Get a 40% off forever discount with the ready, set, speak sale! Ends soon!
Get a 40% off forever discount with the ready, set, speak sale! Ends soon! Blog
Learn Korean with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Korean Translation' Category

Korean Grammar Rules: Everything You Need to Know


Learning a new language has many benefits, such as boosting your brain power and improving your understanding of the world. To master any language, you must have a good foundation of basic grammar knowledge. 

Once you master the basic Korean grammar rules, communication and many other aspects of the language will become a lot easier for you. Grammar is the foundation of effective communication, so let’s make sure that you gain a good understanding of the basic Korean grammar rules today! As you continue in your language studies, feel free to refer back to this Korean grammar overview to keep your skills sharp.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Before We Start: General Korean Grammar Rules
  2. Special Grammar Point 1: Word Order and Sentence Structure
  3. Special Grammar Point 2: Tenses
  4. Special Grammar Point 3: Simplifying Pronouns and Plurals
  5. Special Grammar Point 4: Korean Particles
  6. Want to Learn Even More Korean Grammar Rules? We Can Help!

1. Before We Start: General Korean Grammar Rules 

To begin, we’ll look at a couple of Korean grammar topics that are fairly simple but absolutely crucial to your language studies. We’ll be covering these a bit more throughout the article, but we wanted to introduce them to you here. 

1) Word Order 

As a Korean learner, you’ll quickly learn that English and Korean have a different word order and sentence structure. For example, English sentences follow this basic structure:


But in Korean grammar, sentences follow this basic structure, with the verb at the end:


Since the object comes right after the subject, you’ll have to listen to every word in a sentence to understand the meaning and the context.

 2) Tenses 

Did you know that Korean tenses are a lot simpler than those in English? In Korean, there are only three tenses: past, present, and future. In comparison, English has these tenses as well as the present progressive and present perfect. 

You’ll notice that many Korean students who are learning English struggle to understand the concept of present progressive and present perfect since we only use three tenses in Korea.

Learning Korean Grammar Isn't Too Difficult

2. Special Grammar Point 1: Word Order and Sentence Structure

Here’s a short list of basic sentence structures you may want to memorize. Learning these now will make the rest of your studies go a lot smoother. 






The S + N word order is very similar to its English counterpart, and is used to say that the subject is something. While in English, we use the word “is” to make the association, in Korean, we simply put the words next to each other and add 이다 (ida)—the Korean positive copula—to the end of the second noun.

Here are some examples.

  • 조쉬학생이다. (Joswineun hagsaengida.) – “Josh is a student.”
  • 레슬리변호사이다. (Leseullineun byeonhosaida.) – “Leslie is a lawyer.”
  • 연아한국인이다. (Yeonaneun hanguginida.) – “Yeona is Korean.”


You’ll learn how to use the past, present, and future tenses in the next section, so for now let’s focus on the present tense of S + V.

  • 효선요리한다. (Hyoseon-eun yorihanda.) – “Hyosun cooks.”
  • 주현먹어요. (Juhyeoneun meogeoyo.) – “Juhyung eats.”
  • 카오린자요. (Kaorineun jayo.) – “Kaorin sleeps.”
  • 달려요. (Poreun dalryeoyo.) – “Paul runs.”

Keep in mind that verbs don’t conjugate for person or number. In English, there has to be an “s” at the end of “cooks” since the subject is third person. You don’t need to think about this in Korean because we don’t have this feature. All verb forms are used the same way regardless of the subject.


In Korean grammar, adjectives can also be used as verbs and can therefore change depending on the tense. For example, 예뻐요 (yeoppeoyo) is a word used to say that something is “pretty,” and if you want to say that something “was pretty,” then the word changes to 예뻤어요. (yeppeotseoyo). 

You’ll learn about the tenses in the next section, so for now, let’s focus only on the present tense form of adjectives:

  • 민경예뻐요. (Mingyeongeun yeppeoyo.) – “Minkyung is pretty.”
  • 미키작아요. (Mikineun jagayo.) – “Miki is small.” 
  • 날씨 좋아요. (Nalssiga joayo.) – “The weather is nice.” 

Want to learn new adjectives to practice with? Check out our article “The Top 100 Korean Adjectives You Must Know” and practice the S + A grammar rule with your favorites! 


This S + O + V grammar rule is very important because it’s used every day and mastering it will immediately make your conversations much smoother. Here are some examples of how to use this pattern in the present tense:

  • 조쉬사과먹어요. (Joswiga sagwaleul meogeoyo.) – “Josh eats an apple.”
  • 토끼건초먹어요. (Tokkiga geoncholeul meogeoyo.) – “A rabbit eats hay.”
  • 친구 설거지해요. (Chinguga seolgeojireul haeyo.) – “A friend washes dishes.”

Now, Tomorrow, and Yesterday Written on Road Signs

3. Special Grammar Point 2: Tenses

Korean tenses aren’t that complicated, especially when compared to those in English. In Korean grammar,  tenses are categorized as past, present, and future. Keep in mind, though, that there are two tense systems—absolute tense and relative tense—which you might want to have a look at after mastering the basic three Korean tenses. 


