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Key Korean Phrases: Introducing Yourself in Korean

Today, we’re going to study key phrases for introducing yourself in Korean. This article is aimed toward beginners, but it’ll be a good review for intermediate learners as well.

Table of Contents

  1. Identifying Yourself
  2. Placing Yourself in Society
  3. Sharing Personal Details
  4. Culture Insights
  5. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You with Korean

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1. Identifying Yourself

1- Stating your Name

In a Formal Setting

안녕하세요, 반갑습니다. 저는 000이라고 합니다.
annyeonghaseyo, bangapseumnida. jeoneun 000irago hamnida.
“Hello, nice to meet you. My name is 000.”

This is the most basic self-introduction in Korean and can be used in any situation, such as introducing yourself to your new classmates or colleagues, and to any strangers. It’s important to know how to introduce yourself in Korean formally, so that you can give a good first impression to those you’ll live and work with.

Say “Hello” and “Nice to meet you.” And then replace “000” with your name. If you don’t know how to write your name in Korean, ask our teachers on our Korean Names page! You won’t get very far in Korea without talking about your name in Korean!

Alternatively, you can say:

  • 제 이름은 000입니다.
    • je ireumeun 000imnida.
    • “My name is 000.”
  • 저는 000이라고 합니다.
    • jeoneun 000irago hamnida.
    • “I call myself 000.”

These are the two most commonly used phrases in Korea. There’s not much difference in these two phrases, so feel free to choose the one you like most.


  • 소연: 안녕하세요, 반갑습니다. 저는 박소연이라고 합니다.
    • Soyeon: annyeonghaseyo, bangapseumnida. jeoneun baksoyeonirago hamnida.
    • Soyeon: “Hello, nice to meet you. I am Park Soyeon.”
  • 수지: 안녕하세요, 반갑습니다. 이수지입니다.
    • Sooji: annyeonghaseyo, bangapseumnida. Lee Soojiimnida.
    • Sooji: “Hello, nice to meet you. I’m Lee Sooji.”

In Korea, you need to say your family name first, followed by your given name. For example, if your family name is Jackson and your first name is Michael, you’ll need to say “Jackson Michael” in Korea, since Koreans address their family name first. Also, if you want to make sure that everyone hears your name clearly, say your family name first, pause, then state your last name.


  • 안녕하십니까, 제 이름은 잭슨 마이클이라고 합니다.
    • Annyeonghasimnikka, je ireumeun jaekseun maikeurirago hamnida.
    • “Hello, my name is Michael Jackson.”
  • 안녕하십니까, 제 이름은 스미스 윌입니다.
    • Annyeonghasimnikka, je ireumeun seumiseu wirimnida.
    • “Hello, my name is Will Smith.”
In an Informal Setting

안녕, 만나서 반가워. 000이라고 해.
annyeong, mannaseo bangawo. 000irago hae.
“Hello, nice to meet you. I’m 000.”

It’s also good to know how to introduce yourself in Korean casually. This casual self-introduction is used when you introduce yourself to friends, or someone who’s younger than you. You can’t use this phrase in a formal setting.

Alternatively, you could say:

  • 내 이름은 00이야.
    • nae ireumeun 00iya.
    • “My name is 00.”
  • 난 00야.
    • nan 00ya.
    • “I’m 00.”
  • 난 00이야.
    • nan 00iya.
    • “I’m 00.”

When to Use 야 or 이야:

To distinguish when to use 야 (ya) and 이야 (iya) when introducing yourself in Korean is very simple. However, many Korean learners struggle to use the appropriate subject marker. The rule is very simple: When a word ends with a consonant, 이야 (iya) is added and when a word ends with a vowel, 야 (ya) is added.

Here are a couple of examples of what we mean:

  • 에밀리 (emilli) or “Emily” ends with a vowel (ㅣ), therefore 야 (ya) is added.
    • 난 에밀리야. (nan emilliya.) or “I’m Emily.”
  • 셴셴 (syensyen) or “Shenshen” ends with a consonant (ㄴ), therefore 이야 (iya) is added.
    • 난 셴셴이야. (nan syensyeniya.) or “I’m Shenshen.”


  • 소연: 안녕, 난 박소연이야. 만나서 반가워.
    • Soyeon: annyeong, nan Park Soyeoniya. mannaseo bangawo.
    • Soyeon: “Hello, I’m Soyeon Park. Nice to meet you.”
  • 수지: 안녕, 반가워. 이수지라고해.
    • Sooji: annyeong, bangawo. Lee Soojiragohae.
    • Sooji: “Hello, nice to meet you. I’m Sooji Lee.”

More and more Korean learners make their own Korean name. You can make your Korean name based on your birthday on KoreanClass101. Please check it out!

