Tell Me In Korean

In this Korean lesson, you will learn how to say Tell Me in Korean. As with many things in Korean, there are a few different ways to say this. Below you’ll learn the casual and polite ways to say “Tell me” / “Please tell me” in Korean, and the difference between 말해 줘 [Mal-hae Jeo] and 말해 봐 [Mal-hae bwa].

Tell Me In Korean – Informal/Casual

There are two main ways to say ‘Tell Me’ in Korean in Casual language. These are 말해 줘 [Mal-hae Jeo] and 말해 봐[Mal-hae bwa]. As these expressions are casual/informal, they should only be used with close friends or people much younger than you, such as children. These two expressions have a slightly different nuance. Let’s take a look.

1. 말해 줘 [Mal-hae Jeo]

This first casual way to say “Tell me” in Korean is 말해 줘 [Mal-hae Jeo]. 말해 줘 is made up of the verb 말하다 (to say/speak), plus the ending 아/어/여 주다, which means ‘do it for me’. So, 말해 줘 means “say for me” or “tell me” in Korean. 말해 줘 has the nuance of ‘Tell me (because I want to know).’ or ‘Tell me for my benefit’.

2. 말해 봐 [Mal-hae bwa]

This next way to say “Tell Me” in Korean is 말해 봐 [Mal-hae bwa]. 말해 봐 is made up of the verb 말하다 (to say/speak), plus the ending 아/어 보다, which means ‘try’. So, 말해 봐 ‘try and tell me’ or ‘tell me’ in Korean. 말해 봐 has a more neutral and softer nuance compared to 말해 줘.

Tell Me In Korean – Polite

To change the above expressions into the polite ways to say ‘Tell Me’ in Korean, you simply have to add the polite imperative ending (으)세요.

1. 말해 주세요 [Mal-hae Ju-se-yo]

This polite way to say “Tell Me” in Korean is made from the verb 말하다 (to say/speak), the ending 아/어/여 주다 (do it for me), plus the polite imperative ending (으)세요. So, together 말해 주세요 means “Please tell me” and has the nuance of “Please tell me for my benefit” or “Please tell me (because I want to know).”

2. 말해 보세요 [Mal-hae bo-se-yo]

This second polite way to say “Tell Me” in Korean is again made from the verb 말하다 (to say/speak), 아/어 보다 (try), plus the polite imperative ending (으)세요. So, together 말해 보세요 means “Please tell me” and has the nuance of “Please try to tell me”.