I’m Thirsty in Korean

Hello everyone, it’s your Korean teacher Jun. What do you think you would need most if you have to survive in a desert? I would say it’s enough water. Was it too obvious? Of course, we need water more than anything to keep surviving even if we don’t have to survive in a desert. Then how can we say your throat is dry and you need water? Today, we are going to learn how to say I’m thirsty in Korean

Warm Up Your Brain

Koreans exactly say ‘my throat is dry’ to say ‘I’m thirsty’. Can you guess the answer?

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I'm Thirst in Korean Featured

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How Natives Say I’m Thirsty in Korean


I’m thirsty


Basic form : 목마르다
반말(informal non-honorific) form : 목말라
Negative form with 해요 speech style : 안목말라요


목마르다 actually has 2 different words in it. First one is 목 which means ‘throat’ and another one is 마르다 which means ‘to be dry’. It’s a super simple expression : my throat is dry. You would actually be able to guess correctly what 목마르다 means if you knew both words.

Desire And Crave

English uses ‘hunger’ to describe one’s desire or crave. In the other hand, Korean uses ‘thirst’ to describe one’s desire or crave. If you use hunger for what you desire or crave, it doesn’t seem like you desire something in a good shape. Hunger is more like animalistic usually.


성공에 대한 목마름
Thirst for the success

How To Use

A: 목이 너무 말라요
I’m too thirsty
B: 어쩌죠? 지금 물이 없는데
Oh no, we don’t have water now


A: 목마르면 이 음료수 마셔요
Drink this soda if you are thirsty
B: 감사합니다
Thank you


A: 목말라요
I’m thirsty
B: 물 한잔에 천원
$1 for a glass of water
A: 네?? 미쳤어요??
What? Are you crazy?
B: 이젠 이천원
Now it’s $2

Another Expression

Korean has another way to say ‘to be thirty’, 갈증나요. It’s more formal and elegant (lol) than 목말라요. It uses a formal word but you can find many native Koreans actually say it sometimes in very casual conversations. 갈증 means ‘thirst’ in Korean and it’s a formal word.


I’m thirsty

You Can Also Say

However, if you listen Koreans’ conversations very carefully, then you might notice that 목말라요 or 갈증나요 isn’t much common than you expect. For that case, you need to learn one more phrase, I want to drink water.


‘I want to drink water’ is exactly same to ‘I want water’ or ‘I need water’ in Korean ways to speak.


물 마시고 싶어요
I want to drink water

Vocabulary Note

목 [mok] : throat
너무 [neomu] : too many / too much
마르다 [mareuda] : to be dry
지금 [jigeum ] : now
물 [mul] : water
없다 [eopdda] : to not have / there is no
이 [i] : this (determiner)
음료수 [eumryosu] : soda / beverage
마시다 [masida] : to drink
감사합니다 [gamsahapnida] : thank you
한잔 [hanjan] : a glass (of liquid)
원 [won] : won
미치다 [michida] : to be crazy
이젠 [ije-n] : now (이제 + 는)