Korean Lesson - Don't

Lesson 24: 지 마세요

In this lesson, you will learn how to use the ending 지 마세요 to tell someone not to do something. By the end of this lesson, you’ll be able to make sentences like “Don’t do that.“, “Don’t go.“, “Don’t worry.“, etc.

Lesson 24: 지 마세요

Do you remember the imperative ending (으)세요 from lesson 12? (으)세요 is used to give a command, instruction, or to make a request. It’s like saying “Please do (something)“. 지 마세요 is a negative imperative ending. It is used to tell someone to not do something or to stop doing something. It’s like saying “Please don’t do (something)“.

There are no special conjugation rules with this ending, so it is really easy to use. Simply attach 지 마세요 to an action verb to tell someone to not to do that action. For example, “Don’t” or “Don’t do it” in Korean is 하지 마세요 which is the verb 하다 (to do) plus the negative imperative ending 지 마세요. “Don’t go” in Korean is 가지 마세요 which is the verb 가다 (to go) plus 지 마세요. Easy right? Here are some more examples.


하다 = to do
하지 마세요. = Don’t do it.

가다 = to go
가지 마세요. = Don’t go.

만지다 = to touch
만지지 마세요. = Don’t touch.

걱정하다 = to worry
걱정하지 마세요. = Don’t worry.

먹다 = to eat
먹지 마세요. = Don’t eat.

마시다 = to drink
마시지 마세요. = Don’t drink.

Example Sentences

A: 요즘에 잠을 못 자요. = These days I can’t sleep.
B: 그럼 커피를 마시지 마세요. = Then, don’t drink coffee.

A: 눈이 너무 아파요. = My eyes hurt.
B: 컴퓨터 게임을 하지 마세요. = Don’t play computer games.

A: 이 영화 재미있어요? = Is this movie interesting?
B: 재미없어요. 보지 마세요. = It’s not interesting. Don’t watch it.

A: 버스를 탈까요? = Shall I take a bus?
B: 버스 타지 마세요. 길이 복잡해요. = Don’t take a bus. The road is crowded.

A: 여기에서 사진을 찍을 수 있어요? = Can I take a picture here?
B: 사진 찍지 마세요. = Don’t take a picture.