How To Say ‘To Play Tennis’ In Korean

It’s weekend! I’m always busy on weekends: mostly about my children’s extracurricular activities and socialization, but never too busy to learn Korean.

So… on a private Facebook group for Korean learners, people were discussing about how to say ‘to play tennis’ in Korean. OMG, it’s so basic and trivial, I know.

One person said, only ‘테니스를 치다’ is acceptable. ‘테니스를 하다’ is not. He lived in Korea.

I commented, that can’t be right. Because I’ve learned from my textbook that both are correct. Let me tell you, I’ve never been to Korea, ever, and I don’t have Korean friends. Very weak position.

And then other people replied, they all agreed that only ‘테니스를 치다’ was correct. I assume, one of them is a native Korean.

I don’t like being told I’m wrong. 😀

Determined to prove that I was right, I asked my Korean teacher: Google 선생님.

1. According to Sogang Korean website, both are acceptable.
I’m sure Sogang University is not trying to fool us, poor Korean learners?

Sogang Korean

From Sogang Korean

2. The website of 국립국어원 (National Institute of Korean Language) has a definite answer. Read here (all in Korean):
‘테니스를 하다’와 ‘테니스를 치다’ 둘 중에 어느 표현이 맞나요?
두 표현 모두 가능합니다.

Which expression is correct? ‘테니스를 하다’ or ‘테니스를 치다’?

Both are acceptable.

3. Korean do use ‘테니스를 하다’.


From Google Books

te-ni-seu-reul ha-da

From Daum Tip

I thought: woohoo… I was right!
I told you! You all didn’t believe me!
Will you excuse me because now I have something to blog about!

So I guess there are native Korean who don’t know that 테니스를 하다 is also acceptable and grammatically correct. It’s not that weird. Indonesian don’t always know correct Indonesian grammar, either. Yeah, OK, so 테니스를 치다 is more common. But so what? I was right.

Phew… it was fun. 🙂

Now I’m off to see Japan Festival with my family and my husband has bought tickets to watch  “Captain America”. Bye! 안녕~

P.S.: I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad. From my point of view, it was me against many, and I was just telling what I found on the internet. ###


5 thoughts on “How To Say ‘To Play Tennis’ In Korean

  1. Hi! Great post!

    In Glossika Korean, there are several sentences that mention playing tennis, for example:

    그는 테니스를 해요. He plays tennis.
    메구미는 보통 일요일에는 테니스를 쳐요. Megumi usually play tennis on Sundays.
    에밀리는 테니스를 자주 쳐요? Does Emily play tennis.


  2. Actually technically both are correct. However, 치다 is grammatically appropriate.

    치다 is appropriate when the activity (such as sport) involves the use of a small ball being hit/struck. i.e. tennis, golf, snooker, etc. In this instance 치다 is applied to be considered grammatically correct.

    In all other instances 하다 is appropriately used in circumstances such as soccer and basketball, where a bigger ball is used, for example.

    In the context of all other non-ball related sports (and in general) 하다 is grammatically appropriate.

    P.S. As was taught to me by two different people; my Korean wife and my Korean teacher.


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