15 Must-Know Korean Phrases 

 May 23, 2022

By  Akshita Agarkar

Learning and speaking this beautiful language can be impressive if you use some of these Korean phrases which the natives use in their everyday language. 

  • 안녕하세요

The first word anybody learns is Hello in any language. 안녕하세요 (annyeong-haseyo) means the same. You can use this any time of the day to greet somebody. 

  • 밥 먹었어요?

It is said that rice is such an important part of the Korean meal that people sometimes directly greet others by saying “Have you eaten?”. It is what 밥 먹었어요? (bab meog eoss eoyo) means. In here, 밥 means cooked rice but often considered as meal in Korea culturally while 먹었어요? states Did you eat? Or Have you eaten?

  • 잘 지내세요?

잘 지내세요? (jal-jinaeseyo) means How are you? In literal terms, 잘 states well while 지내다 means to be good or to get along. The 세 (se) you see here makes the sentence into the honorific format. 

  • 오랜만이에요!

Whenever you want to say Long time no see!, you should use 오랜만이에요 (oraen-manieyo). 

  • 감사합니다

We all use and want to thank people from time to time. So the most sweetest phrase people use in Korea is 감사합니다 (gamsa-habnida) that means Thank you. 

  • 죄송합니다

Just like we like to say Hello, Thank you, & Bye in everyday language, there is another word we have to use sometimes. It is none other than Sorry which is 죄송합니다 (Joi-song-habnida). 

  • 잠시만요/잠깐만요

There are times when you want to say Please wait in Korean. When such situation arise, just use either 잠시만요 (jamsimanyo) or 잠깐만요 (jamkkanmanyo). 

  • 주세요

You can use 주세요 (juseyo) which means Please give me with nouns. For example, when you visit any cafe or restaurant, or any other public place wherein you have to interact to buy tickets, food, drinks, etc, then you will need to make use of this phrase. It is one of the most common phrases used in Korea.

So, if you want to ask for water in a restaurant, you can simply go with “water + 주세요” which is 물 주세요 (mul juseyo).

Just like that you can add any noun with 주세요. Example, 커피 주세요 (ko-phi juseyo) – please give me coffee. 

  • 실례합니다

실례합니다 (sille hamnida)  is a nice and formal way to say Excuse me in Korean. 

  • 얼마예요?

This phrase will be a lot helpful to you when you are travelling or shopping in Korea. As 얼마예요? (eolmayeyo) assists you in asking How much is this for? When you wish to buy something. 

  • 좋은 아침입니다

Saying Good Morning is a beautiful way to start your day. So 좋은 stands for Good, while 아침 (achim) means morning. 

  • 잘 주무셨어요?

While 잘 주무세요 (jal-jumuseyo) means Good night, 잘 주무셨어요 (jal jumusyesseoyo) is asked when a person wakes up as it means Did you sleep well? 

  • 많이 드세요

많이 드세요 (mani deuseyo) is often used by the person who makes food for their family or guests. When they use this phrase, they mean for the person(s) to eat a lot and enjoy their food as 많이 means a lot while 드세요 is as honorific term for to eat. 

  • 잘 먹겠습니다

This is used before having a meal as it states I will eat well. Breaking it, we can see 잘 (jal) means well, while 먹겠습니다 (meokkesseummida) means I will eat. 

  • 잘 먹었습니다 

The last phrase is used after finishing your meal as a gratitude towards the person who made it all for you. It represents that you have eaten well as 먹었습니다 (meogeosseumnida) means eat in honorific form. 


These are some daily must-know Korean phrases that you should know. 

Akshita Agarkar

Akshita Agarkar graduated from Journalism and Mass Communication while working as a Freelance Content Writer. Currently, she is working with Learn Korean In India as a Content Manager and a Teaching assistant. She is a Korean linguist and culture enthusiast who loves to read linguistics, listen to old-school music, and jam on it.

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