"Is horseback riding hard?"

Translation:승마는 어려워요?

December 31, 2017

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乘馬는 어려워요?


is 힘들어요 not allowed here? i can never get the two concepts clear in my head


어렵다 - the activity is difficult to do ability-wise. For example, a test / exam.
힘들다 - the activity is difficult to do physically i.e. it requires a lot of physical effort. For example, mountaineering.

In many cases they can be interchangeable. Like, rock climbing can be difficult both ability-wise and physically. So you may use either 어렵다 or 힘들다. But it will be unnatural to use 힘들다 to describe an exam, or driving, for example.

As for the given sentence, in my opinion, when you ask someone a question like "Is X difficult/hard?" you usually wonder if you have the ability to do X. Physical efforts is secondary. For example, a fit person may have the strength to ride a horse but they may not have learned it yet so it could be 어려운 for them initially.

If any native or fluent person reads this, please feel free to correct me.


hmmm, i'm not sure i buy the physical/ability distinction. it doesn't mean anything to me - for the vast majority of cases, an activity will be difficult physically if you haven't got the ability to do it yet.

my feeling is that 힘들다 is for physically difficult activity and 어렵다 for a mentally difficult activity. 승마 feels like a purely physical activity to me, so 힘들다 seems to make more sense

edit: by the way, if anyone is struggling to remember this i guess 승 is the same 승 as 승객 and 환승하다 and 마 is 말/horse.


If you don't fall off then you're off to a good start! 안 떨어지면 시작이 좋아 ^^

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