When you watch your favorite K-dramas, the words that you can easily remember are yes/no/ok in Korean 예 (Ye) | 아니 (Ani) | 괜찮아 (Gwaenchana). So, when you are a beginner learner or having a trip in Korea, saying Yes/No/Ok in Korean should be in your top list of words to learn. It can be used in most situations from the airport, checking in a hotel, dining in a restaurant, riding public transportations, and shopping. Of course, you can always nod, shake your hand or do a thumbs up but, isn’t it nice to learn the Korean way to do it?
Korean Politeness Levels
Before we go to our topic, which is saying yes/no/ok in Korean, there are some important things you need to learn about the Korean language. When Koreans speak, they are always guided by the politeness levels. The politeness level is determined by the person you are talking to.
When you are talking to someone younger than you or someone the same age as you, the informal level of politeness can be used. There are also times when you and the other person agree that you can use the informal or casual form.
On the other hand, the more polite or formal are used when you talk to someone older than you, someone with higher social status, or someone you don’t know too well. It is also used in the business setting to sound more professional.
This is the reason why the Korean language is fascinating to learn. There’s so much culture and traditions behind it. So, if you want to learn more aside from this lesson, you can check out Ling App and start learning Korean.
Ways To Say Yes In Korean
Go Chung Myung: “This is the end for us.”
Jang Man Wol: “Yes it is.”
Do you remember this heartbreaking scene in the best Kdrams of all time, “Hotel Del Luna“? Surely, this is not the kind of “Yes” that you want to hear if you’re in this situation.
The first group of words that we will learn in our lesson is yes/no/ok in Korean is saying yes. This is undoubtedly one of the most important words that we use in our daily conversations. When we travel, even if not in Korea, we are always asked yes or no questions. So, if you are in language learning, this is one of the most important basic words to know.
n Korean, yes can be said in different ways. Check out the list below to learn the different ways to say yes in Korean for free.
1. 예 (Ye)
If you want to know how to say yes in Korean, this is obviously the easiest word to start with. It sounds like the English word. Yes, so you don’t have to try that hard to learn the pronunciation of this word. But, you have to remember that this is used in formal situations. When new in Korea, it is always better to use the polite form to avoid misunderstanding and offending native speakers.
2. 네 (Ne)
Coming from the first word, this second way of saying yes in Korean may be confusing because it sounds like “no” in English. This is the standard way of saying yes in Korean so that you can use it in most situations. If you will be asked a yes or no question, this is the word to say yes politely.
3. 응 (Eung)/ 어 (Eo)
The next way to say yes in Korean that we will learn is 응 (Eung)/ 어 (Eo). This is the informal way of saying yes in Korean. Remember that you can just use the informal way when talking with your close friends and someone the same age or younger than you. The females use 응 (Eung), and 어 (eo) is usually used by males.
4. 알아요 (Arayo)
Koreans also use verb from the question asked instead of replying yes/no/ok in Korean. One of the perfect examples of this is the phrase “알아요 (Arayo),” which means “to know.” This is one of the most important phrases to learn because there will be lots of times that you’ll be needed to answer questions with this response.
5. 있어요 (Isseoyo)
Another common verb that Koreans use to answer questions is 있어요 (isseoyo) which means “to have or exist.” This is the perfect way to answer questions about the existence or possession of something.
6. 그럼요 (Geureomyo)
Usually used to reply to a question or request which can mean “of course” or “definitely”.
Ways To Say No In Korean
Yoon Se-ri: “Why are they putting handcuffs on you? “Are you getting arrested? No. I can’t do that; I can’t let you go.”
Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok: “Don’t worry. Don’t you know me?”
This line came from a Kdrama entitled “Crash Landing on You.” In this scene, Se-ri and Jeong-hyeok had to say goodbye to each other while standing in the middle of the North and South Korea Demilitarized Zone. Se-ri saying, “No, I can’t do that.” is one of the sweetest lines from this scene.
Learning how to say no in Korean is as important as learning how to say yes. Not all the time, you have to agree on something. However, there will be lots of times too when you needed to say no. Today, people often use non-verbal cues like shaking their heads and doing a thumbs down to indicate disagreement or saying no. But you have to know that while it is okay to do it, you still have to learn how to use the Korean words for “no.” This is a sign of respect for their culture and language.
1. 아니요 (Aniyo)
When learning how to say yes/no/ok in Korean, the common way to say no that you will hear is 아니요 (Aniyo). This is the standard way of saying no in Korean. That is why you can use this in most situations. It is not too formal and not too informal, but it is still polite.
2. 아니 (Ani)
Moving from the first one, this way of saying no in Korean is more informal. This is used when talking to your friends and someone the same age or younger than you. You will hear Korean actors and actresses speaking this way in Kdramas.
3. 안돼요 (Andwaeyo)
There are also other ways to disagree in Korean without using the word “no.” The meaning of this phrase is “It is not allowed.” You will often hear this phrase in a bar when you are a minor or in a restricted area.
