning of “胸が苦しい(It’s breaking my heart.)” and “辛い(I have a hard time) is quite similar such as after breaking up with your boy/girlfriend, however, in this case, “辛い” describes much longer periods than “苦しい” which is pretty shorter periods. Both of the meaning is “sad”. Further, “sad” cause actual “short of breath” which is “苦しい”.
深く息ができなくて苦しいよ！ (I can’t take a deep breath!) (不能深呼吸真的很痛苦！) (깊게 숨을 못 쉬어서 괴로워!) (Tớ cảm thấy rất khó chịu vì không thở sâu được.) (fukaku iki ga dekina kute kurushī yo!)
生活が苦しくて・・・ (I am broke…) (生活很艰苦……) (생활이 어려워서…) (Cuộc sống thì vất vả…) (seikatsu ga kurushi kute…)
なんとなく呼吸が苦しいよ。 (Somewhat I’m short of breath.) (不知怎的，觉得呼吸很困难。) (어딘지 모르게 호흡이 어려워.) (Tớ cứ cảm thấy khó thở sao ấy.) (nanto naku kokyū ga kurushī yo.)
病院に行った方がいいよ！ (You gotta see a doctor!) (你最好去医院！) (병원에 가는편이 나아) (Cậu nên đi bệnh viện đi!) (byōin ni itta hō ga ī yo!)
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