Greetings, Thanks and Other Expressions
(1) 안녕? An-nyeong?
(Very casual – not used among adults)
(2) 안녕하세요? (Honorific)
How are you?
(3) 안녕하십니까? (Honorific, formal)
How are you?
(4) 만나서 반가워. (Casual)
Nice to meet you.
(5) 만나서 반갑습니다. (Formal)
Pleased to meet you.
(6) 처음 뵙겠습니다. (Formal)
It’s a pleasure to meet you.
(Lit. First time see you)
(7) 오래간만입니다. (Formal)
It’s been a long time.
Long time no see.
(9) 어떻게 지내세요?
How are you doing?
(10) 잘 지내요.
I am fine.
(11) 그저 그래요.
(12) 또 뵙겠습니다. (Formal)
Hope to see you again.
(13) 미안합니다. (Formal)
(14) 늦어서 미안합니다. (Formal)
I am sorry, I’m late.
(15) 괜찮습니다. (Formal)
It’s all right.
(16) 괜찮아. (Casual)
(19) 고마워. (Casual)
(Lit. It is not.)
Wait a minute, please.
(26) 아니요/ 아뇨.
(28) 잘 가. (Casual)
(to someone leaving)
(29) 안녕히 가세요. (Honorific)
(to someone leaving)
(30) 안녕히 가십시오.(Honorific, formal)
(to someone leaving)
(31) 잘 있어. (Casual)
(to someone staying)
(32) 안녕히 계세요. (Honorific)
(to someone staying)
(33) 안녕히 계십시오.(Honorific, formal)
(to someone staying)
+i-e-yo/ye-yo ‘am’; ‘are’; ‘is’
We use ending +이에요 (i-e-yo) or +예요 (ye-yo) when we want to say
who someone is. In English, you have to change the verb ‘to be’ depending
on who you are talking about. For example “I am…”, “You are…”, “She is
…”, “They are…”. However, in Korean, the change is dependant on the last
letter of the person’s name is a vowel or consonant.
If the noun ends in a vowel: +예요 (ye-yo)
저는 김민서예요. I am Minseo Kim.
Jeo-neun Kim Minseo-ye-yo.
If it ends in a consonant: +이에요 (i-e-yo)
저는 김민준이에요. I am Minjun Kim.
Jeo-neun Kim Minjun-i-e-yo.
This structure has the general form ‘A is B’ (when B is a noun and not an
adjective) and is therefore widely used. Note that A must be a noun,
pronoun or wh-question word, and B must be a noun and not an adjective.
For example, you cannot use this form to say “He is stupid”. You will study
this in more detail further on.
The very casual version of +이에요 (i-e-yo) or +예요 (ye-yo) is +이야 (i-ya)
or +야 (ya) which follow the exactly same rule explained above. The formal
version however has only one form, +입니다 (im-ni-da).
Noun + i-e-yo/ye-yo (Polite)
Noun + i-ya/ya (Casual)
Noun + im-ni-da (Formal)
After greeting somebody for the first time, you can say:
만나서 반갑습니다. It’s nice to meet you.
처음 뵙겠습니다. I’m pleased to meet you.
And then introduce yourself:
Robert 입니다. (I) am Robert.
Robert 라고 합니다. (I) am Robert. (Lit. I am called ‘Robert’.)
You may have noticed that the pronoun ‘I’ is omitted, as is normally the
case in Korean sentences where the subject is obvious.
When referring to the person you are addressing, the Korean pronoun for
‘you’ is almost never used:
Robert 니? Are (you) Robert?
When introducing somebody, you can use:
(이분은) 김 선생님이세요. (Honorific)
I-bun-eun Kim Seon-saeng-nim-i-se-yo
This (distinguished person) is Mr. Kim.
(이쪽은) John 이에요. (Polite)
This (person) is John.
제 친구 Paul 입니다. (Formal)
Je chin-gu ‘Paul’-im-n-ida.
This is my friend, Paul.
Paul 이야. (Casual)
This is Paul.
You will notice that the term for ‘this (person)’ is different in each sentence,
and so is the final ending. The term and ending used in the first sentence
show a greater level of respect, and are termed ‘honorific’. (이분은 literally
means ‘this distinguished person’, whereas 이쪽은 literally means ‘over
here’.) You can also introduce someone without saying “This is” in casual
speech. The use of different verb endings will be introduced in the next unit.
