A Shot of Korean

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빈말 [bin-mal] empty words
비다 [bi-da] is the infinitive verb meaning “to be empty.” (다 is the equivalent of “to” or “to be”).
Adding a ㄴ (소리 sound) after a vowel-ending adjective turns that adjective into a noun modifier.
말 is the noun for talk or speak.

So 빈말 is empty language, meaning you’re saying something you don’t really mean, you’re saying something that isn’t true, or you’re not going to keep your word.

빈 말 아니예요. [bin-mal a-ni-ye-yo]- I’m not kidding here. (I’m serious.)
빈 말 하지마. [bin-mal ha-ji-ma] – Don’t say something you don’t mean.
(Don’t make promises you’re not going to keep.)

Check out Survival Korean and Survival Korean: Basic Grammar Skills for more Korean lessons from 10’s Managing Editor, Stephen Revere.