How To Ask Questions In Korean: 3 Easy Ways

November 30, 2021
Samaha Kazmi

Do you want to learn Korean? Are you interested in asking questions in Korean? Are you aware of all the Korean question words? If not then don't worry because in this blog we will walk you through all the ways that we can make questions. Here, you will learn Korean question words so that you can make questions and hold a Korean conversation. So let the learning begin. 시작 (sijag)!!!

Korean Language

The Korean language is the official language of South Korea and North Korea. The Korean language of South and North has minor differences which are sometimes extremely difficult for a non-native speaker. But the native Korean speakers understand each other easily. If you are learning Korean of South Korea, then the accent and words of North Korean might not be understandable for you but once you master this one, the other one will be easy for you as well.

Before Korean, Chinese was spoken widely in Korea and the Korean language had to face some resistance. But eventually, the language succeeded and the Korean people tend to speak Korean now. The elements of the Chinese language had not been eliminated completely and there are many words in Korean which are either Chinese or derived from the Chinese language. An example of this is the Sino-Korean numbers.

Questions In Korean

There are two main ways to form questions generally. The first one is by asking the questions which can have yes, no, I don't know as the answers. The second type is asking for something other than yes or no. Those questions use the question words and need specific answers.

The sentence order in a Korean question for a simple question has the same subject-object-verb order. SOV is the shortened form of that and can help you remember the sentence order. You can also add adjectives and other adverbs to make complex sentences.

Example

The questions like "Are you happy?", "Do you like this?", "Is this your bag?", "Are you the author of this book?" are yes/no questions. All of these questions can easily be answered with a yes or no. You can say; "I am happy", "I like this", "This is my bag", "I am the author of this book" and etc.

Yes And No Questions

Ask Questions In Korean

For the first category, it is essential to have some vocabulary in Korean which can assist you in making Korean questions. Considering the English sentence structure, you might feel "ugh! do I have to learn another sentence order now? I haven't even gotten over the one which I learned yesterday."

Well, guess what? You don't have to. Korean simple questions (questions without question words) follow the same word order. YES! the exact same word order. Now, you might be wondering, if Korean has the same word order then how would I know if someone is asking a question or telling me something?

A simple answer to that is you do have to make slight changes to change a sentence into a question. These changes are different for both written Korean and Oral Korean. For written Korean, the only thing you have to do is to add a question mark at the end of the question.

For oral Korean, you would have to change your tone. Our tones are usually calm when we are trying to tell someone something. It has an element of explanation to it instead of questioning. This is different for the questions. While asking questions in Korean, raising your voice is a common phenomenon (especially when one is shocked).

While asking questions you should give the impression to the listener that you want to know something. It should imply that you are trying to get some information. If your tone is monotone then the person that you are asking a question from might not be able to guess that. Putting emphasis and looking with inquisitive eyes can give the Korean speaker an idea that you are trying to know something.

Here is a table for you to learn some of these questions.

Korean Sentences English Translations
한국 사람이에요? (Formal)
hangug salam-ieyo?
Are you Korean?
피곤하십니까? (Formal)
pigonhasibnikka?
Are you tired?
바쁘세요? (Informal)
bappeuseyo?
Are you busy?
이거 고양이야? (Informal)
igeo goyang-iya?
Is this a cat?
그를 아니? (Informal)
geuleul ani?
Do you know him?
이런 식으로 작업을 수행? (Informal)
ileon sig-eulo jag-eob-eul suhaeng?
Do you like this?
한국어를 할 수 있습니까? (Formal)
hangug-eoleul hal su issseubnikka?
Can you speak Korean?
그를 좋아합니까? (Formal)
geuleul joh-ahabnikka?
Do you like him?
고양이는 귀엽나요? (Formal)
goyang-ineun gwiyeobnayo?
Are cats cute?

To answer these questions, you simply have to add the Korean words for yes or no. These two Korean words can help in answering your questions. You should know that adding yes to any answer does not need to change the overall sentence. But, adding no to an answer requires adding another word which will negate the sentence.

You can check out 5 Easy Ways To Say Yes/No/Ok In Korean to get more information about this.

Here is a table for all the easy Korean sentences with yes in them.

