How-to Korean: say ‘PLEASE’ (video)

This is the first video in the ‘how-to korean’ series here at learnkoreanonline.net. The question asked was, “How do you say please in Korean.

Watch the video to find out. And after, if you have any more questions, feel free to reply to this post and ask away.

Cheers, and happy learning!

p.s. by the way, I will never use phonetics in my videos. If you plan on learning Korean, then the absolute first thing you should do is learn how to read and write. And if you’d like to do so, head over to this page and register for the 4 hours of free videos taken from my in-class course that has been running here in Korea since 2006. The first two classes you get will teach you exactly how to read, write, and say the Korean alphabet. Then the next two classes will get into the basic sentence. So if you are interested in learning Korean, go get those videos and they’ll make the video above, and the ones to come, make A LOT more sense.

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Leave A Reply (8 comments so far)


  1. sadagopan venkatesan

    Dear Mr.Rob Julien,

    I am working in Automobile industry as a Design Engineer, I need technical terms in korean
    language,because this is very difficult to communicate korean people.

    Can you help me…

    Your online korean language class very very usefull for me..

    Thank you very much,
    With regards,
    Venki
    mail: venkatesan_cad@yahoo.co.in

  2. Hi Venki,

    If you can tell me what terms you’d specifically like done, I’d be more than happy to
    help you out with it. Now I must say, I’ve been here six years as an English teacher
    so probably all of the words you’ll want me to find will also be new to me, so it might
    not be a real quick process, and there may be a few inaccuracies that you’ll need to
    check out later, but I’ll certainly give it a red hot go.

    Just send me a list of words you’d like translated.

    Cheers Venki,

    Rob…


  3. Dalit

    Hi Rob,
    Thank you for the video.
    I would like to make sure I understand, so if I want to say: “Please tell me….” I should say: “말해 입니다” ?
    and how should I say: “can I get some coffe please ?”
    Have a nice day,
    Dalit

  4. Hi Dalit,

    No, you would say “말해 주세요”.

    And to order a coffee, you would say, “커피 (한잔) 주세요”.

    Sorry, I’m actually thinking of redoing the video. When I was explaining about levels of respect and there not being an actual word for please, I was just using to 이다 (the verb ‘to be’) as an example, to show the different levels of respect.

    But for the most part, when asking someone do something for you or to give you something, we will use 주세요.

    주세요 comes from the verb, 주다, meaning ‘to give’, and then the ~세요 is a polite form of a command. So although there isn’t an actual for please in that sentence, it is in context saying “give me please” or “do this for me please” because it is in a higher form of respect.

    If “Tell me, please” is 말해 주세요, then a couple lower, more informal ways of saying that could be “말해 줘요” or “말해 줘”.

    Some other examples using 주세요 are…

    기다려 주세요 (Wait for me, please)
    해 주세요 (Do it for me, please)
    사 주세요 (Buy it for me, please)

    And all of these examples can also be conjugated down into the lower levels of ~줘요 and ~줘.

    Hope that helps, and sorry for the confusion! Again, I’m strongly considering redoing this video
    ’cause I don’t think I emphasized enough that 주세요, although not actually the word “please”, is
    essentially asking someone to do something in a more polite way.


  5. Marty

    부탁 합니다 is “please” but is rarely used as I think it is overdoing it. Also 좀 is sometimes used. Rob is right in saying that the 세요 ending will suffice.


  6. Rob

    Yeah, and for the most part, 부탁합니다 is still used quite often to say “Can you do me a favor?”, or something to that nature.


  7. Ian Kingston

    How would I say You must pay this bill plus a reconnect fee so that your service can be turned back on.
    Context
    I work for an utility company that services water and power.
    I have to tell customers this everyday, in case i take a Korean Call, how would I make this statement. My company no longer uses Korean Interpreters and we only have 5 Korean Customer Service Representatives out of 300 employees.


  8. Maria

    How do you introduce yourself. like for an interview, audition,
    For example:
    Hi my name is maria. I’m 19 years old. And so on
    Let’s just saybwhat would really surprise them from us non Asians