Here’s the rule for constructing a past tense sentence in Korean:

 verb/adjective stem  + 아/어 + ㅆ + closing end

For example:

  • 먹다 (meokda), “to eat” -> 먹었다 (meogeotda) – written / 먹었어 (meogeosseo) – spoken
    • 먹 + 어 (eo) + ㅆ + 다 (da)
  • 받다 (batda), “to receive” -> 받았다 (badatda) / 받았어 (badasseo)
    • 받 + 아 (a) + ㅆ + 다 (da)
  • 앉다 (anta), “to sit” -> 앉았다 (anjatda) / 앉았어 (anjasseo).
    • 앉 +아 (a) + ㅆ + 다 (da)
  • 예쁘다 (yeppeuda), “to be pretty” -> 예뻤다 (yeppeotda) / 예뻤어요 (yeppeosseoyo) – polite form
    • 예 + 뻐 (ppeo) + ㅆ + 다 (da)
  • 있다 (itda), “to be” -> 있었다 (isseotda) / 있었어요 (isseosseoyo) – polite form
    • 있 (it) + 어 (eo) + ㅆ + 다 (da)


Here’s the rule for constructing a present tense sentence in Korean:

verb stem + ㄴ + closing end

For example:

  • 가다 (gada), “to go” -> 간다 (ganda) – written / 갔어 (gatseo) – spoken
    • 가 (ga) + ㄴ + 다 (da)
  • 먹다 (meokda), “to eat” ->먹는다 (meongneunda) / 먹어 (meogeo)
    • 먹 (meok) + ㄴ+ 다 (da)

You don’t need to change adjectives for the present tense.

  • 예쁘다 (yeppeuda), “to be pretty” -> 예쁘다 (yeppeuda)
  • 나쁘다 (nappeuda), “to be bad” -> 나쁘다 (nappeuda)
  • 무섭다. (museopda), “to be scary” -> 무섭다 (museopda)


verb/adjective stem + 겠 + closing end

For example: 

  • 가다 (gada) -> 가겠다 (gagetda) – written / 가겠어 (gagesseo) – spoken
    • 가 (ga) + 겠 (get) + 다 (da)
  • 먹다 (meokda) -> 먹겠다 (meoggessda) / 먹겠어 (meoggesseo)
    • 먹 (meok) + 겠 (get) + 다 (da)
  • 예쁘다 (yeppeuda) -> 예쁘겠다 (yeppeugetda) / 에쁘겠어 (yeppeugesseo)
    • 예쁘 (yeppeu) + 겠 (get) + 다 (da)
  • 나쁘다 (nappeuda) -> 나쁘겠다 (nappeugetda) / 나쁘겠어 (nappeugesseo)
    • 나쁘 (nappeu) + 겠 (get) + 다 (da)


Verb form:

verb stem + (으)ㄴ


  • 가다 (gada), “to go” -> 간 (gan)
    • 가 (ga) + ㄴ
  • 먹다 (meokda), “to eat” -> 먹은 (meogeun)
    • 먹 (meok) + ㄴ
  • 오다 (oda) “to come” -> 온 (on)
    • 오 (o) + ㄴ
  • 받다 (batda) “to receive” -> 받은 (badeun)
    • 받 (bat) + ㄴ

Adjective form:

adjective stem + (아/어)ㅆ던


  • 예쁘다 (yeppeuda), “to be pretty” -> 예뻤던 (yeppeutdeon)
    • 예 (ye) + 뻐 (ppeo) + ㅆ + 던 (deon)
  • 나쁘다 (nappeuda), “to be bad” -> 나빴던 (nappattdeon)
    •  나 (na) + 빠 (ppa) + ㅆ + 던 (deon

Phrase examples: 

  • 철수먹은 사과 (Cheolsuga meogeun sagwa) – “An apple that Cheolsu ate
  • 수미받은 소포 (Sumiga badeun sopo) – “A parcel that Sumi received” 


Verb form:

verb stem + 는


  • 가다 (gada), “to go” -> 가는 (ganeun)
    • 가 (ga) + 는 (neun)
  • 먹다 (meokda), “to eat” -> 먹는 (meogneun)
    • 먹 (meok) + 는 (neun)
  • 자다 (jada), “to sleep” -> 자는 (janeun)
    • 자 (ja)  + 는 (neun)

Adjective form:

adjective stem + (으)ㄴ


  • 예쁘다 (yeppeuda), “to be pretty” -> 예쁜 (yeppeun)
    • 예 (ye) + 쁘 (peu) + ㄴ 
  • 좋다 (jota), “to be good” -> 좋은 (joeun)
    • 좋 (joh) + ㄴ
  • 나쁘다 (nappeuda), “to be bad” -> 나쁜 (nappeun)
    • 나쁘 (nappeu) + ㄴ

Phrase examples:

  • 지금오는 음악 (jigeum naoneun eumak) – “The music that plays now
  • 수미듣는 음악 (sumiga deudneun eumak) – “The music that Sumi is listening to


Verb and adjective form:

verb/adjective stem + (으)ㄹ


  • 가다 (gada), “to go” -> 갈 (gal)
    • 가 (ga) + ㄹ
  • 먹다 (meokda), “to eat” -> 먹을 (meogeul)
    • 먹 (meok) + ㄹ
  • 예쁘다  (yeppeuda), “to be pretty” -> 예쁠 (yeppeul)
    • 예쁘 (yeppeu) + ㄹ
  • 좋다 (jota), “to be good” -> 좋을 (joeul)
    •   좋 (joh) + ㄹ
  • 나쁘다 (nappeuda), “to be bad” -> 나쁠 (nappeul)
    • 나쁘 (nappeu) + ㄹ

Phrase examples: 

  • 내가 먹을 라면 (naega meogeul ramyeon) – “The ramen that I will eat
  • 내가 학교 (naega gal hakgyo) – “The school I will go to

Learning Basic Korean grammar Will Help You in Many Situations.

