20 most common Korean drama phrases 

 October 11, 2021

By  Smriti Ekka

Korean drama has been one of the most important reasons behind students learning Korean as foreign language. The first catalyst behind students taking the Korean language as a hobby or their future career option is to be able to understand what their favourite characters are saying in the dramas so they can understand the dramas more properly. 

This has led to many K-dramas and Kpop fans coming up in huge numbers for learning the Korean language in India. 

With the sudden surge of Korean dramas being watched by a lot of Indian students studying Korean language, below are the few sentences which are commonly used in Korean dramas and despite people not knowing the Korean language they are able to to understand and follow because of its quick and easier pronunciation similar to many Indian languages.

1. 가지 마 - Don't go.

가지 마 -Khaji-ma- The word consists of two words 가다 (khada) meaning "to go" and 마 (ma) meaning "to not do (something)".

You use it when you order someone to not leave~

  • 약속했잖아~ 가지 마 ! - You promised me~ Don't go !  
  • 가지 마 제발! - Don't go please!

2. 어떡해? - What to do?

어떡해 -o-tteok-hae- It consists of two words "어떻다" and "하다". 어떻다 meaning "how" and 하다 simply means "to do (something)".

You use it when asking "How?" Especially used while expressing resentment if not being able to figure out and ask " What to do about it ? ".

  • 깜빡했어 어떡해 ? - I forgot. What to do ?
  • 어떡해? 미쳤나 봐. - What to do ? I'm going crazy.

3. 왜 그래 ? - What's wrong ?

왜 그래 - wae geurae - It consists of "왜" and "그러다". 왜 meaning "Why" and 그래 meaning "do so/say so (something)". You use it when asking someone the reason for their behaviour or act. "Why?",  "What happened ?" or "What's wrong ?"

  • 표정이~ 왜 그래 - Expression~ What's wrong ?
  • 왜 그래? 무슨 일 있어? -  What's wrong? Did something happened ?

4. 사랑해 - I love you . 

사랑해 - aranghae- The word consists of "사랑" and "하다" which means "Love" and "to do" When used as an expression it means to love something. 

Not to mistake it with "좋아해" which means to like something. 

Use it when you confess your love to someone. 사랑해 is the way of saying "I love you" in Korean. Probably the most often used phrase in Korean dramas and songs. 

5. 약속해 - Promise me

약속 해 -yakssok hae- is used when you promise someone about something. 약속 literally means " promise " in English.

  • 전화 약속 해 - Promise to call me.

6. 보고 싶어 - Miss you !!

보고 싶어 -bogo sipo- word consists of two words "보다" and "싶다". Literally it means "to see". But the phrase is used to express when you miss someone and want to see someone or something. 

  • 빨리 와. 보고 싶어. - Come quickly. I miss you.
  • 오빠, 보고 싶어. - Brother, I miss you.

7. 미쳤어 ? - Are you crazy ?

미쳤어 -michosso- expression consists of the word "미쳤다" which means "to be crazy" in English. 

  • 왜 그래?  미쳤어 ? - What happened ? Are you crazy ?
  • 미쳤어 그만해 - Are you crazy ? Stop it.

8. 무슨 소리야? - What are you talking about ?

무슨 소리야 -museun soriya- expression consists if two words "무슨" and "소리" which literally translated to " what type" and "sound" in English.

It is used when someone makes a statement which is very stupid or you are not able to understand or something which came to your surprise.

Use this phrase to say " What do you mean?" "What are you talking about ?" or "What did you just say ?" 

  • 무슨 소리야 ? 장난하지 마 - What are you talking about ? Don't paly around.
  • 야! 무슨 소리야 - Hey! What do you mean?

9. 알았어 - Got it / Understood.

알았어 -arasso- Comes from the word "알다" which means "to know". When used in a phrase it means "to understand something." It is equivalent to saying "Okay got it !!" "Understood !!"  etc. 

  • 알았어! 갔다 올게 - Understood! I'll come back.
  • 어~ 알았어 !! - OH~ I got it!

10. 괜찮아? - Are you okay ?

괜찮아 -gwaenchana- comes from the word  "괜찮다" which means "to be okay". When asked it means " are you okay ? " It is another famous phrase which is heard more often in Korean dramas.

