[Vocabulary] 서로 마주 서다

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서로 마주 서다 (seo-ro ma-ju seo-da) – stand face to face with (someone/something)

This is a phrase that I’ve learned from IU’s song Fitfh Finger (다섯째 손가락 – 아이유).

I thought that this phrase is really sweet, and the lyrics of this song is pretty cute, so I’ve decided to add this to the vocabulary list.

Let’s first break down the meanings of the words:

서로 = each other
마주(하다) = face (someone/something) [verb] 서다 = stand

This is actually quite a straightforward phrase, but it might be a little hard to guess the meaning for non-native speakers and especially learners in the early stages.

Maybe it is easier to understand if you look at the phrase this way:

서로 마주(하다가) 서다 or 서로 서다(가) 마주(하다)

I’ve added ~하다가 so that it would mean, “we stand while facing each other” or “we face each other while standing”, both works equally well.

I prefer the way of looking at it because it would be more romantic picturing how the first phrase will be, right?

Example: 우리가 동그랗게 내린 달빛에 서로 마주 섰던 그 때.
The time we stood and faced each other under the falling (circle-shaped and spotlight-like) moonlight.

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