4. Special Grammar Point 3: Simplifying Pronouns and Plurals 

Now let’s take a look at how to make a singular noun plural:

  • 국가 (gukga), “a country” / 국가 (gukga), “countries” 
  • 호수 (hosu), “a lake” /  호수들 (hosudeul), “lakes”
  • 언어 (eoneo), “a language” / 언어들 (eoneodeul), “languages” 
  • 여자 (yeoja), “woman” / 여자들 (yeojadeul), “women” 
  • 남자 (namja), “man” /  남자들 (namjadeul), “men”  

While some plural forms are the same as the singular forms, most words require that you add 들 (deul) to the end. 

By the way, Wikipedia has some useful information on how to use 들 (deul) with personal pronouns. Check it out!

5. Special Grammar Point 4: Korean Particles

You may find Korean particles tricky because there is nothing like them in the English language, and they therefore cannot be translated. But the good news is that they’re easy to learn! Here are the basic particles that you must master. 

Subject: 는 (neun) or 은 (eun)

These particles are placed after a word to indicate that it is the subject of a sentence. The rule that you need to remember is very simple: 

  • If the subject’s last syllable ends in a vowel, use 는 (neun).
  • If the subject’s last syllable ends in a consonant, use 은 (eun).


1. Subject’s last syllable ends in a vowel: 

토끼 바나나를 먹는다. (Tokkineun bananaleul meogneunda.) – “A rabbit eats a banana.”
철수 사과를 먹는다. (Cheolsuneun sagwaleul meogneunda.) – “Cheolsu eats an apple.”

2. Subject’s last syllable ends in a consonant:

소연 밥을 먹는다. (Soyeoneun babeul meogneunda.) – “Soyeon eats some rice.”
효선 청소를 한다. (Hyoseoneun cheongsoreul handa.) – “Hyosun cleans the house.”

Check out our forum on the topic and read what others have said about it. 

Object: 를 (reul) or 을 (eul) 

These particles are placed after a word to indicate that it is the object of a sentence. The rule that you need to remember is: 

  • If the last syllable of the object ends in a vowel, use 를 (reul).
  • If the last syllable of the object ends in a consonant, use 을 (eul).


1. Object’s last syllable ends in a vowel:

토끼는 바나나 먹는다. (Tokkineun bananaleul meogneunda.) – “A rabbit eats a banana.”
철수는 사과 먹는다. (Cheolsuneun sagwareul meogneunda.) – “Cheolsu eats an apple.”

2. Object’s last syllable ends in a consonant:

소연은 먹는다. (Soyeoneun babeul meogneunda.) – “Soyeon eats some rice.”
강아지는 마신다. (Gangajineun mureul masinda.) – A dog drinks water.”

Check out our forum page “About OBJECT PARTICLE – 을 [eul] / 를 [reul]” and learn more. 

Want to practice using more particles and conjunctions? Check out our article “Korean Conjunctions List: Essential Korean Conjunctions“!

KoreanClass101 Is Here to Help You with Your Learning!

6. Want to Learn Even More Korean Grammar Rules? We Can Help!

You learned a lot of Korean grammar rules in this article. I hope you’re not too overwhelmed! Learning a language takes time, so don’t pressure yourself by trying to learn everything in one go. Take your time to understand each grammar rule and practice it by writing a Korean diary or talking with a native Korean speaker. 

Here are some recommendations for your further studies:

Do you have a question about anything we covered today? Feel free to leave us a comment or contact us

Good luck with your studies!

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

Motivational and Inspirational Korean Quotes


We can apply quotes to so many different aspects of our lives. For example, some people read inspirational quotes to keep themselves motivated; others read them to feel better about themselves or to move forward after a hardship. 

But did you know that the benefits of reading quotes don’t end there? You can also expedite your language learning by studying popular quotes in that language. 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to many inspirational Korean quotes on various topics, from love to language learning (and everything in-between). We’ve included a mix of original Korean quotes and popular English quotes translated into Korean. Enjoy!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Korean Table of Contents
  1. Quotes About Success
  2. Quotes About Life
  3. Quotes About Time
  4. Quotes About Love
  5. Quotes About Family
  6. Quotes About Friendship
  7. Quotes About Language Learning
  8. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Improve Your Korean Skills

1. Quotes About Success

We’ll start with a few Korean quotes about success. How many of these are familiar to you in English? 

꿈이 있다면 절대 포기하지 마라.
Kkumi itdamyeon jeoldae pogihaji mara.
“If you have a dream, never give up.”

실패는 성공의 어머니이다.
Silpaeneun seonggongui eomeoniida.
“Failure is the mother of success.”

잘 될 거예요.
Jal doel geoyeyo.
“Everything will be okay.”

너는 무엇이든 할 수 있어.
Neoneun mueosideun hal su isseo.
“You can do anything.”

