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Lesson Transcript

안녕하세요. 에이미에요. 반가워요.
Hi everybody! I’m Amy.
Welcome to KoreanClass101.com’s 삼분 한국어. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Korean.
In the last lesson, we learned the most common greetings in Korean. Do you remember them?
In this lesson we’re going to learn a very useful phrase: “Do you speak English?”
If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance in English, this phrase can be a lifesaver. And because you’re asking it in Korean, you can be sure that everyone will understand what you’re asking, even if their answer is no.
Are you ready? Then let’s start!
Here's the basic way to ask whether someone speaks English:
영어 하세요?
[slowly] 영어 하세요?
영어 means "English," and 하세요? means "Do you do?". So 영어 하세요? means "Do you do English?"
If you want to be a little more specific, and ask about someone’s ability to speak English, you can say:
영어 할 수 있어요?
할 수 있어요? means "Can you do?"
"Can you do English?"
영어 할 수 있어요?
This sentence could be very helpful if you’re in trouble on the street, in a restaurant, or at a hotel—no matter where you are, if you’re looking for someone who can speak English, just ask…
If you want to be super polite, just add 실례하지만 which means “Excuse me but”.
실례하지만 영어 하세요?
“Excuse me but do you speak English?”
The response will be probably be like one of these three:
예. Yes.
[slowly] 예.
조금이요. Just a little.
[slowly] 조금이요.
아니, 못 해요. No, I don’t.
[slowly] 아니, 못 해요.
Since this last one is a negative statement about ability, we add 못, an adverb meaning “can’t.” 못 해요 doesn't just mean "I can't ."
Now it’s time for Amy’s insights.
For those of you who are not only English speakers, you can obviously use this question with any language you need.
일본어 for Japanese.
중국어 for Chinese.
스페인어 for Spanish.
독일어 for German.
프랑스어 for French.
If you want to say ‘Do you speak German?’, you can simply replace 영어 with 독일어.
독일어 하세요?
“Do you speak German?”
In today’s lesson we mentioned the word 실례합니다, meaning “Excuse me.” In the next lesson we will learn this and other ways to apologize in Korean. It’s never too late to show your good manners to Korean people!
I'll see you in our next 삼분 한국어 lesson.
안녕히 계세요! 다음에 봐요!

52 Comments

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KoreanClass101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
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Wednesday at 9:21 am
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Hi Gert-Jan,

Thanks for posting. Both words originate from the verb ‘하다’. ‘못 하다’ means ‘cannot do~’. ‘하세요’ is the imperative present formal (not the most polite form, the most polite would be ‘하십시요’, but still polite).
On another note, ‘(으)세요’ is a combination of the honorific marker ~(으)시 and ~어요:
~(으)시 + 어요 = ~(으)세요

으세요 is used after a word ending with a consonant, and 세요 after words ending with a vowel. For example:

앉으세요
하세요

Hope this was of help. Please let us know if you have any other inquiries.
Best,
Lyn
Team KoreanClass101.com

Gert-Jan
Sunday at 11:31 pm
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Hello,

I know it’s not directly linked to this lesson but I was wondering if there is a way of knowing when to write ㅔorㅐ? for example the two used in this lesson: 못해요 and 하세요

thanks,

Kind regards,
Gert-Jan

Friday at 11:15 am
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안녕하세요 벤,

Thanks for posting, glad to hear that you are getting the hang of it!
Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions along the way.

Sincerely,
Lyn
Team KoreanClass101.com

Thursday at 9:17 am
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Yay! Slowly but surely, I’m getting the hang of it. :)

Thursday at 9:13 am
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Hi Jamie,

One way of asking would be to inquire as to how many languages the person you are talking to speaks:
몇 개 국어 하세요? (How many languages can you speak)

However, if you have already asked about English and want to ask if they speak Chinese, you could say:
그럼 중국어는요? (Then what about Chinese?)

Dear Ben,

Thanks for posting. That would be one way to ask whether the listener speaks Chinese. Good job!

Cheers,
Lyn
Team KoreanClass101.com

Tuesday at 5:31 am
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Jamie,

I *think* in that situation, you could then say “중국어는요?”, or something along those lines.

Jamie
Tuesday at 4:27 am
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I was wondering what one would say in a situation where the speaker has asked someone whether or not they speak a language, the response is no, and the speaker now wishes to inquire about another language that he or she speaks (for example, I ask you if you speak English, you’ve responded that you do not, and now I want to ask you if you speak Chinese, which I also speak). Is there another way to ask the question again, for instance “What about Chinese?” as to not sound repetitive, or would I just repeat the same question, replacing English with Chinese? I know that the repetitive option would probably function just fine, but would also probably sound odd to a native speaker, just as the questions “Do you speak Korean?” and “Do you speak Chinese?” used consecutively would sound a little strange to an English speaker. Let me know what you think.

Monday at 9:27 pm
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Hi Ben,

No problem, it’s always great when users of KoreanClass101.com help each other out! :smile:

Cheers,
Lyn
Team KoreanClass101.com

Saturday at 12:26 am
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I just saw where you did that earlier. I’m not sure how I missed it but it seems I did. Looks like it’s time to get my eyes checked! :)

Friday at 11:49 pm
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Hi Ben,

Thanks for breaking down the meaning of “삼분 한국어”. :smile:

Cheers,
Lyn
Team KoreanClass101.com