Questions In Korean English Translations Korean Sentences English Translations
한국 사람이에요? (Formal)
hangug salam-ieyo?
Are you Korean? 예. 한국 사람이에요.(Formal)
Ye. hangug salam-ieyo.
Yes, I am Korean.
피곤하십니까? (Formal)
pigonhasibnikka?
Are you tired? 예. 피곤하십니까. (Formal)
Ye. pigonhasibnikka.
Yes, I am tired.
바쁘세요? (Informal)
bappeuseyo?
Are you busy? 네. 바쁘세요. (Informal)
Ne. bappeuseyo.
Yes I am busy.
이거 고양이야? (Informal)
igeo goyang-iya?
Is this a cat? 네. 이거 고양이야. (Informal)
Ne. igeo goyang-iya.
Yes, this is a cat.
그를 아니? (Informal)
geuleul ani?
Do you know him? 네. 그를 아니.  (Informal)
Ne. geuleul ani.
Yes, I know him.
이런 식으로 작업을 수행? (Informal)
ileon sig-eulo jag-eob-eul suhaeng?
Do you like this? 네. 이런 식으로 작업을 수행. (Informal)
Ne. ileon sig-eulo jag-eob-eul suhaeng.
Yes, I like this.
한국어를 할 수 있습니까? (Formal)
hangug-eoleul hal su issseubnikka?
Can you speak Korean? 예.한국어를 할 수 있습니까. (Formal)
Ye. hangug-eoleul hal su issseubnikka.
Yes, I can speak Korean.
그를 좋아합니까? (Formal)
geuleul joh-ahabnikka?
Do you like him? 예. 그를 좋아합니까. (Formal)
Ye. geuleul joh-ahabnikka.
Yes, I like him.
고양이는 귀엽나요? (Formal)
goyang-ineun gwiyeobnayo?
Are cats cute? 예. 고양이는 귀엽나요. (Formal)
Ye. goyang-ineun gwiyeobnayo.
Yes, cats are cute.

Questions With Possessive Pronouns

In Korean, some possessive pronouns are used. If a person is asking a simple question with a possessive pronoun for "you" in it, you simply replace it with the possessive pronoun for "me" as a response. Possessive pronoun for me is 나의 (naui) and your is 당신의 (dangsin-ui). Here is a table of some common questions in Korean using possessive pronouns.

Questions In Korean  English Translations Answers In Korean  English Translations
이거 니책이야?
igeo nichaeg-iya? (Informal)
Is this your book? 네. 이거 내책이야.
nae igeo nae-chaeg-iya. (Informal)
Yes, this is my book.
이것은 당신의 고양이입니까?
igeos-eun dangsin-ui goyang-iibnikka? (Formal)
Is this your cat? 예. 이것은 나의 고양이입니까.
ye igeos-eun naui goyang-iibnikka. (Formal)
Yes, this is my cat.
이 아이들이 당신의 아이들입니까?
i aideul-i dangsin-ui aideul-ibnikka? (Formal)
Are these your children? 예. 이 아이들이 나의 아이들입니까.
ye i aideul-i naui aideul-ibnikka. (Formal)
Yes, these are my children.
여기가 당신의 학교입니까?
yeogiga dangsin-ui haggyoibnikka? (Formal)
Is this your school? 예. 여기가 나의 학교입니까.
ye yeogiga naui haggyoibnikka. (Formal)
Yes, this is my school.
당신의 남편이 좋은가요?
dangsin-ui nampyeon-i joh-eungayo? (Formal)
Is your husband nice? 예. 나의 남편이 좋은가요.
ye naui nampyeon-i joh-eungayo. (Formal)
Yes, my husband is nice.

Question Words

Ask Questions In Korean

There are different question words in the Korean language. But mainly there are 5 common question words that form the basis of all the other question words. These are the words that are used the most to ask questions. Korean speakers commonly use these words either alone or in conjugation with the other words to form questions.

Five basic Korean question words are the 5 W's (What, when, where, who and why) which are 뭐 (mwo), 언제 (eonje), 어디 (eodi), 누구 (nugu), 왜 (wae). Another basic question word in Korean is how 어떻게 (eotteoke). Along with these, there are some more Korean question words that are used to make questions.

Look at this table to learn basic question words with their examples.