고생 끝에 낙이 온다. 
Gosaeng kkeute nagi onda.
“At the end of hardship comes happiness.”

항상 믿음을 유지하자.
Hangsang mideumeul yujihaja.
“Always keep the faith.”

네 꿈을 펼쳐라.

“Follow your dreams.”

나는 내 인생에서 실패에 실패를 거듭했다. 그런데 그것이 바로 내가 성공하는 이유이다.  – 마이클 조던
Naneun nae insaengeseo silpaee silpaereul geodeupaetda. geureonde geugeosi baro naega seonggonghaneun iyuida. – maikeul jodeon
“I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

인생은 과감한 모험이던가, 아니면 아무 것도 아니다. – 헬렌 켈러
Insaengeun gwagamhan moheomideonga, animyeon amu geotdo anida. – hellen kelleo
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

꿈을 추구하는 용기가 있다면 우리의 모든 꿈을 이룰 수 있다. – 월트 디즈니
Kkumeul chuguhaneun yonggiga itdamyeon uriui modeun kkumeul irul su itda. – wolteu dijeuni
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

인생에서 가장 나쁜 죄악은 옳은 것을 알면서도 행동하지 않는 것이다. – 마틴 루터 킹
Insaengeseo gajang nappeun joeageun oreun geoseul almyeonseodo haengdonghaji anneun geosida. – matin luteo king
“Perhaps the worst sin in life is knowing right and not doing it.” – Martin Luther King., Jr.

운이란 준비가 기회를 만나는 것이다. – 얼 나이팅게일
Uniran junbiga gihoereul mannaneun geosida. – eol naitinggeil
“Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.” – Earl Nightingale

An Elderly Man Holding Hands with a Younger Person

Speaking with elders is a great way to get inspired, too.

2. Quotes About Life 

Life is a great mystery that people have long been trying to unravel. Here are Korean quotes on life to give you some perspective and make you think. 

우리는 행복한 줄 모르기에 행복할 줄 모른다. – 정순철 
Urineun haengbokan jul moreugie haengbokal jul moreunda. – eongsuncheol
“We don’t know how to be happy because we don’t know we are happy.”

성공한 사람을 찾아서 따라하지 말고 항상 자기 생각대로 행동하고 표현하며 스스로에게 믿음을 가져라.
Seonggonghan sarameul chajaseo ttarahaji malgo hangsang jagi saenggakdaero haengdonghago pyohyeonhamyeo seuseuroege mideumeul gajyeora.
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

고통이 없이는 얻는 것도 없다.
Gotongi eopsineun eonneun geotdo eopda.
“No pain no gain.”

인생은 모험이거나 아무것도 아니거나.
Insaengeun moheomigeona amugeotdo anigeona.
“Life is a venture or nothing.”

보는 것이 믿는 것이다.
Boneun geosi minneun geosida.
“Seeing is believing.”

인생은 모험이다.
Insaengeun mohomida.
“Life is an adventure.”

웃음은 최고의 명약이다.
Useumeun choegoui myeongyagida.
“Laughter is the best medicine.”

길을 아는 것과 그 길을 걷는 것은 분명히 다르다.
Gireul aneun geotgwa geu gireul geonneun geoseun bunmyeonghi dareuda.
“Knowing the road and walking the road are clearly different.”

오늘 걷지 않으면 내일 뛰어야 한다.
Oneul geotji aneumyeon naeil ttwieoya handa.
“If you don’t walk today, you must run tomorrow.”

너의 기분은 너의 태도가 되면 안된다. 
Neoui gibuneun neoui taedoga doemyeon andoenda.
“Your mood should not be your attitude.”

나 자신에게 더욱 집중하라.
Na jasinege deouk jipjunghara.
“Focus more on yourself.”

언제나 나를 1순위에 두어라.
Eonjena nareul ilsunwie dueora.
“Always put myself first.”

다른 이의 삶에 한눈팔며 살기엔 내 인생이 너무 소중하다.
Dareun iui sarame hannunpalmyeo salgien nae insaengi neomu sojunghada.
“My life is too precious to live at a glance in the lives of others.”

3. Quotes About Time

Here are a few Korean quotes about life that focus specifically on the concept of time.

jumari jjalge neukkyeojineun iyu
“The reason why weekends feel too short”

평일: 월화수목금
Pyeongil: wolhwasumokgeum
Weekdays: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, and Fri

주말: 토일
Jumal: toil
“Weekend: Sat and Sun”

실제로 짧음.
Siljero jjalbeum.
“It is short indeed.”

시간은 금이다.
Siganeun geumida.
“Time is gold.”

로마는 하루 아침에 이루어진 것이 아니다.
Romaneun haru achime irueojin geosi anida.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

A Scene from Weathering with You

Reading Korean quotes about love will put butterflies in your stomach.

4. Quotes About Love 

Are you madly in love with someone? Or maybe you’re a hopeless romantic? Either way, you’re sure to enjoy these Korean quotes on love!

내가 웃는 이유는 너야.
Naega urneun iyuneun neoya.
“You are the reason I am smiling.”

내 마음이 들리니.
Nae maeumi deullini.
“Can you hear my heart?”

내 손 잡아줄래?
Nae son jaba jullae?
“Can you hold my hand?”

