How To Say Thank You In Korean

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Thank You In Korean - Lesson

In this lesson, you will learn how to say thank you in Korean. Learning how to say thank you in Korean is essential if you want to sound polite and respectful when speaking to Korean people. In this lesson, we will teach you the most common ways to say thank you in Korean. You will learn the informal, polite, and formal ways to say thank you in Korean, and will learn which one to use in different situations.

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.

Thank You In Korean

There are several ways to say thank you in Korean. Here are the most common ways: 

  • 고마워 [go-ma-wo] – This is the informal way to say thank you. It is only used with close friends or people significantly younger than you.
  • 고마워요 [go-ma-wo-yo] – This is the standard polite way to say thank you in Korean. As you can see, it is the same 고마워 with the polite ending 요 added.
  • 고맙습니다 [go-map-ssum-ni-da] – This is the formal way to say thank you in Korean and is one of the most common ways to say thank you that most people use.
  • 감사합니다 [gam-sa-ham-ni-da] – This is another formal way to say thank you and it is also one of the most common ways to say thank you in Korean.

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

Thank You In Korean – Informal

고마워 [go-ma-wo]

This is the informal way to say thank you in Korean and therefore you should only use 고마워 [go-ma-wo] with close friends or people younger than you. For example, if you want to say thank you to a child and you are an adult, it is perfectly fine to say 고마워 [go-ma-wo]. However, if you were talking to your boss at work, a stranger, or someone older than you, it would be rude to use 고마워 to say thank you.

Thank You In Korean – Polite

고마워요 [go-ma-wo-yo]

고마워요 [go-ma-wo-yo] is the polite way to say thank you in Korean and can be used in most situations. As you can see, it is the same as the informal expression above with the addition of the polite ending [yo]. As this is the polite way to say thank you in Korean, you can safely use it with people younger and older than you and you would sound polite. However, it is much more common to use one of the following two formal ways to say thank you in Korean.

Thank You In Korean – Formal

고맙습니다 [go-map-ssum-ni-da]

고맙습니다 [go-map-ssum-ni-da] is a formal way to say thank you in Korean. It can be used in any situation to say thank you in a polite and respectful way. So, if you are speaking to a stranger, someone older than you, your boss at work, etc, you can use 고맙습니다 [go-map-ssum-ni-da] to say thank you in Korean and you will sound polite and respectful.

감사합니다 [gam-sa-ham-ni-da]

감사합니다 [gam-sa-ham-ni-da] is another formal way to say thank you in Korean. 감사합니다 [gam-sa-ham-ni-da] and 고맙습니다 [go-map-ssum-ni-da] are the most common ways to say thank you in Korean. Although these are formal expressions, they are used in everyday situations to say thank you politely.

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