4. 없어요 (Eopseoyo)
Another way to say no in Korean is “없어요 (Eopseoyo).” This phrase means “It does not exist.” This can be useful when you are asked questions like, “Do you have any cash? (현금이 있어요? | hyeongeumi isseoyo). If you don’t have, you can simply say “없어요 (Eopseoyo).”
5. 못해요 (Mothaeyo)
The last way to say No in Korean is 못해요 (Mothaeyo). The meaning of this Korean phrase is “I can’t do it.” You can use this to refuse to do something that you are not comfortable with. Remember that it’s okay to say no, especially if you know that it’s something that can cause danger to you.
Ways To Say Ok In Korean
Lee Joon-ki : “Gwenchana, Gwenchana…”
If you’re an avid Kdrama fan, you have surely laughed at this scene in the “Welcome to Waikiki. Series” From this, you’ll see how often Koreans say “okay” in their daily conversations.
The last lesson we’ll learn in the topic Yes/No/ok in Korean is saying ok. This is probably one of the most important words in the Korean language. Saying ok can be used in many ways. It can be used to state how you are feeling. It can be used when someone said sorry to you, and it can also be used to agree on something. So, here’s how you say ok in Korean.
1. 괜찮아요 (Gwaenchanayo)
Let’s start with the standard way of saying ok in Korean. This is the most common way of saying Ok in Korean that you’ll learn. It can be used in most situations and still sound polite. If you watch their dramas, you’ll often hear this when they talk in more serious situations. You can also use this with your colleagues to show politeness even if you’re close to each other.
2. 괜찮아 (Gwaenchana)
The second one is the casual or informal way you can say to your friends or someone with a lower social hierarchy than you. But, if you’re new to learning Korean, you should use the first one or the next word we are about to learn. This will help you not to leave a wrong impression on the locals.
3. 괜찮습니다 (Gwaenchanseumnida)
After learning the standard and informal way, it is necessary to learn the formal way to say ok. Saying ok formally is commonly used when talking with people way older than you. It is also used in the workplace to maintain respect for each other as colleagues. This is something that you would want to think of when learning Korean – respect is everything.
4. 거기에 가십시오 (Geogie Gasipsio)
There is another way of saying ok in Korean, and that is the phrase “거기에 가십시오 (Geogie gasipsio)” which means “Go there.” This is the formal way to say that phrase.
거기에 가세요 (Geogie Gaseyo)
If you are looking for the standard way to say it, you can use this form. Anyway, this will still sound polite if you’ll use it.
거기에 가 (Geogie Ga)
Finally, the phrase 거기에 가 (Geogie ga) is used in informal situations. You already know when to use the informal form, right?
5. 알겠습니다 (Algetseumnida)
The last way to say ok in Korean that we will learn is the 알겠습니다 (Algetseumnida). This phrase means “I know” in Korean, which I’m sure you also hear a lot in different Kdramas. Because this is in the formal form, there are other ways to say it. Check out the phrases below:
This is the standard form of saying “I know” in Korean. Of course, you can use it when you are new and want to talk to other people. But, please always be guided about the politeness levels.
On the other hand, this phrase is used in informal situations. Does this sound so familiar? Yup, you can often hear this in Kdramas. This is also their way of saying, “Stop mentioning it repeatedly. I completely get it.”
Seeing these words can be overwhelming at first when you’re a beginner but, learning how to say Yes/No/Ok in Korean is one of the best investments you should get for yourself if you really love the Korean language. These words are really important to their culture and that is something that you should remember about it.
So, these are 5 ways how to say yes/no/ok in Korean. Now, you should practice the pronunciation and also, try writing the Hangul characters.
Where Can You Use These Words?
Now that you have learned how to say yes/no/ok in Korean, let us now discover where to use it. Here are some questions that can be answered by the words and phrases you have learned
Question: 나 예뻐? (na yeppeo) – Am I pretty?
Answer: 어, 너무 예뻐! (eo, neomu yeppeo) – Yes, very pretty.
Question: 바쁘세요? (bappeuseyo) – Are you busy?
Answer: 아니오. (anio) –No.
Question: 맥주를 주세요 (maekjureul juseyo) – Beer, please.
Answer: 안돼요! (andwaeyo) – No (it’s not allowed)
Question: 괜찮 으세요? gwaenchanh euseyo? – Are you Ok?
Answer: 괜찮다 (gwaenchanta) – Good, alright
Now that you have learned how to say yes/no/ok in Korean, what’s next?
Let’s Learn Korean: Is It A Yes, No, Or Ok?
After learning how to say yes/no/ok in Korean, there’s a lot for you to learn. Yes, you can get by with these words for a while, but if you want to be in meaningful conversations with the locals, you’ll have to learn more. So, if you’re going to learn Korean, go and check out Ling App.
Spare a little bit of your time. Even minutes will do because Ling App can provide you fun but meaningful language learning experience by just downloading the app. You don’t have to worry about where to start because Ling App has various topics to choose from. You’ll learn every word or phrase with an example sentence, picture, and audio recordings to support your learning.