세상 모두가 변해도 너만을 사랑해.
Sesang moduga byeonhaedo neomaneul saranghae.
“Even if the whole world changes, I will only love you.”

자신을 사랑하는 법을 아는 것이 가장 위대한 사랑이다.
Jasineul saranghaneun beobeul aneun geosi gajang widaehan sarangida.
“Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”

사랑 받고 싶다면 사랑하라, 그리고 사랑스럽게 행동하라. – 벤자민 프랭클린
Sarang batgo sipdamyeon saranghara, geurigo sarangseureopge haengdonghara. – benjamin peuraengkeullin
“If you would be loved, love and be lovable.” – Benjamin Franklin

우리는 오로지 사랑을 함으로써 사랑을 배울 수 있다. – 아이리스 머독
Urineun oroji sarangeul hameurosseo sarangeul baeul su itda. – airiseu meodok
“We can only learn to love by loving.” – Iris Murdoch

사랑하는 것은 천국을 살짝 엿보는 것이다. – 카렌 선드
Saranghaneun geoseun cheongugeul saljjang yeotboneun geosida. – karen seondeu
“To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.” – Karen Sunde

사랑은 눈으로 보지 않고 마음으로 보는 거지. – 윌리엄 셰익스피어
Sarangeun nuneuro boji anko maeumeuro boneun geoji. – willieom syeikseupieo
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” – William Shakespeare

눈에서 멀어지면, 마음에서도 멀어진다.
Nuneseo meoreojimyeon, maeumeseodo meoreojinda.
“Out of sight, out of mind.”

A Family Showing Their Tickets to a Lady at the Movie Theater Ticket Booth

There are many inspirational Korean quotes in films.

5. Quotes About Family 

What does family mean to you? Here are a few Korean quotes about family to read while you’re thinking!

상욱 씨에게 ‘가족’은 어떤 의미예요?
Sangung ssiege ‘gajok’eun eotteon uimiyeyo?
“What does ‘family’ mean to you, Sanguk?”

저에게 가족은 ‘영어’ 같아요.
Jeoege gajogeun ‘yeongeo’ gatayo.
“As for me, family is like ‘English’.”


마음에 있는 게 표현이 안돼.  
Maeume inneun ge pyohyeoni andwae.
“I can’t express how I feel properly.”

– 하상욱
(– Hasanguk)
– Ha Sanguk

가족은 자연의 걸작 중 하나이다.
Gajogeun jayeonui geoljang jung hanaida.
“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.”

형제는 자연이 준 친구이다.
Hyeongjeneun jayeoni jun chinguida.
“A brother is a friend given by nature.”

피는 물보다 진하다.
Pineun mulboda jinhada.
“Blood is thicker than water.”

나쁜 아내를 가진 자는 재물 속에서도 가난하다.
Nappeun anaereul gajin janeun jaemul sogeseodo gananhada.
“Who has a bad wife is poor in the midst of riches.”

부모의 의심이 자녀를 교활하게 만든다.
Bumoui uisimi janyeoreul gyohwalhage mandeunda.
“A suspicious parent makes artful children.”

가지 많은 나무에 바람 잘 날 없다. ( = 아이가 많은 집안에서 휴식은 없다. )
Gaji maneun namue baram jal nal eopda. ( = aiga maneun jibaneseo hyusigeun eopda. )
“There is no rest for a family with many children.”

피는 못 속인다.
Pineun mot soginda.
“Blood will tell.”

사방을 둘러봐도 집이 최고다.
Sabangeul dulleobwado jibi choegoda.
“East, west, home is best.”

내 집만한 곳은 어디에도 없다.
Nae jimmanhan goseun eodiedo eopda.
“There is no place like home.”

Four Women Staying Close to Each Other

6. Quotes About Friendship

Friends are some of the most important people in our lives, but how exactly do we define friendship? Check out these Korean quotes about friendship to gain some perspective!

새로 사귄 친구는 나를 설레게 하지만오래된 친구처럼 내 아프고 쓰린 눈물을 닦아줄 수는 없을 것이다.
Saero sagwin chinguneun nareul seollege hajiman oraedoen chingucheoreom nae apeugo sseurin nunmureul dakkajul suneun eopseul geosida.
“New friends make me excited, but they will not be able to wipe away my sore and bitter tears like an old friend.”

돈으로 우정을 살 순 없다.
Doneuro ujeongeul sal sun eopda.
“You can’t buy friendship with money.”

어둠 속에서 친구와 함께 걷는 것이 밝은 곳을 혼자 걷는 것보다 낫다.
Eodum sogeseo chinguwa hamkke geonneun geosi balgeun goseul honja geonneun geotboda natda.
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

진정한 친구는 세상 모두가 나를 떠날 때 내게로 오는 사람이다.
Jinjeonghan chinguneun sesang moduga nareul tteonal ttae naegero oneun saramida.
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

네 이웃을 네 몸처럼 사랑하여라.
Ne iuseul ne momcheoreom saranghayeora.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

성공은 친구를 만들고, 역경은 친구를 시험한다.
Seonggongeun chingureul mandeulgo, yeokgyeongeun chingureul siheomhanda.
“Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them.”

친구라면 친구의 결점을 참고 견뎌야 한다.
Chinguramyeon chinguui gyeoljeomeul chamgo gyeondyeoya handa.
“A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities.”