2- Nationality

When learning how to introduce yourself using Korean, it’s important to know how to describe your nationality. To do this, attach the suffix 사람 (saram) meaning “person” to your country in Korean:

저는 00사람입니다. [Formal]
jeoneun 00saramimnida.
“I am 00.”

For example:
저는 한국 사람입니다. [Formal]
jeoneun hanguk saramimnida.
“I am Korean.”

To say that you are Korean, simply attach the suffix 사람 (saram) meaning “person” to 한국 (hanguk) meaning “Korea.” The resulting clause, 한국사람 (Hanguksaram) translates literally to “Korea person.” Alternatively, you can say 한국인 (Hangukin). The word 인 (in) meaning “person” is derived from the Chinese character 人 and has the exact same meaning as 사람 (saram). So, all you need to do is attach the suffix 인 (in) meaning “person” to 한국 (Hanguk) meaning “Korea” which results in 한국인 (“Korean”). If you’re not sure how to say your country in Korean, you might find vocabulary for nationalities useful.


  • 저는 말레이시아 사람입니다. [Formal]
    • jeoneun malleisia saramimnida.
    • “I am Malaysian.”
  • 나는 말레이시아 사람이야. [Informal]
    • naneun malleisia saramiya.
    • “I am Malaysian.”
  • 저는 일본 사람입니다. [Formal]
    • jeoneun ilbon saramimnida.
    • “I am Japanese.”
  • 나는 일본 사람이야. [Informal]
    • naneun ilbon saramiya.
    • “I am Japanese.”
  • 저는 프랑스 사람입니다. [Formal]
    • jeoneun peurangseu saramimnida.
    • “I am French.”
  • 나는 프랑스 사람이야. [Informal]
    • naneun peurangseu saramiya.
    • “I am French.”

Alternatively, you could say:

You can also say 한국에서 왔습니다. (hangugeseo watseumnida.) which means “I came from Korea.” All you need to do is add your country, followed by 에서 왔습니다 (eseo watseumnida) meaning “I came from.” For example, to say that “I came from England,” England is 영국 (yeongguk) in Korean, therefore you could say:

저는 영국에서 왔습니다. (jeoneun yeonggugeseo watseumnida) which translates to: “I came from England.”


  • 저는 미국에서 왔습니다.
    • jeoneun migugeseo watseumnida.
    • “I came from America.”
  • 저는 싱가포르에서 왔습니다.
    • jeoneun singgaporeueseo watseumnida.
    • “I came from Singapore.”

Here’s a list of vocabulary for countries. Learn how to say your country in Korean and introduce yourself to others!

3- Age

저는 00살입니다.
Jeoneun 00salimnida.
“I am 00 years old.”

저는 (jeoneun) is a formal way to say “I am” in English. 살 (sal) means “age” and 입니다 (imnida) means “to be.” For example, if you’re twenty-one years old, you say:

저는 스물한살입니다. (jeoneun seumulhansarimnida.) in Korean.

Did you know that international age and Korean age are different? To find out your Korean age, use our Korean Age Calculator, and learn how to say how old you are in Korean. Talking about your age in Korean is a fairly important skill to learn!

Another way of stating your age is:

  • 저의 나이는 00 입니다. [Formal]
    • jeoui naineun 00 imnida.
    • “My age is 00.”
  • (나는) 00살이야. [Informal]
    • (naneun) 00sariya.
    • “My age is 00.”

The sentence structure is the same for this phrase. Insert your age in Korean and you’re done! For example, if you’re twenty-one years old, the phrase becomes 저의 나이는 스무살입니다 (je naineun seumusarimnida).

“I was born in 1988.”

Here’s another way to state your age in Korean. If you don’t want to say your age out loud, or if you’re not sure about your Korean age, just let the listener figure out your age on their own by using this phrase:

  • A: B씨는 몇 살이에요?
    • A: Bssineun myeotsariyeyo?
    • A: “How old are you, B?”
  • B: 저는 한국나이로 스무살입니다.
    • B: jeoneun hangungnairo seumusarimnida.
    • B: “I’m twenty years old in Korean age.”
  • C: D씨는 몇년생이에요?
    • C: Dssineun myeonnyeonsaengiyeyo?
    • C: “What year were you born, D?”
  • D: 1990년생 이에요..
    • D: cheongubaekgusimnyeonsaeng ieyo..
    • D: “I was born in 1990.”

2. Placing Yourself in Society

1- Information About Your Family

우리 가족은 모두 4명입니다.
uri gajogeun modu nemyeongimnida.
“There are four members in my family.”

Talking about your family in Korean is essential, and this is the simplest way to introduce your family. 명 (myeong) is the counter for people (informal). 분 (bun) is a formal counter for people, but we don’t use this to count family members. Let’s say that you have five family members. The phrase should be:

우리 가족은 모두 5명입니다 (uri gajogeun modu daseonmyeongimnida).

