Please in Korean

Hello everyone, it’s your Korean teacher Jun and welcome to another tutorial! I’ve seen many students say ‘제발’ without any other first I didn’t understand why they say it but later I figured out they use it to say ‘please’. Perhaps you make this same mistake too sometimes. But 제발 is not ‘please’ in Korean. So, Today we’re going to learn how to say Please in Korean just like natives!

Warm Up Your Brain

A: 제발 이거 좀 해요
제발 do this
B: 알겠어요. 짜증내지 마세요
Ok, don’t be mad
A: What…? I said please do this

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제발 ≠ Please

제발 is translated as  ‘please’ sometimes but it’s more similar to ‘desperate please’. You have to understand the nuance of 제발 because it’s very different than ‘please’ in English. You can use it in 2 situations. 1st, when you beg someone to do something.

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제발 해주세요!
Please, I’m begging you to do it!


2nd, when you are very annoyed and sick of other person’s behavior. Koreans use it when they are sick of some action that bothers them so much. It’s not so nice or polite to use it. because it’s almost same to ‘that’s enough!’ in a very angry tone.


제발 그만해요!
That’s enough! Stop it!

Please in Korean Featured

How To Say Please in Korean

– 주세요 / -세요

[juseyo] / [seyo]


Then, what’s ‘Please’ in Korean? Here is the fun fact you must know. There is no expression for please in Korean. Why doesn’t Korean language have ‘please’? Because, many other conjugations are polite enough. They already have ‘please’ in its nuance.


So, Instead of saying ‘Please’, you can use other conjugations for asking like 주세요 conjugation, 세요 conjugation. Both are a common conjugation for asking someone to do something. 주세요 is more polite than 세요. Yes, we use conjugations instead of the word ‘please’. That’s another beauty of Korean.

How To Use

준씨 이것 좀 해주세요

[jun-ssi igeo jom hejuseyo]
Jun, Would you do this, please?


Don’t eat it


A: 문 좀 열어주세요
Open the door
B: 이거 개집이잖아요
It’s a dog house
A: 네, 저 거기 살아요
Yes I live there

제발 좀!

Sometimes it seems like 제발 doesn’t mean ‘I’m begging’ or ‘I’m annoyed’ in this case. There is a hidden meaning of 제발 that only native Koreans use. Let’s imagine a situation that can happen to everybody. You tried something over and over but kept failing or you almost cleared a stage of some super difficult game but you didn’t know you would make it. At the moment, maybe you would make a short desperate word like ‘oh come on’. That’s it. The hidden meaning of 제발 is a desperate howling.


아… 제발 좀…
Oh… come on….

Vocabulary Note

이거 [igeo] : this
먹다 [meokdda] : to eat
문 [mun] : door
열다 [yeolda] : to open
개 [ge] : dog
집 [jip] : house / home
개집 [ge-jip] : dog house
거기 [geogi] : there
살다 [salda] : to live