세요 Seyo Conjugation in Korean

Hello everyone, it’s your Korean teacher Jun and welcome to another tutorial. Question Time is back! @feli24cia : Doesn’t *세요* have kind of “please” meaning? Actually I got this tutorial request after I uploaded ‘How To Say Please in Korean’ and I think it’s time to talk about it a bit seriously.

Warm Up Your Brain

Like English has its own way to express, Korean has its own way to express. And 세요 is something that English doesn’t have. Guess what 세요 means with the example conversation.


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A: 준씨 이리 와보세요
Jun, please, come here
B: 네

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세요 Conjugation in Korean 1


used to ask someone to do something / describes someone else


You can use 세요 in 2 situations. 1st, You can use it to ask someone to do something politely in ㅅ honorific which is higher honorific than others. But it actually has more meanings. 세요 can be used to request, command, suggest or inform someone else what to do in a polite way. So, it can be  ‘would you -?’, ‘Could you -?’ or many other phrases.


Basically, it’s telling people what to do in a polite way. I know that doesn’t make sense a bit. Telling people what to do… in a polite way… It sounds like ‘bossing around in a polite way’. But anyway, that’s possible in Korean and that is 세요.


You have to use 세요 conjugation when you talk to someone else who is socially higher than you like your boss, your parents, strangers, clients or people not close to you or older people than you. It’s not much optional. You must use it.


먹어요  – 먹으세요
Eat it – Eat it

세요 Conjugation in Korean 2


used to describe someone else


Many students don’t know about the 2nd function of 세요. Because normally 세요 is known only for ‘command’. But, It’s also used to politely describe someone else with an adjective such as ‘pretty’, ‘smart’ or ‘nice’ like ‘you are awesome’.’ In this case, It sounds super polite more than usual. It even sounds like ass-kissing sometimes. But of course, not always.


예뻐요 – 예쁘세요
You are pretty

How To Use

한국어 공부하세요
[hangug-eo gongbu-ha-seyo]
Study Korean


오늘 정말 예쁘세요
[oneul jeongmal yebbeu-seyo]
You look very beautiful today


A: 준씨 이리 와보세요
Jun, please, come here
B: 네
A: 이제 가세요
Now go back

세요 = Please?

Now, I want to answer the question. Yes, 세요 can be translated as ‘please’ since it’s more polite. but not always. I already said Korean language doesn’t have ‘please’ in ‘How To Say Please in Korean’ tutorial. Of course, you can add ‘please’ based on the context in the translating process but that’s how you translate it, not what it really is.


For example, I always say ‘아빠 저녁 식사하세요’ which literally means ‘Dad, Have dinner’. It’s same to ‘Dad, dinner is ready’ in English. In this sentence, I use ‘세요’. But if you translate it as ‘please’, then it’d be really weird because it becomes : ‘Dad, please, have dinner’.

세요 For Greet / Bless

세요 is also used for greeting, goodbye, and casual blessing also like ‘hi’, ‘bye’, ‘take care’, ‘good luck with the exam’. It’s very commonly used in casual situations. However, not every greeting, goodbye and blessing use 세요. You have to memorize which phrase uses 세요.

시험 잘 보세요!
Take the test well!
= good luck with the exam!

Vocabulary Note

먹다 [moekdda] : to eat
예쁘다 [yebbeuda] : to be pretty
한국어 [hangug-eo] : Korean language
공부하다 [gongbu-hada] : to study
오늘 [oneul] : today
정말 [jeongmal] : really
이리 [iri] : here (to show the direction)
오다 [oda] : to come
이제 [ije] : now / from now on
가다 [gada] : go to
아빠 [abba] : dad
저녁 [jeonyeok] : dinner / evening
식사 [sikssa] : meal
식사하다 [sikssa-hada] : to have a meal