누구에게나 친구는 어느 누구에게도 친구가 아니다.
Nuguegena chinguneun eoneu nuguegedo chinguga anida.
“A friend to all is a friend to none.”

친구에게 충고할 때는 즐겁게 하지 말고, 도움이 되도록 하라.
Chinguege chunggohal ttaeneun jeulgeopge haji malgo, doumi doedorong hara.
“In giving advice, seek to help, not to please, your friend.”

A Hand Holding a Korean Flag with a Stick

7. Quotes About Language Learning 

Our final category in this Korean quotes list is words of wisdom you can apply to your language learning. 

멈추지 말고 계속 해나가기만 한다면 늦어도 상관없다.
Meomchuji malgo gyesong haenagagiman handamyeon neujeodo sanggwaneopda.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

뛰기 전에 걷는 것을 배워라.
Ttwigi jeone geonneun geoseul baewora.
“Learn to walk before you run.”

모험이 없으면, 아무 것도 얻는 것이 없다.
Moheomi eopseumyeon, amu geotdo eonneun geosi eopda.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

학문에는 왕도는 없다. 
Hangmuneneun wangdoneun eopda.
“There is no royal road to learning.”

새로운 언어는 새로운 삶이다.
Saeroun eoneoneun saeroun salmida.
“A new language is a new life.”

8. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Improve Your Korean Skills 

In summary, we’ve introduced many quotes on a variety of topics. By now, we’re sure you’re feeling more inspired! Do you know any inspirational quotes in your language? Leave a comment below to share them with us.

KoreanClass101 provides a number of free study materials for Korean learners. If you want to learn Korean in detail or advance your Korean language skills with the help of Korean instructors, you can create your account today. You’ll be able to access all of our content and study at your convenience! 

Good luck with your Korean studies!

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

Your Ultimate Guide on How to Tell Time in Korean


Telling time is part of everyday life. It’s one of the essential conversation skills you need to learn when studying a new language. 

So how do you tell time in Korean?

Today, you’re going to learn many ways to address the time, including essential vocabulary for talking about the specific time with someone. By the end of this article, you should be more knowledgeable on Korean standard time and how to say the time in Korean! Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Korean Table of Contents
  1. How to Ask for the Time
  2. How to Say “Hour” in Korean
  3. How to Say the Minutes in Korean
  4. Hours Divided into Minutes
  5. General Time Reference of the Day
  6. Time Adverbs in Korean
  7. Bonus: Time Proverbs and Sayings
  8. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You with Korean

1. How to Ask for the Time


1- 몇 시예요? (Myeot si-yeyo?)

몇 시예요? (Myeot si-yeyo?) literally means “What time is it?” 

몇 (myeot) means “how many” or “which number,” and 시 (si) means “o’clock” or “time.” 

So 몇 시 (myeot si) plus 예요 (yeyo), which means “it is,” becomes 몇 시예요? (Myeot si-yeyo?) or “What time is it?”


  • 지금 몇 시예요? 

Jigeum myeot siyeyo?

“What time is it now?”

*The first word, 지금 (jigeum), means “now.”

2- ~는 몇 시에 있어요? (~neun myeot sie isseoyo?)

You can use this phrase when you want to ask a question about when a specific thing will happen, such as the departure time of a bus or airplane. In order to ask, you say ~는 몇 시에 있어요? (~neun myeot sie isseoyo?), which means “What time is ~?” Simply add a noun to the front to ask the question. 


  • 버스는 몇 시에 있어요?

Beoseu-neun myeot si-e isseoyo?

“What time is there a bus?”

  • 기차는 몇 시에 있어요?

Gicha-neun myeot si-e isseoyo?

“What time is there a train?”

3- 몇 시에 ~? (myeot sie ~?)

If you want to know what time to meet someone or what time you’ll be doing something, you can put the verb indicating the action after saying 몇시에 (myeot si-e), meaning “at what time.” 


  • 몇 시에 만나요?

Myeot sie mannayo?

“What time will (we) meet?”

  • 몇 시에 먹어요?

Myeot sie meogeoyo?

“What time will (we) eat?”

  • 몇 시에 가요?

Myeot sie gayo?

“What time will (we) go?”

A Close-up Shot of a Watch

2. How to Say “Hour” in Korean

In Korea, Korean people tend to give the time using the twelve-hour clock, especially when speaking. However, it really depends on the person. Some may prefer to use the twenty-four-hour clock instead.

1- ~시예요. (~siyeyo.)

To say that “It’s ten o’clock” in Korean, the rule is very simple. Add the number, in this case 열 (yeol) which means “ten,” followed by 시 (si) which means “o’clock” and 입니다 (imnida) which means “it is.” So the whole sentence becomes 열시 입니다 (yeolsi imnida).

Have a look at the table below to practice the hours in Korean. 

2- Hours in Korean

*Click on each Korean word to practice the pronunciation!

한 시hansi1 o’clock
두 시dusi2 o’clock
세 시sesi3 o’clock
네 시nesi4 o’clock
다섯 시daseotsi5 o’clock
여섯 시yeoseotsi6 o’clock
일곱 시ilgopsi7 o’clock
여덟 시yeodeolsi8 o’clock
아홉 시ahopsi9 o’clock
열 시yeolsi10 o’clock
열한 시yeolhansi11 o’clock
열두 시yeoldusi12 o’clock

Check out 한국 숫자 (hanguk sutja) on KoreanClass101 to practice numbers in Korean. 


