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Korean Lessons Say THIS in THIS Situation Speaking and Pronunciation

Korean Expressions : Greeting and Introducing Yourself : 안녕하세요 / 제 이름은

Korean Expressions : Greeting

Welcome to Say THIS in THIS situation! If you aren’t completely familiar with Korean grammar, we also have grammar lessons for beginners. You might want to check them out as well!

안녕하세요?
an-nyŏng-ha-se-yo
Hello, how are you?

Grammar Breakdown
안녕 = at peace
하세요? = are you? (formal)

Formal : 안녕하십니까?
Polite : 안녕하세요?
Casual : 안녕?

What are the different formality levels? Learn about them here.

Also, if you want to learn about the cultural aspect, check out this article Jondaetmal 존댓말 vs. Banmal 반말 – Fine line between formal and casual talking. Learn the difference and how to properly talk to a Korean!

If you need to memorize just one expression in Korean, this should be it. When taken literally, it means “Are you at peace?”, but colloquially, it means “Hello, how are you?” because in English, when you ask “How are you?” you’re not literally asking how you are doing. This is a formal way of saying it. If you want to go casual, drop the 하세요 and just say 안녕?

As you will notice as we go on, when a sentence ends in ~니까? it mostly formal, ~요 is polite. In K-pop and K-dramas, you can tell how close the characters are by identifying the rule. When a man and woman meet for the first time, they say 안녕하세요, but after they become a couple, they say 안녕 to each other.

Also, the casual form 안녕 can be used as “good bye”.

제 이름은 김철수입니다.
je-i-rŭm-ŭn kim-chŏl-su-ip-ni-da
My name is OOO.

Grammar Breakdown
제/내 = my (formal)/(casual)
이름 = name
은/는 = subject marker
이다 = “to be” (base form)
입니다 = is (formal)

Formal : 제 이름은 김철수입니다.
Polite: 제 이름은 김철수예요.
Casual: 내 이름은 김철수야.

Now that you know how to say hello, it’s time to learn to introduce yourself. Here, 제 is the formal way of saying “my”, while 내 is the casual way. Similarly, 입니다 is the Korean equivalent of “to be” verb. 입니다 is the formal, while 예요 is polite, 이다 is plain / commanding and 야/이야 is casual.

The “OOO은/는 OOO입니다 (OOO is OOO.)” is the most frequently used form in Korean.

만나서 반가워. / 저도 반가워요.
man-na-sŏ ban-ga-wŏ / jŏ-do ban-ga-wŏ-yo
It’s nice to meet you. / It’s nice to meet you, too.

Grammar Breakdown
만나서 = by/for meeting
저/나 = I (formal)/(casual)
도 = too, also
반가워 = it’s nice (casual)

Formal : 만나서 반갑습니다.
Polite: 만나서 반가워요.
Casual: 만나서 반가워.

Formal : 저도 반갑습니다.
Polite: 저도 반가워요.
Casual: 나도 반가워.

Let’s learn how to say “nice to meet you”. In the example 만나서 반가워, pay attention to 만나서, because verb + ~서 means by/for verb. Knowing the verb conjugation rule, the base form for “to meet” 만나다 is conjugated by dropping the stem 다, and combined with ~서 to form 만나서, to mean “by/for meeting”. When put together with 반가워 “it’s nice”, it becomes “it’s nice for meeting (you).

To answer, you can say 저도 반갑습니다/반가워요 or 나도 반갑다/반가워, or simply say 저도요 or 나도.

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