There are three basic ways to greet someone in Korean, depending on what
degree of politeness and/or formality the situation requires:
안녕? (Very casual – not used among adults)
안녕하십니까? (Honorific, formal)
1) Generally, you should use the honorific form:
2) However, when a student greets a teacher, the formal expression can be
Student: 선생님,1 안녕하십니까?
3) And when two young people bump into each other on the street, they can
just say 안녕? (An-nyeong?).
(1) 책 펴세요.
Chaek pyeoseyo. Open your book.
(2) 잘 들으세요.
Jal deureuseyo. Listen carefully.
(3) 따라 하세요.
Ttara haseyo. Repeat after me.
(4) 읽어 보세요.
Ilgeo boseyo Please read.
(5) 대답해 보세요.
Daedapae boseyo. Answer (the question).
(6) 써 보세요.
Sseo boseyo. Please write it.
Algesseoyo? Do you understand?
(8) 네, 알겠어요.
Ne, algesseoyo. Yes, I understand.
(9) [아뇨] 잘 모르겠는데요.
[Anyo] jal moreugenneundeyo. No, I don’t really understand…
(10) 질문 있어요?
Jilmun isseoyo? Do you have any questions?
(11) 네, 있는데요.
Ne, inneundeyo. Yes, I have (a question).
(12) [질문] 없는데요.
[Jilmun] eomneundeyo I don’t have (any questions).
(13) 천천히 [말씀]해 주세요.
Cheoncheonhi [malsseum]hae juseyo. Please speak/say it slowly.
Ijeobeoryeonneundeyo. I’ve forgotten.
(15) “Test” 한국어로 뭐예요?
“Test” hangugeoro mwoyeyo? How do you say “test” in Korean?
(16) “시험”이라고 해요.
“Siheom”irago haeyo. You say “siheom”.
(17) 한국말로 하세요.
Hangungmallo haseyo. Please speak/say it in Korean.
(18) 다시 한번 해 보세요.
Dasi hanbeon hae boseyo Try it again.
Majasseoyo. That’s correct.
Teullyeonneundeyo. That’s not right.
(21) 오늘은 이만 하겠어요.
Oneureun iman hagesseoyo. We’ll stop here today.
The nasal consonants are ㄴ and ㅁ. To keep pronunciation easy and flowing some consonants get changed before these two consonants as shown below:
Some p-based sounds become ‘m’:
ㅂ, ㅍ —> ㅁ sound Some t, s, ch, and h-based sounds become ‘n’:
ㄷ, ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅆ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅎ —> ㄴ sound k/g based sounds become ‘ng’, like in English singer (not sin-ger)
ㄱ, ㅋ, ㄲ —> ㅇ sound
ㄹ also has its own assimilation rules. If ㄹ and ㄴ come together, the ㄹ wins (don’t say the ㄴ at all). It means the n BECOMES an l. If ㄹ comes before an ‘ｉ’ or ‘y’ sound the ㄹ sound is doubled. More of an ‘l’ sound than an ‘r’ sound.
ㄹ + ㄴ —> double ㄹ (l) sound
ㄹ + (이, 야, 여, 유, etc.) —> double ㄹ (l) sound
The following shows the difference between untensed and tensed consonants in Korean: Untensed
Sometimes it’s easier to tense a consonant when it’s before another strong consonant, rather than assimilating it like we did with the nasal consonants
ㄴ and ㅁ. Examples
Aspiration and ㅎ weakening
The ‘h’ sound is very weak in English as well as Korean. For example, when you pronounce ‘hour’ it sounds like ‘our’. The ‘ㅎ’ tends to become silent in casual speech between vowels, after the nasal consonants ㄴ and ㅁ, or after the consonant ㄹ.