  • 지금 몇시에요?

Jigeum myeotsieyo?

“What time is it now?”

  • 지금은 12시예요. (formal – speaking)

Jigeumeun yeoldusiyeyo.

“It’s 12 o’clock.”

  • 지금은 12시입니다. (formal – writing)

Jigeumeun yeoldusiimnida.

“It’s 12 o’clock.”

  • 지금은 12시야. (casual – speaking)

Jigeumeun yeoldusiya.

“It’s 12 o’clock.”

3. How to Say the Minutes in Korean

Improve Listening

1- ~ 시 ~ 분 (~ si ~ bun)

“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: 

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”


  • 지금 몇시에요? 

Jigeum myeotsieyo?

“What time is it now?”

  • 열시 사십오분이예요. 

Yeolsi sasibobuniyeyo.

“It’s 10:45.”

4. Hours Divided into Minutes

When learning how to read time in Korean, it’s important that you know how to talk about the minutes past the hour. Here are a couple of the most common time phrases in Korean for this.

1- ~분 전 (~bun jeon)

전 (jeon) means “ago.” To say “thirty minutes ago,” as you may have already guessed, you would write this as 30분 전 (samsipbun jeon). Let’s have a look at more examples below. 


  • 삼십분 전에 일어났어요. 

Samsipbun jeone ireonasseoyo.

“I woke up thirty minutes ago.”

  • 어? 지민이 한 이십 분 전에 나갔는데요? 

Eo? Jimini han isip bun jeone naganneundeyo?

“Ah? Jimin left (the house) about twenty minutes ago.”

  • 십오분 전

sibobun jeon

“Twenty-five minutes ago”

2- ~분 후 (~bun hu)

후 (hu) means “after.” To say “after thirty minutes,” you would write it as 30분 후 (samsipbun hu). Let’s have a look at more examples below. Keep in mind that ~분 뒤 (~bun dwi) is frequently used in speaking as well. 


  • 삼십분 후에 전화할께.

samsipbun hue jeonhwahalkke.

“I will give you a call after thirty minutes.”

  • 10분뒤에 좀 쉬자. 

sipbundwie jom swija.

“Let’s take a rest after ten minutes.” 

A Landscape of Nature

5. General Time Reference of the Day

1- 오전 / 오후 (ojeon / ohu)


  • 오전 (ojeon) means “morning.”
  • 오후 (ohu) means “afternoon.” 


  • 나 오전 내내 집에만 있었어.

Na ojeon naenae jibeman isseosseo.

“I stayed home all morning.”

  • 다음 주 월요일 오후에 시간 돼? 저녁이라도 같이 먹자.

Daeum ju wollyoil ohue sigan dwae? Jeonyeogirado gachi meokja.

“Are you free next Monday afternoon? Let’s grab something to eat.”

2- 아침 / 저녁 (achim / jeonyeok)


  • 아침 (achim) means “morning.”
  • 저녁 (jeonyeok)  means “evening.”


  • 아침부터 계속 비가 오고 있네.

Achimbuteo gyesok biga ogo inne.

“It has been raining since morning.”

  • 미안, 오늘 저녁 늦게까지 일해야해.

Mian, oneul jeonyeok neutgekkaji ilhaeyahae.

“Sorry, I have to work late this evening.”

3- 오전 (ojeon) Vs. 아침 (achim) & 오후 (ohu) Vs. 저녁 (jeonyeok)

I’m sure you’re confused by these word pairs. They both have the same meaning, “morning,” but 아침 (achim) refers to early morning, such as when you’re going to work or having breakfast. 오전 (ojeon) includes early morning until noon. 


  • 매일 아침 일찍 일어나서 운동하고 있어요. 

Maeil achim iljjik ireonaseo undonghago isseoyo.

“I wake early in the morning and try exercising everyday.”

  • 이 리포트를 오전까지 학교로 내야해요. 

I ripoteureul ojeonkkaji hakgyoro naeyahaeyo.

“I have to submit this report in the morning (before 12pm).”

The difference between the second pair of words is similar to the explanation above. They both have the same translation in English, but the meanings are slightly different. 오후 (ohu) usually refers to the time between noon (we say this as jeongo in Korean) until five or six o’clock in the afternoon. 저녁 (jeonyeok) usually refers to late evening, such as the time when you have dinner, and it usually starts at about seven o’clock in the evening. 


  • 미안, 우리 몇 시에 만나기로 했지? 오후 3시였나?

Mian, uri myeot sie mannagiro haetji? ohu 3siyeonna?

“Sorry, what time were we supposed to meet today? Was it 15:00?”

  • 내일 저녁에 같이 밥먹을래?

Naeil jeonyeoge gachi bammeogeullae?

“Are you free for dinner tomorrow evening?”

4- 밤 / 새벽 (bam / saebyeok)


  • 밤 (bam) means “evening.”
  • 새벽 (saebyeok) means “dawn.”


  • 어제 밤에 2시간밖에 못 자서 너무 피곤해.

Eoje bame 2siganbakke mot jaseo neomu pigonhae.

“I slept for only two hours last night so I feel tired.”

  • 잠이 안와서 새벽 4시까지 깨어 있었어.