You may also want to extend the sentence by adding the name of a family member. For this, we have a list of family members which will come in handy. Also, note that we have different ways of referring to sisters and brothers based on the gender of the speaker.


If you’re female and have a younger brother and an older brother, you should say:

  • 우리 가족은 모두 5명입니다.
    저의 아버지, 어머니, 오빠와 남동생, 그리고 저입니다.
    • uri gajogeun modu daseonmyeongimnida.
      jeoui abeoji, eomeoni, oppawa namdongsaeng, geurigo jeoimnida.
    • “There are five family members.”
      “There are my father, mother, older brother, younger brother, and me.”

If you’re male and have an older brother and an older sister, you should say:

  • 우리 가족은 모두 5명입니다.
    저의 아버지, 어머니, 형과 누나, 그리고 저입니다.
    • uri gajogeun modu daseonmyeongimnida.
      jeoui abeoji, eomeoni, hyeonggwa nuna, geurigo jeoimnida.
    • “There are five family members.”
      “There are my father, mother, older brother, younger sister, and me.”

Alternatively, you can say:

  • 저의 가족은 아버지, 어머니 이렇게 3명이 있습니다.
    • jeoui gajogeun abeoji, eomeoni ireoke semyeongi itseumnida.
    • “In my family there are three: my father and my mother.”
  • 우리 가족은 아버지, 어머니, 오빠 그리고 저를 포함해 4명입니다.
    • uri gajogeun abeoji, eomeoni, oppa geurigo jeoreul pohamhae nemyeongimnida.
    • “In my family there are four people including me: my father, my mother, my older brother, and me.”

3. Sharing Personal Details

1- Describing Hobbies

Talking about your hobbies in Korean is one of the most interesting topics you may cover, so let’s take a look at some examples of how to introduce this in Korean.

~ 이/가 취미에요.
~ i/ga chwimieyo.
“My hobby is ~.”

When to use 이 or 가:

You may be bewildered by these two subject markers: -이 (i) and 가 (ga). Many Korean learners struggle to use the appropriate subject marker. Don’t worry though, it’s very simple: Just remember that when a word ends in a consonant, 이 (i) follows the word. When a word ends in a vowel, 가 (ga) is added to the word. For example, 독서 (dokseo) or “reading a book” ends in a vowel (ㅓ), therefore 가 (ga) needs to be added. So the sentence becomes 독서가 취미에요. (dokseoga chwimieyo.) meaning “My hobby is reading.” Here’s another example: 수영을 하는 것 (suyeongeul haneun geot) or “to swim” ends in a consonant (ㅅ), therefore 이 (i) is added after 수영. The sentence should be 수영을 하는 것이 취미에요. (suyeongeul haneun geosi chwimieyo.) meaning “My hobby is swimming.”


  • 독서가 취미에요.
    • dokseoga chwimieyo.
    • “My hobby is reading.”
  • 운동이 취미에요.
    • undongi chwimieyo.
    • “My hobby is working out.”

Alternatively, you can say:

  • ~ 을/를 좋아해요
    • ~ eul/reul joahaeyo.
    • “I like ~”


  • 책 읽기를 좋아해요.
    • chaek ilgireul joahaeyo.
    • “I like reading a book.”
  • 수영을 좋아해요.
    • suyeongeul joahaeyo.
    • “I like swimming.”
  • 영화보기를 좋아해요.
    • yeonghwabogireul joahaeyo.
    • “I like watching movies.”

Sometimes just addressing your hobby may not be enough, and you may need a more detailed explanation regarding your hobby. KoreanClass101 has a vocabulary list for hobbies and weekend activities.

2- Pets

(저는) 강아지를 키우고 있어요.
(jeoneun) gangajireul kiugo isseoyo.
“I have a dog.”

Literal translation of 키우고 있어요 (kiugo isseoyo) is “I am raising ~” in English. To say that you have a dog, which is 강아지 (gangajir) or “a puppy” in Korean, add the word in front of eul kiugo isseoyo, as shown above.

If you have more than one pet, you need to know how to say the numbers. Koreans use different counter words for various topics, such as animals, objects, and so on. For animals, we say the number in Korean followed by 마리 (: mari) which is the counter for animals.

For example:

  • 한 마리 (han mari) — “one animal”
  • 두 마리 (du mari) — “two animals”
  • 세 마리 (se mari) — “three animals”
  • 네 마리 (ne mari) — “four animals”
  • 다섯 마리 (daseon mari) — “five animals”
  • 여섯 마리 (yeoseon mari) — “six animals”
  • 일곱 마리 (ilgom mari) — “seven animals”
  • 여덟 마리 (yeodeol mari) — “eight animals”
  • 아홉 마리 (ahom mari) — “nine animals”
  • 열 마리 (yeol mari) — “ten animals”

Let’s say you have a dog and two cats, the phrase would be:

강아지 한마리와 고양이 두마리를 키우고 있어요.
gangaji hanmariwa goyangi dumarireul kiugo isseoyo.
“I have a dog and two cats.”

