-요 and 습니다 are both polite sentence endings, but they are used for different situations.
-요 is used for friendly/informal situations. Koreans use -요 for normal/daily conversations, you can use this to anyone who are older than you or you want to express respect.
On the other hand, 습니다 is used more for formal situations like work meetings, conferences, writing, army base, and TV news etc.
|진주는 제 친구예요.
||진주는 제 친구입니다.
|이 학교는 좋아요.
||이 학교는 좋습니다.
If you want to learn more about 이에요, please click here.
If you want to learn more about 아요/어요/해요, please click here.
If you want to learn more about 습니다/ㅂ니다, please click here.
If you want to learn more about the honorific speech, please click here.
In English, people often say “I like your hat!” or “I like your shoes!” if someone is wearing a cool hat or nice shoes. You shouldn’t translate it as “그 모자 좋아해요!” or “신발 좋아해요!” into Korean because “I like your hat!” doesn’t mean “I LIKE it”, it actually means “Your hat is nice.”
If you say “모자/신발 좋아해요” in Korean, it means “I like it” such as “I like apples” or “I like ice cream.”. Therefore you have to say “모자가 멋있어요.(The hat is cool)” or “신발이 예뻐요(The shoes are pretty)” or “모자가 잘 어울려요(The hat fits you very well).”
좋아하(다): to like
멋있(다): to be cool, awesome
예쁘(다): to be pretty
잘 어울리(다): to fit well, match well
–아/어/여요: a sentence ending for present tense
어떻게(adverb) means ‘how’ and ‘해요(verb)‘ means ‘do’, so 어떻게 해요 means ‘what should I(you) do?”. And 어떡해요(adjective) is a short form for 어떻게 해요. Therefore, both mean “what should I do?”. They are used for when some BAD thing happened.
In conversations, it can be translated “Oh, no”, “Oh, my god!” or “Too bad”. I heard that a lot of people say ‘미안해요’ when they hear bad news because in English, they say “I am sorry to hear that.” when they hear a bad thing.
But “미안해요.” means “sorry/apologize”, not ‘feel sorry’. You can say “아이고, 어떡해요.” or “어머, 정말 안 됐네요.(It is too bad)”.
A: 200만원을 잃어버렸어요. I lost 2,000,000 Won.
B: 아이고, 어떡해요. 그거 등록금이잖아요. Oh, my god! That was your tuition!
B: 왜 울고 있어요? 무슨 일 있어요? Why are you crying? What happened?
A: 어제 우리 집 강아지가 갑자기 죽었어요. My dog suddenly died yesterday.
B: 어머, 어떡해요… 무슨 병이 있었어요? Oh, no… Was he sick before?
A: 지난 주에 정민 씨가 남자 친구하고 헤어졌어요. Jungmin broke up with her boyfriend last week.
B: 어머, 정말 안 됐네요. 정민 씨가 남자 친구를 많이 좋아했잖아요. That’s too bad, Jungmin really like him, right?
나 and 저 both mean ‘I’ or ‘me’. 저 is a humble way to say 나. When you talk to a person who is older or higher position than you or stranger, you have to use 저. On the other hand, 나 is used for friends(the same age) or a person who is younger than you. Therefore 나 is often used with casual endings which is 아/어/여 or ㄴ/는다 while 저 is often used with polite endings such as -아/어/여요 or -(스)ㅂ니다.
나 and 저 are often used with particles like 이/가(subject particles), 을/를(object particles), 한테(to), 하고(with/and). For example,
나+가 => 내가(it is not 나가)
저+가 => 제가 (it is not 저가)
나+를 => 나를
저+를 => 저를
나+한테 => 나한테
저+한테 => 저한테
나+하고 => 나하고
저+하고 => 저하고
그 사람이 나를 좋아한다.
그 사람이 저를 좋아합니다.
What is ㅋㅋ in Korean?
It is a chatting word which means “laugh” or “funny”. One of the laughing sounds in Korean is 크크, so we just write that without vowels. There is also ㅎㅎ, which is 하하.
So if you see something funny, you can leave ㅋㅋ or ㅎㅎ.
