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Korean Conjunctions List: Essential Korean Conjunctions

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Conjunctions are an important part of every language. They allow us to connect our thoughts, make comparisons, and string together sentences. In this Korean conjunctions list, I’ll explain to you the basic conjunctions with plenty of examples so you can make the most out of the article and improve your Korean skills.

Ready to learn Korean conjunctions? Let’s get started!

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Table of Contents

  1. What is a Conjunction?
  2. Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts
  3. Conjunctions to Express Condition
  4. Conjunctions to Express Cause
  5. Conjunctions to Express Opposition
  6. Conjunctions to Express Contrasts with the Statement in the Main Clause
  7. Conjunctions to Express Preference
  8. Conjunctions to Express Reasons
  9. Conjunctions to Add Additional Information
  10. More Conjunctions
  11. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn Korean


1. What is a Conjunction?

Sentence Patterns

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of a conjunction is a word that’s used to connect phrases, clauses, and sentences. Conjunctions in Korean work similarly to how they work in any other language, and learning Korean conjunctions and how to use each one properly will certainly boost your confidence in speaking, writing, and reading.

There are many Korean conjunctions, and if you struggle to understand all of the different Korean conjunctions, you’re not alone. Many Korean learners—even native speakers—struggle to use Korean conjunctions appropriately. In our Korean conjunctions list and guide, we’re going to focus on fundamental connecting words in Korean so as not to overwhelm you.

By the end of this article, you should have a better idea about the basic Korean conjunction rules, and an expanded vocabulary of Korean language conjunctions!


2. Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts

Improve Listening

1- 그리고 (geurigo) - “and”

  • 그리고 (geurigo) is used to link two different words or phrases together.
  • Apply this conjunction when you want to correlate two words.

Example:

스테이크 그리고 레드와인 주세요.
Seuteikeu geurigo redeuwain juseyo.
“I would like a steak and a glass of red wine, please.”

난 한국 가면 떡볶이, 순대 그리고 김밥 먹을꺼야.
Nan hanguk gamyeon tteokbokki, sundae geurigo gimbap meogeulkkeoya.
“I’m going to eat tteokbokki, sundae, and gimbap when I go to Korea.”

2- ~랑 (~rang) - “and”

  • ~랑 (~rang) means the same thing as 그리고 (geurigo).
  • The difference is that this conjunction is attached after a noun stem, is strictly colloquial, and isn’t used in official documents.
    • 김치
      gimchirang bap
      “Kimchi and rice”
    • 김밥 순대
      gimbabirang Sundae
      “Kimbap and Sundae”
  • Since ~랑 (~rang) has the same value as geurigo, they can replace each other without generating any changes in the meaning.

Example:

스테이크 레드와인 주세요.
Seuteikeurang redeuwain juseyo.
“I would like a steak and a glass of red wine, please.”

난 한국 가면 떡볶이, 순대랑 김밥 먹을꺼야.
Nan hanguk gamyeon tteokbokkirang, sundaerang gimbap meogeulkkeoya.
“I’m going to eat tteokbokki, sundae, and gimbap when I go to Korea.”

3- ~고 (go) - “and”

  • ~ (go) means the same thing as rang and geurigo.
  • This conjunction is always attached after a verb stem and usually means “I will do this AND THEN I will do this.”
  • A synonym of ~ 고 (go) is 그리고 나서 (geurigo naseo) which means “then.”

Example:

내일 아침에 요가하* 저녁에는 복싱할거야.
Naeil achime yogahago jeonyeogeneun boksinghalgeoya.
“I am going to do yoga in the morning and boxing in the evening tomorrow.”

*하다 (hada) meaning “to do” and 고 (go) meaning “and,” become 하고 (hago), meaning “After I do…”

내일은 밥먹 바로 집으로 갈거야.
Naeireun bammeokgo baro jibeuro galgeoya.
“I am going to eat and (then) go home.”

* 먹다 (meokda) meaning “to eat” and 고 (go) meaning “and” become 먹고 (meokgo), meaning “After I eat.”

4- ~와/과 (~wa/gwa)

  • ~ (~wa) is usually attached to noun stems.
  • ~ (~gwa) is usually attached to verb stems and after nouns that end with consonants.

Example:

나는 친구가 될 수 없어.
Neowa naneun chinguga doel su eopseo.
“You and I can’t be friends.”

수영하는 것 축구 하는 것 중에 어떤 스포츠를 더 좋아하세요?
Suyeonghaneun geotgwa chukgu haneun geot junge eotteon seupocheureul deo joahaseyo?
“Between swimming and playing soccer, which do you prefer?”

A List of Vocabulary Words


3. Conjunctions to Express Condition

1- 만약 (manyak) - “if”

  • To talk about hypothetical situations, we often use 만약 (manyak), with the direct translation being “if” in English.
  • Note that 만약에 (manyage) is more commonly used in spoken language (conversation).

Example:

만약(에) 비가 온다면 난 그냥 집에 있을래.
Manyak(e) biga ondamyeon nan geunyang jibe isseullae.
“If it rains, I’m just going to stay at home.”

만약에 네가 시험에 불합격한다면 어떻게할거야?
Manyage nega siheome bulhapgyeokandamyeon eotteokehalgeoya?
“If you fail the exam, what are you going to do?”

2- 한다면 (handamyeon) - “if”

  • Although 만약 (manyak) and 한다면 (handamyeon) have the same meaning in English, these two conjunctions are used in different situations.
  • To differentiate these two conjunctions:
    • 만약 (manyak) focuses on hypothetical situations.
    • 한다면 (handamyeon) focuses more on actions.

Example:

그 회사가 망한다면 월급을 받지 못할거야.
Geu hoesaga manghandamyeon wolgeubeul batji mothalgeoya.
“If the company goes bankrupt, you will not receive the income anymore.”

네가 계속 그렇게 욕한다면 앞으로 너랑 친구되고 싶지 않아.
Nega gyesok geureoke yokandamyeon apeuro neorang chingudoego sipji ana.
“If you continue to swear like this, I don’t want to be friends with you.”


4. Conjunctions to Express Cause

Improve Listening Part 2

1- 그래서 (geuraeseo) - “so,” “therefore”

  • When this conjunction is used, the first sentence is usually a statement or fact, followed by the cause or evidence. 그래서 (geuraeseo) connects these two sentences together.

Example:

어제 많이 아팠어요. 그래서 학교에 못 갔어요.
Eoje mani apasseoyo. geuraeseo hakgyoe mot gasseoyo.
“I was really sick yesterday. Therefore I could not go to school.”

어제는 눈이 왔다. 그래서 하루 종일 집에 있었다.
Eojeneun nuni watda. geuraeseo haru jongil jibe isseotda.
“It rained yesterday, so I stayed home all day.”

2- 그렇기 때문에 (~gi ttaemune) - “therefore”

  • The second conjunction to express cause is ~기 때문에 (~gi ttaemune) which means “because of that” or “therefore” in English.

Example:

저녁을 일찍 먹었기 때문에, 배고프지 않아.
Jeonyeogeul iljjik meogeotgi ttaemune, baegopeuji ana.
“Because I had an early dinner, I am not hungry.”

사람들이 너무 많았기 때문에 빨리 집으로 갔다.
Saramdeuri neomu manatgi ttaemune ppalli jibeuro gatda.
“Because there were so many people, I went home.”

3- 그러므로 (geureomeuro) - “therefore”

  • This conjunction is rarely used in spoken language, but is often used in literature.
  • On the other hand, 그렇기 때문에 (~gi ttaemune), which we saw above, is commonly used in spoken language.

Example:

나는 생각한다. 그러므로 나는 존재한다.
Naneun saenggakanda. Geureomeuro naneun jonjaehanda.
“I think, therefore I am.”

The sentence below has the same meaning as above:

나는 생각한다. 그렇기 때문에 나는 존재한다.
naneun saenggakanda. geureoki ttaemune naneun jonjaehanda.
“I think, therefore I am.”

4- 따라서 (ttaraseo) - “so,” “therefore”

  • This conjunction means the same thing as 그러므로 (geureomeuro) and 그렇기 때문에 (~gi ttaemune).
  • 따라서 (ttaraseo) sounds a bit formal, therefore it’s not commonly used in spoken language.

Example:

물건의 가격이 많이 올랐다. 따라서 사람들이 물건을 사지 않을 것이다.
Mulgeonui gagyeogi mani ollatda. ttaraseo saramdeuri mulgeoneul saji aneul geosida.
“The price of goods has increased. Therefore, people will not buy them.”

지구온난화는 점점 더 심해지고 있다. 따라서 공해는 더욱더 심해질 것이다.
Jiguonnanhwaneun jeomjeom deo simhaejigo itda. Ttaraseo gonghaeneun deoukdeo simhaejil geosida.
“Global warming is getting worse and worse, thus increasing pollution.”

A Man Expressing His Opinions to His Colleagues


5. Conjunctions to Express Opposition

The conjunctions mentioned below all indicate that the following sentence will be in contrast to the previous one. Let’s have a look each Korean conjunction.

1- 하지만 (hajiman) - “but”

  • 하지만 (hajiman) means “but” or “however” in English.
  • This conjunction is used at the beginning of a sentence to combine two opposing clauses.
  • You can also shorten 하지만 (hajiman) and combine two clauses with ~지만 (~jiman).

Example:

우리 언니는 노란색을 좋아해. 하지만 언니의 남자친구는 노랑색을 싫어해.
Uri eonnineun noransaegeul joahae. Hajiman eonniui namjachinguneun norangsaegeul sileohae.
“My sister likes yellow. But her boyfriend doesn’t like yellow.”

The sentence above has the same meaning as the sentence below:

=우리 언니는 노랑색을 좋아하지만 언니의 남자친구는 노랑색을 싫어해.
Uri eonnineun norangsaegeul joahajiman eonniui namjachinguneun norangsaegeul sileohae.

우리 집에 언제든지 놀러와돼. 하지만 오기전에 전화해줘.
Uri jibe eonjedeunji nolleowadwae. Hajiman ogijeone jeonhwahaejwo.
“You can always come to my house. But call me before (you plan to come).”

The sentence above has the same meaning as the sentence below:

=우리 집에 언제든지 놀러와도 되지만 오기 전에 전화해줘.
Uri jibe eonjedeunji nolleowado doejiman ogi jeone jeonhwahaejwo.

2- 그렇지만 (geureochiman) - “but,” “however”

  • When this conjunction is used, the sentence structure usually goes like this: [Admitting what a speaker said] however [say conflicting claims.]

Let’s look at an example. Your friend Sujin likes Jinsu a lot, and she believes that Jinsu likes her too. But you know that it’s not true because you’ve seen that Jinsu is dating someone else. In this situation, you can say:

수진이는 진수를 좋아해. 그렇지만 진수는 수진이를 좋아하지 않아.
Sujinineun jinsureul joahae. Geureochiman jinsuneun sujinireul joahaji ana.
“Sujin likes Jinsu. However, Jinsu does not like Sujin.”

Let’s have a look at another example:

네 말도 일리는 있어. 그렇지만 다른 사람들의 의견도 들어봐야지.
Ne maldo illineun isseo. Geureochiman dareun saramdeurui uigyeondo deureobwayaji.
“I agree with your points, but I need to listen to what other people say too.”

3- 그러나 (gureona) - “however”

  • 그러나 (gureona) has the same value as the other conjunctions mentioned above.
  • This conjunction is only used in formal settings.

Example:

6월이 되어 날씨가 따뜻해졌다. 그러나 최근에는 매일 비가 오고 있다.
Yuwori doeeo nalssiga ttatteuthaejyeotda. Geureona choegeuneneun maeil biga ogo itda.
“As June began, the weather has become warmer. However, it has been raining everyday.”

4- 그런데 (geureonde) / 근데 (geunde) - “but,” “by the way”

  • This conjunction is often used to change the topic.
  • You’ll often hear 근데 (geunde) when conversing with locals. 근데 (geunde) is a shortened word for 그런데 (geureonde).

Example:

그런데 어디서 밥 먹을까?
Geureonde eodiseo bap meogeulkka?
“By the way, where should we eat?”

The sentence above has the same meaning as the sentence below:

=근데 어디서 밥 먹을까?
Geunde eodiseo bap meogeulkka?

그 친구 알아. 그런데 이름을 모르겠네.
Geu chingu ara. Geureonde ireumeul moreugenne.
“I know her, but I forgot her name.”

The sentence above has the same meaning as the sentence below:

= 그 친구 알아. 근데 이름을 모르겠네.
Geu chingu ara. Geunde ireumeul moreugenne.

우와 이 가방 엄청 이쁘다. 그런데 이거 얼마예요?
Uwa i gabang eomcheong ippeuda. Geureonde igeo eolmayeyo?
“Wow, this bag is really pretty. By the way, how much is this?”

The sentence above has the same meaning as the sentence below:

= 우와 이 가방 엄청 이쁘다. 근데 이거 얼마예요?
Uwa i gabang eomcheong ippeuda. Geunde igeo eolmayeyo?


6. Conjunctions to Express Contrasts with the Statement in the Main Clause

1- 그래도 (geuraedo) - “regardless,” “still”

  • The common translation of 그래도 (geuraedo) is “regardless” or “still.”
  • When talking about a situation, use 그래도 (geuraedo) to say “regardless of the situation.”
    • 철수의 배가 아프기 시작했다. (Cheolsuui baega apeugi sijakaetda.) — “Cheolsu started to have stomach cramps.” [situation]
    • 그래도 (geuraedo) [regardless of what happened to him]
    • 나는 밥을 먹었다. (naneun babeul meogeotda) — “He continued eating rice.” [continued what he was doing]

More examples:

이상하게 들릴지 모르지만 그래도 그건 사실이야.
Isanghage deullilji moreujiman geuraedo geugeon sasiriya.
“Strange as it may sound, it’s still true.”

내일 비가 온다는데, 그래도 우리 낚시하러 갈꺼지?
Naeil biga ondaneunde, geuraedo uri naksihareo galkkeoji?
“It’s going to rain tomorrow, but we are still going tomorrow, right?”

2- 그럼에도 불구하고 (geureomedo bulguhago) - “nevertheless,” “although”

  • Use this conjunction when you say something that contrasts with what has just been said/happened.
  • The sentence structure would be: [INCIDENT] +그럼에도 불구하고 (geureomedo bulguhago) + [UNEXPECTED RESULT].

Example:

나를 따라오지 말라고 했는데 그럼에도 불구하고 그 남자는 나를 따라왔다.
Nareul ttaraoji mallago haenneunde geureomedo bulguhago geu namjaneun nareul ttarawatda.
“I told him a couple of times not to follow me, nevertheless he did.”

철수는 많이 아팠다. 그럼에도 불구하고 그는 학교로 갔다.
Cheolsuneun mani apatda. Geureomedo bulguhago geuneun hakgyoro gatda.
“Cheolsu was very sick, yet he went to school.”

A Red Apple That Is Placed Between Two Green Apples, Is Being Grabbed By A Hand


7. Conjunctions to Express Preference

1- 이나 (ina) - “or”

  • 이나 (ina) is attached only to noun stems.
  • The sentence structure should be: [NOUN] +이나 (ina) + [NOUN].
  • When someone uses this conjunction in a sentence, this indicates that the person has not decided which noun will be acted upon.

Example:

저는 초콜릿 빵이나 비빔밥을 먹고 싶어요.*
Jeoneun chokollit ppangina bibimbabeul meokgo sipeoyo.
“I want to eat either a chocolate bread or bibimbap.”

*He/she has not decided if he/she wants to eat bread or bibimbap.

대학교에서 심리학이나 패션 과를 공부하고 싶어요.
Daehakgyoeseo simnihagina paesyeon gwareul gongbuhago sipeoyo.
“I want to study either psychology or fashion design at university.”

2- 아니면 (animyeon) - “or”

  • 아니면 (animyeon) means the same thing as 이나 (ina).
  • The rule is that this conjunction is used to link two sentences.
  • The sentence structure should be: [SENTENCE] + 아니면 (animyeon) + [SENTENCE].
  • Moreover, it indicates that the speaker has not decided which action verbs will be acted upon.

Example:

아침에 복싱을 하는 게 좋을까 아니면 요가를 하는 게 좋을까?
Achime boksingeul haneun ge joeulkka animyeon yogareul haneun ge joeulkka?
“Should I do boxing or yoga in the morning?”

내일 인사동로 갈래 아니면 동대문 시장 갈래?
Naeil Insadongeuro gallae animyeon dongdaemun sijang gallae?
“Would you rather go to the Insadong or Dongdaemun market?”

3- 거나 (geona) - “or”

  • 거나 (geona) is used to link descriptive and action verbs and adverbs.

Example:

부모님 앞에서 담배를 피우거나 술을 마시면 안된다.
Bumonim apeseo dambaereul piugeona sureul masimyeon andoenda.
“You can’t smoke a cigarette or drink alcohol in front of your parents.”

아침에 복싱하거나 요가하거나 너 마음대로 해.
Achime boksinghageona yoga hageona ne maeumdaero hae.
“It’s up to you whether you do boxing or yoga in the morning. Do what you want.”

4- 또는 (ttoneun) - “or”

  • This conjunction is a formal way to say or express your preference.
  • You can replace 또는 (ttoneun) with 이나 (ina) or 아니면 (animyeon) in sentences. It will sound less formal, but the meaning does not change.

Example:

월요일 또는 수요일
Wollyoil ttoneun suyoil
“Monday or Wednesday.”

The sentences below have a different conjunction but mean the same thing:

= 월요일이나 수요일
Wollyoirina suyoil

= 월요일 아니면 수요일
Wollyoil animyeon suyoil

가야금 또는 장구 둘 중 하나를 선택하시오.
Gayageum ttoneun janggu dul jung hanareul seontaekasio.
“Choose either gayageum or jangu.”


8. Conjunctions to Express Reasons

1- 때문에 (ttaemune) - “Because of…”

  • 때문에 (ttaemune) means “because of…” and this conjunction is attached to nouns.
  • Add a noun before the conjunction, then the rest of the clause will indicate events that happened as a result of the noun preceding 때문에 (ttaemune).

Example:

때문에 공부할 시간이 없어.
Il ttaemune gongbuhal sigani eopseo.
“Because of work, I don’t have time to study.”

대학교 등록금 때문에 매일 아르바이트 하고 있어요.
Daehakgyo deungnokgeum ttaemune maeil areubaiteu hago isseoyo.
“Because of the tuition fee, I am working part-time everyday.”

2- 왜냐하면 (waenyahamyeon) - “because…”

  • 왜냐하면 (waenyahamyeon) means “because.”
  • When using this conjunction in sentences, the grammatical order should be: [result] + 왜냐하면 (waenyahamyeon) + [reason].
  • You can also say 왜냐면 (waenyamyeon), which is a shortened version of 왜냐하면 (waenyahamyeon), and is used in spoken language.

Example:

어제 잠을 잘 수가 없었어요. 왜냐하면 이웃이 너무 시끄러웠거든요.
Eoje jameul jal suga eopseosseoyo. Waenyahamyeon iusi neomu sikkeureowotgeodeunyo.
“I could not sleep last night because the neighbor was really noisy.”

잠을 잘 수가 없어. 왜냐하면 방금 커피를 마셨거든.
Jameul jal suga eopseo. Waenyahamyeon banggeum keopireul masyeotgeodeun.
“I can’t sleep because I just drank coffee.”

A Man Is Expressing His Opinion with a Mic and a Paper in Front of Him


9. Conjunctions to Add Additional Information

1- 게다가 (gedaga) - “moreover,” “in addition”

  • The meaning of 게다가 (gedaga) is exactly the same as the conjunction words 덧붙이자면 (deotbuchijamyeon) and 뿐만 아니라 (ppunman anira).
  • You can also say 그리고 instead of 게다가. The meaning does not change.
  • If you’ve said 그리고 (geurigo) many times (in writing or speech), try using 게다가 (gedaga).

Example:

게다가 웃으면 기분이 좋아진다.
Gedaga useumyeon gibuni joajinda.
“Moreover, when you laugh, you feel better.”

날씨가 너무 추웠고 게다가 눈까지 내렸다.
Nalssiga neomu chuwotgo gedaga nunkkaji naeryeotda.
“The weather was extremely cold; moreover, it snowed.”

2- 덧붙이자면 (deotbuchijamyeon) - “additionally,” “in addition,” “plus”

  • 덧붙이자면 (deotbuchijamyeon) means the same thing as 게다가 (gedaga).
  • A common phrase that uses this conjunction is 덧붙여 말하자면… (deotbutyeo malhajamyeon…), meaning “making an additional remark.”

Example:

정국오빠는 너무 잘 생겼어요. 덧붙이자면 노래도 잘해요.
Jeonggugoppaneun neomu jal saenggyeosseoyo. Deotbuchijamyeon noraedo jalhaeyo.
“Jungkook is so handsome. Plus, he’s a great singer.”

판타지 소설을 찾고 있다면 이 책을 추천할게요.
덧붙이자면 이 책은 베스트셀러이기도 해요.

Pantaji soseoreul chatgo itdamyeon i chaegeul chucheonhalgeyo.
Deotbuchijamyeon i chaegeun beseuteuselleoigido haeyo.

“If you’re looking for a fantasy novel, I recommend this book.
In addition, this is also one of the best sellers.”

3- 뿐만 아니라 (ppunman anira) - “besides,” “also”

  • When 뿐만 아니라 (ppunman anira) is attached to the end of a clause, it creates the meaning of “not only A, but also B.”

Example:

한국 드라마는 한국에서 뿐만 아니라 해외에서도 매우 인기가 있다.
Hanguk deuramaneun hangugeseo ppunman anira haeoeeseodo maeu ingiga itda.
“Korean dramas are not only popular in Korea, but also overseas.”

이곳에서 옥수수 뿐만 아니라 고구마도 살 수 있어요.
Iigoseseo oksusu ppunman anira gogumado sal su isseoyo.
“You can buy not only corn, but sweet potatoes too.”


10. More Conjunctions

Here are four additional conjunctions for you to learn!

1- 반면에 (banmyeone) - “on the other hand,” “while”

  • 반면에 (banmyeone) comes between two sentences.
  • Usually, the first sentence and the second sentence contrast each other.

Examples:

김치를 좋아하는 사람도 있지만, 반면에 김치를 싫어하는 사람도 있다.
Kimchireul joahaneun saramdo itjiman, banmyeone gimchireul sileohaneun saramdo itda.
“There are some people who like Kimchi, while others don’t.”

발렌타인 데이에 초콜릿을 많이 받는 사람도 있지만,
반면에 한개도 받지 못하는 사람도 있다.

Ballentain deie chokolliseul mani banneun saramdo itjiman,
banmyeone hangaedo batji mothaneun saramdo itda.

“There are some people who receive many chocolates on Valentine’s Day.
On the other hand, there are others who get nothing.”

2- 결국 (gyeolguk) - “eventually,” “ultimately”

  • You can also say 결국에는 (gyeolgugeneun), which means the same thing as 결국 (gyeolguk).

Example:

결국 우리가 이겼다.
Gyeolguk uriga igyeotda.
“Finally, we won the game.”

결국 원국이는 지민이 대신에 호연이를 선택했다.
Gyeolguk Wongugineun Jimini daesine Hoyeonireul seontaekaetda.
“At close of play, Wonkuk chose Hohyun instead of Jimin.”

3- 마지막으로 (majimageuro) - “lastly”

  • 마지막으로 (majimageuro) means “for the last time,” “lastly,” and “last time.”

Example:

한국을 마지막으로 가본 지가 10년이나 되었어요.
Hangugeul majimageuro gabon jiga 10nyeonina doeeosseoyo.
“It has been ten years since I visited Korea.”

마지막으로 몇 마디만 더 하겠습니다.
Majimageuro myeot madiman deo hagetseumnida.
“I would like to add a few words in conclusion.”

4- 마찬가지로 (machangajiro) - “similarly,” “likewise”

  • 마찬가지로 (machangajiro) means “like,” or “likewise” in English.
  • Also, this conjunction links two clauses that have a similar meaning.

Example:

동물도 사람과 마찬가지로 감정을 가지고 있다.
Dongmuldo saramgwa machangajiro gamjeongeul gajigo itda.
“Like humans, animals have feelings.”

개도 사람과 마찬가지로 잡식 동물이다.
Gaedo saramgwa machangajiro japsik dongmurida.
“Like humans, dogs are omnivores.”

Man Passing His Korean Test


11. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn Korean

We hope you enjoyed learning about Korean conjunctions with us! In Korean vocabulary, conjunctions are essential little words and phrases that you really should know. Further, for impeccable Korean grammar, conjunctions should be one of your top learning priorities.

Are there any conjunctions you’re still struggling with, or any you still want to know? Let us know in the comments!

It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you have to memorize so many conjunctions. But don’t worry, learning a language isn’t easy and it takes time. If you’re still not sure when to use these conjunctions, you’re more than welcome to leave a post on our forum. There are many native speakers and Korean learners, like you, who will be happy to help you learn Korean.

For further learning, we have a lesson called “Korean Conjunctions: Add Seaweed, and Meat, and Garlic!” where you can practice learning Korean conjunctions as well as vocabulary. In addition, check out our vocabulary list called “Must-Know Adverbs and Phrases for Connecting Thoughts,” where we listed twenty Korean conjunctions with pronunciation audios and example sentences.

Happy learning!

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Learn Korean Dates: Days of the Week in Korean and More

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Do you know how to say Korean dates (months, weeks, days, and years)? In this blog, we’re going to introduce not only days of the week in Korean, but also hours, seconds, and much more important vocabulary for learning Korean dates and times. Before we take a closer look at date and time in Korean, let’s look at the Korean dates format.

Table of Contents

  1. How are Dates Usually Written and Read in Korean?
  2. How to Say the Years in Korean
  3. Korean Dates: Months
  4. How to Say Korean Calendar Dates
  5. Saying the Days of the Week in Korean
  6. How to Say the Hours in Korean
  7. How to Say the Minutes in Korean
  8. How to Say the Seconds in Korean
  9. How to Say Other Time-related Words
  10. Interesting Korean Celebration Days
  11. Let’s Practice
  12. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You with Korean

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1. How are Dates Usually Written and Read in Korean?

In Korea, the order of the date is written: 1.) Year, 2.) Month, and 3.) Day. We’ll explain this in more detail later, but for now, here’s how you need to write dates in Korean: [”year”]년 (nyeon), [”month”]월 (wol), [”day”]일 (il).

For example, let’s say that today is the 26th of January, 2019. In Korean, it’s written as 2019년 1월 26일 (icheonsipgunyeon irwol isibyugil), or “2019, January 26th.” If this order is the same in your country, then it shouldn’t be too difficult for you. But if the order is different in your country, then it can be confusing sometimes.

This is especially important to keep in mind when you purchase a product that has an expiration date written on the package. Sometimes the first two numbers of the year aren’t included in the expiration date either (e.g. “90″ instead of “1990″), so don’t get confused about the date. For example, when you see an expiration date of 20/09/21, it doesn’t mean “20th of September, 2021″; it’s “September 21th, 2020.”

Now, let’s learn more important information about dates in South Korea.

Street Signs


2. How to Say the Years in Korean

If you’re not familiar with numbers in Korean, it’s a good idea to first become familiar with the simpler numbers. Once you have a good understanding of Korean numbers, dates will become a lot simpler.

As you may already know, there are two ways to count numbers in Korea: Sino Korean and Native Korean. To count the years, you’ll only need Sino Korean numbers.

