A question our Korean teachers get asked a lot is “How do you say you’re welcome in Korean?“. If you look up ‘you’re welcome’ in a Korean dictionary, or type it into a translation app, you will probably be told that ‘you’re welcome’ in Korean is 천만에요 [cheon-ma-ne-yo]. While this expression can function as you’re welcome in Korean, it is not usually used in spoken language and you will likely sound unnatural if you reply with 천만에요 when someone says thank you in Korean. So how do you say you’re welcome in Korean?
The most common ways to say you’re welcome in Korean are 아니에요 [a-ni-e-yo], 뭘요 [mwo-ryo], and 별말씀을요 [byeol-mal-sseu-meu-ryo]. All these ways to say ‘you’re welcome’ are polite and so can be used in most situations.
You’re Welcome In Korean
아니에요 [a-ni-e-yo] can be used to say ‘you’re welcome’ in Korean. 아니에요 literally means ‘It’s not’. So, when someone says ‘thank you’ in Korean and you reply with 아니에요, you are saying ‘It’s nothing’ or ‘It’s nothing you should be thanking me for’.
뭘요 [mwo-ryo] comes from 뭐 (what) plus the object marking particle 를 and means ‘for what’. When someone says thank you in Korean, replying with 뭘요 means ‘for what (are you thanking me for)’. As you can see, it is similar to the previous expression in the sense that both 아니에요 and 뭘요 emphasize that there is nothing you need to say thank you for. In this way, they both function as ‘you’re welcome’ in Korean.
별말씀을요 [byeol-mal-sseu-meu-ryo] is another way to say ‘you’re welcome’ in Korean. It has a similar meaning to ‘don’t mention it’. Compared to the other expressions, 별말씀을요 is a little more polite.
Thanks for reading. I hope you found this lesson on ‘you’re welcome’ in Korean useful. Before you go, don’t forget to check out our other free lessons on useful Korean Phrases.