This is part 2 of the Advanced Idiomatic Expressions lesson related to 눈, the eyes! In order to fully understand and use the expressions introduced in this series, it is essential that you understand the grammatical structure of the sentence. When you come across a grammar point that you are unfamiliar with, please go back and review the related lessons.
눈 = eye
In Part 1, you learned the following expressions. (See Level 8 Lesson 1)
1. 눈이 높다 = to be picky
2. 눈 밖에 나다 = to get on one’s bad side
3. 눈을 붙이다 = to get some sleep, to take a nap
4. 눈빛만 봐도 알 수 있다 = can know with just one glance (at someone’s eyes)
5. 눈 앞이 캄캄하다 = to not know where to start; to not have hope
6. 눈썰미가 좋다 = to learn things fast; to pick up things fast
7. 눈에 넣어도 아프지 않다 = to be the apple of one’s eye
(넣다 = to put in, 아프다 = to hurt)
→ 눈에 넣다 literally means “to put something into one’s eyes”, which is not a very common thing to do, but it is just part of “눈에 넣어도 아프지 않다” which means “someone is so precious that it won’t hurt even if you put him/her into your eyes”. It might be a bit scary to think about the literal meaning of this sentence, but think of it as “wanting to keep the person in one’s sight all the time”. This is usually used toward children.
Ex) 아이들은 그 나이 때 정말 귀여워서 눈에 넣어도 아프지 않아요.
(= Kids at that age are so cute that they are the apple of your eye.)
8. 눈에 띄다 = to be difficult to miss; to stand out
(띄다 = to be spotted)
→ The verb 띄다 itself means to be spotted, but it’s almost always used with the noun “눈” to form the phrase “눈에 띄다”. When you say that something or someone is “눈에 띄다”, it not only means that it catches your eyes and is remarkable, but it can also mean that something is difficult to miss because it’s either very good or terrible. When someone’s fashion stands out because it’s either amazing or weird, you can say “눈에 띄는 패션”, and when someone’s Korean speaking skills have gone up impressively, you can say that the person’s Korean has “눈에 띄게 늘었어요”.
Ex) 한국어 어떻게 공부해요? 실력이 눈에 띄게 늘었어요.
(= How do you study Korean? Your Korean skills have improved so much!)
9. 눈을 마주치다 = eyes meet
(마주치다 = to run into each other; to bump into each other)
→ 마주치다 means “to bump into” or “to run into someone” by chance. When you use this verb with 눈, it means that two people’s eyes meet. When you say “눈을 마주치다”, 눈 is the object of the verb 마주치다, and you can also say “눈이 마주치다”, with 눈 as the subject of the verb 마주치다.
Ex) 그 사람하고 눈이 마주쳤는데, 창피해서 고개를 돌렸어요.
(= My eyes met with his, and I felt embarrassed so I looked away.)
10. 눈이 멀다 = to be blinded by something
(눈이 멀다 = to go blind)
→ Here, the verb 멀다 sounds the same as the verb for “to be far away”, but when 멀다 is used with 눈, it means that your eyes are either blind or temporarily blinded by something. This expression is often used along with what caused you to be blinded in the form “Noun + -에 눈이 멀다".
Ex) 그 사람은 욕심에 눈이 멀었어요.
(= He is blinded by his greed.)
11. 눈이 부시다 = to be radiant
(눈이 부시다 = to be dazzling; to be too bright)
→ 눈이 부시다 means that something is so bright that you can’t open your eyes to see it directly. You can use this expression to talk about light, but you can also say this about someone’s beauty.
Ex) 눈이 부시게 아름다워요.
(= Your beauty is dazzling.)
12. 눈 하나 깜짝하지 않다 = to not bat an eye
(하나 = one, 깜짝하다 = to blink)
→ When someone is not surprised or affected by a threatening or shocking remark or action, you can say that the person doesn’t even blink at it, by using the expression 눈 하나 깜짝하지 않다. A similar expression is 눈 깜짝할 사이에, which means “in the blink of an eye”.
Ex) 그 사람은 그런 말을 들어도 눈 하나 깜짝하지 않을 거예요.
= Even if you tell him that, he wouldn’t bat an eye.