For example, if you were born in 1985:

  • 1000, read as 천 (cheon), meaning “one-thousand”
  • 900, read as 구백 (gubaek), meaning “nine-hundred”
  • 80, read as 팔십 (palsib), meaning “eighty”
  • 5, read as 오 (o), meaning “five”

All together, it becomes 천구백팔십오 (cheongubaekpalsibo), meaning “one thousand nine hundred eighty five.”

To say “the year,” you need to say 년 (nyeon). So to say, “The year of 1985,” it becomes 천구백팔십오년 (cheongubaekpalsibonyeon).

In Korea, there’s a number of ways to ask which year someone was born in:

  1. 몇년생이에요?
    Myeonnyeonsaengieyo?
    “Which year were you born in?”
  2. 몇년도에 태어났어요?
    Myeonnyeondoe taeeonasseoyo?
    “Which year were you born in?”
  3. 몇살이에요?
    Myeotsarieyo?
    Technically, it means “How old are you?” but you can answer by stating the year, too.

From 2002 to 2019

Korean Romanization Translation
2002년 (이천이년) 2002nyeon (icheoninyeon) “The year 2002″
2003년 (이천삼년) 2003nyeon (icheonsamnyeon) “The year 2003″
2004년 (이천사년) 2004nyeon (icheonsanyeon) “The year 2004″
2005년 (이천오년) 2005nyeon (icheononyeon) “The year 2005″
2006년 (이천십육년) 2006nyeon (icheonsibyungnyeon) “The year 2006″
2007년 (이천칠년) 2007nyeon (icheonchillyeon) “The year 2007″
2008년 (이천팔년) 2008nyeon (icheonpallyeon) “The year 2008″
2009년 (이천구년) 2009nyeon (icheongunyeon) “The year 2009″
2010년 (이천십년) 2010nyeon (icheonsimnyeon) “The year 2010″
2011년 (이천십일년) 2011nyeon (icheonsibillyeon) “The year 2011″
2012년 (이천십이년) 2012nyeon (icheonsibinyeon) “The year 2012″
2013년 (이천십삼년) 2013nyeon (icheonsipsamnyeon) “The year 2013″
2014년 (이천십사년) 2014nyeon (icheonsipsanyeon) “The year 2014″
2015년 (이천십오년) 2015nyeon (icheonsibonyeon) “The year 2015″
2016년 (이천십육년) 2016nyeon (icheonsibyungnyeon) “The year 2016″
2017년 (이천십칠년) 2017nyeon (icheonsipchillyeon) “The year 2017″
2018년 (이천십팔년) 2018nyeon (icheonsip-pallyeon) “The year 2018″
2019년 (이천십구년) 2019nyeon (icheonsipgunyeon) “The year 2019″

Examples:

  • A: 너 몇년생이야?
    A: Neo myeonnyeonsaengiya?
    A: “Which year were you born in?”

    B: 나? 2010년.
    B: Na? icheonsimnyeon.
    B: “Me? In 2010.”

  • A: BTS의 슈가는 몇년도생이었더라?
    A: Bitieseuui syuganeun myeonnyeondosaengieotdeora?
    A: “What year was Suga from BTS born in?”

    B: 1993년!
    B: Cheongubaekgusipsamnyeon!
    B: “In 1993!”

Quiz:

Are you ready for a quiz? Let’s practice your Korean!

Q1. How do you say “The year of 2001″ in Korean?

  1. 이천삼년 (icheonsamnyeon)
  2. 이천오년 (icheononyeon)
  3. 이천일년 (icheonillyeon)
  4. 이천년 (icheonnyeon)

Q2. What does 이천십팔년 mean in English?

  1. “The year of 2019″
  2. “The year of 2018″
  3. “The year of 2010″
  4. “The year of 2009″

Q3. How do you write “the year” in Korean?

  1. 월 (wol)
  2. 일 (il)
  3. 년 (nyeon)
  4. 요일 (yoil)

Answers:

Q1. -> 4
Q2. -> 2
Q3. -> 3


3. Korean Dates: Months

Months

Now we can start learning the days and months in Korean. To say the months is very easy too; just add a number in Korean followed by 월 (wol), which means “month” in the Korean language. For example, to say September: “nine” is 구 (gu) in Korean, followed by 월 (wol), meaning “month.” So it becomes 구월 (guwol), or “September.” Let’s have a look at months in Korean and some examples below:

From January to December

Korean Romanization Translation
1월 (일월) 1wol (irwol) “January”
2월 (이월) 2wol (iwol) “February”
3월 (삼월) 3wol (samwol) “March”
4월 (사월) 4wol (sawol) “April”
5월 (오월) 5wol (owol) “May”
6월 (유월) 6wol (yuwol) “June”
7월 (칠월) 7wol (chirwol) “July”
8월 (팔월) 8wol (parwol) “August”
9월 (구월) 9wol (guwol) “September”
10월 (시월) 10wol (siwol) “October”
11월 (십일월) 11wol (sibirwol) “November”
12월 (십이월) 12wol (sibiwol) “December”

We also have a free online vocabulary list called 한국어로 월에 대해서 말하기 (hangugeoro wore daehaeseo malhagi) or “Talking about Months”, so check it out on our website.

Examples:

  • A: 너 몇월에 태어났어?
    A: Neo myeochwore taeeonasseo?
    A: “Which month were you born?”

    B: 나? 나 10월에 태어났어.
    B: Na? Na 10wore taeeonasseo.
    B: “Me? I was born in October.”

  • A: 부처님 오신날이 언제 였더라?
    A: Bucheonim osinnari eonje yeotdeora?
    A: “Which month was Buddha’s birthday?”

    B: 5월 8일!
    B: Owol paril!
    B: “It’s the 8th of May!”

Quiz:

Are you ready for a quiz? Let’s practice your Korean!

Q1. How do you say “September” in Korean?

  1. 시월 (siwol)
  2. 칠월 (chilwol)
  3. 일월 (ilwol)
  4. 구월 (guwol)

Q2. Which month has Christmas Day?

  1. 십이월 (sipiwol)
  2. 십일월 (sipilwol)
  3. 팔월 (palwol)
  4. 이월 (iwol)

Q3. Which month has Children’s Day in Korea?

  1. 사월 (sawol)
  2. 오월 (owol)
  3. 삼월 (samwol)
  4. 이월 (iwol)

Answers:

Q1 -> 4
Q2 -> 1
Q3 -> 2

A Red Monthly Calendar


3. How to Say Korean Calendar Dates

일 (il) means “one” in Korean, but it also means “day.” To say the days in Korean, use Sino Korean number followed by 일 (il). For example, to answer someone who asks what day Valentine’s Day is on, you can say: 발렌타인데이는 14일이에요 (ballentaindeineun sipsairieyo), meaning “Valentine’s Day is on the 14th.”

Something to remember: “1st” and “2nd” sound very similar in Korean. For this reason, Koreans often ask whether they understood you correctly or not. So if this happens, don’t be discouraged. Your pronunciation is perfect, it’s just how we do things. (We also use the number gestures for better clarity.)

From 1st to 31st

Korean Romanization Translation
1일 (일일) 1il (iril) “1st”
2일 (이일) 2il (iil) “2nd”
3일 (삼일) 3il (samil) “3rd”
4일 (사일) 4il (sail) “4th”
5일 (오일) 5il (o-il) “5th”
6일 (육일) 6il (yugil) “6th
7일 (칠일) 7il (chiril) “7th”
8일 (팔일) 8il (paril) “8th”
9일 (구일) 9il (guil) “9th”
10일 (십일) 10il (sibil) “10th”
11일 (십일일) 11il (sibiril) “11th”
12일 (십이일) 12il (sibiil) “12th”
13일 (십삼일) 13il (sipsamil) “13th”
14일 (십사일) 14il (sipsail) “14th”
15일 (십오일) 15il (siboil) “15th”
16일 (십육일) 16il (sibyugil) “16th”
17일 (십칠일) 17il (sipchiril) “17th”
18일 (십팔일) 18il (sip-paril) “18th”
19일 (십구일) 19il (sipguil) “19th”
20일 (이십일) 20il (isibil) “20th”
21일 (이십일일) 21il (isibiril) “21st”
22일 (이십이일) 22il (isibiil) “22nd”
23일 (이십삼일) 23il (isipsamil) “23rd”
24일 (이십사일) 24il (isipsail) “24th”
25일 (이십오일) 25il (isiboil) “25th”
26일 (이십육일) 26il (isibyugil) “26th”
27일 (이십칠일) 27il (isipchiril) “27th”
28일 (이십팔일) 28il (isip-paril) “28th”
29일 (이십구일) 29il (isipguil) “29th”
30일 (삼십일) 30il (samsibil) “30th”
31일 (삼십일일) 31il (samsibiril) “31st”

Examples:

  • A: 생일이 언제예요?
    A: Saengiri eonjeyeyo?
    A: “When is your birthday?”

    B: 9월 25일이에요.
    B: Guworisiboirieyo.
    B: “It’s the 25th of September.”

  • A: 너 여동생 생일이 언제야?
    A: Neo yeodongsaeng saengiri eonjeya?
    A: “When is your sister’s birthday?”

    B: 2월20일. 근데 너 왜 내 여동생 생일을 알고 싶은데?
    B: Iworisibil. geunde neo wae nae yeodongsaeng saengireul algo sipeunde?
    B: “It’s the 20th of February. Why do you want to know my sister’s birthday?”

Quiz:

Q1. How do you say 이월 십삼일 in Korean?

  1. 2월 13일
  2. 2월 14일
  3. 1월13일
  4. 1월14일

Q2. When is Christmas Day?

  1. 십일월 이십오일
  2. 십이월 이십오일
  3. 십이월 이일
  4. 사월 이십오일

Q3. How do you say 시월 이십일일 in English?

  1. “21st of November”
  2. “21st of April”
  3. “21st of May”
  4. “21st of October”

Answers:

Q1 -> 1
Q2 -> 2
Q3 -> 4


4. Saying the Days of the Week in Korean

Weekdays

요일 (yoil) means “day” in the Korean language. Let’s check out days in the Korean language as shown below!

From Monday to Sunday

Korean Romanization Translation
월요일 wollyoil “Monday”
화요일 hwayoil “Tuesday”
수요일 suyoil “Wednesday”
목요일 mongnyoil “Thursday”
금요일 geumyoil “Friday”
토요일 toyoil “Saturday”
일요일 illyoil “Sunday”

We also have a free online vocabulary list called 요일에 대해 말하기 (yoire daehae malhagi) or “Talking about Days”. Feel free to check it out on KoreanClass101.

Examples:

  • A: 오늘 무슨요일이지?
    A: Oneul museunyoiriji?
    A: “What day is it today?”

    B: 오늘? 화요일이야.
    B: Oneul? hwayoiriya.
    B: “Today? It’s Tuesday.”

  • A: 내일은 금요일이지?
    A: Naeireun geumyoiriji?
    A: “Tomorrow is Friday right?”

    B: 아니, 내일 토요일이야.
    B: Ani, naeil toyoiriya.
    B: “No, it’s Saturday tomorrow.”

Quiz:

Q1. How do you write “day” in Korean?

  1. 요일 (yoil)
  2. 시 (si)
  3. 년 (nyeon)
  4. 월 (wol)

Q2. How do you write “Sunday” in Korean?

  1. 월요일 (wollyoil)
  2. 화요일 (hwayoil)
  3. 금요일 (geumyoil)
  4. 일요일 (illyoil)

Q3. How do you write “Monday” in Korean?

  1. 일요일 (illyoil)
  2. 수요일 (suyoil)
  3. 월요일 (wollyoil)
  4. 목요일 (mongnyoil)

Answers:

Q1 -> 1
Q2 -> 4
Q3 -> 3

A Vintage Clock and a Calendar


5. How to Say the Hours in Korean

In this section, we’ll focus on “hours” (and not “the time” as in “What time is it?”). If you want to learn how to read the clock in Korean, check out our article titled 시간에 대해 말하기 (sigane daehae malhagi) or “Talking about Time.”

“Hours” in Korean is 시간 (sigan). Let’s have a look at the table below for more vocabulary.

Korean Romanization Translation
1시간 (한시간) 1sigan (hansigan) “One hour”
2시간 (두시간) 2sigan (dusigan) “Two hours”
3시간 (세시간) 3sigan (sesigan) “Three hours”
4시간 (네시간) 4sigan (nesigan) “Four hours”
5시간 (다섯시간) 5sigan (daseotsigan) “Five hours”
6시간 (여섯시간) 6sigan (yeoseotsigan) “Six hours”
7시간 (일곱시간) 7sigan (ilgopsigan) “Seven hours”
8시간 (여덟시간) 8sigan (yeodeolsigan) “Eight hours”
9시간 (아홉시간) 9sigan (ahopsigan) “Nine hours”
10시간 (열시간) 10sigan (yeolsigan) “Ten hours”
11시간 (열한시간) 11sigan (yeolhansigan) “Eleven hours”
12시간 (열두시간) 12sigan (yeoldusigan) “Twelve hours”

Examples:

  • A: 비행기가 2시간이나 지연됐어.
    A: Bihaenggiga dusiganina jiyeondwaesseo.
    A: “The plane got delayed for two hours.”

    B: 아 정말? 그럼 2시간 뒤에 픽업하러 갈께.
    B: A jeongmal? Geureom dusigan dwie pigeopareo galkke.
    B: “Oh really? I will come and pick you up after two hours then.”

  • A: 하루 한시간은 꼭 요가를 하려고 해.
    A: Haru hansiganeun kkok yogareul haryeogo hae.
    A: “I am trying to do yoga at least one hour per day.”

    B: 그건 좋은 생각인것 같아. 나는 일주일에 3시간은 꼭 조깅을 하고 있어.
    B: Geugeon joeun saenggagingeot gata. Naneun iljuire sesiganeun kkok jogingeul hago isseo.
    B: “That’s a great idea. I do jogging for three hours per week.”

Quiz:

Q1. How do you write “hour(s)” in Korean?

  1. 시간 (sigan)
  2. 월 (wol)
  3. 일 (il)
  4. 년 (nyeon)

Q2. How do you say “twelve hours” in Korean?

  1. 열시간 (yeolsigan)
  2. 여덟시간 (yeodeolsigan)
  3. 네시간 (nesigan)
  4. 열두시간 (yeoldusigan)

Q3. How do you write “twenty-four hours” in Korean?

  1. 한시간 (hansigan)
  2. 이십사시간 (isipsasigan)
  3. 일곱시간 (ilgopsigan)
  4. 다섯시간 (daseotsigan)

Answers:

Q1 -> 1
Q2 -> 4
Q3 -> 2


6. How to Say the Minutes in Korean

“Minute(s)” is 분 (bun) in Korean. When you want to write “how many minutes” in Korean, it’s 몇분 (myeotbun).

Let’s have a look at a number of examples:

Korean Romanization Translation
5분 (오분) 5bun (obun) “Five minutes”
10분 (십분) 10bun (sipbun) “Ten minutes”
20분 (이십분) 20bun (isipbun) “Twenty minutes”
35분 (삼십오분) 35bun (samsibobun) “Thirty-five minutes”
42분 (사십이분) 42bun (sasibibun) “Forty-two minutes”
51분 (오십일분) 51bun (osibilbun) “Fifty-one minutes”
59분 (오십구분) 59bun (osipgubun) “Fifty-nine minutes”

Examples:

  • A: 몇시에 도착할 것 같아?
    A: Myeotsie dochakal geot gata?
    A: “When do you think you will arrive?”

    B: 10분안에 도착할께.
    B: Sipbunane dochakalkke.
    B: “I will be there in ten minutes.”

  • A: 휴, 캐런은 약속 시간에 맨날 10분 이상 늦더라.
    A: Hyu, kaereoneun yaksok sigane maennal 10bun isang neutdeora.
    A: “Phew, Karen is always late for at least ten minutes.”

    B: 야, 내 친구는 한시간이나 늦을때도 있어.
    B: Ya, nae chinguneun hansiganina neujeulttaedo isseo.
    B: “Hey, my friend sometimes is late for one hour.”

Quiz:

Q1. How do you say “ten minutes” in Korean?

  1. 삼십오분 (samsibobun)
  2. 십분 (sipbun)
  3. 사십이분 (sasibibun)
  4. 오십구분 (osipgubun)

Q2. How do you say “fifty-nine minutes” in Korean?

  1. 오분 (obun)
  2. 십분 (sipbun)
  3. 오십구분 (osipgubun)
  4. 사십이분 (sasibibun)

Q3. How do you say “minute(s)” in Korean?

  1. 년 (nyeon)
  2. 일 (il)
  3. 시간 (sigan)
  4. 분 (bun)

Answers:

Q1. -> 2
Q2. -> 3
Q3. -> 4


7. How to Say the Seconds in Korean

Numbers

“Second” is 초 (cho) in Korean. Let’s have a look at the table below to practice how to say different “second(s)” in Korean.

Korean Romanization Translation
1초 (일초) ilcho “One second”
5초 (오초) ocho “Five seconds”
13초 (십삼초) sipsamcho “Thirteen seconds”
26초 (이십육초) isibyukcho “Twenty-six seconds”
30초 (삼십초) samsipcho “Thirty seconds”
37초 (삼십칠초) samsipchilcho “Thirty-seven seconds”
44초 (사십사초) sasipsacho “Forty-four seconds”
52초 (오십이초) osibicho “Fifty-two seconds”
59초 (오십구초) osipgucho “Fifty-nine seconds”

Examples:

  • A: 1분은 총 몇 초게?
    A: Ilbuneun chong myeot choge?
    A: “How many seconds in one minute?”

    B: 60초!
    B: Yuksipcho!
    B: “Sixty seconds!”

  • A: 10 초안에 이 문제 풀 수 있겠어?
    A: Sip choane i munje pul su itgesseo?
    A: “Can you solve this problem in ten seconds?”

    B:뭐라고? 말도 안돼!
    B: Mworago? Maldo andwae!
    B: “What? That’s nonsense!”

Quiz:

Q1. How do you write “second(s)” in Korean?

  1. 분 (bun)
  2. 년 (nyeon)
  3. 초 (cho)
  4. 일 (il)

Q2. How do you write “one minute” in Korean?

  1. 일초 (ilcho)
  2. 이초 (icho)
  3. 삼초 (samcho)
  4. 사초 (sacho)

Q3. How do you say “sixty seconds” in Korean?

  1. 오십육초 (osibyukcho)
  2. 십오초 (sibocho)
  3. 이십이초 (isibicho)
  4. 육십초 (yuksipcho)

Answers:

Q1. -> 3
Q2. -> 1
Q3. -> 4


8. How to Say Other Time-related Words

Korean Romanization Translation
평일 pyeongil “Weekdays”
주말 jumal “Weekend(s)”
골든위크 goldeunwikeu “Golden Week”
샌드위치 데이* saendeuwichi dei “Sandwich Day”
어제 eoje “Yesterday”
오늘 oneul “Today”
내일 naeil “Tomorrow”
엊그저께 eotgeujeokke “A few days ago”
그저께 geujeokke “The day before yesterday”
내일모레 naeilmore “The day after tomorrow”

Examples:

  • A: BTS 콘서트 언제였지? 갑자기 기억이 안나네.
    A: Bitieseu konseoteu eonjeyeotji? Gapjagi gieogi annane.
    A: “When was the BTS concert? I can’t remember suddenly.”

    B: 잠깐만… 8월8일이니깐… 어머, 내일모레네!
    B: Jamkkanman… parwolparirinikkan… eomeo, naeilmorene!
    B: “Hold on… It’s on the 8th of August…oh my goodness, it’s in two days!”

  • A: 나 엊그저께 친구 결혼식 갔다 왔는데, 둘이 너무 행복해 보였어.
    A: Na eotgeujeokke chingu gyeolhonsik gatda wanneunde, duri neomu haengbokae boyeosseo.
    A: “I went to my friend’s wedding a few days ago and they both looked really happy.”

    B: 난 주말에 결혼식 가야 해.
    B: Nan jumare gyeolhonsik gaya hae.
    B: “I have to go to a wedding this weekend.”

Quiz:

Q1. How do you say “yesterday” in Korean?

  1. 골든위크 (goldeunwikeu)
  2. 어제 (eoje)
  3. 샌드위치 데이 (saendeuwichi dei)
  4. 엊그저께 (eotgeujeokke)

Q2. How do you say “the day before yesterday” in Korean?

  1. 내일모레 (naeilmore)
  2. 어제 (eoje)
  3. 그저께 (geujeokke)
  4. 오늘 (oneul)

Q3. How do you say “today” in Korean?

  1. 오늘 (oneul)
  2. 엊그저께 (eotgeujeokke)
  3. 어제 (eoje)
  4. 그저께 (geujeokke)

Answers:

Q1. -> 2
Q2. -> 3
Q3. -> 1

A Small Whipped Cupcake with a Candle


9. Interesting Korean Celebration Days

Did you know that every month there’s at least one event happening? Korea has many interesting days of celebration and they’re fun to participate in, especially if you’re in a relationship or dating someone. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular celebration days in South Korea:

Korean Romanization Translation Meaning
다이어리 데이 (1월 14일)           daieori dei “Diary Day”

It’s the day that couples give each other their diaries.
발렌타인 데이 (2월 14일)           ballentain dei “Valentine’s Day” It’s the day that couples give each other chocolate.
삼겹살 데이 (3월3일)           samgyeopsal dei “Samgyeopsal Day” It’s the day to eat Samgyupsal with someone you like.
화이트 데이 (3월 14일)           hwaiteu dei “White Day” It’s the day that couples give each other candy.
블랙 데이 (4월 14일)           beullaek dei “Black Day” It’s the day to eat Jjajang noodles if you haven’t received any chocolates or candies from anyone.
로즈 데이 (5월 14일)           rojeu dei “Rose Day” It’s the day to give a rose to your gf/bf.
키스 데이 (6월 14일)           kiseu dei “Kiss Day” It’s the day to give a kiss to your gf/bf.
실버 데이 (7월 14일)           silbeo dei “Silver Day” It’s the day to exchange a silver ring with your gf/bf.
그린 데이 (8월 14일)           geurin dei “Green Day” It’s the day to walk through the woods with your gf/bf.
치킨 데이 (9월 9일)           chikin dei “Chicken Day” It’s the day to eat some fried chicken with someone you like.
포토 데이 (9월 14일)           poto dei “Photo Day” It’s the day to take pictures with your gf/bf.
와인 데이 (10월 14일)           wain dei “Wine Day” It’s the day to drink some wine with your gf/bf.
무비 데이 (11월 14일)           mubi dei “Movie Day” It’s the day to watch a film with your gf/bf.
허그 데이 (12월 14일)           heogeu dei “Hug Day” It’s the day to give a hug to your gf/bf.


10. Let’s Practice

Knowing how to discuss various time frames is important when making a reservation. Let’s imagine that you’re trying to make a reservation at a fancy restaurant to celebrate your engagement with your fiance.

Situation:

  • Concierge: 한국호텔입니다. 무엇을 도와드릴까요?
    Concierge: Hangukoterimnida. Mueoseul dowadeurilkkayo?
    Concierge: “This is a Korean hotel. How may I help you?”
  • You: 여보세요, 예약하고 싶은데요.
    You: Yeoboseyo, yeyakago sipeundeyo.
    You: “Hello, I would like to make a reservation please.”
  • Concierge: 네, 언제로 해드릴까요?
    Concierge: Ne, eonjero haedeurilkkayo?
    Concierge: “Sure, when would you like to come?”
  • You: 12월 25일 오후 7시 가능한가요?
    You: Sibiwol isiboiril ohu ilgopsi ganeunghangayo?
    You: Is it possible on the 25th of December at seven o’clock in the evening?”
  • Concierge: 확인해보겠습니다. 죄송하지만 12월 25일은 예약이 꽉 차 있습니다. 다른 날은 어떠신가요.
    Concierge: Hwaginhaebogetseumnida. Joesonghajiman 12wol 25ireun yeyagi kkwak cha itseumnida. Dareun nareun eotteosingayo.
    Concierge: “Let me check it now. I am sorry but it’s full. How about other dates?”
  • You: 아 그래요? 그럼 12월 26일 오후 7시는 가능한가요?
    You: A geuraeyo? Geureom sibiworwol isibyugil ohu ilgopsineun ganeunghangayo?
    You: “Oh really? How about on the 26th of December at seven in the evening?”
  • Concierge: 네 가능합니다. 예약 잡아 드릴까요?
    Concierge: Ne ganeunghamnida. Yeyak jaba deurilkkayo?
    Concierge: “Yes you can. Do you want me to save the room for you?”
  • You: 네, 잡아주세요.
    You: Ne, jabajuseyo.
    You: “Yes please.”
  • Concierge: 성함과 전화번호 알려주시겠습니까?
    Concierge: Seonghamgwa jeonhwabeonho allyeojusigetseumnikka?
    Concierge: “May I have your name and your number please?”

Korean Landmark


11. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You with Korean

We hope you found this blog very informative, and that we helped you learn Korean dates and time! KoreanClass101 has many free online classes and even on online forum to discuss lessons with fellow students. You’ll also find an array of blog posts like this one, and can even learn Korean with your own personal Korean teacher by upgrading your account to Premium Plus. So do check out our website, and have a great day!

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Describe Your Family in Korean: “Brother” in Korean and More

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People always talk about their family when it comes to self-introductions. Koreans value family a lot, and we love talking about our family. In this blog, we’ll teach you many useful phrases to describe your family, as well as essential family titles for you to study to expand your vocabulary skills. After reading this article, you should have no trouble talking about your brother in Korean, or letting people know about your family as a whole.

We’ll also go a little bit into family culture in Korean countries, so that you have a better idea of what to expect from Korean families!

Ready to learn how to describe family in Korean? Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

  1. Talking About How Many are in Your Family
  2. Talking About Your Siblings
  3. Talking About Significant Others & Children
  4. Korean Endearment Terms
  5. Korean Quotes About Family
  6. Korean Titles & Verbs Related to Family
  7. Have a Question? KoreanClass101 Can Help You

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1. Talking About How Many are in Your Family

Family Words

Knowing how to talk about your family members in Korean oftentimes begins with information on how many members there are. Here are some common ways to ask and answer.

1- “How many are there in your family?”

This is a common question about family. To ask how many family members someone has, it’s 가족이 몇 명이에요? (gajogi myeot myeongieyo?) in Korean. There are many ways to ask this question:

  1. 가족이 모두 몇 명이에요? (Formal)
    Gajogi modu myeot myeongieyo?
    “How many family members are there in total?”
  2. 가족이 모두 몇 명이야? (Informal)
    Gajogi modu myeot myeongiya?
    “How many family members are there in total?”
  3. 가족이 몇 분이세요? (Formal)
    Gajogi myeot buniseyo?
    “How many family members do you have?”
  4. 가족이 몇 명입니까? (Formal)
    Gajogi myeot myeongimnikka?
    “How many family members do you have?”
  5. 가족이 몇 명이야? (Informal)
    Gajogi myeot myeongiya?
    “How many members in your family?”

All of these family phrases in Korean mean the same thing. The only difference is that some are used in formal settings, and others in informal settings.

2- “There are [number] in my family.”

Let’s say that you have four people in your family. To say “There are four people in my family,” in Korean, you should say: 우리 가족은 네 명이에요 (Uri gajogeun ne myeong iyeyo). Alternatively, you can say, 가족은 모두 ~ 명 입니다. (gajogeun modu ~ myeong imnida.), meaning “There are ~ family members in total.”

KoreanClass101 has many lessons about counting numbers in Korean, so feel free to check out our website at any time.

