3 Ways to Say ‘I Like You’ in Korean Posted by on Feb 7, 2018 in Korean Language, Vocabulary

Valentine’s day is around the corner. Do you have a crush on someone and need to express how you feel in Korean? Or simply improve your understating of romantic scenes from K-dramas or movies? This post will give you an opportunity to learn how to say ‘I like you’ and ‘I love you’ in Korean, Are you ready?

If you need to review how to say “I love you’ in Korean,” please follow this post  3 Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ in Korean.

Photo by KLM

  1. Formal: [Sa-lang-hap-ni-da] (사랑합니다. – I love you.)
  2. Polite: [Sa-lang-hae-yo] (사랑해요. – I love you.)
  3. Informal: [Sa-lang-hae] (사랑. – I love you.)

If you have a crush on someone, but you are not ready for “I love you” yet, how about “I like you” instead. This Korean verb ‘좋아하다  means ‘to like’ in English. Depending on your relationship with whom you are speaking, you can use one of the following expressions.

  1. Formal: [jo-a-hap-ni-da](좋아합니다. – I like you.)
  2. Polite: [jo-a-hae-yo] (좋아해요. – I like you.)
  3. Informal: [jo-a-hae] (좋아.  – I like you.)

If you want to add the name of your special someone to the above expressions, you can attach ‘-ssi ( )’ or ‘-a/ya (/)’ after his or her name.

  • -ssi ( ) is one of the Korean titles that is used to show respect to others among people of equal level (age, social status, etc.). Here are two important tips for you to remember. When you use   with someone’s name you can either attach   to someone’s full name or to the first name. When the speaker adds after someone’s last name, such as 박 씨  or  이 씨, this implies that the speaker consider himself/herself to be in a higher social status than the listener. In most cases, this can be considered as rude as the listener may feel they are being spoken down to.
  • -a/ya (/) is used in an informal relationship, between close friends or when the speaker is older or superior than the listener.

* When a Korean name ends in a consonant, -a () is added to the name.

ex) Ji-min (지민) + -a (): Ji-min-a (지민아)

지민  ends in a consonant ‘’ in Korean

* When a Korean name ends in a vowel,  -ya(-야)  is added to the name.

ex) Syu-ga (슈가) + ya () : Syu-ga- ya (슈가야)

     슈가 ends in a vowel, ‘’ in korean.

Here are three examples on how to say I like you with someone’s name:

  1. Formal: [Ji-min-ssi, jo-a-hap-ni-da](지민 , 좋아합니다. – Jimin, I like you.)
  2. Politel: [Ji-min-ssi, jo-a-hae-yo] (지민 , 좋아해요. – Jimin, I like you.)
  3. Informal: [Ji-min-a , jo-a-hae] (지민아, 좋아.  – Jimin, I like you.)

Please remember that you can use above expressions in several different occasions not just for someone you have a crush on or you are in love with. You can also use them to demonstrate your preference on something with ‘좋아해요 or ‘사랑해요’.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

감사합니다! (Thank you!)

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About the Author: Kyung-Hwa

안녕하세요? My name is Kyung-Hwa, and I am a native of South Korea. I am accustomed to both English and Korean languages and cultures. I greatly appreciate and love both of them. I am passionate about learning different languages, and I have studied English, Japanese, and Spanish. In my spare time, I take joy in singing, playing the piano, and reading books. I also enjoy traveling around the world, meeting people, and embracing new cultures and languages...


  1. Vedika:

    Love this post! By the way, are you an army too?! I saw Jimin-ah and Suga and I got so excited😂

    • Kyung-Hwa:

      @Vedika Lucky you ^_____^
      You can use ‘좋아해요’ with BTS, too.
      (저는) 방탄소년단을 좋아해요! ((I) like BTS!)
      (저는) 방탄소년단을 사랑해요! ((I) love BTS!)
      Thank you very much for your nice comment!!!

  2. Glory:

    Nice post… I’m really also want to study other language.I have interest in this and I will invest all my power till I know.

    • Kyung-Hwa:

      @Glory I am very excited to hear that you are interested in learning Korean.
      Studying Spanish is one of my New Year’s resoluation ^^;
      Good luck learning Korean!!!
      감사합니다.(Thank you.)

  3. Thoma:

    Thanks for helping us to learn Korean language…. Really appreciate it ❤️…

    • Kyung-Hwa:

      @Thoma An-nyeong-ha-se-yo!(안녕하세요!– Hello!)
      Thank you so~ much for your kind comment. I do enjoy writing this blog and sharing Korean language and culture with others.
      Good luck learning Korean ^___^