Korean: Thank you, apologies, and phrases to use when asking for help


Thanks (감사), apologies (사과), and requests (부탁) are very common in conversations between people. This is especially true in a society like Korea, which places a lot of importance on status and etiquette. In this note, we will introduce a few common phrases, so let's learn them together.

If you are using Chrome or an Android phone, you can listen to the pronunciation by clicking on the Korean in the table or the Korean in the example sentences in the article!

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Thanks (감사), apologies (사과), and requests (부탁) are very common in conversations between people. This is especially true in a society like Korea, which places a lot of importance on status and etiquette. In this note, we will introduce a few common phrases, so let's learn them together.

Thanks 감사

Depending on the status of the recipient, the phrases used will vary. Here are six thank-you phrases in order of the status of the recipient.

고마워

Non honorific usage. Used for a younger generation or a friend.

고맙다

Non honorific usage. Used for a younger person or a subordinate.

고마워요

It is more polite than 고맙다 and 고마워. It is used for juniors, friends, subordinates, family members, lovers, or people who are close to you.
When used with non-family elders, it may be unpleasant and impolite. Be careful when using it.

감사해요

It is used for younger people, friends, subordinates, family members, lovers or people who are close to you.

감사합니다

Usage of honorific. It can be used with elders, superiors or people of higher status. It is also often used in formal situations.

감사드립니다

It is a higher level of respect than 감사합니다. However, it is also relatively stiffer. Usually used in very formal situations.

Also, 정말 and 진짜 both mean 'really'. Among them, 정말 is a little more polite than 진짜.
Adding 정말 and 진짜 can emphasize the meaning of thanks more.

apologies 사과

There are many different ways to apologize, depending on the status and closeness of the other person.
The following are some of the commonly used phrases.

죄송합니다

This is a very common and polite usage. It is suitable for all occasions.

진심으로 죄송합니다

진심으로 means "from the heart". The whole phrase means "I am truly sorry".

미안합니다

Polite usage. Compared to 죄송합니다, this usage is a bit softer.

미안해

Oral usage of 미안합니다. It is used only for the younger generation and friends. You should still use 미안합니다 with elders.

미안

The omitted usage of 미안해. It is also used only for the younger generation and friends.

용서 해 주세요

Please forgive me.
Please use it when you ask for forgiveness.

한 번만 봐 주세요

Please forgive me this time.
Please forgive me this time, and there is the meaning of not doing it again.

잘 못하다

I made a mistake

잘못했어요

잘 못하다 is an honorific. It also means "I made a mistake".

잘못했습니다.

The honorific of "잘 못하다".

사과합니다

Apologize
사과 is the noun for apology. It also means apple. Therefore, there is a culture of giving apples when apologizing in Korea.
It is used for formal apologies.

진심으로 사과드립니다

I sincerely apologize

Asking 부탁

There are many occasions in life when you ask for help and action. Here are some common phrases to ask for help.

부탁합니다

please

가르쳐 주세요

Please teach me

기다려 주세요

Please wait

써 주세요

Please write

도와 주세요

Please help

그만 하세요

Please stop

가지 마세요

Please don't go

천천히 말해 주세요

Please speak slowly

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