Example:

  • A: 가족이 몇 명입니까?
    A: Gajogi myeot myeongimnikka?
    A: “How many family members do you have?”

    B: 우리 가족은 세 명이에요.
    B: Uri gajogeun se myeongieyo.
    B: “There are three members in my family.”

  • A: 가족이 모두 몇 명이야?
    A: Gajogi modu myeot myeongiya?
    A: “How many are there in your family?”

    B: 우리 집? 아빠, 엄마, 언니 있으니깐, 총 네 명있어.
    B: Uri jip? Appa, eomma, eonni isseunikkan, chong ne myeongisseo.
    B: “My house? There’s dad, mom, and a younger sister, so there are four.”

Two Kids Playing Together


2. Talking About Your Siblings

1- “I have siblings.” and “I am an only child.”

To ask someone whether he or she has siblings, ask them with the phrase 형제 자매가 있어요? (hyeongje jamaega isseoyo?), direct translation being “Do you have brothers and sisters?” Also, these days, we slightly shorten the sentence and we say 형제 있어요? (Hyeongje isseoyo?). The direct translation of this phrase also means “Do you have siblings?”

To say that you have a number of siblings, you can say 형제 자매가 있어요 (Hyeongje jamaega isseoyo.) in Korean. It means “I have brothers and sisters.”

Let’s have a look at a number of useful phrases to say:

  1. 언니 한 명이 있어요.
    Eonni han myeongi isseoyo.
    “I have an older sister.”
  2. 남동생 두 명이 있어요.
    Namdongsaeng du myeongi isseoyo.
    “I have two younger brothers.”
  3. 언니 한 명과 오빠 한 명이 있어요.
    Eonni han myeonggwa oppa han myeongi isseoyo.
    “I have an older sister and an older brother.”
  4. 저는 외동딸이에요.
    Jeoneun oedongttarieyo.
    “I am an only child (girl).”

More examples:

  • 저는 장남이예요.
    Jeoneun jangnamiyeyo.
    “I am the oldest son.”
  • 저는 둘째예요.
    Jeoneun duljjaeyeyo
    “I am the second oldest.”
  • 저는 막내예요.
    Jeoneun mangnaeyeyo.
    “I am the youngest.”

Vocabulary List for Siblings

Here are some useful Korean family terms related to siblings!

Korean Romanization Translation
장남 (첫째아들) jangnam (cheotjjaeadeul) “oldest son”
장녀 (첫째 딸) jangnyeo (cheotjjae ttal) “oldest daughter”
둘째 아들 duljjae adeul “second son”
둘째 딸 duljjae ttal “second daughter”
막내아들 mangnaeadeul “youngest son”
막내딸 mangnaettal “youngest daughter”
외아들 oeadeul “only child (male)”
외동딸 oedongttal “only child (female)”
형제 hyeongje “brothers”
자매 jamae “sisters”
언니 eonni “older sister” (from a female sibling)
누나 nuna “older sister” (from a male sibling)
여동생 yeodongsaeng “younger sister”
오빠 oppa “older brother” (from a female sibling)
hyeong “older brother” (from a male sibling)
남동생 namdongsaeng “younger brother”
쌍둥이 ssangdungi “twins”

2- “My sister is younger/older than me.”

To say that one of your siblings is younger than you, the word to describe “younger” is 어리다 (eorida) in Korean. To change the dictionary form of this word, simply change it to 어려요 (eoryeoyo). On the other hand, to say that your sibling is older than you, the word to describe “older” is 많다 (manta) in Korean, and changes to 많아요 (manayo) in spoken form.

Examples:

  • 제 여동생은 저보다 한 살 어려요.
    Je yeodongsaengeun jeoboda han sal eoryeoyo.
    “My younger sister is one year younger than me.”
  • 제 누나는 저보다 열 살 많아요.
    Je nunaneun jeoboda yeol sal manayo.
    “My older sister is ten years older than me.”

Useful Vocabulary List to Describe Age Differences

* Click on the word in the Romanization column to listen to the pronunciation.

Korean Romanization Translation
어리다 eorida “younger”
많다 manta “older”
~살 ~sal “~ years old”
동갑 donggap “same age”

A Couple Holding Hands


3. Talking About Significant Others & Children

Married, or in a serious relationship? Be sure to study these family words in Korean and the relevant phrases, so that you can talk about your beloved and family life.

1- “I have a husband/wife.” and “I have a daughter/son.”

If you’re married and have a family, you need to know how to say how many kids you have, too. There are many words to describe your own children. The most common words to say “son” and “daughter” are 아들 (adeul) and 딸 (ttal), respectively.

To say “I have a son,” it’s 저는 아들 한 명이 있습니다 (Jeoneun adeul han myeongi itseumnida). And “I have a daughter,” is 저는 딸 한 명이 있습니다 (Jeoneun ttal han myeongi itseumnida). Let’s have a look at different phrases:

  1. 저는 아들 한 명하고 딸 한 명이 있습니다.
    Jeoneun adeul han myeonghago ttal han myeongi itseumnida.
    “I have a son and a daughter.”
  2. 아들과 딸이 있습니다.
    Adeulgwa ttari itseumnida.
    “I have a son and a daughter.”
  3. 자식은 없습니다.
    Jasigeun eopseumnida.
    “I have no children.”

Useful Vocabulary List for Married Couples

* Click on the word in the Romanization column to listen to the pronunciation.

Korean Romanization Translation
남편 nampyeon “husband”
아내 anae “wife”
파트너 pateuneo “partner”
약혼자 yakonja “fiancé” (referring to a male)
약혼녀 yakonnyeo “fiancé” (referring to a female)
피앙세 piangse “fiancé”
아들 adeul “son”
ttal “daughter”
자식 jasik “Sons and daughters”
아이 ai “child”
손자 sonja “grandson”
손녀 sonnyeo “granddaughter”

More Examples:

  • A: 결혼 하셨어요?
    A: Gyeolhon hasyeosseoyo?
    A: “Are you married?”

    B: 네, 결혼했어요. 집에 아들과 딸이 있어요.
    B: Ne, gyeolhonhaesseoyo. jibe adeulgwa ttari isseoyo.
    B: “Yes, I am married. I have a son and a daughter.”

2- “I have a boyfriend/girlfriend.”

People usually ask a question like 지금 만나고 있는 사람 있니? (Jigeum mannago inneun saram inni?), which means “Are you seeing anyone at the moment?” Another common question is 남자친구/여자친구 있니? (Namjachingu/yeojachingu inni?), or “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”

To answer that you’re seeing someone, follow the grammatical order of “I have a brother.” To say “I have a boyfriend,” just add 남자친구 (namjachingu) followed by 있어요 (isseoyo).

If you’re not seeing anyone, but don’t want to share too much information, you can simply say 만나고 있는 사람 없어요 (Mannago inneun saram eopseoyo), which means “I’m not seeing anyone.” Another option is 아니요, 없어요 (Aniyo, eopseoyo), which literally means “No, I don’t have.”

The general conversation goes like this:

  • 아버지: 지금 만나고 있는 사람 있냐?
    Abeoji: Jigeum mannago inneun saram innya?
    Father: “Are you seeing anyone at the moment?”

    수미: 아니요. 없어요.
    Sumi: Aniyo. Eopseoyo.
    Sumi: “No, I’m not.”

Vocabulary List for Girlfriends and Boyfriends

* Click on the word in the Romanization column to listen to the pronunciation.

Korean Romanization Translation
애인 aein “lover,” “girlfriend,” “boyfriend”
남자친구 namjachingu “boyfriend”
남친 namchin “boyfriend” (slang)
여자친구 yeojachingu “girlfriend”
여친 yeochin “girlfriend” (slang)

More Examples:

  • A: 애인있어요?
    A: Aeinisseoyo?
    A: “Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?”

    B: 애인있어요.
    B: Aeinisseoyo.
    B: “I do.”

A Silhouette of a Family


4. Korean Endearment Terms

1. “Hey baby,” and “My love.”

Couples in some countries have endearment terms for each other, like “baby.” Korea has some endearment terms like that too. The most common word is 자기야 (jagiya) which means “sweetie” or “baby.” You’ll hear couples and spouses call each other by this word. Also, young people tend to create their own secret endearment terms for each other; others make nicknames, too.

Vocabulary List for Endearment Terms

* Click on the word in the Romanization column to listen to the pronunciation.

Korean Romanization Translation
자기야 jagiya “sweetie/baby”
내 사랑 nae sarang “my love”
오빠 oppa “honey” (if bf is older)
여보 yeobo “darling” (only for married couples)

Examples:

  • A: 자기야.
    A: Jagiya.
    A: “Hey sweetie.”

    B: 응, 왜불렀어?
    B: Eung, waebulleosseo?
    B: “Yes, did you call me?”


5. Korean Quotes About Family

Family Quotes

Let’s look at some Korean phrases about family.

  • 당신은 가족을 선택하지 않는다. 당신이 가족에게 그런 것 처럼 가족은 당신에게 하느님이 주신 선물이다.
    Dangsineun gajogeul seontaekaji anneunda. Dangsini gajogege geureon geot cheoreom gajogeun dangsinege haneunimi jusin seonmurida.
    “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”
  • 가정에서 행복하지 않으면 다른 어디에서도 행복할 수 없다.
    Gajeongeseo haengbokaji aneumyeon dareun eodieseodo haengbokal su eopda.
    “If you’re not happy at home, you’re not happy anywhere else.”
  • 집 같은 곳은 없다.
    Jip gateun goseun eopda.
    “There is no place like home.”

Check out more quotes about family at “Top 10 Quotes about Family” on our website. Want to challenge yourself and try reading advanced Korean proverbs? Check out this article to learn about the complexity of Korean family relationships.


6. Korean Titles & Verbs Related to Family

Parents Phrases

Did you know that Korea has some of the most complicated titles for family? It’s so complicated that sometimes even Koreans struggle to remember all the titles. But don’t worry; you don’t need to memorize all the titles. Just try to memorize the most important Korean family titles, since they’re used every day.

1- Korean Family Titles

Korean Romanization Translation
조부모 jobumo “grandparents”
할머니 halmeoni “grandmother”
할아버지 harabeoji “grandfather”
부모님 bumonim “parents”
어머니 eomeoni “mother”
아버지 abeoji “father”
친척 chincheok “relative”
삼촌 samchon “uncle”
숙모 sungmo “aunt”
조카 joka “niece”
사촌 sachon “cousin”

2. Korean Verbs Related to Family

Let’s learn some important verbs that are commonly used when it comes to family.

Korean Romanization Translation
태어나다 taeeonada “to be born”
죽다 jukda “to die”
결혼하다 gyeolhonhada “to marry”
이혼하다 ihonhada “to divorce”
입양되다 ibyangdoeda “to be adopted”
입양하다 ibyanghada “to adopt”
낳다 nata “to give birth”
사랑하다 saranghada “to love”


7. Have a Question? KoreanClass101 Can Help You

What do you think about Korean family culture in Korea? How is it different from your country? Let us know in the comments!

For more family-related study materials, visit us at KoreanClass101.com. We truly believe that language-learning should be both fun and informative, and we’re here for you with motivation to study the Korean language.

If you want to learn more about the Korean family, such as the most popular Korean family names and so on, check out this page on Wikipedia too. We hope that you took away something valuable from this article, and that you’ll keep using KoreanClass101 for all your Korean-learning needs!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Korean

Essential Korean Language for Travel that You Must Know

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Are you planning to travel to Korea? Korean travel phrases in language-learning are absolutely essential for just this reason!

Learning basic South Korean travel phrases will definitely help you in nearly any situation, including urgent ones. The Korean travel phrases and Korean travel words you’ll learn in this article will make your travels more fun and help you connect with locals, so that you can get the most out of your upcoming trip to South Korea!

Table of Contents

  1. Essential Korean Travel Phrases: Basic Expressions
  2. Essential Korean Phrases: Transportation
  3. Essential Korean Phrases: Shopping
  4. Essential Korean Phrases: At Restaurants
  5. Essential Korean Phrases: Asking for and Giving Directions
  6. Essential Korean Phrases: Emergencies
  7. Essential Korean Phrases: Flattery Phrases
  8. Essential Korean Phrases: Useful Phrases to Go Through Language Problems
  9. Essential Korean Phrases: Buying Tickets at a Museum
  10. Essential Korean Phrases: Taking Pictures
  11. How KoreanClass101.com Can Help You with Korean

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1. Essential Korean Travel Phrases: Basic Expressions

Preparing For Travel

You’ll be able to converse with local native Koreans by simply remembering these basic phrases. Koreans will appreciate the fact that you made the effort to speak to them in their local language, and it will certainly add more fun to your South Korea trip.

1- 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) - “hello” (polite form)

This is one of the most basic and commonly used Korean phrases for travelling, so be sure to keep it in your arsenal!

Example 1:
You enter a restaurant and a waitress greets you.

  • Waitress: 안녕하세요.
    Waitress: Annyeonghaseyo.
    Waitress: “Hello.”
  • You: 안녕하세요.
    You: Annyeonghaseyo.
    You: “Hello.”

Example 2:
You take a taxi and want to greet the taxi driver.

  • You: 안녕하세요.
    You: Annyeonghaseyo.
    You: “Hello.”
  • Taxi driver: 네, 안녕하세요. 어디로 가시나요?
    Taxi driver: Ne, annyeonghaseyo. Eodiro gasinayo?
    Taxi driver: “Yes, hello. Where would you like to go?”

2 - 반갑습니다 (bangapseumnida) - “nice to meet you” (polite form)

Example 1:
Jason went to your friend’s house and met their roommate, who is older than him, for the first time.

  • Roommate: 어? 친구 데려왔어? 누구야?
    Roommate: Eo? Chingu deryeowasseo? Nuguya?
    Roommate: “Oh, you brought your friend home? Who is he?”
  • Jason: 안녕하세요, 반갑습니다.
    Jason: Annyeonghaseyo, bangapseumnida.
    Jason: “Hello, nice to meet you.”

Example 2:
Michael went to a language exchange event in Hongdae and wants to introduce himself to others.

  • Michael: 안녕하세요, 저는 마이클이라고 합니다. 반갑습니다.
    Michael: Annyeonghaseyo, jeoneun maikeurirago hamnida. Bangapseumnida.
    Michael: “Hello, my name is Michael. Nice to meet you.”

3 - 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) - “thank you” (polite form)

Example 1:
You’re walking in the busy streets in the Gangnam area, and see a lady drop her wallet. You pick it up and give it to her.

  • You: 여기, 지갑 떨어뜨리셨어요.
    You: Yeogi, jigap tteoreotteurisyeosseoyo.
    You: “Here, you dropped your wallet.”
  • Lady: 어머, 감사합니다.
    Lady: Eomeo, gamsahamnida.
    Lady: “Oh, thank you so much.”

Example 2:
You order a cup of coffee at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and a clerk gives you the change after you’ve paid.

  • Clerk: 500원 거스름돈 드리겠습니다.
    Clerk: Obaegwon geoseureumdon deurigetseumnida.
    Clerk: “Here is [your] change, 500 won.”
  • You: 감사합니다.
    You: Gamsahamnida.
    You: “Thank you.”

4 - 실례합니다 (sillyehamnida) - “excuse me” (polite form)

This is one of the most useful Korean travel phrases you can learn, so keep it in mind.

Example 1:
You’re on a crowded subway and need to get closer to the exit.

  • You: 실례합니다. 지나가겠습니다.
    You: Sillyehamnida. Jinagagetseumnida.
    You: “Excuse me. Passing through.”

Example 2:
You accidentally stepped on a stranger’s foot inside the busy subway.

  • You: 실례합니다.
    You: Sillyehamnida.
    You: “Excuse me.”

5- 네; 아니요; 괜찮아요. (ne; aniyo; gwaenchanayo.) - “yes; no; no, thank you.”

While you learn Korean travel phrases, never underestimate the importance of even the smallest words. They can have the most impact!

Example 1:

  • You: 이쪽으로 가면 화장실인가요?
    You: Ijjogeuro gamyeon hwajangsiringayo?
    You: “Is this way to the toilet?”
  • Clerk: 아니요, 그쪽은 창고예요.
    Clerk: Aniyo, geujjogeun changgoyeyo.
    Clerk: “No, that’s the storage section.”
  • You: 아, 그럼 저쪽으로 가면 되나요?
    You: A, geureom jeojjogeuro gamyeon doenayo?
    You: “Ah, so should I go that way?”
  • Clerk: 네, 맞아요.
    Clerk: Ne, majayo.
    Clerk: “Yes, correct.”

Example 2:
You had a great time hanging out with your friend. But it’s getting late—time to go home.

  • Friend: 많이 어두워졌네, 집에 데려다 줄까?
    Friend: Mani eoduwojyeonne, jibe deryeoda julkka?
    Friend: “It became really dark. Did you want me to take you to your home?”
  • You: 아니, 괜찮아. 혼자갈 수 있어.
    You: Ani, gwaenchana. Honjagal su isseo.
    You: “No, I’m fine. I can go home by myself.”

We have more free lessons like “Top 10 Conversational Phrases,” so do check out this page when you have time.


2. Essential Korean Phrases: Transportation

Airplane Phrases

Traveling by public transportation is the most efficient way to get around South Korea. The fares for the subway and public buses are very cheap, and the routes are easy to understand. There are also announcements offered in various languages, so the chance of getting lost is slim.

However, you need to remember that most of the staff at the ticket booths don’t speak English. Let’s learn the most important and useful phrases for buying tickets and conversing with any staff that you encounter.

1- ~으로 가는 티켓 주세요. (~euro ganeun tiket juseyo.)

~으로 가는 티켓 주세요. (~euro ganeun tiket juseyo.) means “Please give me a ticket to ~.” Use this phrase to buy any tickets to go out of the city area.

Example 1:
You’re at Dong-Daegu train station (동대구역; dongdaeguyeok) to buy a train ticket to Busan.

  • You: 부산으로 가는 티켓 주세요.
    You: Busaneuro ganeun tiket juseyo
    You: “I would like to buy a ticket to go to Busan.”
  • Staff: 출발시간은 언제가 괜찮으십니까?
    Staff: Chulbalsiganeun eonjega gwaenchaneusimnikka?
    Staff: “When would you like to depart?”
  • You: 오후 1시쯤 출발하는 기차 있을까요?
    You: Ohu 1sijjeum chulbalhaneun gicha isseulkkayo?
    You: “Are there any trains that depart at 13:00 (one o’clock PM)?”

Example 2:
You’re at the Seoul Express Bus Terminal to buy a bus ticket to Pohang (포항; pohang).

  • You: 안녕하세요, 오후 1시 포항으로 가는 티켓 주세요.
    You: Annyeonghaseyo, ohu 1si pohangeuro ganeun tiket juseyo.
    You: “Hello, I would like to buy a ticket to go to Pohang at 13:00 (one o’clock PM).”
  • Staff: 네, 몇장 드리면 될까요?
    Staff: Ne, myeotjang deurimyeon doelkkayo?
    Staff: “Okay, how many tickets do you need?”
  • You: 한장이요.
    You: Hanjangiyo.
    You: “Just one.”

2- ~으로 가는 전철/버스 인가요? (~euro ganeun jeoncheol/beoseu ingayo?)

This phrase means “Does this subway/bus go to ~?”

It’s likely that you’ll take a bus or subway to get around in South Korea. This travel phrase will come in handy when you want to ask a question to locals. When you travel by boat or ferry, simply replace the noun with “boat” (배; bae).

Example 1:
You’re at the Incheon airport and need to go to the Jamsil area. A bus stops in front of you, and you want to ask whether this bus goes to Jamsil.

  • You: 잠실로 가는 버스인가요?
    You: Jamsillo ganeun beoseuingayo?
    You: “Does this bus go to Jamsil?”
  • Staff: 네, 갑니다.
    Staff: Ne, gamnida.
    Staff: “Yes, it does.”

Example 2:
You’re at Gukje market in Busan and you need to catch the subway to go to Gimhae International airport.

  • You: 실례합니다. 이 전철은 부산 공항으로 가는 전철인가요?
    You: Sillyehamnida. i jeoncheoreun busan gonghangeuro ganeun jeoncheoringayo?
    You: “Excuse me. Does this subway go to the Busan airport?”
  • Stranger: 아니요, 부산 공항으로 가는 전철은 저쪽이예요.
    Stranger: Aniyo, busan gonghangeuro ganeun jeoncheoreun jeojjogiyeyo.
    Stranger: “No, the subway bound for the Busan airport is over there.”
  • You: 감사합니다.
    You: Gamsahamnida.
    You: “Thank you.”

3- ~으로 가주세요. (~euro gajuseyo.)

This phrase means “Please take me to ~.”

This travel phrase is the most effective and simple phrase to tell your taxi driver. Simply add the destination that you want to reach, such as “Insadong” (인사동; insadong) or “Dongdaemun” (동대문; dongdaemun) etc., followed by 으로 가주세요. (~euro gajuseyo.). That’s it. You don’t need to say anything else!

However, if you want to go somewhere less touristy, and it requires you to explain where exactly you want to go, give the taxi driver the address. Every taxi has a navigation system installed. Also, taxi companies provide free interpreter services in South Korea.

To know whether the taxi you got in offers this service, take a look on the right-hand side of the door. Usually, there’s a large rectangular sign that explains about this service in English, Japanese, and Chinese. So if you’re struggling to explain where you want to go, simply say “free interpreter” to the taxi driver.

Example 1:
You’re at “Gangnam station” (강남역; gangnamyeok) right now and want to move to “Itaewon” (이태원; itaewon) to have dinner with your friends.

  • You: 안녕하세요, 이태원역으로 가주세요.
    You: Annyeonghaseyo, itaewonyeogeuro gajuseyo.
    You: “Hello, please take me to Itaewon station.”
  • Taxi driver: 네, 알겠습니다.
    Taxi driver: Ne, algetseumnida.
    Taxi driver: “Sure.”

Example 2:
You want to visit your friend’s house in Busan, and you have his address.

  • You: 안녕하세요, 이곳으로 가고 싶은데요.. (주소를 보여줌)
    You: Annyeonghaseyo, igoseuro gago sipeundeyo.. (jusoreul boyeojum)
    You: “Hello, I would like to go to this place…” (show him the address)
  • Taxi driver: 잠시만요. (네비게이션으로 주소 확인함)
    Taxi driver: Jamsimanyo. (nebigeisyeoneuro juso hwaginham)
    Taxi driver: “Please hold on…” (checks the location via navigation system)


3. Essential Korean Phrases: Shopping

Basic Questions

1 - 이거/저것 얼마예요? (igeo/jeogeot eolmayeyo?)

This phrase means “How much is this/that?”

Use this travel phrase when you want to ask the seller how much the items cost while shopping in South Korea. To get the seller’s attention, you can say 저기요 (jeogiyo) which means “excuse me.” If the seller is male, you can call him by 아저씨 (ajeossi) meaning “mature man,” and if the seller is female, you can call her by 아줌마 (ajumma) meaning “matured female” or 이모 (imo) meaning “aunt.”

Also, remember that 이것 (igeot) means “this” and 저것 (jeogeot) means “that.” If you want each of them to be plural, say 이것들 (igeotdeul) meaning “these” and 저것들 (jeogeotdeul) meaning “those.”

Example 1:
You’re shopping at a famous market called “Gwangjang market” (광장시장; Gwangjangsijang), in Seoul. You found a set of Korean traditional clothing called “Hanbok” (한복; hanbok) which you want to buy, and you’re curious to know how much it costs.

  • You: 아저씨, 이거 얼마에요?
    You: Ajeossi, igeo eolmaeyo?
    You: “Excuse me sir, how much is this?”
  • Seller: 7만원이에요.
    Seller: Chilmanwonieyo.
    Seller: “It’s 70,000 won.”

Example 2:
You found a pink sweater that you like while shopping at 서문시장 (seomun sijang) in Daegu. You want to ask how much the sweater costs.

  • You: 저기요, 저건 얼마예요?
    You: jeogiyo, jeogeon eolmayeyo?
    You: “Excuse me, how much is that?”
  • Seller: 2만9천원이예요.
    Seller: Imangucheonwoniyeyo.
    Seller: “It’s 29,000 won.”
  • You: (저거) 한개 주세요.
    You: (jeogeo) Hangae juseyo.
    You: “Please give me one (of that).”

2 - 이거 #개 주세요. (igeo #gae juseyo.)

This phrase means “Please give me [number] [of the product].”

Example 1:
You’re at the supermarket and the clerk wants to ask how many plastic bags you want.

  • Seller: 비닐봉지 몇개 드릴까요?
    Seller: Binilbongji myeotgae deurilkkayo?
    Seller: “How many plastic bags would you like to have?”
  • You: 2개 주세요.
    You: Dugae juseyo.
    You: “Two please.”

Example 2:
You found a beautiful “Korean traditional pocket” called 전통 주머니 (jeontong jumeoni) and want to buy six of them.

  • You: 이거 6개 주세요.
    You: Igeo yeoseotgae juseyo.
    You: “Please give me six (of the Korean traditional pockets).”
  • Seller: 네.
    Seller: Ne.
    Seller: “Ok.”

On our website, KoreanClass101, you can find many lessons on counting numbers in Korean. Feel free to check out our website whenever you want.

3- 조금만 깎아 주시면 안될까요? (Jogeumman kkakka jusimyeon andoelkkayo?)

This phrase means “Can you please reduce the price?”

The prices in Korea are usually fixed, but you can definitely negotiate the price at a market. To ask for a discount, use this phrase!

If you want to buy items for a cheaper price in Korea, try to pay by cash. If you pay with a credit card, you’ll be charged extra (approximately ten percent more).

Example 1:
You’re at 남대문시장 (Namdaemun sijang) meaning “Namdaemun market” in Seoul and found a nice jacket. You ask for the price and think that it costs too much. You want to negotiate the price.

  • You: 너무 이쁘긴한데… 비싸네요. 조금만 깎아 주시면 안될까요?
    You: Neomu ippeuginhande… bissaneyo. Jogeumman kkakka jusimyeon andoelkkayo?
    You: “It’s really pretty…but it’s expensive. Can you please reduce the price a bit?”
  • Seller: 그럼 3,000원만 깎아 줄게요.
    Seller: Geureom samcheonwonman kkakka julgeyo.
    Seller: “I will give you a discount of 3,000 won then.”

Example 2:
You’re at 고속터미널 역 지하상가 (gosokteomineol yeok jihasangga) an underground shopping mall in the Express Bus Terminal station in Seoul, and want to buy a pair of jeans. The sign says that it costs 10,000 won if you pay by cash. But you only have a credit card.

  • You: 이거 카드로 계산할게요.
    You: Igeo kadeuro gyesanhalgeyo.
    You: “I will pay by credit card.”
  • Seller: 카드로 계산하면 11,000원이에요. 현금으로 내는게 더 저렴해요.
    Seller: kadeuro gyesanhamyeon mancheonwonieyo. hyeongeumeuro naeneun ge deo jeoryeomhaeyo.
    Seller: “If you pay by card, it will be 11,000 won. It will be cheaper by cash.”
  • You: 아 그래요? 이곳에 가장 가까운 ATM기계는 어디에 있나요?
    You: Igose gajang gakkaun ATMgigyeneun eodie innayo?
    You: “Oh really? Where is the nearest ATM from here?”

4- S/M/L 사이즈 있나요? (S/M/L saijeu innayo?)

This phrase means “Do you have S/M/L size for this?”

When you ask for a different size, if a seller says it’s 프리사이즈 (peurisaijeu), this means that it’s “free-size.” Do be careful when you buy free-size clothing, as it may be too big or small when you try it on. Also, for many shops at a market or an underground shopping area, you can’t refund the items after purchase.

