Korean Expressions : Flirting / Asking Out
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저기요, / 혹시 시간 있어요?
jŏ-gi-yo, / hok-shi shi-gan it-ssŏ-yo?
Excuse me / Hello, there / Do you have time by any chance?
저기 = “there”
혹시 = “perhaps / by any chance”
있다 = “there is” / “to have”
Formal : 저기요,
Polite : 저기요,
Casual : 저기,
Formal 혹시 시간 있습니까?
Polite: 혹시 시간 있어요?
Casual: 혹시 시간 있어?
Often times, Korean people prefer indirect speech. So when trying to grab someone’s attention, instead of saying “Hey, you!”, Koreans say 저기요, which literally means, “Over there”. As the meaning goes, it could be used in the following situations:
화장실이 어디죠? Where is the restroom?
저기요. Over there.
저기요, “Hello, there -” = “Excuse, me”
주문할게요. “I’d like to order.”
혹시 means “perhaps” / “by any chance”, and 시간 있어요? is NOT asking what time it is but whether you have time or not, most likely to ask someone out.
Combined, 저기요, 혹시 시간 있어요? “Hello there, do you have time by any chance?”
So in a sense, it’s a “reconnaissance” expression to gauge the listeners interest.
네? / 무슨 일이죠?
ne? / mu-sŭn il-i-jyo?
Huh? / What is it about?
네 = “yes” (formal) / 응 = “yes” (casual)
무슨 = “what”
일 = occasion / business
이죠? = is it?
Formal : 네? 무슨 일입니까?
Polite : 네? 무슨 일이죠?
Casual : 응? 무슨 일이야?
When answering someone, or to double-check what someone said, you can say “네?”, which literally means “yes?” but colloquially means “excuse me?” 응 is the casual form of 네, and you can use it to your friends, or people close to you (e.g., family members).
무슨 means “what” and 일 means “occasion / business” and 이죠 means “is it?”. Put together,
무슨 일이죠? means “What is (the business) about?”
You can put different nouns in place of 일,
무슨 말이죠? Here, 말 means “saying” so it means “What are you saying?”
무슨 색이죠? Here, 색 means “color”, so it means “What color is it?”
번호 좀 알려주세요. / 누구세요?
bŏn-ho jom al-lyŏ-ju-se-yo. / nu-gu-se-yo?
Please let me know your number. Who are you? = Who is it?
번호 = “number”
좀 = “please”
알리다 = “to notify”
~아/어/려/여주세요 =”please do sth for me”
누구 = “who”
세요? = “is it?” (polite)
Formal : 번호 좀 알려주십시오.
Polite : 번호 좀 알려주세요.
Casual : 번호 좀 알려줘.
Here, 번호 means “number”, so that’s easy.
~아/어/려/여주세요 = “please do (verb) for me”, so 알다 “to know” becomes 알려주세요 which means “please let me know/teach me”.
보여주다 “to show” -> 보여주세요 “please show me” and
달리다 “to run” -> 달려주세요 “please run (for me)”
앉다 “to sit” -> 앉아주세요 “please sit (for me)”
먹다 “to eat” -> 먹어주세요 “please eat (for me)”
좀 means “a little” or “a few”, but when used in conjunction with the word 제발 “please”, it can also be used colloquially to emphasize the “please”.
If you to emphasis what you want, 제발 좀 조용히 해라 means “Please (do) be quiet.” Here, you can see that 좀 is translated as “do”, to show that it emphasizes “please”.
Also, also 좀 has another use. When a speaker feels sorry to ask something to the other, it can be used to soften the nuance. For example,
이거 해줄래? Could you do this for me?
이거 좀 해줄래? Could you please do this for me? <- Here, it’s translated as “please”.
a speaker wants someone to buy something but feels sorry or a bit uncomfortable to ask this.
누구 means “who” and ~세요? is the polite form of “is it?” “are you?”, so 누구세요 is “Who is it?” or “Who are you?”. It’s what you’d say when someone knocks on your door.
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