Hyung In Korean

The Meaning Of Hyung In Korean (형)?

If you watch a lot of Korean dramas or are living in Korea, you have probably heard the word ‘Hyung’ (형) a lot and wondered what it means. In this lesson, you will learn the meaning of Hyung (형) and the correct way to use this word.

Hyung Meaning In Korean

Hyung (형) means ‘older brother’ and is used by Korean men to refer to another man who is a little older than them. Hyung can be used by men to refer to older brothers in their family, their older male friends and their older male peers.

When Is It Okay To Use The Word Hyung?

If you’ve been studying Korean for a while, you probably know that there the particular words and politeness level you use when speaking Korean depends on the person you are talking to, your relationship, and their social status. Let’s take a look at when it is okay to call someone Hyung (형) and when it is not okay.


You can call someone ‘Hyung’ (형) in the following situations:

  • A man can call his older brother ‘Hyung’.
  • A man can call his older male cousins ‘Hyung’.
  • A man can call his older male friends ‘Hyung’.
  • Boys at school can call older boys at the same school ‘Hyung’.


You should not call someone ‘Hyung’ (형) in the following situations:

  • A woman cannot call an older man ‘Hyung’. When a woman wants to call someone ‘older brother’ they should use Oppa (오빠).
  • A man cannot call a younger man ‘Hyung’.
  • A man would not usually call another man ‘Hyung’ if they are much older than them.
  • A man would not usually call their boss or superior at work ‘Hyung’.

How To Pronounce Hyung (형)

Hyung (형) is pronounced [hyeong]. Listen to the audio below to see how to pronounce Hyung like a native speaker.

How to Pronounce Hyung (형)

Younger Brother In Korean

As was mentioned above, a man cannot call a younger man Hyung (형) because 형 means ‘older brother’. So, how do you say younger brother in Korean? The word for younger brother is 남동생 [nam-dong-saeng], however this word is not used as a title, so you would not call someone 남동생. When addressing another man who is younger than you, you can simply use their name.

Thanks for reading. I hope you now have a good understanding of what Hyung (형) means in Korean. Before you go, here are some related lessons you might be interested in:
Meaning Of Oppa (오빠)
Meaning of Unnie And Noona
Members Of The Family in Korean