Example 1:
You’re at an underground shopping mall in Gangnam station. You find a sweater and there’s no size written on the tag.

  • You: 이건 사이즈가 어떻게 돼요?
    You: Igeon saijeuga eotteoke dwaeyo?
    You: “What size is this?”
  • Seller: 그거 프리사이즈에요.
    Seller: Geugeo peurisaijeueyo.
    Seller: “It’s a free-size sweater.”

Example 2:
You want to ask if the dress you chose comes in different sizes.

  • You: 이 드레스 M 사이즈도 있나요?
    You: I deureseu em saijeudo innayo?
    You: “Do you have an M size?”
  • Seller: 네, 잠시만요.
    Seller: Ne, jamsimanyo.
    Seller: “Yes, hold on a sec.”

5- 뭐가 제일 인기 많아요? (mwoga jeil ingi manayo?)

This phrase means “What are the most popular ones?”

Sometimes it can be overwhelming when you need to choose something out of so many goods. If you’re not sure which one to choose, it’s always safe to ask a seller which item is popular these days.

Example 1:
You bought a number of items at a shop and a seller wants to give you some freebies.

  • You: 너무 이쁜것들이 많아서 못 고르겠어요. 어떤 것이 제일 인기가 많아요?
    You: Neomu ippeungeotdeuri manaseo mot goreugesseoyo. eotteon geosi jeil ingiga manayo?
    You: “There are so many things that I can’t choose. What is the most popular one from here?”
  • Seller: 요즘은 이 아이템이 한국에서 인기가 많아요.
    Seller: Yojeumeun i aitemi hangugeseo ingiga manayo.
    Seller: “These days, this item is quite popular in Korea.”

Example 2:
You want to buy a dress that’s trending in Korea.

  • You: 어느 드레스가 제일 인기 많아요?
    You: Eoneu deureseuga jeil ingi manayo?
    You: “Which dress is the most popular dress in Korea?”
  • Seller: 이거요.
    Seller: Igeoyo.
    Seller: “This one.”

Do you want more phrases for shopping? Check out “15 Shopping Phrases. Exchanges, Refunds and Complaints!” on KoreanClass101.com.

Korean Dishes In Silver Plates


4. Essential Korean Phrases: At Restaurants

1- ~주세요 (~Juseyo)

This phrase means “Please give me ~,” and it can be used not only to order dishes, but also to buy things like tickets or clothing.

Example 1:
You enter a restaurant and want to ask for a menu.

  • You: 저기요, 메뉴주세요.
    You: Jeogiyo, menyujuseyo.
    You: “Excuse me, please give me a menu.”
  • Waitress: 네, 여기있습니다.
    Waitress: Ne, yeogiitseumnida.
    Waitress: “Sure, here you go.”

Example 2:
You want to order a bottle of beer and soju to try to make 소맥 (somaek) which is a whiskey and beer cocktail.

  • You: 저기요, 맥주 한병이랑 소주 한병 주세요.
    You: Jeogiyo, maekju hanbyeongirang soju hanbyeong juseyo.
    You: “Excuse me, can I please have a bottle of beer and soju?”
  • Waitress:네, 여기있습니다.
    Waitress: Ne, yeogiitseumnida.
    Waitress: “Sure, here you go.”

2- 많이 매운가요? (Mani maeungayo?)

This phrase means “Is this spicy?”

Many Korean dishes are spicy for foreigners because we use 고추장 (Gochujang) meaning “red chili paste” or 고춧가루 (gochutgaru) meaning “chili powder” in most dishes. When ordering spicy dishes in Korea, you can request to make it less spicy, so you can still enjoy Korean dishes!

Example 1:
You’re at one of the famous ddeokbokki restaurants named 죠스떡볶이 (jyoseutteokbokki). It’s your first time trying some ddeokbokki.

  • You: 떡볶이 주세요.
    You: Tteokbokki juseyo.
    You: “I will have ddeokbokki please.”
  • Waitress: 매운 거 잘 못 드시면 많이 매우실 텐데요.
    Waitress: Maeun geo jal mot deusimyeon mani maeusil tendeyo.
    Waitress: “If you struggle a lot to eat spicy foods, you may not be able to eat this dish.”
  • You: 아, 많이 매운가요? 그럼 덜 맵게 해주시겠어요?
    You: A, mani maeungayo? geureom deol maepge haejusigesseoyo?
    You: “Ah, is it really that spicy? Is it possible to make it less spicy?”

Example 2:
You want to ask whether the dish you want to order is spicy or not.

  • You: 이거 많이 매운가요?
    You: Igeo mani maeungayo?
    You: “Is this spicy?”
  • Waiter: 아니요, 맵지 않습니다.
    Waiter: Aniyo, maepji anseumnida.
    Waiter: “No, it’s not spicy.”

3- 저는 채식주의자예요. (Jeoneun chaesikjuuijayeyo)

This important phrase means “I am a vegetarian.”

“Vegetarian” is 채식주의자 (chaesikjuuija) and “vegan” is 비건 (bigeon) in Korean. Although the number of vegetarian restaurants is increasing, this concept (especially veganism) is fairly new to South Korea. Therefore, do research in advance if you’re after specific vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Korea.

Otherwise, vegetarian dishes are easy to find, so don’t worry too much. Classic dishes include 야채 김밥 (vegetable gimbap) and 잡채 (japchae).

Example 1:
You’re at a gimbap restaurant and want to order a vegetarian gimbap.

  • You: 저는 채식주의자예요. 어떤 김밥을 먹으면 될까요?
    You: Jeoneun chaesikjuuijayeyo. eotteon gimbabeul meogeumyeon doelkkayo?
    You: “I am vegetarian. Is there any gimbap for me to eat?”
  • Staff: 채식주의자세요? 그럼 야채 김밥 드셔야겠네요.
    Staff: Chaesikjuuijaseyo? geureom yachae gimbap deusyeoyagenneyo.
    Staff: “Are you vegetarian? Then you should order the vegetable gimbap.”

Example 2:
You went to a restaurant with your friend, who doesn’t know that you’re vegetarian. He wants to order 삼겹살 (samgyeopsal) or “pork belly.”

  • Friend: 우리 삼겹살 시켜먹을까?
    Friend: Uri samgyeopsal sikyeomeogeulkka?
    Friend: “Shall we order some pork belly?”
  • You: 미안, 나 채식주의자야. 그래서 고기 못 먹어
    You: Mian, na chaesikjuuijaya. Geuraeseo gogi monmeogeo
    You: “Sorry, I’m vegetarian, so I can’t eat meat.”
  • Friend: 아 진짜? 몰랐네. 미안, 그럼 다른거 시켜먹자.
    Friend: A jinjja? mollanne. Mian, geureom dareungeo sikyeomeokja.
    Friend: “Oh really? I did not know. Sorry, let’s order something else.”

4- ~ 알러지있어요 (alleojiisseoyo) - “I am allergic to ~.”

This phrase means “I am allergic to ~,” and may be the most important restaurant phrase you learn today!

Are you allergic to peanuts? “Peanut” is called 땅콩 (ttangkong) in Korean. “Wheat” is called 밀 (mil).

To say that you’re allergic to something, just say the name of the food that you’re allergic to, followed by 알러지있어요 (alleojiisseoyo).

Example 1:
You’re allergic to peanuts and you want to ask if the snack you want to buy contains some nuts.

  • You: 제가 땅콩 알레르기가 있는데요, 이 과자 땅콩이 들어가 있나요?
    You: Jega ttangkong allereugiga inneundeyo, I gwaja ttangkongi deureoga innayo?
    You: “I am allergic to peanuts, I am wondering if this snack contains some peanuts?”
  • Staff: 확인해볼께요. 네, 들어가 있네요.
    Staff: Hwaginhaebolkkeyo. Ne, deureoga inneyo.
    Staff: “Let me have a check. Yes, it does.”

Example 2:
You’re currently staying with a Korean homestay family. The homestay father gave you chocolates and you want to say that you’re allergic to them.

  • You: 전 초콜릿에 알레르기가 있어서 먹을 때마다 기침을 해요.
    You: Jeon chokollise allereugiga isseoseo meogeul ttaemada gichimeul haeyo.
    You: “I am allergic to chocolates, so every time I eat I sneeze.”
  • Father: 그런데도 먹어?
    Father: Geureondedo meogeo?
    Father: “And you still eat chocolates?”
  • You: 네, 너무 맛이 있어서요.
    You: Ne, neomu masi isseoseoyo.
    You: “Yes, because it‘s too delicious. “

5- 와이파이 비밀번호는 뭐예요? (Waipai bimilbeonhoneun mwoyeyo?)

This phrase translates to “What is the password for Wifi?”

You’ll be startled at the speed of Internet services in South Korea. Moreover, free wifi services are available nearly everywhere—on the subway, KTX, at restaurants and cafes, etc. Most restaurants and cafes provide free wifi for customers, so ask for the password to access the free wifi.

Example 1:
You stopped by 엔제리너스커피 (Angel-in-Us Coffee) to take a break from a long walk, and you want to use free wifi.

  • You: 와이파이 비밀번호는 뭐예요?
    You: Waipai bimilbeonhoneun mwoyeyo?
    You: “What is the password for wifi?”
  • Waiter: 1234567890입니다.
    Waiter: I-ri-sam-sa-o-yuk-chil-pal-gu-yeong-imnida.
    Waiter: “It’s 1234567890.”
  • You: 감사합니다.
    You: Gamsahamnida.
    You: “Thank you.”

Do you want to learn more practical phrases to use at Korean restaurants? Check out “Vocabulary and Phrases for the Restaurant” on our website.

Navigating Through the Streets


5. Essential Korean Phrases: Asking for and Giving Directions

Survival Phrases

1- ___은 어떻게 가나요? (___eun eotteoke ganayo?)

This phrase translates as “How do I go to ~?” in English.

This is the phrase to use when you’re asking for detailed directions. Use this phrase to ask how to get somewhere, when there are many steps involved.

Example 1:
You’re asking your homestay father how to get to Busan from Daegu.

  • You: 부산에서 대구까지 어떻게 가나요?
    You: Busaneseo daegukkaji eotteoke ganayo?
    You: “How do I get to Busan from Daegu?”
  • Father: 부산역에서 KTX 열차 티켓을 하고나서…
    Father: Busanyeogeseo KTX yeolcha tikeseul hagonaseo…
    Father: “You need to buy a KTX ticket from a station called Busan station and ….”

2- ~은 어디에 있어요? (~eun eodie isseoyo?)

This phrase means “Where is ~?”

Example 1:
You’re at a shop and want to use the bathroom.

  • You: 화장실은 어디에 있어요?
    You: Hwajangsireun eodie isseoyo?
    You: “Where is the bathroom?”
  • Staff: 가게 밖으로 나가면 바로 오른쪽에 있어요.
    Staff: Gage bakkeuro nagamyeon baro oreunjjoge isseoyo.
    Staff: “Go out of the shop; the toilet is on the right-hand side.”

Example 2:
You feel tired after visiting many places and want to go back to the hotel to rest, but you’re not sure where the closest station is.

  • You: 여기서 가장 가까운 지하철역은 어디에 있어요?
    You: Yeogiseo gajang gakkaun jihacheollyeogeun eodie isseoyo?
    You: “Where is the closest subway station from here?”
  • Stranger: 횡단보도 건너면 홍대역이 보일거예요.
    Stranger: Hoengdanbodo geonneomyeon hongdaeyeogi boilgeoyeyo.
    Stranger: “Just cross the road and you’ll be able to see the station called Hongdae.”

3- Vocabulary for Directions

Here’s some useful vocabulary:

Vocabulary Romanization Translation
…쪽으로 …jjogeuro towards
마주보고 majubogo facing
옆에 yeope by
뒤에 dwie behind
오른쪽 oreunjjok right
왼쪽 oenjjok left

Reference: Position/Direction

There are several example sentences using these vocabulary words in our vocabulary list about positions and directions. Do check out the page for more learning material.

4- 여기는 어디인가요? (yeogineun eodiingayo?)

This phrase means “Where am I?”

When you’re not sure where you are, or you want to know the name of the place you’re at, use this phrase to ask. 어디 means “where” in Korean. If you want to double-check your location with someone, replace 어디 with the name of the place.

For example, if you want to know whether the place you’re in is 가로수길 (garosu-gil), you should ask 여기는 가로수길인가요? (yeogineun garosugiringayo?) which translates to “Am I in Garosu gil?”

Example 1:

  • You: 길을 잃었어요. 여기는 어디인가요?
    You: Gireul ileosseoyo. Yeogineun eodiingayo?
    You: “I am lost. Where am I?”
  • Stranger: 음… 어디로 가시는데요? 가는길 알려드릴께요.
    Stranger: Eum… eodiro gasineundeyo? Ganeungil allyeodeurilkkeyo.
    Stranger: “Hmm…where are you heading to? I may be able to tell you the way.”

Example 2:
You’re with a tour guide and you want to say how beautiful this place is.

  • You: 정말 아름다운 곳이네요. 여기는 어디인가요?
    You: Jeongmal areumdaun gosineyo. Yeogineun eodiingayo?
    You: “This place is really beautiful. Where is this place?”
  • Guide: 광화문이라고 하는 곳입니다. 아름답지요?
    Guide: Gwanghwamunirago haneun gosimnida. Areumdapjiyo?
    Guide: “It’s called Gwanghwamun. Isn’t it beautiful?”

5- 여기서 ~까지는 많이 먼가요/가까운가요? (yeogiseo ~kkajineun mani meongayo/gakkaungayo?)

This phrase means “From here to ~, is it far/close?”

Use this phrase when you want to ask how far or close something is from your current location.멀다 (meolda) is “far” and 가깝다 (gakkapda) is “close” in Korean. To make each word into a question, they become 먼가요? (meongayo) meaning “Is it far?” and 가까운가요? (gakkaungayo?) meaning “Is it close by?” respectively.

Example 1:
You’re at Daegu Station and want to go to Palgongsan, a tourist favorite in Daegu.

  • You: 팔공산은 여기서 많이 먼가요?
    You: Palgongsaneun yeogiseo mani meongayo?
    You: “Is Palgongsan far from here?”

Example 2:
You’ve just landed in Jeju International Airport. Your friend comes to pick you up and you’re waiting for a bus to go to your friend’s house.

  • You: (너의) 집은 여기서 많이 멀어?
    You: (neoui) Jibeun yeogiseo mani meoreo?
    You: “Is your house far from here?”
  • Friend: 음, 버스타고 한 20분 정도 가야해. 그렇게 멀진 않아.
    Friend: Eum, beoseutago han isipbun jeongdo gayahae. Geureoke meoljin ana.
    Friend: “Hmm, it takes about 20 minutes by bus. It’s not too far.”

Overflow of Water in a Village


6. Essential Korean Phrases: Emergencies

1- 도와주세요. (dowajuseyo.)

This phrase translates to “Please help me.”

When you’re in need of help, use this phrase to get people’s attention. Be careful when you use this phrase though, because the meaning changes depending on your intonation. You can also request help more formally by stating, 실례하지만 도와주시겠어요? (sillyehajiman dowajusigesseoyo?) which means “I am sorry to bother you, but could you please help?”

Example 1:
You were hiking at a mountain called 북한산 (bukansan) in Seoul and you injured yourself. You see a number of hikers not far from where you are.

  • You: 도와주세요! , 도와주세요!
    You: Dowajuseyo! Dowajuseyo!
    You: “Please help! Please help!”

Example 2:
You need to call an ambulance, and you go to a help desk for help.

  • You: 응급상황이예요, 도와주세요!
    You: Eunggeupsanghwangiyeyo, dowajuseyo!
    You: “It’s an emergency! Please help!”

2- 경찰 불러주세요. (gyeongchal bulleojuseyo.)

This phrase means “Please call the police.”

Use this phrase when you’re in danger. Alternatively, you can call the police by dialing 112. If you want to call an ambulance, which is called 응급차 (eunggeupcha) or 일일구 (irilgu), simply say the word followed by 불러주세요 (bulleojuseyo) meaning “Please call.”

Example 1:
You want to ask for help from a person at the service desk.

  • Help desk: 무엇을 도와드릴까요?
    Help desk: Mueoseul dowadeurilkkayo?
    Help desk: “How may I help you?”
  • You: 누가 지갑을 훔쳐갔어요, 경찰 불러주세요.
    You: Nuga jigabeul humchyeogasseoyo, gyeongchal bulleojuseyo.
    You: “My wallet is stolen and I would like to call the police.”
  • Help desk: 네, 지금 바로 하겠습니다.
    Help desk: Ne, jigeum baro hagetseumnida.
    Help desk: “Okay, will do it now.”

Example 2:
A stranger approaches you and tries to steal your bag.

  • You: 도와주세요! 누가 경찰 불러 주세요!
    You: Dowajuseyo! Nuga gyeongchal bulleo juseyo!
    You: “Please help! Call the police for me!”

3- ~를 다쳤어요. (~reul dachyeosseoyo.)

This phrase means “I injured my ~.”

When you visit a hospital, you need to be able to tell the doctor which part of your body is injured. Unless you go to an international hospital that offers a free interpreter service, you’ll need to speak basic Korean at a local hospital.

If you want to say that you’re just in pain, just say ~가 아파요. (~ga apayo) which means “I feel pain in my~.”

Here’s a vocabulary list of body parts for you to memorize:

Vocabulary Romanization Translation
머리 meori head
다리 dari leg(s)
손가락 songarak finger(s)
발목 balmok ankle(s)
무릎 mureup knee(s)
팔꿈치 palkkumchi elbow(s)
손목 sonmok wrist(s)
pal arm(s)

Reference: Body Parts, KoreanClass101 Vocabulary list

The vocabulary words above are just a small portion of the entire vocabulary list from KoreanClass101. If you want to check out the entire list, visit our Body Parts vocabulary list on our website. We also have many free lessons on describing body parts in Korean, so check our website for more.

Example 1:
You’re at a local hospital and need to explain which part of your body is injured.

  • Doctor: 무슨일로 오셨나요?
    Doctor: Museunillo osyeonnayo?
    Doctor: “What made you come here today?”
  • You: 산책하다가 발목을 다쳤어요.
    You: Sanchaekadaga balmogeul dachyeosseoyo.
    You: “I injured my ankle while walking.”
  • Doctor: 한번 살펴 보겠습니다.
    Doctor: Hanbeon salpyeo bogetseumnida.
    Doctor: “Let me have a look at your ankle.”

Example 2:
You weren’t cautious enough when crossing the pedestrian road. Unfortunately, you were run over by a car and your bone is broken.

  • You: 걸을 수가 없어요. 뼈를 다친것 같아요.
    You: Georeul suga eopseoyo. Ppyeoreul dachingeot gatayo.
    You: “I can’t walk. I think my bone is broken.”
  • Driver: (calling an ambulance) 여보세요, 차사고가 났는데요, 사람이 크게 다친것 같습니다.
    Driver: Yeoboseyo, chasagoga nanneundeyo, sarami keuge dachingeot gatseumnida.
    Driver: “Hello, there was a car accident and I think that the person is badly injured.”

4- 지갑/여권을 잃어버렸어요. (jigap/yeogwoneul ileobeoryeosseoyo.)

This phrase means “I lost my wallet/passport.”

Your wallet and passport are the most valuable items while traveling around the world, and you certainly don’t want to ruin your entire trip over missing items. Use this phrase when you want to say that you’ve lost your belongings.

Here’s a list of items that people may lose while traveling:

Vocabulary Romanization Translation
don money
티켓 tiket ticket
시계 sigye watch
악세사리 aksesari accessories
귀중품 gwijungpum valuable items

Example 1:
You’re about to head to the airport, and realize that your passport is missing.

  • You: 어머, 여권을 잃어버린것 같아.
    You: Eomeo, yeogwoneul ileobeoringeot gata.
    You: “Oh no, I think I lost my passport.”
  • Friend: 어디서 잃어버렸는데?
    Friend: Eodiseo ileobeoryeonneunde?
    Friend: “Where did you lose it?”

Example 2:

  • Friend: 어머, 지갑이 어디갔지?
    Friend: Eomeo, jigabi eodigatji?
    Friend: “Oh no, where is my wallet?”
  • You: 지갑을 잃어버렸어?
    You: Jigabeul ileobeoryeosseo?
    You: “Did you lose your wallet?”
  • Friend: 휴, 찾았다!
    Friend: Hyu, chajatda!
    Friend: “Phew, I found it!”

5- Emergency Numbers to Remember

These are numbers that come in handy when you’re in trouble:

  1. 112 - Police
  2. 119 - Ambulance
  3. 111 - National Security
  4. 113 - Reporting spies
  5. 182 - Missing persons

Here, you can learn more vocabulary and phrases: “Words and Phrases to Help You in an Emergency.”

A Group of Young People Chatting


7. Essential Korean Phrases: Flattery Phrases

1- 한국 음식을 좋아해요. (Hanguk eumsigeul joahaeyo.)

This phrase means “I like Korean food.”

Koreans tend to worry when they see foreigners eating spicy food—you’ll hear 너무 맵지 않나요? (neomu maepji annayo?) which is them asking you “Is it not too spicy for you?” or 조금 매운데, 괜찮아요? (jogeum maeunde, gwaenchanayo?) meaning “It’s a bit spicy, is this okay?” when you order a spicy dish.

Don’t worry too much when you hear this, because they’re actually complimenting you for trying Korean dishes and they really do hope that you enjoy the food.

To say a specific dish, just replace 한국 음식 (hanguk eumsik) meaning “Korean food” with the name of your favorite dish. For example, if you like 삼계탕 (samgyetang) or “ginseng chicken soup,” you can say 삼계탕(을) 좋아해요 (samgyetang(eul) joahaeyo). Let’s have a look at more examples below:

Example 1:

  • Friend: 어떤 음식 좋아해?
    Friend: Eotteon eumsik joahae?
    Friend: “What kind of cuisine do you like?”
  • You: 매운걸 좋아해서 한국 음식을 많이 좋아해.
    You: Maeungeol joahaeseo hanguk eumsigeul mani joahae.
    You: “I like spicy food, so I like Korean food very much.”
  • Friend: 잘됐다! 집근처에 맛집있는데, 같이 갈래?
    Friend: Jaldwaetda! jipgeuncheoe matjibinneunde, gachi gallae?
    Friend: “That’s great! There’s a good restaurant around here, do you want to go together?”

Example 2:

  • Elder person: 매운 음식 좋아해요?
    Elder person: Maeun eumsik joahaeyo?
    Elder person: “Do you like spicy food?”
  • You: 네, 좋아해요.
    You: Ne, joahaeyo.
    You: “Yes, I do.”

2- 한국문화에 관심이 많아요. (Hangungmunhwae gwansimi manayo.)

Use this phrase to say “I am interested in Korean culture.”

Has anyone ever asked you what made you become interested in Korea? ~에 관심이 많아요. (~e gwansimi manayo.) is a phrase to say that you “are interested in ~.” You can replace the first noun with something else, such as 한국 역사 (hanguk yeoksa) meaning “Korean history,” 케이팝 (keipap) meaning “K-pop,” 한국 드라마 (hanguk deurama) meaning “Korean drama,” and so forth.

Here are some examples:

Example 1:
Jamie is a new exchange student, and Sumi and Soyeon are talking.

  • 수미: 제이미가 왜 한국에 왔을까?
    Sumi: Jeimiga wae hanguge wasseulkka?
    Sumi: “I wonder what brought Jamie to South Korea.”
  • 소연: 한국문화에 관심이 많아서 여기로 왔데.
    Soyeon: Hangungmunhwae gwansimi manaseo yeogiro watde.
    Soyeon: “He is here because he is interested in Korean culture.”

Example 2:
Your friend asks why you’re interested in Korean culture. You want to say that you became interested in it after watching Korean dramas.

  • You: 한국 드라마를 좋아해서 한국문화에 관심이 많아요.
    You: Hanguk deuramareul joahaeseo hangungmunhwae gwansimi manayo.
    You: “I became interested in Korean culture because of Korean dramas.”

3- 한국 사람은 친절해요. (Hanguk sarameun chinjeolhaeyo.)

Use this phrase to say “Korean people are friendly.”

Koreans are friendly to tourists, so they will be happy to help you out when you’re in need of help. To say that Koreans are friendly, you can say 한국 사람은 친절해요 (Hanguk sarameun chinjeolhaeyo.).

Example 1:
A friend asked how your trip to Korea was. You want to compliment Korean people.

  • Friend: 한국 여행 어땠어?
    Friend: Hanguk yeohaeng eottaesseo?
    Friend: “How was your trip to Korea?”
  • You: 응, 재미있었어. 한국 사람은 정말 친절한것 같아.
    You: Eung, jaemiisseosseo. Hanguk sarameun jeongmal chinjeolhangeot gata.
    You: “Yeah, it was fun. Koreans are really friendly.”

Example 2:

  • You: 드라마를 보면 한국 사람들은 친절한것 같아.
    You: Deuramareul bomyeon hanguk saramdeureun chinjeolhangeot gata.
    You: “Based on Korean drama, I think that Koreans are friendly.”

4- 친구가 되고 싶어요. 페이스북/인스타그램 있어요? (chinguga doego sipeoyo. peiseubuk/inseutageuraem isseoyo?)

Use this phrase to say “I want to be your friend. Do you have a Facebook/Instagram?”

You’ll encounter many locals while traveling in South Korea. If you meet someone that you want to keep in touch with long-term, say this phrase.

Example 1:
You meet a local while traveling in Jeju and you want to keep in touch with her.

  • You: 친구가 되고 싶어요. 혹시 페이스북이나 인스타그램 있어요?
    You: Chinguga doego sipeoyo. hoksi peiseubugina inseutageuraem isseoyo?
    You: “I want to be your friend. Do you have a Facebook or Instagram by any chance?”
  • Friend: 페이스북은 없고, 인스타그램은 있어요.
    Friend: Peiseubugeun eopgo, inseutageuraemeun isseoyo.
    Friend: “I don’t have a Facebook account, but I use Instagram.”


8. Essential Korean Phrases: Useful Phrases to Go Through Language Problems

World Map

1- 영어 할 수 있어요? (Yeongeo hal su isseoyo?)

Use this phrase to ask someone “Can you speak English?”

Example 1:
A staff member is explaining something to you in Korean and you want to ask if they speak English.

  • You: 혹시 영어 할 수 있어요?
    You: Hoksi yeongeo hal su isseoyo?
    You: “Do you speak English by any chance?”
  • Staff: 죄송해요, 할수 없어요.
    Staff: Joesonghaeyo, halsu eopseoyo.
    Staff: “Sorry, no.”

2 - 적어주실래요? (jeogeojusillaeyo?)

This useful phrase means “Can you write it down?”

Example 1:
Your homestay mother suggests that you visit a museum called 전쟁기념관 (jeonjaengginyeomgwan) which is “The War Memorial of Korea,” in English. You want to search for this place on the Internet.

  • You: 전쟁기념관을 종이에 적어주실래요?
    You: Jeonjaengginyeomgwaneul jongie jeogeojusillaeyo?
    You: “Can you please write “The War Memorial of Korea” on the paper?”

Example 2:
A stranger is explaining the directions to go to 63 빌딩 (yuksam building) or the “63building, but it seems quite complicated.

  • You: 죄송하지만, 종이에 적어주실래요?
    You: Joesonghajiman, jongie jeogeojusillaeyo?
    You: “I am sorry, but could you please write the directions down?”