Jami anwaseo saebyeok nesikkaji kkaeeo isseosseo.

“I couldn’t sleep so I stayed up until 4:00 a.m.”

5- 정오 / 자정 (jeongo / jajeong)


  • 정오 (jeongo) means “at noon.”
  • 자정 (jajeong) means “at midnight.”


  • 정오까지 일을 끝내보도록 하겠습니다. (formal – writing) 

Jeongokkaji ireul kkeunnaebodorok hagetseumnida.

“I will try to finish the work by noon.”

  • 자정이 지나면 기본요금이 1,000원입니다.

Jajeongi jinamyeon gibonyogeumi cheonwonimnida.

“After midnight, the basic fare is 1,000won.”

6- 밤 (bam) Vs. 저녁 (jeonyeok)

Let’s have a look at the difference between these two. (bam) is after sunset and before sunrise, so it refers to night time. 저녁 (jeonyeok) refers to the evening and dinnertime. 


  • 밤에도  철수는 일을 해. 

Bamedo  cheolsuneun ireul hae.

“Cheolsu works in the evening.”

  • 오늘 저녁까지 꼭 숙제를 끝내야해.

Oneul jeonyeokkkaji kkok sukjereul kkeunnaeyahae.

“I have to finish the homework before this evening.” 

An Hourglass

6. Time Adverbs in Korean

1- 지금 (jigeum)


  • 지금 (jigeum) means “currently” in English.
  • It also means “right now” in English.


  • 모든 옵션들이 지금 이용 가능해요.

modeun opsyeondeuri jigeum iyong ganeunghaeyo.

“All the options are currently available.”

  • 현재 공사 중

hyeonjae gongsa jung

“currently under construction”

2- 전에 (jeone)


  • 전에 (jeone) means “before” in English.


  • 점심 시간 전에 올께요. 

jeomsim sigan jeone olkkeyo.

“I will come back before lunch.”

  • 지현이는 1년 전부터 거기에 살고 있어. 

jihyeonineun illyeon jeonbuteo geogie salgo isseo.

“Jihyeon’s lived there since one year ago.”

3- 후에 (hue


  • 후에 (hue) means “after” in English.


  • 점심 식사 후에 미팅이 있어서 바로 회사로 들어가야해.

jeomsim siksa hue mitingi isseoseo baro hoesaro deureogayahae.

“I have to return to work because I have a meeting after lunch.”

4- ~에 (~e)

The particle -에 (-e) can be translated into English as “at,” “to,” “on,” or “in,” depending on the context. It can be used to indicate time, direction, or a specific location where an action takes place. In this specific lesson, it’s used to indicate time and can be translated as “at,” “on,” or “in,” depending on the context.

This particle can be used to indicate the time at which an action takes place, and is attached to time-specific words (e.g. time, day of the week, date, month, and year). 


  • 두 시 반에 끝나요.

Du si ban-e kkeunnayo. 

“It ends at two thirty.”

  • 월요일에 학교에 안 갑니다. 

Woryoil-e hakgyo-e an gamnida.

“I don’t go to school on Monday.”

5- ~하다 (~hada

하다 (hada) is a very flexible and important verb in Korean. It’s generally translated as “to do,” but sometimes there’s a need to interpret it according to specific circumstances. 하다 (hada) verbs can be used as follows:


  • 숙제를 하다.

Sukje-reul hada.

“do homework”

  • 공부하다.


“to study” 

  • 무서워 하다.

Museowo hada.

“to be afraid”

7. Bonus: Time Proverbs and Sayings

Here are some common time expressions in Korean to help you sound like a native! 

  • 시간이 약이다.

Sigani yagida.

“Time heals all wounds.”

  • 시간은 돈이다.

Siganeun donida.

“Time is money.”

  • 일찍 일어나는 새가 벌레를 잡는다.

Iljjik ireonaneun saega beollereul jamneunda.

“The early bird catches the worm.”

Hwaseong Fortress

8. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You with Korean

Basic Questions

By now, you should be able to read and say time in Korean! Practice makes perfect, so check out our free vocabulary list “Talking about Time” on KoreanClass101 to expand your vocabulary skills. 

Also, can you say what time it is in Korea? Drop us a comment below with your answer. Check out Korean standard time and give it a try! Lastly, can you answer the following questions? 

  • 몇 시에 아침을 먹어요? 

Myeot sie achimeul meogeoyo?

  • 몇 시에 퇴근해요?

Myeot sie toegeunhaeyo?

Find the translations here and try answering these questions in Korean. Good luck! 

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

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


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

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

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?
    “Which year were you born in?”
  2. 몇년도에 태어났어요?
    Myeonnyeondoe taeeonasseoyo?
    “Which year were you born in?”
  3. 몇살이에요?
    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”


  • 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!”


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)


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

3. Korean Dates: 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.


  • 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!”


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)


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”


  • 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?”


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”


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

4. Saying the Days of the Week in Korean


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.


  • 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.”


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)


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”


  • 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.”


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)


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”


  • 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.”


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)


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

7. How to Say the Seconds in Korean


“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”


  • 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!”


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)


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”


  • 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.”


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)


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.


  • 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!

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

Essential Korean Language for Travel that You Must Know


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 Can Help You with Korean


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

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 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 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, 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. 🙂