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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Jae here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher where I’ll answer some of your most common Korean questions.
The question for this lesson is… How Do I Use the Pronoun “You” in Korean?
Basically, the word 당신 (dangshin) means “you” in Korean. But it doesn’t mean “you” the same way it does in English. If you're a fan of K-Pop or Korean dramas, you’ll hear this word a lot. But please be careful! You'll use this pronoun only when you're talking to two types of people: those you love and those you hate.
If, for example, you say 당신 (dangshin) to your husband or wife, it will mean something like “honey” or “darling.”
However, if you're angry, you can also use the pronoun 당신 (dangshin) to initiate conflict with someone.
In Korean, as with Japanese, we don’t use “you” so often because it sounds really strong.
Instead, people usually use the person's name, followed by an honorific suffix, such as 씨 (ssi), to refer to someone they are speaking to in a conversation. For example, 재휘 씨, is like saying "Mr. Jaehwi." Unlike in English, though, the 씨 added on the end is natural and conveys respect. People will also use job titles in place of 씨, such as 선생님 (seongsaeng-nim). This literally means “teacher” but it can also function like “Mr.” or “Ms.” too.
Because “you” or 당신 (dangshin) is so strong in Korean, you can only use it for people you want to direct strong feelings toward. If the person you want to address is someone like a stranger or a co-worker, it's better to the honorific suffix 씨 or their job title as we mentioned earlier. If you want to address a group of people, you can use the word 여러분 (yeoreobun), meaning “everyone.”
I hope that clears things up. Pretty interesting, right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
See you next time. 다음 시간에 만나요. (Daeum-sigane mannayo.)