3- 죄송해요, 한국말 잘못해요. (Joesonghaeyo, hangungmal jalmothaeyo.)

Use this phrase to let someone know “I am sorry, I am not good at Korean.”

Example 1:
An elderly person approaches you with a smile and asks many questions in Korean. You want to say that you can’t speak Korean.

  • You: 죄송해요, 저는 한국말을 못해요.
    You: Joesonghaeyo, jeoneun hangungmareul mothaeyo.
    You: “I am sorry, I can’t speak Korean.”

Example 2:
A stranger approaches you and asks some questions in Korean. You want to understand what he’s saying.

  • You: 죄송해요, 한국말(을) 잘못해요. 조금 더 천천히 말해줄래요?
    You: Joesonghaeyo, hangungmal(eul) jalmothaeyo. Jogeum deo cheoncheonhi malhaejullaeyo?
    You: “Sorry, I am not good at Korean. Can you please speak slowly?”

4- 조금 더 천천히 말해주시겠어요? (jogeum deo cheoncheonhi malhaejusigesseoyo?)

This phrase, hinted at earlier, means “Can you please speak slowly?”

You may want to practice speaking in Korean as much as possible. However, sometimes you may struggle to understand the language, especially when someone speaks to you too quickly. Use this phrase to kindly ask a speaker to speak more slowly for you.

Example 1:
You’re on the phone to have food delivered. The staff member speaks too fast and you want him to slow down for you.

  • You: 죄송하지만, 조금 더 천천히 말해주시겠어요?
    You: Joesonghajiman, jogeum deo cheoncheonhi malhaejusigesseoyo?
    You: “I am sorry, but could you please slow down for me?”
  • Staff: 아, 죄송합니다.
    Staff: A, joesonghamnida.
    Staff: “Ah, I apologize.”

Example 2:
Your friend is upset about something and struggles to speak clearly.

    You: 미안, 너무 빨리 말을 해서 잘 못알아들었어. 조금만 더 천천히 말해줄래?
    You: Mian, neomu ppalli mareul haeseo jal mosaradeureosseo. Jogeumman deo cheoncheonhi malhaejullae?
    You: “Sorry, you spoke too fast so I didn’t quite catch you. Can you speak more slowly?”

5- 이것은 어떻게 읽나요? (Igeoseun eotteoke ingnayo?)

Use this phrase to ask someone “How do you read this?”

If you want to ask how to pronounce a word or sentence, say 이것은 어떻게 발음하나요? (Igeoseun eotteoke bareumhanayo?) or “How do I pronounce this?”

Example 1:

  • You: 이건 어떻게 읽어?
    You: Igeon eotteoke ilgeo?
    You: “How do I read this?”
  • Friend: 간장게장이라고 해.
    Friend: Ganjanggejangirago hae.
    Friend: “It is soy sauce raw crab.”

A Couple Looking at Paintings


9. Essential Korean Phrases: Buying Tickets at a Museum

1 - 성인 1장 주세요. (seongin hanjang juseyo.)

Use this phrase to say “One ticket (adult) please.”

There are many museums and exhibitions worth visiting in Korea. Most places, unless you go to a museum in a very rural area, offer pamphlets and free guides in many different languages, so you won’t have much trouble navigating.

However, since you’re a Korean learner, let’s learn some useful travel phrases!

Take a look at the column for the price at the Daerim museum. This is the typical column that you’ll see at any museum or exhibition that you go to in Korea. “Adult” in Korean is 성인 (seongin). “Children” is 어린이 (eorini) and “student” is 학생 (haksaeng).

Let’s take a look at two examples:

Example 1:
You arrive at 김치박물관 (gimchibangmulgwan) or “Museum Kimchikan.” You want to buy a ticket.

  • You: 안녕하세요, 성인 1장 주세요.
    You: Annyeonghaseyo, seongin hanjang juseyo.
    You: “Hello, one ticket (adult) please.”

Example 2:
You arrive at 전쟁기념관 (jeonjaengginyeomgwan) or “War Memorial of Korea.” You’re with your younger sister who is only fifteen years old.

  • You: 안녕하세요, 성인 1장이랑 어린이 1 장주세요.
    You: Annyeonghaseyo, seongin hanjangirang eorini hanjangjuseyo.
    You: “Hello, one adult and one child please.”

2- 팜플렛 주세요. (pampeullet juseyo)

Asking for pamphlets is easy too. You just need to use this phrase, which means “Please give me a pamphlet.” You’ll be able to get a pamphlet in many different languages at the counter.

Example 1:

  • Clerk: 몇장드릴까요.
    Clerk: Myeotjangdeurilkkayo.
    Clerk: “How many (tickets) would you like?”
  • You: 성인 1장 주세요.
    You: Seongin hanjang juseyo.
    You: “One adult, please.”
  • Clerk: 5,000원입니다. 팜플렛 필요하세요?
    Clerk: Ocheonwonimnida. Pampeullet pillyohaseyo?
    Clerk: “It’s 5,000 won. Do you need a pamphlet?”
  • You: 네, 영어 팜플렛 주세요.
    You: Ne, yeongeo pampeullet juseyo.
    You: “Yes, an English pamphlet please.”

3- 무료 가이드있나요? (muryo gaideuinnayo?)

Use this phrase to ask “Is there a free tour?”

Many museums offer free guides in English, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. Some places only offer them once per day, or even once per month, so do check their schedule on their website in advance if you want to participate.

Example 1:

  • You: 이곳에 무료 가이드 있나요?
    You: Igose muryo gaideu innayo?
    You: “Is there a free tour?”
  • Clerk: 네, 오늘 오후 5시에 영어로 진행되는 무료 가이드 있습니다.
    Clerk: Ne, oneul ohu daseotsie yeongeoro jinhaengdoeneun muryo gaideu itseumnida.
    Clerk: “Yes, there is one in English at 17:00 (5 PM).”

4- 오늘 특별한 행사 하나요? (Oneul teukbyeolhan haengsa hanayo?)

Want to know if a museum has any special events? Use this phrase to ask a clerk. It translates to “Is there a special event?”

Example 1:
You hear loud music coming out of the museum.

  • You: 오늘 특별한 행사 하나요?
    You: Oneul teukbyeolhan haengsa hanayo?
    You: “Is there a special event?”
  • Clerk: 네, 방금 시작했어요.
    Clerk: Ne, banggeum sijakaesseoyo.
    Clerk: “Yes, it has just started.”

5- 오디오 가이드 있나요? (odio gaideu innayo?)

Use this phrase to ask “Is there an audio guide?”

Example 1:

  • You: 영어 오디오 가이드 있나요?
    You: Yeongeo odio gaideu innayo?
    You: “Is there an audio guide?”
  • Clerk: 네, 있습니다. 몇개 드릴까요?
    Clerk: Ne, itseumnida. myeotgae deurilkkayo?
    Clerk: “Yes, there is. How many would you like?”
  • You: 한 개 주세요.
    You: Han gae juseyo.
    You: “Just one, please.”

A Lady Holding a DSLR Camera


10. Essential Korean Phrases: Taking Pictures

1- 이곳은 사진 찍어도 괜찮은 장소인가요? (igoseun sajin jjigeodo gwaenchaneun jangsoingayo?)

Use this phrase to ask “Is it okay to take a picture in this place?”

You can take pictures most places, but it’s always safe to ask if you’re not sure.

Example 1:
You’re at the museum and want to ask if you can take pictures.

  • You: 이곳은 사진 찍어도 괜찮은 장소인가요?
    You: Igoseun sajin jjigeodo gwaenchaneun jangsoingayo?
    You: “Is it okay to take pictures here?”
  • Staff: 네, 플래시 없이 해주십시오.
    Staff: Ne, peullaesi eopsi haejusipsio.
    Staff: “Yes, but without flash please.”

2- 사진 같이 찍어요. (sajin gachi jjigeoyo.)

This phrase translates to “Let’s take a picture together.”

Use this phrase when you want to take a picture with someone. Alternatively, you can ask for permission by asking 사진 같이 찍어도 괜찮아요? (Sajin gachi jjigeodo gwaenchanayo?) meaning “Is it okay to take a picture with you?”

Example 1:

  • You: 사진 같이 찍어요.
    You: Sajin gachi jjigeoyo.
    You: “Let’s take a picture together.”
  • Friend: 좋아요.
    Friend: Joayo.
    Friend: “OK.”

3- 사진 찍어주시겠어요? (Sajin jjigeojusigesseoyo?)

This phrase means “Can you please take a picture of us?”

Example 1:
You’re traveling alone in 전주한옥마을 (jeonjuhanongmaeul) or “Jeonju Hanbok Village” and you want to ask someone to take a picture of you with a traditional Korean house in the background.

  • You: 죄송하지만, 사진 찍어주시겠어요?
    You: Joesonghajiman, sajin jjigeojusigesseoyo?
    You: “I am sorry to interrupt, but could you please take a picture of me?”
  • Stranger: 그럼요.
    Stranger: Geureomyo.
    Stranger: “Sure.”

Example 2:
You’re at 롯데월드 (rotdewoldeu) or “Lotte World” and want to ask someone to take a picture of you and your girlfriend.

  • You: 안녕하세요, 저희 사진 1장만 찍어주시겠어요?
    You: Annyeonghaseyo, jeohui sajin 1jangman jjigeojusigesseoyo?
    You: “Hello, could you please take a picture of us?”
  • Stranger: 그럼요.
    Stranger: Geureomyo.
    Stranger: “Sure.”

Someone Holding Miniature Korean Flag


11. How KoreanClass101.com Can Help You with Korean

If you have any questions regarding the travel phrases mentioned above (or other questions about Korean culture), we’ll be more than happy to answer them for you at the KoreanClass101.com forum. On our site, especially the forum, you can find tons of cultural insights and useful tips to help you study Korean. Feel free to check out the forum when you have time.

Also, KoreanClass101.com offers many free Korean lessons; you can access these lessons by simply creating a free lifetime account.

Learning Korean travel phrases, along with essential cultural information, is no easy task. But the more that you use Korean travel phrases, the easier it will get. Trust us!

We hope that you found this blog useful, and that you enjoy your trip to Korea! These basic Korean travel phrases for tourists will help you get around South Korea like it’s nothing. :)
Log

How To Post In Perfect Korean on Social Media

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You’re learning to speak Korean, and it’s going well. Your confidence is growing! So much so that you feel ready to share your experiences on social media—in Korean.

At Learn Korean, we make this easy for you to get it right the first time. Post like a boss with these phrases and guidelines, and get to practice your Korean in the process.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean

1. Talking about Your Restaurant Visit in Korean

Eating out is fun, and often an experience you’d like to share. Take a pic, and start a conversation on social media in Korean. Your friend will be amazed by your language skills…and perhaps your taste in restaurants!

Jae-Wu eats at a restaurant with his friends, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

POST

Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

너무 맛있어! 완추! (Neomu massisseo. wanchu!)
“It’s so delicious! Thumbs-up!”

1- 너무 맛있어! (Neomu massisseo!)

First is an expression meaning “It’s so delicious!.”
The adverb 너무 (neomu) means “too,” as in “too good.” In written and formal Korean, this adverb has traditionally been used only in a negative sense, for example..
너무 나쁘다 (neomu nappeuda) which means “it’s too bad.” However, more and more people have started using it in positive expressions too, the way it was used in this sentence. Note that when you write a comment on social media, it’s better to use the spoken Korean version.

2- 완추! (wanchu)

Then comes the phrase - “Thumbs-up, highly recommended!.”
This is a slang word which literally means “completely recommended!” Here, we have the word 완 (wan) which comes from the word 완전 (wanjeon), meaning “completely”, and next we have 추 (chu) which comes from the noun 추천 (chucheon) meaning “recommendation.” You can use it to say “thumbs-up” or “highly recommended”.

COMMENTS

In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

1- 진짜 맛있겠다. (Jinjja masitgetda.)

His girlfriend, Sora, uses an expression meaning - “That looks so delicious.”
Use this expression to show you are feeling appreciative.

2- 본전 뽑고 와! (Bonjeon ppopgo wa!)

His college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Eat as much as you can!”
This comment shows Samsik is being frivolous.

3- 다음엔 나도 데려가! (Daeumen nado deryeoga!)

His high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “Make sure to take me next time!”
This is a positive statement, expressing Hana’s optimism to be invited with next time!

4- 비싸 보이는데.. (Bissa boineunde..)

His girlfriend’s nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “Looks expensive..”
This is a somewhat “downer” statement, given the context. Perhaps Manse is feeling cynical?

VOCABULARY

Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 너무 (neomu): “too, very”
  • 완추 (wanchu): “completely recommend”
  • 진짜 (jinjja): “real”
  • 본전 (bonjeon): “money’s worth”
  • 다음 (daeum): “next “
  • 맛있다 (masitda): “delicious”
  • 비싸다 (bissada): “expensive”
  • So, let’s practice a bit. If a friend posted something about having dinner with friends, which phrase would you use?

    Now go visit a Korean restaurant, and wow everyone with your language skills!

    2. Post about Your Mall Visit in Korean

    Another great topic for social media is shopping—everybody does it, almost everybody loves it, and your friends on social media are probably curious about your shopping spree! Share these Korean phrases in posts when you visit a mall.

    Sora is shopping with her sister at the mall, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    여동생이랑 쇼핑 중.. (Yeodongsaeng-irang syoping jung..)
    “Shopping with my younger sister…”

    1- 여동생이랑 (yeodongsaeng-irang)

    First is an expression meaning “with my younger sister.”
    In Korean, it’s important to say if your sister is younger or older. If she is younger, you use the noun 여동생 (yeodongsaeng), which means “younger sister.” For an older sister, you say 언니 (eonni) meaning “older sister”, if you are female. If you are male, you would use 누나 (nuna). Here we have the particle 이랑 (irang), which is used in informal speech and means “with.”

    2- 쇼핑 중.. (syoping jung..)

    Then comes the phrase - “doing shopping.”
    It starts with the noun 쇼핑 (syoping), the word for “shopping,” and next is the word 중 (jung) which means “in the middle of..” Using this pattern, for example, you can say 운전 중 (unjeon jung) ”I’m driving..”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 또 쇼핑하는 거야? (Tto syoping-haneun geoya?)

    Her nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “Shopping again?”
    Manse is not in a good mood, he seems a bit cynical.

    2- 나도 어제 거기 있었는데! (Nado eoje geogi isseonneunde!)

    Her high school friend, Song-Hui, uses an expression meaning - “I was there yesterday too!”
    Song-Hui expresses surprise here.

    3- 또 옷이 늘어나는구나.. (Tto osi neureonaneunguna..)

    Her boyfriend, Jae-Wu, uses an expression meaning - “Your wardrobe is expanding..”
    Jae-Wu feels resigned about his girlfriend’s shopping spree.

    4- 앗, 정말 여동생이야? 더 나이가 많은 것 같은데.. (At, jeongmal yeodongsaeng-iya? Deo na-iga manuen geto gatteunde..)

    Her college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Wow, is she really your YOUNGER sister? She looks older than you..”
    Use this expression when you are feeling frivolous or are joking around.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 동생 (dongsaeng): “younger sibling”
  • 쇼핑 (syoping): “shopping”
  • 어제 (eoje): “yesterday”
  • 옷 (ot): “clothes”
  • 나이 (nai): “age”
  • 거기 ( geogi): “there”
  • 또 (tto): “again”
  • So, if a friend posted something about going shopping, which phrase would you use?

    3. Talking about a Sport Day in Korean

    Sport events, whether you’re the spectator or the sports person, offer fantastic opportunity for great social media posts. Learn some handy phrases and vocabulary to start a sport-on-the-beach conversation in Korean.

    Jae-Wu plays with his friends at the beach, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    올해엔 제발 좀! (Olhae-en jebal jom!)
    “PLEASE win this year!”

    1- 올해엔 (olhae-en)

    First is an expression meaning “this year.”
    In spoken Korean, people shorten particles with two syllables. So, for example, the particle 엔 (en) should actually be pronounced 에는 (eneun) as in 올해에는 (olhae-eneun). But for spoken Korean or on social media, it sounds more natural to say 올해엔 (olhae-en) and use the particle in a shortened form.

    2- 제발 좀! (Jebal jom!)

    Then comes the phrase - “please!.”
    Here, we have the word 제발 (jebal). By itself, it means “please”, but if you add the adverb 좀 (jom) meaning “more”, it emphasizes that you really want something to happen.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 화이팅! (Hwaiting!)

    His high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “Cheers!”
    This is an expression of optimism.

    2- 잘 될 거야! (Jal deol kkeoya!)

    His neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “It’ll be all right!”
    Use this expression when you want to encourage someone.

    3- 그래서 결과는 어떻게 됐어? ㅋㅋ (Geuraeseo gyeolgwaneun eotteoke dweosseo? keu keu)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, Song-Hui, uses an expression meaning - “So what’s the result?”
    Here, Song-Hui is joking around.

    4- 그런 건 묻지 마. ㅎㅎ (Geureon geon mutji ma. heu heu)

    Himself, Jae-Wu, uses an expression meaning - “Don’t ask such a thing.”
    Use this expression to be secretive.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 해 (hae): “year”
  • 제발 (jebal): “please”
  • 좀 (jeom): “some”
  • 그래서 (geuraeseo): “so, therefore”
  • 결과 (gyeolgwa): “result”
  • 잘 (jal): “well”
  • 어떻게 (eotteoke): “how, what”
  • Which phrase would you use if a friend posted something about sports?

    But sport is not the only thing you can play! Play some music, and share it on social media.

    4. Share a Song on Social Media in Korean

    Music is the language of the soul, they say. So, don’t hold back—share what touches your soul with your friends!

    Sora shares a song she just heard at a party, posts an image of the artist, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    이 노래 강추! (I norae gangchu!)
    “Highly recommend this song!”

    1- 이 노래 (i norae)

    First is an expression meaning “this song.”
    It starts with the pronoun 이 (i) meaning “this” and has the noun 노래 (norae) meaning “song.” In written and formal Korean, you need to add the object marking particle and say 이 노래를 (i norae-reul). But in spoken Korean, it’s more natural to omit the particle, as in 이 노래 좋아 (i norae joa) “I like this song.”

    2- 강추! (gangchu!)

    Then comes the phrase - “highly recommend.”
    This phrase has the same format as the word 완추 (wanchu), which also means “highly recommend.” First, we have 강 (gang) which is from the noun meaning “strong,” and then 추 (chu) which means “recommendation.” Altogether, you can say 강추 (gangchu) to mean “highly recommend”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 와, 예전 생각 난다. (Wa, yejeon saeng-gak nanda.)

    Her high school friend, Song-Hui, uses an expression meaning - “Wow, it makes me remember the old days.”
    Use this expression to be funny.

    2- 명곡이야. (Myeonggogiya.)

    Her neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “It’s a masterpiece.”
    This expression conveys a feeling of warmheartedness.

    3- 완전 옛날 노래잖아. (Wanjeon yennal noraejanna.)

    Her nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “It’s too old.”
    Manse is feeling cynical and critical.

    4- 나도 옛날에 팬이었어! (Nado yennare paenieosseo!)

    Her supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “I used to be a fan too!”
    Gong-yu is reminiscing about the past.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 이 (i): “this”
  • 강추 (gangchu): “highly recommend”
  • 예전 (yejeon): “the past days”
  • 노래 (norae): “song”
  • 생각 (saenggak): “thoughts”
  • 팬 (paen): “fan”
  • 명곡 (myeonggok): “masterpiece”
  • Which song would you share? And what would you say to a friend who posted something about sharing music or videos?

    Now you know how to start a conversation about a song or a video on social media!

    5. Korean Social Media Comments about a Concert

    Still on the theme of music—visiting live concerts and shows just have to be shared with your friends. Here are some handy phrases and vocab to wow your followers in Korean!

    Jae-Wu goes to a concert, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    완전 기대! (Wanjeon gidae!)
    “Very excited!”

    1- 완전 (wanjeon)

    First is an expression that means “completely.”
    This is really a noun meaning “complete” but in spoken Korean, people use it to say “really.” If you prefer to use the more formal term, you can say 정말 (jeongmal) which is the grammatically correct way of saying “really.”

    2- 기대 (gidae)

    Then comes the phrase - “expected, excited.”
    This noun means “expectation,” and on social media, people often end their sentences with a noun. You can consider this noun to be a shortened form of the verb 기대하다 (gidaehada) meaning “to expect.” As a noun, it often means “excited.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 재미있게 보고 와~ (Jaemiitge bogo wa~)

    His high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “Have fun!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling optimistic.

    2- 대단해. 제주도까지 가다니. (Daedanae. Jejudokkaji gadani.)

    His college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Wow, you made it all the way to Jeju Island.”
    This expression shows a frivolous attitude, as Samsik is joking with Jae-Wu.

    3- 보기만 해도 더워.. (Bogiman haedo deowo..)

    His girlfriend, Sora, uses an expression meaning - “Just looking at it makes me feel hot..”
    Sora is clearly sensitive to heat.

    4- 지겹지도 않나봐요. (Jigyeopjido annabwayo.)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “You never get bored with this?”
    Manse is still being the negative one in the conversations.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 완전 (wanjeon): “completely, fully”
  • 기대 (gidae): “expect, excited”
  • 대단 (daedan): “great, tremendous”
  • ~까지 (~kkaji): “until~”
  • 더워 (deowo): “hot”
  • 재미 ( jaemi): “fun”
  • 지겹다 (jigyeopda): “boring, tedious”
  • If a friend posted something about a concert , which phrase would you use?

    6. Talking about an Unfortunate Accident in Korean

    Oh dear. You broke something by accident. Use these Korean phrases to start a thread on social media. Or maybe just to let your friends know why you are not contacting them!

    Sora accidentally broke her mobile phone, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    어떻게 해.. (Eotteoke hae..)
    “What should I do?”

    1- 어떻게 (eotteoke)

    First is an expression meaning “how.”
    This is the same adverb meaning “how” that we see in the question 어떻게 먹어? (eotteoke meogeo), meaning “how do you eat?” or literally “how eat?”

    2- 해 (hae)

    Then comes the phrase - “to do.”
    해 (hae) is the verb meaning “to do.” Put them together and you get 어떻게 해 (eotteoke hae) which means “What should I do?” or “How did this happen?” When something unfortunate has happened, you can use this phrase 어떻게 해. (eotteoke hae)

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 앗, 어떻게 된거야? (At, eotteoke dweongeoya?)

    Her college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Oh, what happened?”
    This expression has a frivolous undertone.

    2- 완전 충격! (Wanjeon chunggyeok!)

    Her high school friend, Song-Hui, uses an expression meaning - “Completely shocked!”
    Song-Hui is joking with her friend here.

    3- 벌써 두 번째잖아! (Beolsseo du beonjjaejana!)

    Her nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “It’s the second time already!”
    Manse is still being the negative, cynical poster.

    4- 설마 법인폰? (Seolma beobin-pon?)

    Her supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “It’s not a company phone, is it?”
    Use this expression to be old fashioned.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 어떻게 (eotteoke): “how, what”
  • 해 (hae): “to do”
  • 충격 (chunggyeok): “shock”
  • 벌써 (beolsseo): “already”
  • 설마 (seolma): “can’t be, you don’t say”
  • 법인 (beobin): “corporate”
  • 폰 (pon): “phone”
  • If a friend posted something about having broken something by accident, which phrase would you use?

    So, now you know how to describe an accident in Korean. Well done!

    7. Chat about Your Boredom on Social Media in Korean

    Sometimes, we’re just bored with our lives. And to alleviate the boredom, we write about it on social media. Add some excitement to your posts by addressing your friends and followers in Korean!

    Jae-Wu gets bored at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    오늘 밤 달릴까? (Oneul bam dallilkka?)
    “Shall we drink tonight?”

    1- 오늘 밤 (oneun bam)

    First is an expression meaning “tonight.”
    To say “tonight” in Korean, you can simply say 오늘 (oneul) meaning “today” and the word
    밤 (bam) meaning “a night.” Altogether, you can say 오늘 밤 (oneul bam) meaning “the night of today” or “tonight.” Using the same pattern, you can say 오늘 저녁 (oneul jeonyeok) “this evening” or 오늘 오후 (oneul ohu) “this afternoon.”

    2- 달릴까 (dallilkka)

    Then comes the phrase - “shall we run? (shall we drink?).”
    It originated from the verb 달리다 (daillida) meaning “to run,” and Korean people often use it to say “to go drinking.” It comes from the idea that when you run, you need to drink a lot. However, this phrase only applies to alcohol in large quantities, so make sure you don’t use this word if you just want to have one cup of soju.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 좋아! 대신 너가 쏘는거지? (Joa! Daesin neoga ssoneungeoji?)

    His high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “Sounds good! You’re paying, right?”
    Hana is feeling optimistic about the prospect of free drinks..

    2- 밤이니까 시원하게 한강 변 어때? (Baminikka siwonhage hangangbyeon eottae?)

    His neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “It’ll be evening, so how about a walk near the Han river?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling warmhearted.

    3- 홍대에 좋은 클럽 아는데. (Hongdae-e joeun keulleop aneunde.)

    His college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “I know a good club in the Hongdae area.”
    Samsik is in a fun mood.

    4- 홍대 클럽에 한 표! (Hongdae keulleobe han pyo!)

    His girlfriend, Sora, uses an expression meaning - “One vote for the Hongdae club!”
    Sora is optimistic about the evening’s plans.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 오늘 (oneul ): “today”
  • 밤 (bam): “night”
  • 한강 (hangang): “Han River”
  • 강변 (gangbyeon): “riverside”
  • 홍대 (hongdae): “Hongik University”
  • 클럽 (keulleop): “club”
  • 어때 (eottae): “be how, what do you think”
  • If a friend posted something about being bored, which phrase would you use?

    Share another feeling and see if you can start a conversation!

    8. Exhausted? Share It on Social Media in Korean

    Sitting in public transport after work, feeling like chatting online? Well, converse in Korean about how you feel, and let your friends join in!

    Sora feels exhausted after a long day at work, posts an image of herself looking tired, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    피곤해 죽겠다.. (Pigonae jukgetda..)
    “I’m tired to death.”

    1- 피곤해 (pigonnae)

    First is an expression meaning “because I’m tired.”
    If it’s written Korean, it should be 피곤해서 (pigonhaeseo) using the particle 해서 (haeseo) which means “because of” or “because.” But on social media, you can use the spoken Korean version, which comes with the shortened form of the particle, and say 피곤해. (Pigonhae.)

    2- 죽겠다 (jukgetda)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’ll die..”
    You can use the verb 죽겠다 (jukketda) to emphasize how you feel. It literally means “I will die” but Korean people use it to say “I’m very tired” or “I’m very happy.” Even when they say “I’m very happy,” they use 좋아 죽겠다 (joa jukketta) which literally means “I’ll die because of the happiness.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 남친한테 오늘 저녁밥 부탁해봐. (Namchinhante oneul jeonyeokbap butakaebwa.)

    Her neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “Ask your boyfriend to make dinner for you tonight.”
    Min-hee partakes warm-heartedly in the conversation.

    2- 피곤하구나.. 오늘 저녁은 내가 할게. (Pigonhaguna.. Oneul jeonyeogeun naega halge.)

    Her boyfriend, Jae-Wu, uses an expression meaning - “You look tired. I’ll prepare dinner tonight.”
    Helpful Jae-Wu is being a wonderful boyfriend, determined to make Sora’s life easier.

    3- 힘내! (Himnae!)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “Cheer up!”
    Use this expression to show optimism.

