Warm Up Your Brain
Korean language has 2 ways to say sorry. Maybe you’ve heard of them if you love k-drama or k-pop! Can you say it in 5 seconds?
How To Say I’m Sorry in Korean
Basic form : 미안하다
반말(informal non-honorific) form : 미안해 / 미안
Negative form with 해요 speech style : 안미안해요
미안해요 is the most common way to say sorry in Korean. However, it’s not perfectly okay to use to strangers or older people than you. 미안해요 is more natural when you use it to your friends that you know personally. Then how do native Koreans say sorry to strangers or older people?
Another Way To Say I’m Sorry in Korean
Basic form : 죄송하다
반말(informal non-honorific) form : –
Negative form with 해요 speech style : 죄송하지 않아요
죄송합니다 is a formal sorry in Korean. However, native Koreans very commonly use it when they say sorry to strangers, older people or any moment when they have to be formal even a bit like in a workplace. Also, 죄송 sounds like you feel really sorry.
The word stem 죄송 is normally used with the formal honorific speech style -합니다. But also can be used with -해요 speech style : 죄송해요. It’s less formal than 죄송합니다. The word stem 죄송 can’t be used with the informal speech style 반말.
How To Use
A: 이거 누가 그랬어요?
Who did this?
B: 미안해요. 제가 그랬어요
I’m sorry. I did that
A: 내 피자… 준씨가 다 먹어버렸어…
My pizza… Jun ate it all
A: 방귀 소리가 천둥같네요! ㅎㅎ
Your fart sounds like a thunder 😀
B: 그거 제 방귀가 미안하다고 한거예요
That’s my fart said sorry
Sorry vs I’m Sorry
English has 2 ways to say sorry. One is saying ‘I’m sorry’ and another is saying just ‘sorry’. Korean language doesn’t have 2 ways like English. It has only one way to say : ‘sorry’. But why?
Always Drop a Subject
If you don’t drop the subject to say sorry in Korean, it can be super rude sometimes with any honorific especially with -합니다 ending. I don’t know, it can sound like ‘I didn’t do wrong but maybe it hurts you accidently’ or too dramatic?