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Discover 10 Korean phrases for beginners

If you’re just starting to learn Korean, it can be daunting to figure out where to begin. One great place to start is with the top 10 Korean phrases for beginners. These phrases include greetings, polite expressions, and essential questions that will help you navigate everyday conversations.

By learning these key phrases, you’ll be able to build a solid foundation for your Korean language learning journey. Let’s dive in and explore the 10 Korean phrases every beginner should know.

1. 안녕하세요 (Annyeonghaseyo) – Hello

“Annyeonghaseyo” is the most common way to say “hello” in Korean. It is a polite phrase that can be used with people of any age or social status. Practice this greeting to make a great first impression when meeting new people.

2. 안녕히 가세요 (Annyeonghi gaseyo) – Goodbye (to someone staying)

“Annyeonghi gaseyo” is used when you are the one leaving and the person you are speaking to is staying. This phrase is a polite way to say “goodbye” and wish the other person well.

3. 안녕히 계세요 (Annyeonghi gyeseyo) – Goodbye (to someone leaving)

Conversely, “Annyeonghi gyeseyo” is used when the person you are speaking to is the one leaving, and you are staying. This is another polite way to say “goodbye” and show respect.

Polite Phrases

4. 감사합니다 (Gamsahamnida) – Thank you

Expressing gratitude is important in any language. “Gamsahamnida” is a polite way to say “thank you” in Korean. Use this phrase to show appreciation for someone’s help, kindness, or hospitality.

5. 죄송합니다 (Joesonghamnida) – I’m sorry

Knowing how to apologize is crucial for smooth communication. “Joesonghamnida” is a formal and polite way to say “I’m sorry” in Korean. Use this phrase when you’ve made a mistake or need to apologize for any inconvenience.

6. 실례합니다 (Sillyehamnida) – Excuse me

“Sillyehamnida” is a polite way to say “excuse me” in Korean. This phrase is useful when you need to get someone’s attention, ask for assistance, or apologize for a minor offense like accidentally bumping into someone.

Essential Questions

7. 얼마예요? (Eolmayeyo?) – How much is it?

When shopping or making purchases, it’s important to know how to ask for the price. “Eolmayeyo?” is a simple way to inquire about the cost of an item in Korean.

8. 어디예요? (Eodiyeoyo?) – Where is it?

Asking for directions or the location of something is essential when traveling or exploring a new place. “Eodiyeoyo?” is the Korean phrase to ask “where is it?” Use this question to find your way around or locate specific places.

9. 영어를 하실 줄 아세요? (Yeongeoreul hasil jul aseyo?) – Do you speak English?

If you’re still learning Korean, it’s helpful to know if someone speaks English. “Yeongeoreul hasil jul aseyo?” is the Korean way to ask if someone speaks English. This question can be a lifesaver when you’re struggling to communicate.

10. 잠시만요 (Jamsimanyo) – Just a moment, please

“Jamsimanyo” is a useful expression for asking someone to wait for a brief moment. This phrase is polite and can be used when you need a short pause, whether you’re taking a phone call, searching for something, or asking for patience while you think or process information.


These 10 Korean phrases for beginners will help you build a solid foundation for your language learning journey. By practicing these phrases, you’ll be able to communicate more effectively and enhance your experiences with Korean speakers. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be shy about using these phrases in real-life situations. Keep expanding your Korean vocabulary, and soon you’ll be able to engage in more complex conversations.

How can I practice these essential Korean phrases effectively?

Practice with native speakers through language exchange programs, repeat phrases out loud, or use language learning apps to improve your pronunciation and retention.

What are some other important Korean phrases for beginners to learn?

Learn phrases related to ordering food, asking for directions, and introducing yourself, as these are common situations you may encounter.

How can I improve my Korean pronunciation?

Listen to native speakers, watch Korean TV shows and movies, and practice speaking with Korean friends or language partners.

What are some tips for learning Korean as a beginner?

Start with basic phrases, learn the Korean alphabet (Hangul), practice consistently, and immerse yourself in the language through media and conversations with native speakers.

How can I practice my Korean speaking skills with native speakers?

Join language exchange programs, attend local language meetups, or connect with Korean speakers through online platforms and social media.

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