Warm Up Your Brain
Do you remember how to say ‘I know’ in Korean?
How To Say I Don’t Know in Korean
I don’t know
Basic form : 모르다
반말(informal non-honorific) form : 몰라
Negative form with 해요 speech style : –
몰라요 means ‘to not know’ in Korean. Unlike English, Korean doesn’t use a negative form of ‘알다(know)’ to say ‘don’t know’. You have to use another verb to say ‘don’t know’ which is 모르다.
In a previous lesson, you’ve learned 알아요 can have many meanings. However, 몰라요 only means ‘to not know’ only.
With Adverb 잘
Native Koreans often say ‘몰라요’ with an adverb 잘. 잘 is really similar ‘well’, ‘correctly’, ‘properly’. Koreans use it really often together with ‘I don’t know’ but it’s hard to say 잘 has meaning always because sometimes Koreans just say it without any meaning.
I Don’t Know
English speakers often say ‘I don’t know’ so suddenly without a meaning. Well… you can’t say ‘몰라요’ like that. Sometimes native Koreans just say it. I wouldn’t say it’s 100% same to ‘I don’t know’.
How To Use
A: 어디로 가는지 알아요?
Do you know where to go
I don’t know
A: 타타씨 이거 정답이 뭐예요?
Tata, what’s the answer of this?
B: 저도 잘 몰라요
I don’t know either
A: 물고기를 어떻게 잡아야 할까요?
How can we catch a fish?
B: 몰라요. 아마도 포켓볼?
I don’t know. Maybe pokeball?
* This is a tutorial for how to be a crazy person lol
Positive Form of 몰라요
Technically, the negative form of 몰라요 should be ‘안몰라요’. However, it doesn’t seem to be 100% okay. You can say 안몰라요 but 알아요 sounds much better and natural in almost every situation. 알아요 means ‘know’.
Another Use of 몰라요
Maybe you’ve heard native Koreans say it like ‘아 몰라’ or ‘아 몰라요’ in a bit upset tone. That’s supposed to mean ‘I don’t know (what to do / how to do)’. But it really doesn’t have much meaning but expressing annoyance.