    4- 뭐 그 정도로 피곤하다고. (Mwo geu jeongdoro pigonhadago.)

    Her nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “You shouldn’t be tired from such a small thing.”
    What a wet rag Manse is! Still being cynical and rather negative.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 피곤 (pigon): “fatigue, tiredness”
  • 죽겠다 (jukgetda): “feel like dying because of~”
  • 남친 (namchin): “boyfriend”
  • 힘내 (himnae): “cheer up”
  • 뭐 (mwo): “what”
  • 부탁 (butak): “request, favor”
  • 저녁밥 (jeonyeokbap): “dinner”
  • 할게 (halge): “will do”
  • If a friend posted something about being exhausted, which phrase would you use?

    Now you know how to say you’re exhausted in Korean! Well done.

    9. Talking about an Injury in Korean

    So life happens, and you manage to hurt yourself during a soccer game. Very Tweet-worthy! Here’s how to do it in Korean.

    Jae-Wu suffers a painful injury, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    운동하다 발목을 접질렀어. (Undonghada balmogeul jeopjilleosseo.)
    “I sprained my ankle while working out.”

    1- 운동하다 (undonghada)

    First is an expression meaning “while working out.”
    Here, the noun 운동 (undong) can mean “work out” at a gym or “to play” any type of sport.

    2- 접질렀어 (jeopjilleosseo)

    Then comes the phrase - “I sprained my ankle.”
    The verb 접질르다 (jeopjireuda) means “to sprain one’s ankle.” If it’s broken, you can say 부러졌어 (bureojyeosseo) or if it’s cramping, you can say 쥐가 났어. (jwiga nasseo.)

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 금방 나을거야. (Geumbang naeulgeoya.)

    His high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “It should heal quickly.”
    Hana is feeling optimistic about his assessment Jae-Wu’s injury.

    2- 운동 좀 적당히 해. (Undong jom jeokdanghi hae.)

    His college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Don’t work out too much.”
    Samsik is teasing his friend a bit.

    3- 오늘은 집에 가서 푹 쉬어. (Oneuren jibe gaseo puk swieo.)

    His neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “(Take a) rest at home today.”
    Min-Hee is giving warmhearted advice.

    4- 그래도 내일 회사는 나오는거지? (Geuraedo naeil heosaneun naoneungeoji?)

    His supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “You’re coming to work tomorrow, right?”
    Old-fashioned Gong-yu is eager to confirm that Jae-Wu is not too badly injured for work.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 운동하다 (undonghada): “exercise”
  • 접질렀어 (jeopjilleosseo): “sprain”
  • 금방 (geumbang): “soon, shortly”
  • 적당히 (jeokdanghi): “suitably, adequately”
  • 푹 (puk): “sufficiently”
  • 그래도 (geuraedo): “but, however”
  • 발목 (balmok): “ankle”
  • If a friend posted something about being injured, which phrase would you use?

    We love to share our fortunes and misfortunes; somehow that makes us feel connected to others.

    10. Starting a Conversation about Feeling Disappointed in Korean

    Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. Share your disappointment about this with your friends!

    Sora feels disappointed about today’s weather, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    비가 오니까 다운됐어.. (Biga onikka daun-dwaesseo..)
    “Rain makes me feel depressed..”

    1- 비가 오니까 (biga onikka)

    First is an expression meaning “because it’s raining.”
    This phrase ends with the particle 니까 (nikka) meaning “because of.” You can use this pattern to also say, for instance: 노래를 들으니까 (norareul deureunikka) which means “because I was listening to the song” or 혼자 집에 있으니까 (honja jibe isseunikka) “because I was at home alone.”

    2- 다운됐어. (daun-dwaesseo)

    Then comes the phrase - “I am feeling down.”
    This slang originates from the English word “down”. It literally means “to get down” or “to feel down.” If you prefer to use less slang, you can say 우울해졌다 (u-ulhaejyeotda) which means “I’m feeling depressed.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 무슨 일 있어? (Museun il isseo?)

    Her neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “What happened?”
    Warmhearted Min-Hee is also expressing commiseration by asking Sora to talk about her experiences.

    2- 회사에서도 얼굴이 안 좋더니.. (Heosaeseodo eolguri an joteoni..)

    Her supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “You didn’t look well at the office…”
    Gong-yu is also sharing an expression of concern, from an older, more old-fashioned person.

    3- 우울하면 그냥 자.. (U-ulhamyeon geunyang ja..)

    Her nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “Just take a nap if you’re depressed.”
    Manse also has advice.

    4- 내가 맛있는 거 사갈게. (Naega massineun geo sagalge.)

    Her boyfriend, Jae-Wu, uses an expression meaning - “I’ll get you something delicious.”
    Jae-Wu is determined to lift Sora’s mood - what a nice guy!

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • ~니까 (~nikka): “because of~”
  • 다운 (daun): “feel down”
  • 우울 ( u-ul): “depressed”
  • 사갈게 (sagalge): “will buy and go”
  • 비 (bi): “rain”
  • 그냥 (geunyang ): “just, as it is”
  • How would you comment in Korean when a friend is disappointed?

    Not all posts need to be about a negative feeling, though!

    11. Talking about Your Relationship Status in Korean

    Don’t just change your relationship status in Settings, talk about it!

    Jae-Wu changes his status to “In a relationship”, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    오늘로 사귄지 1,000일! (Oneullo sagwinji cheonil!)
    “1000th day since first seeing each other!”

    1- 오늘로 사귄지 (oenullo sagwinji)

    First is an expression meaning “Since we dated.”
    This phrase uses the verb 사귀다 (sagwida) which means “to date as a couple.” You can use the verb in 오늘부터 사귀다 (oneulbuteo sagwida) to mean “We date from today.”

    2- 1,000일 (cheonil)

    Then comes the phrase - “1,000th day..”
    It’s important to celebrate special days in Korea, so you will hear people celebrating 백일 (baegil) 100th day, 이백일 (ibaegil) 200th day, 오백일 (obaegil) 500th day, and even 천일 (cheonil) 1,000th day.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 첫 키스한 지는 얼마나 지났어? (Cheot kiseuhan jineun eolmana jinasseo?)

    His college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “How many days have passed since the first kiss?”
    Samsik is being frivolous.

    2- 와 벌써? 축하해! (Wa beolsseo? Chukahae!)

    His high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “Wow, already? Congratulations!”
    This is an optimistic expression of congratulations.

    3- 2,000일은 올까? (Icheonireun olkka?)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “When is the 2,000th day?”
    Manse is showing a cynical attitude, perhaps indicating that he doesn’t think the relationship will last long.

    4- 회사에서 연애하느라 고생이 많아. (Heosaeseo yeonaehaneura gosaeng-i mana.)

    His supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “You must be very fatigued from the dating done at work.”
    Old-fashioned Gong-yu comments on the work-romance.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 사귀다 (sagwida): “date”
  • 첫 (cheot ): “first”
  • 천일 (cheonil): “1000 days”
  • 연애 (yeonae): “date, have a relationship”
  • 고생 (gosaeng): “hardship”
  • 얼마나 (eolmana): “how”
  • What would you say in Korean when a friend changes their relationship status?

    Being in a good relationship with someone special is good news - don’t be shy to spread it!

    12. Post about Getting Married in Korean

    Wow, so things got serious, and you’re getting married. Congratulations! Or, your friend is getting married, so talk about this in Korean.

    Sora is getting married today, so she eaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    저희 결혼해요! (Jeohui gyeolhonhaeyo.)
    “We’re getting married.”

    1- 저희 (jeohui)

    First is an expression meaning “we (humble).”
    This pronoun is used to address “we” humbly.

    2- 결혼해요! (Gyeolhonhaeyo!)

    Then comes the phrase - “to get married!.”
    This expression includes the noun 결혼 (gyeolhon) which means “marriage,” so 결혼해요 (gyeolhonhaeyo) literally means “to do marriage.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 축하해. 오래오래 행복하게 살아! (Chukahae. Oraeorae haengbokage sara!)

    Her supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations! Wishing you a long-lasting marriage!”
    This is an old-fashioned but still warmhearted expression of congratulations.

    2- 오늘 부케는 꼭 내가! (Oneul bukeneun kkok naega!)

    Her high school friend, Song-Hui, uses an expression meaning - “I’ll get the bouquets today!”
    Song-Hui is joking around.

    3- 드디어 아줌마가 되는구나! (Deudieo ajummaga deoneunguna!)

    Her college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “You’re becoming a Mrs.!”
    This comment also expresses happiness and optimism.

    4- 둘다 정말 행복해 보여. (Dulda jeongmal haengbokhae boyeo.)

    Her future husband’s high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “You both look so happy.”
    This positive statement is optimistic.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 저희 (jeohui): “we”
  • 결혼 (gyeolhon): “marriage”
  • 오래오래 (oraeorae): “long long time”
  • 축가 (chukga): “nuptial song”
  • 아줌마 (ajumma): “ma’am”
  • 둘다 (dulda): “both”
  • 꼭 (kkok): “surely, certainly”
  • How would you respond in Korean to a friend’s post about getting married?

    For the next topic, fast forward about a year into the future after the marriage…

    13. Announcing Big News in Korean

    Wow, huge stuff is happening in your life! Announce it in Korean.

    Jae-Wu finds out he and his wife are going to have a baby, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    내년에 아이 아빠가 된다! (Naenyeone a-i appaga deonda!)
    “I’ll be a father next year! (Yay!)”

    1- 내년에 (naenyeone)

    First is an expression meaning “next year.”
    To mean “next year” you can use either 내년 (naenyeon) or 다음해 (daeumhae.) 내년 (naenyeon) is made with two Chinese characters so it sounds formal, while 다음해 (daeumhae), which is made with two native Korean words, sounds softer.

    2- 아이 아빠가 된다! (a-i appaga deonda!)

    Then comes the phrase - “to become a father.”
    For sure, you can say 아빠가 된다 (appaga deonda) here to mean “to become a father.” But if you use 아이 아빠 (a-i appa) which literally means “a father of a child” it sounds like you are happy to be the father of someone rather than just stating the fact.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 축하해! 애기가 정말 예쁠 것 같아. (Chukahae! Aegiga jeongmal yeoppeul geot gata.)

    His high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations! The baby should be so cute.”
    Hana is feeling positive and optimistic about Jae-Wu’s news.

    2- 나도 조카가 생기는구나..ㅠㅠ (Nado jokaga saeng-gineunguna..ㅠㅠ)

    His nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “I’m having a nephew soon..ㅠㅠ”
    Manse is excited about the baby, and expressing it in a fun way.

    3- 앗, 벌써? (At, beolsseo?)

    His college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Oh, already?”
    Samsik is joking frivolously with his friend.

    4- 아이가 건강하도록 기도할게요! (A-iga geonganghadorok gidohalgeyo!)

    His neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “I’ll pray for the healthiness of the baby!”
    Min-Hee is happy for the couple and leaves a warm wish of well being for the new baby.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 내년 (naenyeon): “next year”
  • 아이 ( ai ): “child”
  • 아빠 (appa): “dad”
  • 조카 ( joka): “cousin”
  • 기도 ( gido): “prayer”
  • 건강 (geongang): “health”
  • ~것 같아 (~geot gata): “look like~”
  • Which phrase would you choose when a friend announces their pregnancy on social media?

    So, talking about a pregnancy will get you a lot of traction on social media. But wait till you see the responses to babies!

    14. Posting Korean Comments about Your Baby

    Your bundle of joy is here, and you cannot keep quiet about it! Share your thoughts in Korean.

    Sora plays with her baby, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    아이가 태어났어요. (A-iga taeeonasseoyo.)
    “The child was born!”

    1- 아이가 (a-iga)

    First is an expression meaning “child.”
    You can use the noun 아이 (a-i) to mean either a baby or child in general. 어린이 (eorini) is another noun that means “a child,” but this noun cannot be used to mean “a baby.”

    2- 태어났어요 (taeeonasseoyo)

    Then comes the phrase - “was born.”
    This expression has the verb 태어나다 (tae-eonada) meaning “to be born.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 정말 두 사람 꼭 닮았다! (Jeongmal du saram kkok dalmatda!)

    Her high school friend, Song-Hui, uses an expression meaning - “The baby looks just like you both!”
    Song-Hui is positive and also joking around a bit.

    2- 진짜 축하해! 다음에 한 턱 내! (Jinjja chukahae! Daeume han teok nae!)

    Her college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations from my heart! Buy some dinner next time!”
    Samsik is also feeling frivolous and jokes with the couple.

    3- 빨리 보고 싶다~ (Ppalli bogo sipda-)

    Her nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “I want to see the baby soon!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling excited.

    4- 축하해! 건강하게 자라길 바래! (Chukahae! Geonganghage jaragil barae!)

    Her supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations! I wish the baby grows healthy.”
    A sweet, old-fashioned wish from Gong-yu.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 태어나다 (taeeonada): “be born”
  • 닮았다 (dalmatda): “resemble”
  • 다음 (daeum): “next”
  • 한 턱 내 ( han teok nae): “treat someone”
  • 보고 싶다 (bogo sipda): “missing someone”
  • 축하해 (chukahae): “congratulations”
  • If your friend is the mother or father, which phrase would you use on social media?

    Congratulations, you know the basics of chatting about a baby in Korean! But we’re not done with families yet…

    15. Korean Comments about a Family Reunion

    Family reunions - some you love, some you hate. Share about it on your feed.

    Jae-Wu goes to a family gathering, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    오랜만의 가족 모임! 조카들이 많이 컸네. (Oraenmanui gajok moim! Jokadeuri mani keonne.)
    “Family gathering after a long time! Nephews have grown up a lot.”

    1- 오랜만의 가족모임! (Oraenmanui gajok moim! )

    First is an expression meaning “Family gathering after a long time. .”
    You can use the noun 오랜만 (oraenman) to mean “after a long time.” You can also use it with other event names such as 오랜만의 동창회 (oraenmanui dongchangheo), which means “alumni gathering after a long time,” for example.

    2- 조카들이 많이 컸네. (Jokadeuri mani keonne.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Nephews are grown up a lot..”
    In Korean, just one word 조카 (joka) is used to mean both nephews and nieces.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 다음에 보면 어른이 되어 있을 것 같아. (Daeume bomyeon eoreuni doeeo isseul geto gata.)

    His wife, Sora, uses an expression meaning - “They should be adults next time.”
    Sora also comments on how fast the nephews are growing.

    2- 다들 건강하시지? (Dadeul geonganghasiji?)

    His high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “They are all healthy, right?”
    Hana feels optimistic that everyone is indeed healthy.

    3- 대가족이네! (Daegajogine!)

    His neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “Such a big family!”
    A warmhearted comment to keep the conversation going.

    4- 어머님은 언제나 아름다우시네. (Eomeonimeun eonjena areumdausine.)

    His college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Your mother always looks beautiful.”
    Samsik shares a warmhearted, complimentary observation about Jae-Wu’s mother.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 오랜만 (oraenman): “in a long time”
  • 가족 (gajok): “family”
  • 모임 (moim): “gathering”
  • 어른 (eoreun): “adult”
  • 대가족 (daegajok): “big family”
  • 다들 (dadeul): “everyone”
  • 언제나 (eonjena): “always”
  • Which phrase is your favorite to comment on a friend’s photo about a family reunion?

    16. Post about Your Travel Plans in Korean

    So, the family are going on holiday. Do you know what to post and how to leave comments in Korean about being at the airport, waiting for a flight?

    Sora waits at the airport for her flight, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    태국에 갑니다! 잘 다녀올게요! (Taeguge gamnida! Jal danyeo-olgeyo!)
    “Going to Thailand! Will have a great trip!”

    1- 태국에 갑니다! (Taeguge gamnida! )

    First is an expression meaning “Going to Thailand! .”
    There are some country names that sound different than their original names, for example, 태국 (taeguk) for Thailand, 미국 (miguk) for U.S.A, and 중국 (jung-guk) for China. They all end with the noun 국 (guk) meaning ” a country.”

    2- 잘 다녀올게요! (Jal danyeoolgeyo!)

    Then comes the phrase - “Will come back after having a lot of fun!.”
    This is a common phrase to use when you leave for a trip.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 맛있는 것 많이 먹고 와! (Masineun geot mani meokgo wa!)

    Her neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “Have some great food!”
    This is a warmhearted instruction.

    2- 기념품도 잊지 말고! (Ginyeompumdo itji malgo!)

    Her college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Don’t forget the souvenirs!”
    Samsik is the joker, and showing his frivolous mood with this comment.

    3- 나도 작년에 갔는데 정말 좋았어. (Nado jaknyeone ganneunde jeongmal joasseo.)

    Her high school friend, Song-Hui, uses an expression meaning - “I went there last year and it was so good.”
    Song-Hui is sharing some personal history and keeps the conversation going this way.

    4- 재밌게 놀다 와! (Jaemike nolda wa!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “Have fun!”
    Hana is also being optimistic that the trip will go well.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 기념품 (ginyeompum): “souvenir”
  • 잘 다녀올게요 ( jal danyeoolgeyo): “will go safely and back”
  • 작년 (jangnyeon): “last year”
  • 태국 (taeguk): “Thailand”
  • 놀다 와 (nolda wa): “go play and come back”
  • 잊지 말고 ( itji malgo): “don’t forget”
  • Choose and memorize your best airport phrase in Korean!

    Hopefully the rest of the trip is better!

    17. Posting about an Interesting Find in Korean

    So maybe you’re strolling around at your local market, and find something interesting. Here are some handy Korean phrases!

    Jae-Wu finds an unusual item at a local market, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    이런 거 처음 봐! (Ireon geo cheoum bwa!)
    “Never seen this before!”

    1- 이런 거 (ireon geo)

    First is an expression meaning “a thing like this.”
    The formal version of this phrase is 이런 것 (ireon geot,) but in daily conversation, Korean people use 거 (geo) more often to mean “a thing” instead of 것 (geot.)

    2- 처음 봐! (Cheoeum bwa!)

    Then comes the phrase - “to see something for the first time.”
    This expression can be used when you see something for the very first time and to show your surprise.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 그게 뭐야? 재미있게 생겼어. (Geuge mwoya? Jaemi-itge saenggyeosseo.)

    His neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “What’s that? It looks funny.”
    Min-Hee comments on the find and is curious about its.

    2- 너처럼 생겼어. (Neocheoreom saenggyeosseo.)

    His wife’s high school friend, Song-Hui, uses an expression meaning - “It looks like you.”
    Use this expression to be funny.

    3- 먹을 수 있는건가..? (Meogeul su inneungeonga…?)

    His college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Is it something you can eat…?”
    Samsik also makes fun of Jae-Wu, keeping the conversation frivolous.

    4- 안 본 눈 사요. (An bon nun sayo.)

    His wife, Sora, uses an expression meaning - “I wish I didn’t see this. (lit. I’m buying the eyes that haven’t seen this.)”
    Sora is keeping the conversation going with this comment.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 이런 거 (ireon geo): “this kind of thing”
  • 처음 (cheoeum): “first time”
  • 뭐야? (Mwoya?): “What is it?”
  • 안 (an ): “not”
  • 사요 (sayo): “want to buy”
  • ~처럼 ( ~cheoreom): “like~”
  • 눈 (nun): “eyes”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s interesting find?

    Perhaps you will even learn the identity of your find! Or perhaps you’re on holiday, and visiting interesting places…

    18. Post about a Sightseeing Trip in Korean

    Let your friends know what you’re up to in Korean, especially when visiting a remarkable place! Don’t forget the photo.

    Sora visits a famous landmark, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    가장 인기 있는 관광지에 도착! (Gajang ingi inneun gwangwangji-e dochak!)
    “Just arrived at the most popular tourist destination.”

    1- 가장 인기 있는 관광지 (gajang ingi inneun gwangwangji)

    First is an expression meaning “the most popular tourist spot.”
    This phrase ends with the noun 관광지 (gwangwangji) meaning “tourist spot.”

    2- 도착 ( dochak)

    Then comes the phrase - “arrive.”
    On Facebook, it’s common to see people ending their sentences with a noun instead of using a verb, for example, 관광지에 도착 (gwangwangji-e dochak) instead of 관광지에 도착했다 (gwangwangji-e dochakaetda). Both can be used to mean “I arrived at a tourist spot.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 부러워~ (Bureowo-)

    Her neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “I envy you~”
    Min-Hee’s comment is made in a friendly, warm spirit.

    2- 나도 가보고 싶다. (Nado gabogo sipda.)

    Her supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “I want to go there too.”
    Even the supervisor would like to be where Sora is.

    3- 경치가 좋은데? 그냥 거기 살아. (Gyeongchiga joeunde? Geunyang geogi sara.)

    Her college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Nice view, right? Just live there.”
    Perhaps also envious, joker Samsik makes a suggestion.

    4- 사람 진짜 많다. (Saram jinjja manta.)

    Her nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “There are a lot of people.”
    Perhaps Manse is being cynical and comments on the crowd, or he is just making an observation.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 가장 (gajang): “most, best”
  • 관광지 (gwangwangji): “tourist attraction”
  • 가보고 싶다 (gabogo sipda): “want to go”
  • 부럽다 (bureopda): “envious”
  • 경치 (gyeongchi): “view”
  • 그냥 (geunyang): “just, as it is”
  • Which phrase would you prefer when a friend posts about a famous landmark?

    Share your special places with the world. Or simply post about your relaxing experiences.

    19. Post about Relaxing Somewhere in Korean

    So you’re doing nothing yet you enjoy that too? Tell your social media friends about it in Korean!

    Jae-Wu relaxes at a beautiful place, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    이런 곳에서 평생 살고 싶어. (Ireon goseseo pyeongsaeng salgo sipeo.)
    “I wish to live in a place like this forever.”

    1- 이런 곳에서 (ireon goseseo )

    First is an expression meaning “a place like this.”
    Unlike 거 (geo), which means “a thing” and is a shortened form of the noun 것 (geot), the noun 곳 (got) means “a place” and doesn’t have a shortened form that’s used in daily conversation.

    2- 평생 살고 싶어. (pyeongsaeng salgo sippeo.)

    Then comes the phrase - “I want to live forever..”
    The noun 평생 (peyongsaeng) literally means “for my entire life” and can be used to mean “doing something forever.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 완전 부러움. 흥흥. (Wanjeon bureoum. heung heung.)

    His nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “So jealous. ”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling cynical.

    2- 진짜 예쁘다. (Jinjja yeppeuda.)

    His neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “It’s so pretty.”
    This compliment shows an optimistic, positive attitude.

    3- 다음엔 꼭 나도 캐리어에 넣어서 데려가~ (Daeumen kkok nado kaerieo-e neoeoseo deryeoga~)

    His wife’s high school friend, Song-Hui, uses an expression meaning - “Make sure to bring me with you in a suitcase next time~”
    Song-Hui is joking, of course.

    4- 완전 타서 오겠구나. (Wanjeon taseo ogetguna.)

    His supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “I bet you guys will be coming back all tanned.”
    Gong-yu comments to keep the conversation going.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 이런 곳 (ireon got): “a place like this”
  • 평생 (pyeongsaeng): “one’s whole life”
  • 살고 싶어 ( salgo sipeo): “I want to live”
  • 부러움 (bureoum): “envy”
  • 다음에 (daeume): “next time”
  • 캐리어 (kaerieo): “wheeled suitcase”
  • 예쁘다 (yeppeuda ): “pretty”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s feed?

    The break was great, but now it’s time to return home.

    20. What to Say in Korean When You’re Home Again

    And you’re back! What will you share with friends and followers?

    Sora returns home after a vacation, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    시간 빠르다. 벌써 집에 도착! (Sigan ppareuda. Beolsseo jibe dochak!)
    “Time goes so fast. Arrived at home already!”

    1- 시간 빠르다 (sigan ppareuda.)

    First is an expression meaning “Time goes so fast..”
    This expression literally means “Time is fast” but can be translated as “Time flies.”

    2- 벌써 집에 도착! (Beolsseo jibe dochak!)

    Then comes the phrase - “Arrived at home already!.”
    The noun 집 (jip) means “a house,’ but it cannot be used idiomatically as in “home country” like in English.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 어서와! (Eoseowa!)

    Her neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “Welcome back!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling warmhearted.

    2- 기념품 기대하고 있을게. (Ginyeompum gidaehago isseulge.)

    Her nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “I’m (so) waiting for the souvenirs.”
    Manse is eager to see what Sora brought back from holiday.

    3- 많이 탔어? 사진 보여줘~ (Mani tasseo? Sajin boyeojwo-)

    Her high school friend, Song-Hui, uses an expression meaning - “Sunburnt? Share some pics-”
    Song-Hui is curious to see pictures.

    4- 이제 일해야지? (Ije ilhaeyaji?)

    Her supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “Ready for work?”
    Old-fashioned Gong-yu only wants to know if Sora will return to work soon.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 시간 (sigan): “time”
  • 빠르다 (ppareuda ): “fast”
  • 도착 (dochak): “arrive”
  • 어서 (eoseo ): “promptly”
  • 집 (jip): “house”
  • 사진 (sajin ): “photo”
  • 기대 (gidae): “expect”
  • How would you welcome a friend back from a trip?

    What do you post on social media when you have something huge to celebrate?

    21. It’s Time to Celebrate in Korean

    It’s an historic day and you wish to post something about it on social media. What would you say?

    Jae-Wu gets a huge promotion at work, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    대리로 승진했어! (Daeriro seungjinhasseo!)
    “Promoted to junior manager!”

    1- 대리로 (daeriro)

    First is an expression meaning “as a junior manager.”
    When someone works at a company for around two years, he/she will be promoted to 대리 (daeri) or “junior manager.”

    2- 승진했어 (seungjinhasseo)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m promoted.”
    The noun 승진 (seungjin) is the word for “promotion,” so this literally means “I do promotion.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 고생 많았어. 축하축하! (Gosaeng manasseo. Chukachuka!)

    His wife, Sora, uses an expression meaning - “Good job. Congratulations!”
    Sora is obviously proud of her husband’s accomplishment.

    2- 내 자리가 위험한데? (Nae jariga wiheomhande?)

    His supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “My position isn’t safe anymore?”
    Gong-yu is probably joking here…

    3- 축하 턱은 언제? (Chuka tteogeun eonje?)

    His high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “What are you buying for your promotion?”
    Hana wants to celebrate this event.

    4- 월급은 많이 올랐어? (Wolgeubeun mani ollasseo?)

    His college friend, Samsik, uses an expression meaning - “Did you get a good raise?”
    Samsik is curious and also joking around a bit.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 대리 (daeri): “junior manager”
  • 승진 (seungjin): “promotion”
  • ~로 (~ro ): “as, toward”
  • 고생 (gosaeng): “hardship”
  • 자리 (jari): “position”
  • 위험 (wiheom ): “dangerous”
  • 월급 (wolgeup): “monthly pay”
  • If a friend posted something about a promotion, which phrase would you use?

    Promotion days are not the only special ones to remember!

    22. Posting about a Birthday on Social Media in Korean

    Your friend or you are celebrating your birthday. Be sure to share this on social media!

    Sora goes to her birthday party, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    이제 30살! (Ije seoreunsal!)
    “Just turned 30!”

    1- 이제 (ije)

    First is an expression meaning “now.”
    If you want to say “already” you can say 벌써 (beolsseo) instead.

    2- 30살! (seoreunsal)

    Then comes the phrase - “30 years old!.”
    When you count ages, make sure to count them with native Korean numbers. Make sure you don’t say 삼십살 (samsipsal), which uses Sino Korean numbers.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 생일 축하해~ (Saengil chukahae-)

    Her husband, Jae-Wu, uses an expression meaning - “Happy birthday-”
    Jae-Wu is congratulating his wife in a simple way.