말해 봐 마래 봐
When ㅎ precedes or follows immediately ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ or ㅈ, it becomes silent but making these soft consonants harder (or aspirated): Softer
Pronouncing Final Consonants
All the consonants except for ㄸ, ㅃ and ㅉ can be final consonants. However, there are only seven final consonant sounds when pronouncing individual syllables. These are called Batchim (받침) and have their own sound:
Consonant Sound Example
(1) ㄱ k 극장 cinema
(2) ㄴ n 눈 eye; snow
(3) ㄷ t 듣기 listening
(4) ㄹ r/ l 발 foot
(5) ㅁ m 음악 music
(6) ㅂ p 밥 cooked rice; meal
(7) ㅇ ng 싱가포르 Singapore Other final consonants take on one of the above seven end consonant sounds: Consonant Sound Example
(8) ㅋ ——> k (ㄱ) 부엌 kitchen
(9) ㄲ ——> k (ㄱ) 깎다 cut down
(10) ㅅ ——> t (ㄷ) 옷 clothes
(11) ㅆ ——> t (ㄷ) 샀다 bought
(12) ㅈ ——> t (ㄷ) 낮 daytime
(13) ㅊ ——> t (ㄷ) 꽃 flower
(14) ㅌ ——-> t (ㄷ) 끝 end
(15) ㅎ ——> t (ㄷ) 히읗 the name of Korean letter ‘ㅎ’
(16) ㅍ ——> p (ㅂ) 앞 front
Every syllable is written to fit into the same imaginary square box—no matter how many characters are in the syllable. How the box is divided up depends first on the shape of the vowel. When you look at the pure vowels, you will see that they have a predominant shape. Thus we can think of them as being vertical: ㅏ ㅓ ㅣ ㅐ ㅔ, horizontal: ㅗ ㅜ ㅡ, or combined: ㅚ .
Have a look at how the vowel shapes the syllable: With vertical vowels with no end consonant, the box is divided vertically in half, with the initial consonant on the left and the vowel on the right:
가 커 이 새 테
With vertical vowels with an end consonant, the space for the initial consonant and vowel is reduced to allow room underneath for the final consonant:
강 컴 일 색 텐
With horizontal vowels with no end consonant, the box is divided in half horizontally, with the initial consonant at the top and the vowel at the bottom:
도 우 크 괴
With horizontal vowels with an end consonant, again the end consonant is placed at the bottom. The initial consonant and vowel are pushed upwards:
돈 움 클 굉
(1) 레몬 lemon
(2) 버스 bus
(3) 슈퍼마켓 supermarket
(4) 아이스크림 ice cream
(5) 앨범 album
(6) 오렌지 orange
(7) 주스 juice
(8) 카세트 cassette
(9) 캥거루 kangaroo
(10) 커피 coffee
(11) 컴퓨터 computer
(12) 택시 taxi
(13) 테니스 tennis
(14) 텔레비전 television
(15) 피아노 piano
(16) 피자 pizza
(17) 햄버거 hamburger
(18) 호텔 hotel
(1) 꼬리 tail
(2) 따라 하세요 repeat after me
(3) 바빠요 (I am) busy
(4) 짜요 (It is) salty
(5) 싸요 (It is) cheap
(1) 차 cha tea; car
(2) 차표 cha-pyo railroad (bus, streetcar) ticket
(3) 카드 ka-deu card
(4) 카메라 ka-me-ra camera
(5) 타자기 ta-ja-gi typewriter
(6) 타이어 ta-i-o tire
(7) 파도 pa-do wave
(8) 파리 pa-ri Paris
(1) 가나 ka-na Ghana (African country)
(2) 나라 na-ra country
(3) 다리 ta-ri leg; bridge
(4) 라디오 ra-di-o radio
(5) 마차 ma-cha carriage
(6) 바다 pa-da ocean
(7) 사자 sa-ja lion
(8) 자 ja ruler
(9) 하나 ha-na one
(10) 아기 a-gi baby
(11) 아내 a-nae wife
(12) 아래 a-rae under; below
(13) 아마 a-ma perhaps
(14) 아시아 a-si-a Asia
(15) 아리아 a-ri-a aria
There are twelve combination vowels:
‘i’ + a, eo, o, u, ae, e
(1) ㅑ ya (as in yard) 야구 baseball
(2) ㅕ yeo (between yawn and young) 여자 female
(3) ㅛ yo (similar to yor- of New York) 요리사 chef
(4) ㅠ yu (as in new) 유리 glass
(5) ㅒ yae (as in yam) 얘기 story
(6) ㅖ ye (as in yes) 예 yes
‘o’ + a, ae, i
(7) ㅘ wa (as in Washington) 과자 sweets
(8) ㅙ wae (as in swam) 왜 why
‘u’ + o, e, i
(9) ㅝ wo (as in was) 뭐 what
(10) ㅞ we (as in wet) 웨이터 waiter
(11) ㅟ wi (as in weak) 귀 ear
‘eu’ + i
(12) ㅢ ui (as in ‘can we’ if you say it quickly)