34. Ask / Order [하세요 Imperative]

In this lesson, you will learn how to ask or order someone to do in a polite manner.

Korean Haseyo Imperative img

세요 Imperative

In the previous lesson, you learned how to make imperative sentence without changing a sentence much. 세요 imperative is more polite and nice than the basic imperative. But it becomes slightly more formal.

This AD helps Korean Jun to keep making all tutorials free


세요 imperative might be very confusing at first because it’s more formal and polite but translated same in English. You may wonder why I don’t translate it as ‘Could you -?’ or ‘Would you -?’. keep reading and you will know why.

This AD helps Korean Jun to keep making all tutorials free

세요 Imperative With 하다 Verb

하세요 imperative is translated same to 해요 imperative but is more formal. 해요 imperative isn’t appropriate to say to strangers. 하세요 is suitable for that situation. You can hear it often in restaurants or stores. If you use it in a daily conversation with people you know, Sometimes it can sound cold.


Same as 해요 imperative, You can’t use 세요 imperative with adjectives.


Basic Form (하다 style) 해요 colloquial style
After a noun After a root
+ 세요 root + 세요
Be + Adjective
= 하세요
= Do
= 세요
= Do


Calculate it / Pay it
= After a noun


이 쪽으로 오세요
Come here
= After a root


다음 사진을 보세요
Look at the next picture
= After a root

세요 Imperative With 이다

세요 imperative is exactly same to 해요 imperative with 이다 verb. It loses all other meanings but ‘do + something’. If you want to say ‘be something’, you must use verb 되다(become). in English ‘will be’ is same to ‘become’ but it’s not same in Korean grammar.


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


나사를 조이세요
Tighten a screw
= Do + root


(he/she) is a teacher
= if you 이세요 as ‘be + noun’. it becomes a normal honorific sentence. It’s correct but not imperative.


나중에 꼭 선생님이 되세요
Be a teacher later
= You must be a teacher in the future. using 되다 verb.

세요 Imperative With 있다

When you use 있다 as an imperative, It doesn’t mean possession but only asking someone to be somewhere. To order or ask someone to possess something, you must use other verbs such as 갖다(take / have), 얻다(get).


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


스마트폰 있으세요 (wrong)
Have a smartphone (wrong)
= 있으세요 can be used only as a question ‘Do you have?’


여기 있으세요
Stay here
= Be + location


집에 있으세요
Stay in home
= Be + location


‘주세요’ actually means ‘give’ or ‘pass’ but it also means ‘would you -?’ or ‘could you -?’ when you use it as a conjugation. -세요 imperative sounds more like ordering compare to 주세요. 주세요 sounds more like asking someone to do something politely. For now, let’s check 주세요 very briefly and learn it in details later.


여기 멈춰주세요
Would you stop here, please?
= 주세요 conjugation to ask. 멈추다 + 주세요


그것을 제게 주세요
Would you please give me that?
= Give / Pass