    2- 잘 태어났어! (Jal tae-eonasseo!)

    Her neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “It’s great that you were born!”
    A warmhearted comment, Min-Hee clearly likes Sora.

    3- 생일 선물 뭐 갖고 싶어? (Saengil seonmul mwo gatgo sippeo?)

    Her supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “What birthday present do you want to get?”
    Gong-yu is curious to know what Sora would like for her birthday.

    4- 늦었지만, 생일 축하해! (Neujeotjiman, saengil chukahae!)

    Her nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “It’s late, but happy birthday!”
    At least Manse didn’t forget Sora’s birthday!

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 이제 (ije): “now”
  • 살 (sal): “age”
  • 생일 (saengil): “birthday”
  • 뭐 (mwo): “what”
  • 갖고 싶다 (gatgo sipda ): “want to have”
  • 선물 (seonmul): “present”
  • If a friend posted something about birthday greetings, which phrase would you use?

    23. Talking about New Year on Social Media in Korean

    Impress your friends with your Korean New Year’s wishes this year. Learn the phrases easily!

    Jae-Wu celebrates the New Year, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    새해 복 많이 받으세요! (Saehae bok mani badeuseyo!)
    “Happy New Year!”

    1- 새해 복

    First is an expression meaning “New Year’s luck.”
    The noun 새해 (saehae) is the natural Korean word meaning “New Year.” 신년 (sin-nyeon) is another word that means “New Year” and is made with Chinese characters, but you don’t use it when giving greetings.

    2- 많이 받으세요

    Then comes the phrase - “Please receive a lot..”
    The expression 받으세요 (badeuseyo) is based on the verb 받다 (batda) meaning “to receive.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 모두들 복 많이! (Modedeul bok mani!)

    His wife, Sora, uses an expression meaning - “Wishing a lot of luck to everyone!”

    2- 벌써 새해라니.. (Beolsseo saehaerani..)

    His supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “It’s already a new year…”
    Gong-yu sounds somewhat nostalgic about the fact that the previous year has gone so fast.

    3- 새해에는 좋은 일 많길 바래. (Saehae-eneun joeun il mankil barae.)

    His neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “I hope you have a lot of good things this year.”
    Min-Hee leaves a positive, warm wish for the New Year.

    4- 새해엔 다이어트 성공하길. (Saehae-en daieoteu seong-gonghagil.)

    His wife’s high school friend, Song-Hui, uses an expression meaning - “Wish you lose weight in the new year.”
    Song-Hui is joking around a bit.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 새해 복 (saehae bok): “New Year’s luck”
  • 많이 (mani): “a lot”
  • ~길 바래 ( ~gil barae): “wish for~”
  • 좋은 일 (joeun il): “good thing”
  • 다이어트 (daieoteu): “diet”
  • 성공 (seonggong): “success”
  • Which is your favorite phrase to post on social media during New Year?

    But before New Year’s Day comes another important day…

    24. What to Post on Christmas Day in Korean

    What will you say in Korean about Christmas?

    Sora celebrates Christmas with her family, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sora’s post.

    모두들, 메리 크리스마스! (Modudeul, meri keuriseumasu!)
    “Merry Christmas, everyone!”

    1- 모두들 (modudeul)

    First is an expression meaning “everyone.”
    The noun 모두 (modu) means “everyone,” but Korean people often add the word 들 (deul), which turns a singular noun to plural, and say 모두들 (modudeul), like in this expression.

    2- 메리 크리스마스 (meri keuriseumaseu!)

    Then comes the phrase - “Merry Christmas.”
    This is from the English expression “Merry Christmas.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sora’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 어디나 커플만 잔뜩 있고! (Eodina keopeulman jantteuk itgo!)

    Her nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “Couples everywhere!”
    Manse seems to be less than impressed with all the couples.

    2- 오늘밤은 화이트 크리스마스래. (Oneulbameun hwaiteu keuriseumaseurae.)

    Her neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression meaning - “I heard that it’s going to be a white Christmas tonight.”
    With this, Min-Hee shares a rumour - a nice way to get a conversation going.

    3- 크리스마스에도 일하는 중.. (Keuriseumaseu-edo ilhaneun jung..)

    Her supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “Working on Christmas day as usual..”
    Gong-yu is simply stating a fact.

    4- 크리스마스 선물은 뭐 받았어? (Keurisemaseu seonmureun mwo badasseo?)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “What Christmas gift did you get?”
    Hana is curious about gifts.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 모두들 (modudeul): “everyone”
  • 메리 크리스마스 ( meri keuriseumaseu ): “Merry Christmas”
  • 어디나 (eodina): “everywhere”
  • 커플 (keopeul): “couple”
  • 화이트 크리스마스 (hwaiteu keuriseumaseu ): “White Christmas”
  • 잔뜩 (jantteuk ): “heavily, full of”
  • If a friend posted something about Christmas greetings, which phrase would you use?

    So, the festive season is over! Yet, there will always be other days, besides a birthday, to wish someone well.

    25. Post about Your Anniversary in Korean

    Some things deserve to be celebrated, like wedding anniversaries. Learn which Korean phrases are meaningful and best suited for this purpose!

    Jae-Wu celebrates his wedding anniversary with his wife, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jae-Wu’s post.

    결혼기념일 저녁식사! (Gyeolhonginyeomil jeonyeoksiksa!)
    “Wedding anniversary dinner!”

    1- 결혼기념일 (gyeolhonginyeomil)

    First is an expression meaning “wedding anniversary.”
    This noun is made of the words 결혼 (gyeolhon), meaning “marriage”, and 기념일 (ginyeomil), meaning “anniversary.”

    2- 저녁식사 (jeonyeoksiksa!)

    Then comes the phrase - “dinner.”
    No matter how big the meal is, you can use the same word 저녁식사 (jeonyeoksiksa) to mean a meal eaten in the evening.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jae-Wu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 축하해~ 오래오래 행복하게. (Chukahae- oraeorae hangbokhage.)

    His neighbor, Min-Hee, uses an expression saying - “Congratulations - wishing you be happy forever.”
    This is a conventional and generous wish for someone’s wedding anniversary.

    2- 여긴 어디야? 로맨틱해 보여. (Yeogin eodiya? Romaentikhae boyeo.)

    His high school friend, Hana, uses an expression meaning - “Where’s this? It looks romantic.”
    Hana also feels positive about the photo.

    3- 행복한 결혼생활 비밀이 뭐야? (Haengbokhan gyeolhonsaenghwal bimiri mwoya?)

    His supervisor, Gong-yu, uses an expression meaning - “What’s your secret to maintaining a happy marriage?”
    Gong-yu seems to think the couple knows something others don’t about a happy married life.

    4- 오늘은 둘이 싸우지마. (Oneureun duri ssauji ma.)

    His nephew, Manse, uses an expression meaning - “Just for today, try not to fight.”
    Manse is perhaps also joking, using a rather cynical admonition.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 결혼 기념일 (gyeolhon ginyeomil): “wedding anniversary”
  • 저녁식사 (jeonyeoksiksa): “dinner”
  • 싸우지마 (ssauji ma): “don’t fight”
  • 로맨틱 (romaentik): “romantic”
  • 행복한 (haengbokan): “happy”
  • 비밀 (bimil): “secret”
  • If a friend posted something about Anniversary greetings, which phrase would you use?

    Conclusion

    Learning to speak a new language will always be easier once you know key phrases that everybody uses. These would include commonly used expressions for congratulations and best wishes, etc.

    Master these in fun ways with Learn Korean! We offer a variety of tools to individualize your learning experience, including using cell phone apps, audiobooks, iBooks and many more. Never wonder again what to say on social media!

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    11 Ways to Say “I am Sorry” in Korean

    “How can I say sorry in Korean?” you may be asking.

    “Sorry” is one of the first words that language learners come across when starting out. It’s a practical word because you can use it in many situations. There are many different ways to say sorry in English, such as “I am sorry,” “I apologize,” and so on, and the same is true for Korean. Some Korean apologies are formal and some are slang words, and sometimes words are only used in a specific situation.

    “Sorry” in learning Korean is just as essential as it is in any other language. In this blog, we’re going to introduce eleven ways to say “I am sorry” in Korean, and when to use an expression appropriately. There are many words for sorry in Korean vocabulary, as well as many common gestures that make up a big part of how to apologize in Korean culture. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Korean Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

    1. 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) - Formal
    2. 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.) - Formal
    3. 미안해요. (mianhaeyo.) - Formal
    4. 죄송해요. (joesonghaeyo.) - Formal.
    5. 미안해 (mianhae) - Informal
    6. 미안 (mian) - Informal
    7. 잠시만요. (jamsimanyo.) - Informal/Formal
    8. 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.) - Formal
    9. 진심으로 사과드립니다. (jinsimeuro sagwadeurimnida.) - Formal
    10. 용서해주세요. (yongseohaejuseyo.) - Formal
    11. 저기요 (jeogiyo) - Informal
    12. How KoreanClass101.com Can Help You

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    1. 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) - Formal

    죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) is the most commonly used phrase to say sorry, and if you’ve just started learning how to say sorry in Korean, memorize this phrase at all costs. Why? Because you’ll hear this wherever you go, and you’ll be using it a lot while traveling in South Korea.

    죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) is a more respectful way to apologize than 미안합니다. (mianhamnida.) and 죄송해요. (joesonghaeyo.), which we’ll explain to you in more detail later.

    In addition, using the appropriate body gesture is very important when you say this phrase; you need to slightly bow your head when saying sorry. Also, unlike in some of the countries where eye-contact is very important, making direct eye-contact is considered rude in Korea. Therefore, when you want to apologize to someone, try not to make eye-contact; instead, look slightly downward, toward the floor.

    Situation 1:

    Someone comes along and pushes you while you’re holding a cup of coffee, which results in spilling the coffee on someone else.

    • You: 어머, 괜찮으세요? 너무 *죄송합니다. [bow]
      You: eomeo, gwaenchaneuseyo? neomu joesonghamnida.
      You: “Oh no, are you okay? I am so sorry.”

    *죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) is a good way to apologize to someone. However, when you want to more sincerely apologize to someone, add 너무 (neomu), meaning “very,” before 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.).

    • Customer: 아, 괜찮습니다.
      Customer: a, gwaenchanseumnida.
      Customer: “Ah, it’s okay.”

    In this situation, you spilled the coffee by accident and are sincerely apologizing someone. In this case, you need to bow as you apologize.

    Situation 2:

    You accidently stepped on someone’s foot when entering the bus.

    • You: 죄송합니다. [no need to bow in this situation]
      You: joesonghamnida.
      You: “I am sorry.”
    • Other person: 아니요, 괜찮습니다.
      Other person: aniyo, gwaenchanseumnida.
      Other person: “It’s okay, never mind.”

    In this situation, you don’t have enough time to bow and apologize to someone. So this simple version of how to say “I’m sorry” in Korean to the person whose foot you stepped on is good enough.


    2. 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.) - Formal

    3 Ways to Say Sorry

    잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.) is translated as “It is my fault,” in Korean, and it’s a formal way to say sorry. It’s used when you know that something you did was completely wrong, and want to ask for their forgiveness. You can add 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) to sound more apologetic.

    The classical example of how to use this phrase is when a child asks for his mother’s forgiveness. When a child apologizes, he/she usually rubs their hands together as they apologize. The informal way to say 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.) is 잘못했어 (jalmothaesseo).

    Situation 1:

    You wronged your friend before, and need to apologize to them.

    • You: 네 말이 맞았어, 다 내 잘못이야. 잘못했어.*
      You: ne mari majasseo, da nae jalmosiya. jalmothaesseo.
      You: “You were right, it’s all my fault. Please forgive me.”
    • Your friend: 휴… 됐다.
      Your friend: hyu… dwaetda.
      Your friend: “Sigh..whatever.”

    * Be careful with spacing the phrase. Many Korean learners make mistakes here. For example, 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.), meaning “It is my fault, I am sorry,” and 잘 못했습니다. (jal mothaetseumnida) meaning “I did not do well,” have two completely different meanings.

    Woman With Palms Facing Outward


    3. 미안해요. (mianhaeyo.) - Formal

    Each apology expression has a different level of politeness, and 미안해요. (mianhaeyo.) is the least formal way to say “I am sorry.” It’s not often used, but you will hear this expression a lot in Korean dramas. Just note that 미안해요. (mianhaeyo.) is another option for apologizing.

    It sounds a lot more natural to say 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) or 죄송해요. (joesonghaeyo.) instead of 미안해요. (mianhaeyo.) in practice. Also, 미안합니다 (mianhamnida) sounds more polite, but in most situations, you should just stick to 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.).

    Situation 1:

    You’ve received many missed calls from someone who’s a couple of years younger than you, and you want to apologize for not answering their calls.

    • You: 전화했었어요?. 못 받아서 미안해요.
      You: jeonhwahaesseosseoyo?. mot badaseo mianhaeyo.
      You: “Did you call? I am sorry for missing your calls.”
    • Other person: 괜찮습니다. 전화 주셔서 감사합니다.
      Other person: gwaenchanseumnida. jeonhwa jusyeoseo gamsahamnida.
      Other person: “It’s okay. Thank you for returning the call.”

    Situation 2:

    A colleague was calling, but you couldn’t pick up the phone because you were driving. You’re returning the call and want to apologize.

    • You: 미안해요, 운전하고 있었어요.
      You: mianhaeyo, unjeonhagoisseosseoyo.
      You: “I am sorry, I was driving.”
    • Your colleague: 아 그러셨군요. 괜찮습니다.
      Your colleague: a geureosyeotgunyo. gwaenchanseumnida.
      Your colleague: “I see. It’s okay.”


    4. 죄송해요. (joesonghaeyo.) - Formal.

    죄송해요. (joesonghaeyo.) has the same meaning as 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.), but sounds less formal. You can’t say this phrase to your professor or someone who’s much older than you. If you want to be on the safe side, stick to 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.).

    Situation 1:

    You’ve already asked a few questions to your colleague about something, but you still want to ask more questions.

    • You: 바쁘신데 계속 방해해서 죄송해요.
      You: bappeusinde gyesok banghaehaeseo joesonghaeyo.
      You: “I am sorry to keep bothering you.”
    • Your colleague: 아닙니다. 괜찮습니다.
      Your colleague: animnida. gwaenchanseumnida.
      Your colleague: “No, it’s okay.”

    Situation 2:

    You interrupted someone and the person seems annoyed by it.

    • You: 죄송해요 방해할 생각은 아니였어요.
      You: joesonghaeyo banghae hal saenggageun aniyeosseoyo.
      You: “Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
    • The other person: 괜찮습니다.
      The other person: gwaenchanseumnida.
      The other person: “It’s okay.”


    5. 미안해 (mianhae) - Informal

    미안해 (mianhae) is an informal way to say 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.). 미안해 (mianhae) and 미안 (mian) are used interchangeably, but keep in mind that 미안해 (mianhae) sounds more polite and gives the impression that the speaker cares about the listener’s feelings. On the other hand, 미안 (mian) sounds more like how a child would apologize.

    Situation 1:

    You want to apologize to your friend.

    • You: * 정말 미안해, 용서해주라. 응?
      You: jeongmal mianhae, yongseohaejura. eung?
      You: “I’m really sorry, can you forgive me. Ey?”
    • Your friend: 알았어. 이번 한번만 용서해줄께.
      Your friend: arasseo. ibeon hanbeonman yongseohaejulkke.
      Your friend: “Alright. I will forgive you this time.”

    * 정말 (jeongmal) means “really.” Add this word if you want to sincerely apologize to your friend.

    Situation 2:

    You’re supposed to meet your friend at three o’clock, but you arrived half an hour late.

    • You: 많이 늦었지? 정말 미안해!
      You: mani neujeotji? jeongmal mianhae!
      You: “I’m so sorry for arriving late!”
    • Your friend: 괜찮아. 나도 방금 도착했어.
      Your friend: gwaenchana. nado banggeum dochakaesseo.
      Your friend: “It’s fine. I’ve just arrived too.”

    Little Boy Who Needs to Use Restroom


    6. 미안 (mian) - Informal

    미안 (mian) is a casual way to apologize to your friends, and the direct translation is “sorry.” In addition, 미안 (mian) can also mean “no” in some situations. For example, when you’re invited to a party organized by your friend and want to politely decline, you can simply say 미안 (mian).

    Situation 1:

    You’re thirty minutes late and want to apologize to your friend, and need to know how to say “Sorry I’m late,” in Korean.

    • You: 늦어서 미안! (=먄!*)
      You: neujeoseo mian!
      You: “Sorry I’m late!”
    • Your friend: 괜찮아.
      Your friend: gwaenchana.
      Your friend: “It’s okay.”

    * 먄 (myan) is a shorter word to say sorry, and it’s a Korean slang. This Korean slang is used frequently in written context among young people. A more polite Korean slang to say sorry is 죄송 (joeson), which is another casual way for people of the same age to apologize to each other.

    Situation 2:

    You’re invited to a party that you don’t want to go to.

    • Your friend: 이번주 토요일에 이태원에서 하는 파티 갈래?
      Your friend: ibeonju toyoire itaewoneseo haneun pati gallae?
      Your friend: “Do you want to go to a party in Itaewon this Saturday?”
    • You: 음… 미안. 별로 가고 싶지 않네.
      You: eum… mian. byeollo gago sipji anne.
      You: “Hmm… sorry. I don’t feel like going.”
    • Your friend: 알았어.
      Your friend: arasseo.
      Your friend: “Alright.”


    7. 잠시만요. (jamsimanyo.) - Informal/Formal

    Saying Sorry

    The direct translation of 잠시만요. (jamsimanyo.) is “please hold on.” It also translates as “Excuse me,” in Korean depending on the situation, and is roughly how to say “Excuse me, sorry” in Korean. 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.), which we’ll discuss below, and 잠시만요 (jamsimanyo.) are interchangeable; by just remembering one of these two phrases, you’ll be able to survive in Korea.

    To distinguish between these two phrases, 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.) sounds slightly more formal, and it’s often used by professionals. Therefore, when you say this phrase, people around you will instantly think that you’re a professional white-collar worker.

    잠시만요 (jamsimanyo.), on the other hand, is often used by people of different age groups, and it sounds casual and friendly. Also, 잠시만요 (jamsimanyo.) is used a lot more than 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.).

    Situation 1:

    You want to pass through the crowd at the bus stop.

    • You: 잠시만요.*
      You: jamsimanyo.
      You: “Excuse me.”

    * When someone says 잠시만요. (jamsimanyo.), usually you don’t need to respond with anything. If you do want to respond, you can say 네 (ne) or 알겠습니다. (algetseumnida.). An alternative response is to slightly nod to the person without saying a word.

    Situation 2:

    Your colleague came to ask where some important documents are.

    • You: 아, 그 서류요. 어디에 있는지 알아요. 잠시만요.
      You: a, geu seoryuyo. eodie inneunji arayo. jamsimanyo.
      You: “Oh, I know where the documents are. Please hold on.”


    8. 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.) - Formal

    The direct translation of 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.) is “Excuse me” in Korean. It can also be translated as “I am sorry for interrupting.” You can use this phrase in many situations, such as when you want to interrupt someone.

    You can also say 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.) when you want to go through a narrow area, such as a corridor between two bookshelves at a bookstore, and want to ask someone to move a bit for you.

    Situation 1:

    You’re riding on a rush hour train in Korea. Your stop has been reached and you need to pass through the crowd to get off the train.

    • You: 실례합니다. (지나가겠습니다.)*
      You: sillyehamnida. (jinagagetseumnida.)
      You: “Excuse me. (I would like to go through.)”

    * It’s not necessary to say 지나가겠습니다. (jinagagetseumnida.); usually 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.) is adequate enough to discern your message. If you want to be more expressive, just add 지나가겠습니다. (jinagagetseumnida.), and you’re guaranteed to have enough space to go through the crowd.

    Situation 2:

    You received an urgent phone call from a client and you must pass the message to the manager, who’s chatting with someone.

    • You: 실례합니다. 급한 전화가 와서 그러는데요…
      You: sillyehamnida. geupan jeonhwaga waseo geureoneundeyo…
      You: “I am sorry for interrupting. There is an urgent phone call….”

    Woman Bowing in Respect


    9. 진심으로 사과드립니다. (jinsimeuro sagwadeurimnida.) - Formal

    The direct translation of 진심으로 사과드립니다. (jinsimeuro sagwadeurimnida.) is “I would like to sincerely apologize,” which is a business Korean phrase. Therefore, if you’re planning to work in South Korea, this phrase will come in handy. You’ll see this expression a lot in written context, such as in an email, and a person who says this phrase will bow, usually ninety degrees, to show great respect to the person they’re speaking to.

    Situation 1:

    You work in a customer service department and received a complaint email.

    • You: 폐를 끼친 데 대해 진심으로 사과드립니다.
      You: pyereul kkichin de daehae jinsimeuro sagwadeurimnida.
      You: “Please accept our apology for any inconvenience caused.”
    • The customer: 죄송하지만 바로 환불 부탁드립니다.
      The customer: joesonghajiman baro hwanbul butakdeurimnida.
      The customer: “I apologize, I would like to return the product.”

    Situation 2:

    There was a technical issue with the company website, and you want to apologize to its users.

    • You: 불편을 끼쳐드려 대단히 죄송합니다.
      You: bulpyeoneul kkichyeodeuryeo daedanhi joesonghamnida.
      You: “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused.”
    • The customer: 괜찮습니다. 해당 부분에 대해 보고해 주셔서 감사합니다.
      The customer: gwaenchanseumnida. haedang bubune daehae bogohae jusyeoseo gamsahamnida.
      The customer: “It is okay. Thank you for reporting the issue to us.”


    10. 용서해주세요. (yongseohaejuseyo.) - Formal

    용서해주세요. (yongseohaejuseyo.) has the same meaning as 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.). To understand the differences between these expressions, 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.) is used to apologize, while indirectly requesting someone’s forgiveness (and acknowledge that you made a mistake). 용서해주세요. (yongseohaejuseyo.), on the other hand, is directly asking for forgiveness.

    잘못 (jalmot) means “mistake,” and 했습니다 means “I did ~,” so together it means: “I did make a mistake (morally).” 용서 (yongseo) means “forgiveness,” and 해주세요 means “Please do ~,” so together, it means “Please forgive me.”

    To some extent, this is similar to the English “I’m really sorry,” in Korean, but is more sincere.

    Situation 1:

    You broke a promise you made with your parents and you want to ask for forgiveness.

    • You: 제가 잘못했어요. 한번만 용서해주세요.*
      You: jega jalmothaesseoyo. hanbeonman yongseohaejuseyo.
      You: “I made a mistake. Please forgive me.”
    • Parents: 알겠다. 이번 한번만 용서해주마.
      Parents: algetda. ibeon hanbeonman yongseohaejuma.
      Parents: “Understood. We will forgive you this time.”

    * You can combine the two apology phrases, as follows: 잘못했습니다. 용서해주세요. (jalmothaetseumnida. yongseohaejuseyo.), in order to admit your mistake and ask directly for forgiveness.

    Situation 2:

    You got caught by the police for speeding.

    • You: 잘못했습니다. 용서해주세요.
      You: jalmothaetseumnida. yongseohaejuseyo.
      You: “I made a mistake. Please forgive me.”
    • Police officer: 면허증 주십시오.
      Police officer: myeonheojeung jusipsio.
      Police officer: “Please present your driver’s license.”


    11. 저기요 (jeogiyo) - Informal

    We’ve introduced a number of ways to say “excuse me” in Korean, and you’ve learned that 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.), 죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida) have the same meaning. Although the translation of 저기요 (jeogiyo) is “excuse me,” you need to be careful to use this phrase in the proper context. 저기요 (jeogiyo) has two meanings:

    Firstly, this phrase is used to draw attention from someone, usually in order to directly make a complaint to the person. Therefore, it’s not used to excuse yourself to do something (e.g. passing through the crowd). In general, it also gives a negative feeling to the listener, so unless you want to complain to someone, just stick to the formal phrases.

    Secondly, this phrase is used to call someone, especially at a restaurant. Note that you can’t say this phrase at a luxurious restaurant, as 저기요 (jeogiyo) is a very informal way to draw attention to yourself.

    When you want to call someone, especially a staff member at a restaurant, the best way to call them is to make eye contact with them and raise your hand. You don’t necessarily need to say 저기요 (jeogiyo) if the staff acknowledges you, but adding 저기요 (jeogiyo) will definitely draw attention from all the staff at a restaurant.

    Situation 1:

    Someone stepped on your foot without saying sorry.

    • You: 저기요, 발을 밟았으면 사과해야 하는 거 아닌가요?
      You: jeogiyo, bareul balbasseumyeon sagwahaeya haneun geo aningayo?
      You: “Excuse me, if you stepped on my foot, aren’t you supposed to apologize to me?”
    • Stranger: 아, 몰랐습니다. 죄송합니다.
      Stranger: a, mollatseumnida. joesonghamnida.
      Stranger: “Oh, I did not know. I am sorry.”

    Situation 2:

    You’re at a Korean restaurant and are about to order Ddeukbokki. You make eye contact with a waiter and say:

    • You: 저기요~
      You: jeogiyo~
      You: “Excuse me!”
    • A waiter: 네~ 잠시만요.
      A waiter: ne~ jamsimanyo.
      A waiter: “Yes! One sec.”

    Someone Holding Miniature Korean Flag


    How KoreanClass101.com Can Help You

    In summary, we introduced eleven ways to say “I am sorry” in Korean and provided appropriate scenarios to use each expression. Learning how to say sorry in Korean phrases doesn’t have to be hard. On KoreanClass101, we have a vocabulary list of common ways to say sorry in Korean, which introduces sixteen different ways to apologize, apart from what we introduced in this blog, so feel free to check this page out too.

    We also have many other free vocabulary lists, such as “Phrases to Use When You Are Angry” and “Negative Emotions,” both of which will certainly help you understand more about how people express themselves when they’re angry (even after an apology!). Feel free to check out KoreanClass101.com and begin studying Korean for free. Know that with enough practice and dedication, you can become a master of Korean!

    Before you go, drop us a comment about what new things you learned today about Korean apologies. Do you feel more confident about apologizing in Korean, or are there some things you’re still struggling with? Let us know in the comments!

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    Hangul Proclamation Day: Writing Korean Made Easy

    The creation of the Hangul language in 1446 may be one of the most important and influential events in Korea’s history. This new way of writing down the Korean language greatly improved Koreans’ access to writing, as it was made to be much simpler and easier to learn.

    In this article, you’ll learn all about Korean Hangul Proclamation Day (sometimes spelled Hangeul Proclamation Day), including traditions and what exactly makes the Hangul language so easy. This South Korean holiday is a clear reflection of language progress, and learning about it will give a deeper look into South Korea’s history and current culture.

    Let’s get started and cover the basics of Hangeul Proclamation Day in South Korea.

    At KoreanClass101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Hangul Proclamation Day?

    Hangul are the Korean characters created and spread in 1446 by King Sejong of the Joseon dynasty. Even back then, Korean was spoken in Korea like it is today, but since Korean had no characters of its own, they wrote with Chinese characters.

    However, there was a problem with this. Chinese characters took a long time to learn, meaning that farmers and people who had to work had trouble learning them. So King Sejong, in order to create a writing system that anyone could learn, founded a place called Jiphyeonjeon where Hangul was created in 1446.

