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Korean Lessons Say THIS in THIS Situation Speaking and Pronunciation

Korean Expressions : Thanking / Apology : 고마워요. / 감사합니다! / 미안해요. / 죄송합니다.

Korean Expressions : Thanking / Apology

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!

고마워요. / 감사합니다!
go-ma-wo-(yo) / gam-sa-hap-ni-da.
Thank you. / I appreciate it.

Grammar Breakdown
고맙다 = “to thank”
고마워 = “thank you”
감사 = “appreciation”
감사하다 = “to appreciate”

Formal : 고맙습니다.
Polite : 고마워요.
Casual : 고마워.

Formal 감사합니다.
Polite: 감사해요.
Casual: N/A

Just like English, there are two ways to express gratitude.

First is 고맙습니다 / 고마워요 / 고마워, which means “Thank You.”

The other is 감사합니다 / 감사해요, which means “I appreciate it.”

The former is more often used between people with intimacy, like your friend or siblings, or a stranger who’s younger than you.

On the other hand, the latter is more formal, so it’s used in official documents, or to someone with higher rank or much older than you, like your parents, teachers, or boss. That’s why there’s no casual form for 감사합니다. Of course, you could use the formal form 고맙습니다, but again, it’s similar to the difference in nuance between “thank you” vs “I appreciate it”, so it’s best to use 감사합니다 to be on the safe side.

미안해(요). / 죄송합니다.
mi-an-hae-(yo) / joe-song-hap-ni-da
I’m sorry. / I apologize.

Grammar Breakdown
미안 = “sorry”
미안하다 = “to be sorry” (base form)
죄송 = “apology”
죄송하다 = “to apologize” (base form)

Formal : 미안합니다.
Polite : 미안해요.
Casual : 미안해.

Formal 죄송합니다.
Polite: 죄송해요.
Casual: N/A

Similar to 고맙습니다 / 감사합니다 = “Thank you” / “I appreciate it” we just learned, 미안합니다 / 죄송합니다 have the same relationship, because the former is “I’m sorry” and the latter is “I apologize.”

미안합니다 / 미안해요 / 미안해 is more often used between people with intimacy, like your friend or siblings, or a stranger who’s younger than you.

On the other hand, the latter is more formal, so it’s used in official documents, or to someone with higher rank or much older than you, like your parents, teachers, or boss. That’s why there’s no casual form for 죄송합니다.

For foreigners traveling to Korea, get to know to say 죄송합니다 in case you make a mistake, over the 미안합니다 form because it carries more formality.

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