How To Say Hello In Korean

In this lesson you will learn how to say hello in Korean

Learning how to greet people in Korean and say hello is a great way to appear friendly and respectful when you meet Koreans for the first time. 

The Korean words in this lesson are written in both Hangul and English. If you’ve not yet learned how to read the Korean alphabet, check out our complete Korean alphabet guide to help you learn how to read in Korean.

So, how do you say hello in Korean? There are several ways to say hello in Korean. Here are the most common ways: 

  • 안녕하세요 (an-nyeong-ha-se-yo) – This is the polite way to say hello in Korean and the most common. 
  • 안녕 (an-nyeong) – This is the informal way to say hello in Korean and is generally only used with close friends and people younger than you.
  • 안녕하십니까 (an-nyeong-ha-sim-ni-kka) – This is the formal way to say hello in Korean and is generally used in very formal situations or situations when you want to convey a lot of respect.

Let’s take a look at each of the ways to say hello in Korean and how to know which one to use when speaking with Korean people.

Hello In Korean

1. 안녕하세요 (an-nyeong-ha-se-yo)

This first way to say hello in Korean is by far the most common. 

안녕하세요 (an-nyeong-ha-se-yo) is made up of 안녕 (well being) + 하세요 (polite way to say do). So, 안녕하세요 literally means “Are you well?”.

Click on the audio button below to hear a native Korean speaker pronounce 안녕하세요.

안녕하세요 is the standard, polite way to say hello in Korean so you can safely use this with any Korean people you meet and it would be considered polite.

Next, let’s take a look at the informal way to say hello in Korean.

2. 안녕 (an-nyeong)

안녕 (an-nyeong) is the informal way to say hello in Korean. Click on the audio below to hear how to pronounce 안녕.

3. 안녕하십니까 (an-nyeong-ha-sim-ni-kka)

This next way to say hello in Korean is the formal / honorific way. 

안녕하십니까 (an-nyeong-ha-sim-ni-kka) is technically a question but you may hear it said as a statement or a question. Listen to the audio below to see how to pronounce this formal greeting.

안녕하십니까 is used in formal situations or situations in which you want to convey a high level of respect to the person you are talking to.

For example, you will hear formal language like 안녕하십니까 on the Korean news and in things like public announcements. Other situations where you might use the formal , honorific way to say hello could be when you meet a girlfriend’s / boyfriend’s parents for the first time, or when speaking with your boss at work, etc.

Review Quiz

Review what you have learned about how to say hello in Korean with this review quiz. Read the questions and choose the correct answer.

More Ways To Say Hello In Korean

There are many other ways to say hello and greet people in Korean, and too many too cover in depth in this first lesson. But just for fun, here are some other common ways to greet people in Korean.

  • 여보세요 (yeo-bo-se-yo) – Used to say hello when answering the telephone
  • 오랜만이에요 (o-raen-ma-ni-e-yo) – Long time no see.
  • 밥 먹었어요? (bap meo-geo-sseo-yo?) – Did you eat?
  • 잘 잤어요? (jal-ja-sseo-yo?) – Did you sleep well?
  • 잘 지냈어요? (jal-ji-ne-sseo-yo?) – Have you been well?

I hope you found this lesson on how to say hello in Korean useful. Click on the button below for more free Korean language lessons.