    Hangul Proclamation Day has been celebrated since 1926, but was called Gagya Day. Korean Hangul’s alphabet starts with the characters with Giyeok such as Ga, Gya, G
    eo, Gyeo, Go, Gyo, Geu
    and Gi. That was how it first got its name of Ga-gya Day, and perhaps why it’s sometimes still referred to as Korean Alphabet Day.

    2. When is Hangul Proclamation Day?

    Hangul Proclamation Day

    Each year, Hangul Proclamation Day is celebrated on October 9.

    3. Celebrations for the Hangul Language

    To celebrate how great Hangul is, various events take place all over Korea on Hangul Proclamation Day. There are fashion shows with clothes designed and inspired by Hangul, and various pieces of art that use Hangul are also shown.

    Also on Hangeul Day, many websites change their logo from English to Korean characters. Even the search site Google changes its logo to Hangul on Hangul Proclamation Day.

    4. Why is Hangul so Easy?

    Man Relaxing on Sofa

    Why do you think Hangul is easy to learn? It’s because Hangul is a combination of consonant and vowel sounds, and its special characteristic is that almost every sound can be written, and the number of characters you need to memorize is low.

    Also, many Hangul letters were made similar to the shape of your mouth or tongue when you pronounce the letter. If the pronunciation is similar, then the character shapes are most likely similar too, so anyone can easily memorize and learn it.

    5. Essential Vocabulary for Hangul Proclamation Day

    Do You Speak English?

    Here’s the essential vocabulary you need to know for Hangul Proclamation Day in South Korea!

    • 언어 (eoneo) — “language”
    • 쓰다 (sseuda) — “write”
    • 읽다 (iktta) — “read”
    • 한글날 (Hangeullal) — “Hangul Proclamation Day”
    • 소리 (sori) — “sound”
    • 훈민정음 (hunminjeongeum) — “Hunminjeongeum
    • 주시경 (ju sigyeong) — “Ju Si-gyeong
    • 세종대왕 (sejong daewang) — “the Great Sejong”
    • 모음 (moeum) — “vowel”
    • 우수성 (ususeong) — “superiority”
    • 조선 시대 (joseon sidae) — “Joseon Dynasty
    • 창제 (changje) — “invention”
    • 한글 (hangeul) — “Hangul”
    • 반포 (banpo) — “distribution”
    • 자음 (jaeum) — “consonant”
    • 태극기 (taegukgi) — “Flag of South Korea”
    • 문자 (munja) — “letter”
    • 공휴일 (gonghyuil) — “legal holiday”

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, alongside relevant images, check out our Hangul Proclamation Day vocabulary list!

    How KoreanClass101 Can Make a Korean Language Master

    Did you learn anything new about Hangul, or the Korean language in general? Does your country have any language-related holidays? Let us know in the comments; we always look forward to hearing from you!

    To continue learning about Korean culture and the language, explore KoreanClass101.com. We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

    • Insightful blog posts on a range of cultural and language-related topics
    • Free vocabulary lists covering a variety of topics and themes
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    • Much, much more!

    If you’re interested in a more personalized, one-on-one Korean learning approach, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus. Doing so will give you access to your own Korean teacher who will help you develop a learning plan based on your needs and goals. Yes, really!

    At KoreanClass101, we understand that learning Korean can be overwhelming at times. So it’s our aim to make the learning process as easy and painless as possible. Know that your hard work will pay off in the long run, and we’ll be here to help in each step of your language-learning journey.

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    Chuseok: How to Celebrate Korean Thanksgiving Day

    Chuseok

    Today, we will discuss one of the most important Korean holidays in Korea–Chuseok, or the Korean version of Thanksgiving. We will be offering detailed information about what you are expected to do during the holidays, as well as the activities that take place during the holidays.

    1. Chuseok Holiday: What is Chuseok and When Is It?
    2. Korean Traditional Holiday: History of Chuseok
    3. Chuseok Activities: Are There Any Korean Traditional Games?
    4. Traditional Chuseok Foods: What do you eat on Chuseok?
    5. Chuseok Greetings: Phrases You Need to Know
    6. Activities for Foreigners During Chuseok
    7. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

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    1. Chuseok Holiday: What is Chuseok and When Is It?

    1- What is Chuseok and What Do You Do on Chuseok?

    추석 [Chuseok], also known as the Korean Thanksgiving holidays, is one of the most important cultural holidays in Korea, along with 설날 [Seollal; New Year’s Day], in South Korea. It is celebrated on the 15th day(full moon) of the 8th month in the lunar calendar.

    Traditionally, Koreans used to wear traditional clothes called 한복 [Hanbok] when visiting their parents and extended family during the holidays. Women usually prepared the table filled with food for the family’s ancestors. It may sound fun since everyone visits their home to meet their family, but preparing the food is still not an easy task for Korean women as there are many different dishes to prepare, such as rice, soup, rice cakes, fruits, and various other dishes, traditional drinks, and desserts.

    After the meal preparation and ancestral worship, the family will gather to have big meals together. Some Korean families will visit their ancestor’s graveyards located in the deep mountains, while others engage in family activities together. We’ll provide more details below.

    2- So When is Chuseok?

    Calendar

    Chuseok fell on the 13th of September in 2019, but the holiday period actually lasts for three or more. The date of Chuseok is different every year as it is based on the lunar calendar, so it’s mandatory to check the exact date and plan the traveling in advance. This is because most Koreans will return to their hometowns, resulting in a lack of train and airplane tickets and major traffic jams.

    Here are the dates of Chuseok for the next 10 years:

    • 2019: 9월 13일 [guwol sipsamil] - September 13, 2019
    • 2020: 10월 1일 [siwol iril] - October 1, 2020
    • 2021: 9월 21일 [guwol isibiril] - September 21, 2021
    • 2022: 9월 10일 [guwol sibil] - September 10, 2022
    • 2023: 9월 29일 [guwol isipguil] - September 29, 2023
    • 2024: 9월 17일 [guwol sipchiril] - September 17, 2024
    • 2025: 10월 6일 [siwol yugil] - October 6, 2025
    • 2026: 9월 25일 [guwol isiboil] - September 25, 2026
    • 2027: 9월 15일 [guwol iboil] - September 15, 2027
    • 2028: 10월 3일 [siwol samil] - October 3, 2028


    2. Korean Traditional Holiday: History of Chuseok

    The origin of the Chuseok holidays isn’t clear. From what little that we know, Chuseok originates back to nearly 2,000 years ago, when the third king of the Silla dynasty, King Yuri (24-57) supposedly started the chuseok holidays as a competitive festival. Legend states that the women in the kingdom were put into different groups for a certain amount of time. During this time, each team weaved as much cloth as they could, and the winning team was treated to a feast of food.


    3. Chuseok Activities: Are There Any Korean Traditional Games?

    There are many activities that you can enjoy during Chuseok.

    1- 강강술래 [Ganggangsullae] - 5,000-year-old Korean Traditional Dance

    강강술래 [Ganggangsullae] is a Korean traditional dance that is performed by women only at night.

    The women stand in circle and hold each other’s hand as they move around in a clockwise direction. There is no music accompanying the dance; one woman sings, while the other women repeat 강강술래 [ganggangsullae] over and over. The songs performed during the dance tell stories about everyday life in Korea.

    2- 윷놀이 [Yunnori] - Traditional Board Game Played in Korea

    윷놀이 [Yunnori] is a traditional Korean board game. Usually, the game is played by two teams or more. It is similar to a board game where you throw one or two dices to move forward. Instead of a dice, there are 윷[yut] sticks, which are 4 sticks. Also, when you throw these Yut sticks, each combination has its name. For example:

    • 도 [do]: One stick over and three sticks up; take a step forward
    • 개 [gae]: Two sticks up and two sticks over; take two steps forward
    • 걸 [geol]: One stick up and three sticks over; take three steps forward
    • 윷 [yut]: All sticks over; take 4 steps forward
    • 모 [mo]: All sticks up; take 5 steps forward

    If you are not sure how the combination works, check out this image.

    Also, when sticks result in either 윷 [yut] or 모 [mo], the play gets another chance of throwing the sticks.

    3- 씨름 [ssireum]- Traditional Korean Wrestling

    Korea

    씨름 [ssireum] also known as Korean wrestling is a traditional national sport of Korea since the fourth century. Ssireum was originated back in the Goguryeo period.

    In the 20th century, 씨름[ssireum] gained popularity and quickly became a nationally televised sport in South Korea. People would gather around to watch the 씨름[ssireum] championships. However, in recent days, 씨름[ssireum] has lost its popularity and is rarely shown on TV.

    4- 줄다리기 [juldarigi] - Korean Traditional Tug of War

    줄다리기 [juldarigi] is the Korean version of tug of war.

    The concept is similar to the Western version. Participants use a huge rice-straw rope which is pulled at by two teams. The number of rice-straw ropes and the rules may vary depending on the region.

    5- 거북놀이 [geobungnori] - Turtle Play

    거북놀이 [geobungnori], direct translation being ‘Turtle Play’, is a play which is performed to drive away negative spirits and ghosts, and wish for good health and long life.

    It is usually performed in the 경기도 [Gyeonggi Province] and 충청도 [Chungcheong Province] regions during the Chuseok holidays.


    4. Traditional Chuseok Foods: What do you eat on Chuseok?

    1- Exchanging Gifts: Huge Variety of Chuseok Gifts

    Gift-giving is a new tradition. Koreans show their appreciation for the people in their lives by giving others gifts for Chuseok–this can be to family, friends, coworkers, and bosses.

    At a supermarket, you will be able to see a variety of Chuseok gift sets, such as Spam, high-quality cuts of beef, baskets of beautifully wrapped fresh fruits, and so on. Between business acquaintances, Koreans usually exchange sets of Korean traditional sweets or wines.

    One thing to note is 김영란법 [Kim Young-ran Act; The Improper Solicitation and Graft Act], so there is a limit to how much money you can spend on gifts. This law does not apply to friends or family members but does for business acquaintances, so please watch out for it if you are planning to exchange Chuseok gifts.

    2- List of Traditional Korean Chuseok Food that You Can Eat

    On Chuseok, there is some food that you can only eat during the holidays–it is similar to Seollal, when Koreans eat 떡국 [tteokguk; rice cake soup] to celebrate the New Year. During Chuseok, Songpyeon, a type of sweet rice cake, is the signature food. It is relatively easy to make and delicious. Now let’s see a list of Chuseok foods:

    1. 송편 [Songpyeon] - Korean Rice Cakes with Honey

    송편 [songpyeon] is a signature Chuseok food which is made of glutinous rice. Songpyeon is half-moon shaped rice cakes that contain sweet ingredients such as honey, chestnut paste or red bean paste inside. Half-moon shaped Songpyeon is the original, but these days, there are various different shapes of Songpyeons available.

    2. 전 [Jeon] - Traditional Korean-style Pancake

    전 [jeon] is a traditional Korean-style pancake. You can eat it as a main dish, side dish, or even as an appetizer or snack. The ingredients you put inside is completely up to you. You can add scallions, kimchi or various vegetables and seafood.

    3. 잡채 [Japchae] - Stir-fried glass noodles with various vegetables

    잡채 [japchae] is savory stir-fried glass noodles with meat and various vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms, and onions, seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil. Japchae is a traditional Korean food that is served on special occasions such as weddings, birthdays and holidays.

    4. 제사상 음식 [Jesasang eumsik] - Variety of Foods for Ancestral Rites Table

    The main activity of Chuseok is 제사 [jesa], which is a ceremony practiced in South Korea. Women prepare meals for ancestors and you will be able to eat all the dishes after the worship. Variety of dishes are placed on a table. For example: fruits and vegetables such as [gam; persimmon], [bae; Asian pear], 사과 [sagwa; apple], 배추 [baechu; Napa cabbage], [bam; chestnut], 곶감 [gotgam; Dried Persimmon] and other dishes such as 생선 [saengseon; fish], 나물 [namul; seasoned vegetables], [jeon; Korean traditional pancake], 한과 [Hangwa; Korean traditional sweets] and many more. Note that the preparation of dishes vary slightly depending on a family, as some families add 바나나 [banana] or other foods that are not normally being served during Chuseok, but simply survived because one of the ancestors loved them. To give you an idea of how dishes are places, here are some pictures.


    5. Chuseok Greetings: Phrases You Need to Know

    Knowing how to say ‘Happy Chuseok’ in Korea is important since people exchange many Chuseok greetings to each other in Korea.

    1- 즐거운 한가위 보내세요.

    • Jeulgeoun hangawi bonaeseyo.
    • I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

    즐거운[jeulgeoun] - pleasant
    한가위 [hangawi] - Korean Thanksgiving Day, aka 추석 [Chuseok]

    2- 좋은일만 가득하세요.

    • Joeunilman gadeukaseyo.
    • I wish you all the best.

    좋은일 [joeunil] - good things
    가득하다 [gadeukada] - full

    3- 즐겁고 행복한 추석 보내시길 바랍니다.

    • Jeulgeopgo haengbokan chuseok bonaesigil baramnida.
    • We wish you a wonderful and happy Chuseok.

    행복한 [haengbokan] - happy
    추석 [Chuseok] - Korean Thanksgiving
    바랍니다 [baramnida] - wish

    4- 추석 때 어디 갔어요?

    • Chuseok ttae eodi gasseoyo?
    • Where did you go during Chuseok?

    ~때 [~ttae] - the moment
    어디 갔어요? [eodi gasseoyo?] - where did you go?

    5- 추석 때 무엇을 했나요?

    • Chuseok ttae mueoseul haennayo?
    • What did you do on Chuseok?

    ~때 [~ttae] - the moment
    무엇을 했나요? [mueoseul haennayo?] - what did you do?

    6- ~에 갔었습니다.

    • ~e gasseotseumnida.
    • I went to ~

    Example:
    추석 때 서울에 갔었습니다.
    Chuseok ttae seoure gasseotseumnida.
    I went to Seoul during Chuseok.


    6. Activities for Foreigners During Chuseok

    For travelers or foreigners living in Korea, Chuseok can be lonely since everyone including friends will be away to celebrate Chuseok. The good news is there are many events only for foreigners during this time–for example, 캐리비안베이 [Caribbean Bay] at Everland offers special discounts for foreigners, so that they can enjoy the indoor and outdoor water park.

    To receive a discount, visit their website and download a special discount coupon during the Chuseok event. Caribbean Bay is one of the most crowded amusement parks in Korea, but if you have a privilege to enjoy a spacious place with fewer people.

    Also, many other touristic areas offer special events during Chuseok, so be sure to check out their events to enjoy them too.


    7. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

    You may want to check out our free lessons such as Korean Thanksgiving Day, a culture class about Chuseok and 7 must-know vocabularies for Chuseok and many more. We also have more Chuseok related Korean articles such as here and top 10 Korean Special event :Chuseok .
    Feel free to visit KoreanClass101 for free vocabulary lists, pronunciation practices and also a forum where you can ask any questions about Korea including grammar, pronunciation, cultures and so on.

    We hope you found this blog informative and good luck with studying Korean!

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    10 Korean Hand Gestures You Need to Know

    Thumbnail

    In general, people are fascinated by body language. Body gestures are all about movements—whether they’re visible or subtle—made by people to deliver a specific message to the listener. Additionally, it helps us understand additional non-spoken messages by a sender.

    There are many benefits of learning Korean gestures and body language. Firstly, you’ll be able to communicate with locals more effectively. Secondly, you’ll be more likely to avoid miscommunication. And lastly, it’s fun to see the cultural differences and how some of these body gestures differ from those in your country, and so on. Therefore, we’ll introduce ten Korean hand gestures you should know here at KoreanClass101.

    Practice these common body gestures in Korea, and you’ll start sounding and acting more like a native around your Korean friends. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Korean Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Table of Contents

    1. Peace Sign
    2. Korean Heart
    3. “Let’s Go for a Drink” Gesture
    4. Receiving and Giving Something to Someone
    5. Covering Mouth when Laughing
    6. Two Thumbs Up
    7. Promise Handshake
    8. Come over Here
    9. The Double Hand Wave
    10. Korean “Rock, Paper, Scissors” Sign
    11. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

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    1. Peace Sign

    Peace Sign

    Everyone knows what the V sign is. However, the meaning of this gesture varies depending on the cultural context. In Korea, the peace sign is commonly used when taking pictures. Also, it can be used to show how proud you are of something. For example, when you’re praised by your friend for receiving a full mark for an exam, you can show this peace sign for “victory.” This is one of the more common hand gestures in Korean cultures.

    Example:

    A: 우와, 시험 100점 맞았어? 대박*.
    A: uwa, siheom 100jeom majasseo? daebak.
    A: “Wow you got a full mark for the exam? That’s awesome!”

    B: (While showing the peace sign) 히히
    B: hihi
    B: “haha”
    대박* is a Korean slang word for “awesome.”

    C: 셀카* 찍자!
    C: selka jjikja!
    C: “Let’s take a selfie!”

    D: 응 (While showing the peace sign) 치~즈!
    D: eung chi~jeu!
    D: “Okay, cheese!”

    셀카* is a slang word for “selfie.”


    2. Korean Heart

    This Korean hand gesture is relatively new in Korea and to make this hand gesture is very easy. Take your thumb and index finger and cross them to make the shape of a heart—that’s it!

    The heart gesture shows a tiny heart, but if you look at the entire hand, you’ll come to realize that it’s actually the shape of a human’s heart. Your fist is the shape of a heart and your two fingers, which are the index and the thumb, are two main vessels.

    Human Heart

    This Korean heart gesture is used to say “I like/love you” to someone and it’s commonly used to show how much you adore someone (e.g. K-Pop idol singers at a concert). You can also use this sign when you want to express how much you like something, such as food, toys, movies, and so on.


    3. “Let’s Go for a Drink” Gesture

    정승환 (Jung Seung-hwan), a Korean balad singer, in this video clip is telling someone in the crowd to go for a drink. The gesture indicates that the person is holding a small Soju glass and is emptying the glass by pretending to drink an invisible Soju.

    Soju Glass

    That’s the gesture of “Let’s go for a drink.” This hand gesture is commonly used among friends, as a friendly gesture. Therefore, don’t use this gesture toward elders or people of a higher status than you; this is against Korean cultural etiquette.


    4. Receiving and Giving Something to Someone

    Giving and receiving an object with only one hand is considered rude in Korea. This is one of the common mistakes that foreigners make, since doing this movement with one hand is completely okay in many countries.

    In Korea, you need to receive or give something with both hands; this is to show that you’re showing respect. You don’t necessarily need to do this for your friends, but you’ll definitely need to use both hands for elders or people of higher status.

    Examples:

    A: B씨, 이 자료들 오늘까지 처리 가능해요?
    A: bissi, i jaryodeul oneulkkaji cheori ganeunghaeyo?
    A: “Is it possible to finish working on these documents by today?”

    B: 네, 팀장님. 오늘 중으로 처리하도록 하겠습니다. (Receives the documents with two hands)
    B: ne, timjangnim. oneul jungeuro cheorihadorok hagetseumnida.
    B: “Sure. I will try to finish them by today.” (Receives the documents with two hands)

    C: 소주 한잔 드세요.
    C: soju hanjan deuseyo.
    C: “I will pour you a drink.”

    D: 아, 네 감사합니다. (Holds a Soju glass with two hands)
    D: a, ne gamsahamnida.
    D: “Ah, sure, thank you.” (Holds a Soju glass with two hands)

    Hold Two Hands


    5. Covering Mouth when Laughing

    When you travel to South Korea, you’ll notice that many women hide their mouth with their hand when laughing. This is commonly done by women since it’s very feminine.

    We’re not sure where this popular gesture in Korea originated from. However, it could be influenced by Confucianism, where it’s believed that public displays of emotion shouldn’t be expressed to others. Another assumption is that Korean women are shy in general and by hiding their mouth while laughing, they can avoid embarrassment (for instance, of food stuck in their teeth).

    Example: You (female) are on a date with someone. When he makes you laugh, use this hand gesture to show your feminine side.

    Hand Gestures


    6. Two Thumbs Up

    The one thumb up gesture is to say 잘했어요 (jalhaesseoyo) or “great job,” but if you do the two thumbs up gesture, it’s equivalent to 진짜 짱이다 (jinjja jjangida) or “it’s super awesome.” This gesture is used only among friends.

    Examples:

    A: 이번 방탄소년단 콘서트 어땠어?
    A: ibeon bangtansonyeondan konseoteu eottaesseo?
    A: “How was the BTS concert?”

    B: [As you show two thumbs up] 진짜 짱이었어!
    B: jinjja jjangieosseo!
    B: “It was AWESOME!”

    C: 이번에 새로 나온 게임하러 갈래?
    C: ibeone saero naon geimhareo gallae?
    C: “Do you want to go and play the new game?”

    D: 아 그거? 나 벌써 해봤지. [As you show two thumbs up] 진짜 짱이야.
    D: a geugeo? na beolsseo haebwatji. jinjja jjangiya.
    D: “Ah that game? I already played. It was really great.”

    Hand Gesture


    7. Promise Handshake

    Everyone knows how to make a “promise” hand gesture - it’s similar to a pinky swear. In Korea, a promise hand gesture itself isn’t enough; we have many more hand gestures after that. The most popular ones are “signature,” “scan,” and “handshake.” There are many varieties in Korea, so ask your Korean friends what their promise handshake gestures are.

    Example: You made a vow to your friend that you’ll invite him over for dinner next Tuesday, but he seems doubtful. If you want to ensure that you’ll make it happen, do the promise hand gesture to gain his trust.

    Examples:

    A: 다음주까지 빌린 돈 꼭 갚을께 약속!
    A: daeumjukkaji billin don kkok gapeulkke yaksok!
    A: “I promise to pay back the money I owe you!”

    B: 그럼 손가락 걸고 약속 하자.
    B: geureom songarak geolgo yaksok haja.
    B: “Then let’s do the promise handshake.”


    8. Come over Here

    If you want to ask someone to come to you with a gesture, Koreans hold their hand up with their palm down, and move it up and down. This gesture is exactly the same as in America, expect it’s an upside-down version.

    If you use the American gesture (to say come here), Koreans may feel offended because it conveys a different meaning to them. You can’t use this gesture for elders or superiors, so be careful when using this hand gesture.

    Example:

    A: 수미야! 일루와봐! (hand gesture)
    A: sumiya! illuwabwa!
    A: “Sumi! Come over here!” (hand gesture)

    B: 왜, 무슨일있어?
    B: wae, museunirisseo?
    B: “What’s up?”

    Hold Two Hands Up


    9. The Double Hand Wave

    This is another important body gesture in Korean cultures and is used when you want to strongly say “NO” to someone. You can use only one hand to say “no” to someone, but if you use two hands, it sends a strong message that you don’t want to do. Also, it can mean, “No thank you.”

    For example: You spotted that someone dropped a wallet while walking in a busy street and you hand the wallet over to that person.

    The conversation goes like this:

    • You: 저기요, 지갑 떨어뜨리셨어요. 여기 있습니다.
      You: jeogiyo, jigap tteoreotteurisyeosseoyo. yeogi itseumnida.
      You: “Excuse me, you dropped your wallet. Here it is.”
    • Person: 어머, 너무 감사합니다. 감사의 표시로 무료 커피 사용 증정권 드릴께요.
      Person: eomeo, neomu gamsahamnida. gamsaui pyosiro muryo keopi sayong jeungjeonggwon deurilkkeyo.
      Person: “Oh, thank you so much. Please accept this free coffee coupon as a small token of my appreciation.”
    • You: *[Gently waving your two hands] 아니에요. 괜찮습니다.
      You: anieyo. Gwaenchanseumnida.
      You: “No. It is okay.”

    *It’s a friendly gesture to refuse something offered by the person you’re talking to.


    10. Korean “Rock, Paper, Scissors” Sign

    In Korea, “Rock, Paper, Scissors” is called 가위 바위 보 (gawi bawi bo). Unlike the gestures you may be used to, there’s another way to show scissors in Korea, and it’s the shape of a gun.

    Three Women Smiling While Opening Box


    How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

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    Gwangbokjeol: Celebrating Independence Day in Korea

    The National Liberation Day of Korea celebrates the Korean liberation from Japan, and commemorates those who sacrificed to attain this freedom. This Korean liberation took effect only after many years of struggle and oppressive living conditions, making this newfound freedom that much sweeter.

    Learn more about Korean Liberation Day with KoreanClass101.com, and gain insight into Korea’s history and how it shapes its culture today. We hope to make this lesson both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Korean Liberation Day?

    On this day, Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces in World War II. At the same time, the Korean Peninsula was also freed from the domination of Japan. On Liberation Day, Koreans celebrate the granting of their long-held wish to be independent from Japan.

    The Korean name of this holiday, Gwangbokjeol, is made of Chinese characters.
    Gwang means “light” and Bok means “returning.” In other words, it means “the day the light came back.”

    Did you know that even in the late 1990s, when the economic situation was bad enough to receive a bailout from the IMF, Koreans held a variety of events on National Liberation Day? This was done to encourage people in the economic crisis to overcome the hardship by reminding them of their ancestors, who overcame the harsh Japanese colonial period without losing hope.

    2. When is Korean Liberation Day?

    August 15, 1945

    Each year on 15 August, Koreans celebrate their Liberation Day.

    3. Traditions & Significance of Liberation Day

    On National Liberation Day, many people visit the Independence Hall in Cheonan City. This is where people honor the activists who fought for the independence of the Republic of Korea. In particular, families come to visit with their children to instill a sense of respect and inspiration in them toward their country and those who sacrificed for its freedom.

    Koreans raise the national flag on this day, as they do on Independence Movement Day and Korea Memorial Day. The flag is particularly prevalent in South Korea, though it can be seen around the world.

    Since Liberation Day takes place in August, one of the most popular vacation months, it’s not uncommon for Koreans to gather in places around the world to celebrate this holiday. So if you happen to be in Paris, France on August 15, don’t be surprised to see a Liberation Day celebration taking place here! The Eiffel Tower is a hotspot for Liberation Day celebrations.

    4. Outstanding Korean Activist

    Firework Celebration

    Of the independent activists, there was one man who organized the national liberation army, the independence army, and established the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea to establish the independence of the Korean peninsula. Do you know who that man is?

    Kim Koo was the activist who argued strongly for the independence of the Republic of Korea to the world leaders who took the Japanese domination of the Korean peninsula for granted at the time. That is why Kim Koo has always been selected as the representative figure of Koreans’ respect.

    5. Useful Vocabulary for Liberation Day in Korea

    Map of Colony

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Liberation Day in Korea!

    • 광복절 (gwangbokjjeol) — Liberation Day
    • 독립 기념관 (dongnip ginyeomgwan) — Independence Hall of Korea
    • 식민지 (singminji) — colony
    • 전쟁 (jeonjaeng) — war
    • 항복 (hangbok) — submission
    • 대한민국 정부 수립 (daehanminguk jeongbu surip) — Republic of Korea Government establishment
    • 기념 (ginyeom) — remembrance
    • 해방 (haebang) — liberation
    • 일본 제국주의 (ilbon jegukjuui) — Japanese imperialism
    • 독립 운동 (dongnip undong) — independence movement
    • 만세 (manse) — hurray
    • 청와대 (cheongwadae) — Blue House
    • 1945년 8월 15일 (cheongubaeksasibonyeon parwol siboil) — August 15, 1945

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Korean Liberation Day vocabulary list!

    Conclusion: How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Master Korean

    We hope you enjoyed learning about Korea’s Liberation Day with us! Does your country have a special national holiday like this one? Let us know about it in the comments!

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