Question Words In English Question Words In Korean Questions In Korean Questions In English
What 뭐 (mwo) 당신의 이름은 무엇입니까?
dangsin-ui ileum-eun mueos-ibnikka? (Formal)
What is your name?
Where 어디 (eodi) 어디 가세요?
eodi gaseyo? (Formal)
Where are you going?
How many 몇 (myeot) 자식들이 명 있나요?
jasigdeul-i myeoch myeong issnayo? (Formal)
How many children/kids do you have?
How 어떻게 (eotteoke) 어떻게 이런일이 일어 났습니까?
eotteohge ileon-il-i il-eo nassseubnikka? (Formal)
How did this happen?
Why 왜 (wae) 그렇게 이상해?
wae geuleohge isanghae? (Informal)
Why are you so weird?
What (kind of) 무슨 (museun) 무슨 일이야?
museun il-iya? (Informal)
What's the matter?
What kind of 어떤 (eotteon) 어떤 해결 방법을 원하세요?
eotteon haegyeol bangbeob-eul wonhaseyo? (Formal)
What kind of solution do you want?
How much 얼마 (eolma) 얼마예요?
eolmayeyo? (Formal)
How much is it (the cost of something)?
Who 누구 (nugu) 당신의 남자 친구는 누구입니까?
dangsin-ui namja chinguneun nugu-ibnikka? (Formal)
Who is your boyfriend?
When 언제 (eonje) 언제 왔니?
neo eonje wassni? (Informal)
When did you come?
How many/much/long 얼마나 (eolmana) 얼마나 기다려야 하나요?
eolmana gidalyeoya hanayo? (Formal)
How long do I have to wait?
Which 어느 (eoneu) 어느 나라 사람이에요?
eoneu nala salam-ieyo? (Formal)
Which country are you from?

Answering The Questions

There are different ways to address these questions. The answers can be in the form of words, questions again, phrases, or sentences which is the same for the questions.

Examples

Here are some of the sample sentences to form replies for the question words in the Korean language.

Questions In English Questions In Korean Romanized Hangul
Whom do you teach Korean? 누구에게 한국어를 가르칩니까? (Formal) nuguege hangug-eoleul galeuchibnikka?
Why are you talking too fast? 너무 빨리 말합니까? (Formal) wae neomu ppalli malhabnikka?
How can I write my name in Korean? 내 이름을 한글로 쓰려면 어떻게 해야 하나요? (Formal) nae ileum-eul hangeullo sseulyeomyeon eotteohge haeya hanayo?
Why are you learning Korean? 한국어를 배우나요? (Formal) wae hangug-eoleul baeunayo?
I am learning Korean for my job. 나는 내 직업을 위해 한국어를 배우고 있습니다. (Formal) naneun nae jig-eob-eul wihae hangug-eoleul baeugo issseubnida.
Where is your friend? 당신의 친구는 어디에 있습니까? (Formal) dangsin-ui chinguneun eodie issseubnikka?
What is your favorite subject? 니가 가장 좋아하는 과목이 야? (Informal) niga gajang joh-ahaneun gwamog-i mwoya?
My favorite subject is Mathematics. 가장 좋아하는 과목은 수학입니다. (Formal) gajang joh-ahaneun gwamog-eun suhag-ibnida.
I'm sorry, I don't know any verb. 죄송합니다. 저는 동사를 모릅니다. (Formal) joesonghabnida. jeoneun dongsaleul moleubnida.
Do you like these comments? 이 댓글이 마음에 드시나요? (Formal) i daesgeul-i ma-eum-e deusinayo?
No, I did not like those comments. 아니요, 그 댓글이 마음에 들지 않았습니다. (Formal) aniyo, geu daesgeul-i ma-eum-e deulji anh-assseubnida.
What do you like to play? 하고 놀고 싶어? (Informal) mwohago nolgo sip-eo?
I like to play tennis. 나는 테니스 치는 것을 좋아한다. (Formal) naneun teniseu chineun geos-eul joh-ahanda.
What is the meaning of this word? 이 단어의 의미는 무엇입니까? (Formal) i dan-eoui uimineun mueos-ibnikka?
Who is your teacher? 선생님이 누구세요? (Formal) seonsaengnim-i nuguseyo?
Where did you hear that? 어디서 들었어? (Informal) eodiseo deul-eoss-eo?
Who is that person? 그 사람은 누구입니까? (Formal) geu salam-eun nugu-ibnikka?
How to note something? 메모하는 방법? (Informal) memohaneun bangbeob?
What is this site about 이 사이트는 무엇에 관한 것입니까? (Formal) i saiteuneun mueos-e gwanhan geos-ibnikka?
Who has that object? 누가 그 물건을 가지고 있습니까? (Formal) nuga geu mulgeon-eul gajigo issseubnikka?
How to translate this word into Korean? 이 단어를 한국어로 어떻게 번역합니까? (Formal) i dan-eoleul hangug-eolo eotteohge beon-yeoghabnikka?
Where do you live inside Korea? 한국에서 어디 사세요? (Formal) hangug-eseo eodi saseyo?

