Korean Language Blog

“Hello” and “Hi” in Korean Posted by on Sep 19, 2018 in Korean Language, Vocabulary

Do you know how to greet someone in Korean? Learning how to say “hello” in Korean would be a great way to initiate conversation with Korean speakers. In this post, I will introduce you to three different ways to greet someone in Korean.

Unlike 영어 (English), 한국어 (the Korean language) does not have separate 인사 (greetings) for 아침 (morning), 점심 (afternoon), and 저녁 (evening). Once you learn the following, you can use them any time of the day when you greet someone. Therefore, you can kill three birds, not two, with one stone in this case.

Photo by KLM

  • How to say “Hi!” in Korean: If you greet your 친구 (friends) or someone that you use 반말 (casual speech pattern),  you can wave your 손 (hand) from side to side as Americans do, while you say this simple greeting in the following:

1.  안녕!   [an-nyeong]  :  Hi! –  Informal

  • How to say “Hello” in Korean: You can say one of the following greetings, depending on your 관계 relationship with the speaker:

2.  안녕하십니까!   [an-nyeong-ha-sip-ni-kka]  :  Hello!  –  Formal

        3.  안녕하세요!  [an-nyeong-ha-se-yo]  :  Hello! –  Polite

Here is a useful tip on how to bow. When you use “안녕하십니까” or “안녕하세요,”don’t forget to bow to the person 공손히 (politely). Showing  존경심 (respect) for seniority and age is a significant part of Korean 문화 (culture). In formal situations, you can bend your 머리 (head) and 허리 (waist) about 45 degrees while looking down (no eye contact with the other person). To be polite, you can bend your head and waist about 15 or 30 degrees (no eye contact with the other person) depending on the occasion.

Here is another useful tip relating to “안녕.” As soon as learn to say ! (Hi!) in Korean, you will be able to say “Bye” to your friends in Korean. Unlike formal and polite forms of “Hello” in Korean, informal 안녕!  can be used for both “Hi!” and “Bye!”

I hope the above examples will help you to build fluency in your Korean learning.

 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. Carolyn courtney:

    An-nyeoung Kyungssi. I have been trying to update myself with the Korean language but so far time does not permit me. I do get chance to binge watch dramas in the night. lol. Hopefully I should have some form of understanding of it in time for my visit next year April. I do appreciate the help you are giving though.I can’t remember if you ever did one but can u do an explanation on the various ways to say thanks? Would very much appreciate it. I have an idea but just want to take note of the settings in which each one of them are used and the spelling as well.


    • Kyung-Hwa:

      @Carolyn courtney An-nyeong-ha-se-yo!(안녕하세요!)
      Thank you very much for saying “Hi!(안녕)!”to me. I am with you. Although I am very enthusiastic about learning different languages, time has not been on my side for a while.
      I think K-dramas are one of the great resources when you study the Korean language. Many of my friends have built their vocabulary by watching K-dramas and movies.
      I am excited that you are planning to visit Korea next April. I hope my articles will help you to expand your fluency and knowlege in the Korean language and culture.
      Yes, I love your suggestion on the various ways to say thanks. Look out for my next post on this topic.
      Thank you very much for your comment.

  2. Rory 로리:

    안녕하십니까 I’m 13 and i’m learning how to write and speak in Korean i’m also learning french, Japanese, and sign language 😀 well you post’s have been very helpful thank you 고맙습니다

    • Kyung-Hwa:

      @Rory 로리 안녕하세요! 반갑습니다.
      I am excited to hear that my posts have been very helpful to you.
      Studying multiple languages at your age… Wow, you are amazing!!!
      I am also interested in improving my sign language skill.
      Good luck with studying the Korean language.
      고맙습니다 ^___^