  • 어디 다쳤어 ? 괜찮아 ? - Are you hurt anywhere ? Are you okay ?
  • 무슨 일이야 ? 괜찮아? - What happened ? Are you okay ?

11. 죽을래 ? Do you want to die ?

죽을래 -jugeulrae- is used among friends and is generally used when you want to threaten someone by warning them to stop being annoying. 

  • 그만해~ 죽을래 ? - Stop it~ Do you want to die ?

12. 배 고파 - I'm hungry.

배고파! -bae gopa- is used to express when you are hungry. It consists of two words "배" and "고프다" meaning "stomach" and "hungry" respectively. 

  • 맛있겠다~ 배고파!! - It's crazy~ I'm hungry!!

13. 안 돼!! - No way !!

안 돼 -an dwae- This expression is used when you want to express dissatisfaction and surprise. "안" means "to not" and "돼" comes from "되다" meaning "to become/turn into". Literally it could be understood as "It can't be like that!!" 

  • 그런 말 어디서 배웠어 ? 안 돼!! -  Where did you learnt that ? No way!!

14. 거짓말이야 !! - It's a lie.

거짓말이야 -gojitmariya- It is especially used when you are taken aback by a lie. Is a regular phrase used to express dissatisfaction.

다 거짓말이야 !! -  Everything is a lie !!

15. 미안해 - I'm sorry

미안해 -mianhae-This expression is used when you are sorry and would want to apologize to someone. "미안 " literally means "sorry" and "하다" means "to do". So "미안해" means "to be sorry". 

16. 어쩔 건데 ? - What are you going to do about it ?

어쩔 건데 -ojjol gonde -This expression is used when you want to warn someone. Like other informal expressions this is also used among the people you are close with.

  • 뭐? 어쩔 건데 ? - What ? What are you going to do about it ?
  • 어쩔 건데? 상관없어. - What are you going to do ? I don't care.

17. 말도 안 돼 !! - It's nonsense.

말도 안 돼 -maldo an dwae- This expression is used when you are surprised by a person's remark or comment. By saying "말도 안 돼" you mean "it's a nonsense" and you don't believe it.

  • 헐 말도 안 돼 !! - Heol! It's a nonsense.

18. 몰라 !! I don't know.

몰라 -molra - When you don't know about a certain thing you simply say 몰라(molla). "몰라" comes from the word "모르다" meaning "to not know (something)" / "to not have experience of (something)".

  • 진짜! 몰라. - Really! I don't know.

19. 깜짝이야. You surprised/scared me.

깜짝이야 -kkamjjagiya- It is an exclamation which is uttered when suddenly frightened. It comes from the word "깜짝" meaning "startled".

  • 뭐야 깜짝이야~ - What You surprised me.

20. 잠깐만 - Wait a moment.

잠깐만 -jamkkanman-  literally means "just a moment". The word consists of "잠깐" which means "a little bit" and "만" means "only or just".

  • 잠깐만 기다려 - Wait for just a moment.

What phrase do you use? Is there any phrase you learnt watching K-dramas? Let us know below.

To understand how to read and write the Korean alphabet and join our online certificate course in order to fulfill your dream to work in Korea or appear for the TOPIK exam.

Please check these pages :

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If you are going to appear for the TOPIK test or just need a boost in Korean language we would strongly advise you to join our online certificate course. One reason is that this course is developed and taught by people who are not only top level experts in Korean language but also are passionate about teaching Korean and helping learners like you achieve their dreams.

If you're new to Korean language we would advise you to buy our KOREAN LANGUAGE FOR INDIAN LEARNERS book available on Amazon and Flipkart. Also available on Kindle.

Thank you.

Smriti Ekka

Smriti Ekka graduated in Commerce and Library science, and currently she is working as a content writer at TOPIK Guide website. She is a Korean language and culture enthusiast and has been working across multiple disciplines which broadly addresses narratives of similarities between Korean and Indian culture. Apart from being a content writer at TOPIK Guide she manages Annyeong India website and has had her pieces published in Learn Korean in India website as well. In her other life, she is a singer, rising entrepreneur, life enthusiast and a learner.

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