Korean Fun Corner

Ask Questions In Korean

How fun it is to learn the sentences using songs from K-pop. Most people (especially young people) are learning Korean because they are inspired by K-pop or K-dramas. In our blogs, we bring you a section that will have the Korean words and grammar rules using examples from K-pop and K-dramas which will make learning fun and easy.

Here is a table for you with the questions in Korean songs having question words.

Questions In Korean From Songs English Translations Song Name Band/ Solo Artist
야 니 맘은 도대체?
mwoya ni mam-eun dodaeche? (Informal)
What even is in your heart? Why am I so lonely Black Pink
야 내가 얼마나 널?
mwoya naega eolmana neol? (Informal)
What do I mean to you? Why am I so lonely Black Pink
예쁜 날 두고 가시나?
wae yeppeun nal dugo gasina? (Informal)
Why are you leaving the pretty me behind? Gashina Sunmi
그 말하는 넌 수저길래?
geu malhaneun neon mwon sujeogillae? (Informal)
What are you talking about? Fire BTS
아니긴? 가 아냐 난 눈 멀었어?
anigin? mwoga anya nan nun meol-eoss-eo? (Informal)
No? What do you mean no? Fake love BTS
사랑은 가 사랑?
salang-eun mwoga salang? (Informal)
What is love? Fake love BTS
가 널 행복하게 하는지?
mwoga neol haengboghage haneunji? (Informal)
What makes your happy? Boy with luv BTS
너의 이름은 지?
neoui ileum-eun mwonji? (Informal)
What is your name? The truth untold BTS
얼마나 기다려야?
eolmana gidalyeoya? (Informal)
How long do I have to wait? Spring Day BTS
그리움들이 얼마나 눈처럼 내려야
geuliumdeul-i eolmana nuncheoleom naelyeoya
How much longing must fall like snow? Spring Day BTS
밤을 더 새워야?
tto myeoch bam-eul deo saewoya?
How many more nights do I have to stay up? Spring Day BTS
혼자 사랑하고?
wae honja salanghago?
Why am I the only one to love? I need you BTS
다칠 걸 알면서 자꾸 네가 필요해?
wae dachil geol almyeonseo jakku nega pil-yohae?
Why do I keep needing you even though I know I'll get hurt I need you BTS
내 맘대로 할 수 있는? ?
wae nae mamdaelo hal su issneun? wae? (Informal)
Why can't I do what I want to? Why? TT Twice
그 무거운 숨을, 내가 어떻게, 헤아릴 수가 있을까요?
geu mugeoun sum-eul naega eotteohge healil suga iss-eulkkayo? (Informal)
That heavy breath, how can I measure it? Breathe Lee Hi
질리지도 않아 넌 ?
jillijido anh-a neon wae? (Informal)
Why don't I get tired of you? Peach IU
이젠 내게 말해줘 사랑들 달라진은지
ijen naege malhaejwo wae salangdeul dallajin-eunji (Informal)
Now tell me why the love has changed Mama Exo

Language Tip

Try making friends with native Korean speakers so that by having conversations with them, you can get to learn many new words and sentence compositions. This will increase your vocabulary and you will not forget the words easily. You guys can have lessons together and enjoy learning.

You can teach your Korean friends how to speak English and help them with the English translation of many words and phrases in the Korean vocabulary list. Such friends can be a great resource for you. You both can learn a bit with each other and it will keep you motivated.

Wrapping Up

Questions in Korean

In this blog, you learned how to form a Korean question. In the same way, now you must also know how to answer a Korean question. Feel free to play around with words and make new sentences and questions to practice.

Having Korean as a new language can be difficult. Studying Korean without any lessons is perhaps impossible and definitely difficult. If you liked this blog then feel free to check out other blogs of Ling App by Simya Solutions. You can sign up to get more information. We also have blogs about delicious Korean food and funny phrases in Korean for casual conversations.

Good luck!

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