33. Ask / Order [해요 Imperative]

In this lesson, you will learn how to ask or order others to do something with 해요 imperative sentences.

Korean Haeyo Imperative img

Ask And Order in Korean grammar

Imperative sentence of Korean grammar is highly developed than other languages. Korean grammar has so many ways to order or ask someone to do something. In this lesson, We will focus on the most basic one

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How To Make

Korean language use present tense without a subject to ask or order someone to do something. It’s very similar to English especially when it’s used with 해요 speech style. It’s the most basic one.

With 하다 Verb

하다 imperative is used to order someone to do something. You can’t use 하다 imperative with adjective such as pretty, smart, nice.


Basic Form
(하다 Speech Style)
해요 colloquial style
Chinese Stem
Onomatopoeias Stem
Korean Stem
Noun + 하다
Stem + 다
Noun + 해요
= 해요 (heyo)
Stem + 하다
= 어요 (eoyo) / ㅡ요
Do + Noun
Do + Stem
Be + Adjective
Do + Noun Do + Stem


한국어 공부해요
Study Korean


나탈리아씨, 이거 먹어요
Natalia, eat this


하다 imperative is often translated as common English imperative like ‘do something’ but Korean imperative with 해요 speech style doesn’t sound rude or impolite because 해요 style is friendly honorific.

With 이다 Verb

이다 verb can’t be used as an imperative especially when it’s ‘be + noun’ or ‘be + adjective’. You must use other verb. 되다 (become) is the most common Korean vocabulary for 이다 imperative.


Basic Form (하다 style) 해요 colloquial style
With Verb
이 + 에요
= 여요 (yeoyo) (verb)
Be + Noun
Be + Location
Be + Adjective
Do + Root
Do + Root


더 빨리 모여요
Gather together more quickly


선생님이 돼요
become a teacher


= This way doesn’t sound 100% natural to me maybe because Koreans don’t say ‘be + noun’ in an imperative tone. They order what to do usually, not what to be. If they order what to be, then they would say ‘take this job, take this title’. You will learn details in another course.

Use It in Daily Conversations

It’s used in a daily conversation with people you know. It sounds like you offer or suggest something to someone in a sweet tone. Of course, it wouldn’t sound nice at all if you are being a jerk enough.

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With 있다 Verb

있다 imperative uses the present form of 있다. It means ‘order someone to be in a location’. 있다 imperative doesn’t mean possession. It’s used for only location.


Basic Form (하다 style) 해요 colloquial style
있 + 어요
= 있어요 (‘it-seoyo)
Be (location / time)
Have (possession)
Be (location / time)


여기 있어요
be here
= Stay here


방에 있어요
be in the room
= Stay in the room

하다 Imperative vs 하다 declarative

If you have studied Korean with me, you might notice it’s not different from present tense sentences. Yes. This form is exactly same to present tense sentences. There is no way to distinguish if it’s ordering or not. You must read context.


한국어 공부해요
I study Korean
한국어 공부해요
study Korean


방에 있어요
I’m in the room
방에 있어요
Stay in the room