More examples:

  • 고양이 두마리를 키우고 있어요.
    • goyangi dumarireul kiugo isseoyo.
    • “I am raising two cats.”
  • 토끼 세마리를 키우고 있어요.
    • tokki semarireul kiugo isseoyo.
    • “I am raising three rabbits.”
  • 햄스터 한마리를 키우고 있어요.
    • haemseuteo hanmarireul kiugo isseoyo.
    • “I am raising a hamster.”

Alternatively, you could say:

  • 집에 강아지 한마리 있어요.
    • jibe gangaji hanmari isseoyo.
    • “I have a dog at home.”

집에 (jibe) means “at home” and 있어요 (isseoyo) means “there is” in English. The direct translation is “There is a dog at home,” meaning the person has a dog at his or her house as a pet. You can use this phrase to explain that you own a pet.

If you want to know how to say “your pet” in Korean, we have a vocabulary list for animals in Korean, so feel free to check it out. With all of this information, you shouldn’t have any problems talking about your pets in Korean!

3- Your Current Interests

K-pop에 관심이 많아요.
keipabe gwansimi manayo.
“I have a great interest in K-pop.”

When you introduce yourself in Korean, you may want to talk about your interests. 관심 (gwansim) means “interest” and 많아요 (manayo) means “(there is) a lot” in Korean—by combining these two words, the phrase becomes 관심이 많아요 (gwansimi manayo), meaning “I am very interested in…” in English. In addition, you can only use a noun or noun phrase for this phrase.


  • 시사 프로그램에 관심이 많아요.
    • sisa peurogeuraeme gwansimi manayo.
    • “I am interested in current affair.”
  • 뉴스에 관심이 많아요.
    • nyuseue gwansimi manayo.
    • “I have a great interest in news.”
  • 한국어 공부에 관심이 많아요.
    • hangugeo gongbue gwansimi manayo.
    • “I have a great interest in studying Korean.”

In addition, you could easily extend the phrase by adding more information.


  • 방탄소년단에 관심이 있어서, 그룹 멤버들의 사진을 모우는 것을 좋아합니다.
    • bangtansonyeondane gwansimi isseoseo, geurup membeodeurui sajineul mouneun geoseul joahamnida.
    • “I am interested in BTS, so I like collecting pictures of each member.”
  • 동물에 관심이 많아서, 동물의 사진을 찍는 것을 좋아합니다.
    • dongmure gwansimi manaseo, dongmurui sajineul jjingneun geoseul joahamnida.
    • “Since I have a great interest in animals, I like taking pictures of animals.”
  • 뉴스에 관심이 많아서 매일 밤 뉴스를 보고 있습니다.
    • nyuseue gwansimi manaseo maeil bam nyuseureul bogo itseumnida.
    • “Since I have a great interest in news, I watch the news every night.”

4. Culture Insights

1- Bowing is Important

When learning how to introduce yourself in Korean, expressions are only part of the equation. Keep in mind that bowing is a big part of Korean culture, since Koreans bow in every situation. Hence, it’s considered good manners. When you plan to visit South Korea, the first thing you need to learn is when to bow according to the situation you’re in. In addition, if you want to learn more about Korean etiquette, we have an article that explains Seven do’s and don’ts in Korea which explains in detail things that you need to know before traveling to Korea.

2- Be Careful when You Make Eye Contact

It’s alright to make eye contact when you’re speaking with people around your age. However, it’s NOT okay to make direct eye contact with people of higher status or someone older than you. In many countries, such as America and European countries, making eye contact is a friendly way to connect with people. However, Koreans will interpret it differently, thinking that you’re trying to overpower them.

5. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You with Korean

Let’s review what we discussed. We explained to you about how to introduce yourself in Korean. While the phrases we introduced are for beginners, intermediate learners can also use this article to review what they’ve learned so far. In addition, we have an article on ten lines that you can use when introducing yourself, so feel free to use our free materials.

KoreanClass101 offers a variety of free study materials online. We also have teachers standing by to answer your questions about Korean. So if you have any questions regarding Korean grammar, expressions, or even cultural insights, create your lifetime account today, so that you can get access to our forums or even receive answers from our teachers regarding any questions you may have during your Korean studies.

Good luck with studying Korean! Be sure to practice introducing yourself in Korean using our examples of how to introduce yourself in Korean, so that you can master it in no time!

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