오래 means ‘a long time’ and 오랫동안 means ‘for long time’, which 동안 means ‘for (time)’. 오래 and 오랫동안 are often switchable.
오래 기다렸어요. I waited for a long time. (=오랫동안)
남자 친구하고 오래 사귀었어요. I have been dating with my boyfriend for a long time. (=오랫동안)
여기에서 오래 살고 싶어요. I want to live here for a long time. (=오랫동안)
오래 앉아 있으면 허리가 아파요. My back is sore if I sit for a long time. (=오랫동안)
* 오래 안 걸릴 거예요. It won’t take long. (It is weird if the verb is 걸리다 which means ‘take time’)
오랜만 (or 오래간만) means ‘do something that you have not done for a long time’. For example,
오랜만이에요. It has been a long time (since we saw last time)
오랜만에 피자를 먹었어요. I ate pizza. (I had not had pizza for a long time)
오랜만에 친구를 만났어요. I met my friend. (I had not seen him/her for a long time)
오랜만에 영화를 봤어요. I watched a movie. (I had not seen a movie for a while)
오랜만에 오셨네요. You came! (You have not been here for a long time)
There are several ways to say thank you in Korean. 감사합니다 is the most polite way and formal way to say ‘Thank you’. 고맙습니다is a little less formal but still polite. 고마워요 is a friendly way to say, so you can use this to a person who are close to you, but not the same age friend. 고마워 is used between friends who are the same age or to a person who is younger than you.
For saying sorry, there are also many ways to say. 죄송합니다 is the most polite and formal way to say ‘I am so sorry’, it is usually to an old person or bosses. 미안합니다 is less formal than 죄송합니다, but it is still polite. 미안해요 is the most common because it is a friendly way to say ‘I am sorry’. You can use this to your generation, but not to elders. Between friends who are the same age, you can say 미안해 which is very casual.
There is one more thing I want to add in this post, which is “Happy birthday!”. It is 생일 축하합니다 or 생일 축하해요 생일 means ‘birthday’ and 축하합니다/축하해요 mean ‘Congratulations’.
The birthday song in Korean is
생일 축하합니다. 생일 축하합니다. 사랑하는 ㅇㅇㅇ(name), 생일 축하합니다.
You can sing this song for your Korean friends! You can click a link below to listen to the full song.
When you learn Korean, you will hear terms like formal, polite and honorific. I want to explain this to you in this post.
Formality is about situation. You use formal endings like -습니다, -는다 when you have business meetings, presentations or ceremonies. For normal situations(non-formal) like talking to family, friends or people who you know well, you can use -아/어/여요 or -아/어/여.
Politeness is about listener. When you talk to someone who is older that you or higher position, you should use polite endings like 습니다 or 아/어/여요. When you talk to someone who is the same age as you or younger, you will use -는다 or -아/어/여.
비가 왔습니다. (formal, polite : news anchor)
비가 왔어요. (non-formal, polite : a kid to a mom)
비가 온다. (formal, non-polite : writing a diary, news paper, books)
비가 와. (non-formal, non-polite : between friends or to young people)
Honorific forms are used when a subject is a person who is older generation or higher position while politeness is about listener. You will use -(으)시 after verbs and adjectives. For example,
You can study honorific forms by clicking here.
One more thing, 저 and 나 both are ‘I’ or ‘me’. 저 is humble way which is polite, 나 is non-polite. So if you use 저(I,me), you’d better use -(스)ㅂ니다 or -아/어/여요. On the other hand, if you use 나, you can use -ㄴ/는다 or 아/어/여.
안녕하세요. means ‘Hello’ when you meet someone. It is very polite, so you can use anyone. Between friends(the same age), you can just say 안녕 which is very casual.
When you say ‘Good bye’, there are two different ones. If you leave, you will say ‘안녕히 계세요’ which means ‘Stay well’. If you stay, you will say ‘안녕히 가세요’ which means ‘Go well’.
When you both leave like on the street, you both say ‘안녕히 가세요’, whereas when you hang up the phone, you both say ‘안녕히 계세요’.
Let’s practice 안녕하세요. 안녕히 가세요. and 안녕히 계세요. with these videos.
안녕히 계세요. Stay well, good bye.
안녕히 가세요. Go well, good bye.