In this lesson, we’ll show you how to say “thank you” in Korean. It is one of the most important things to know when learning to speak the language.
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When people first start to learn Korean, they are often surprised that there are more ways to say “thank you” than there are in English. The key is learning which of the phrases should be used with which people! Korean culture gives importance to hierarchy and respect which is evident in their gestures and their language. This is why there are different ways of saying thank you and other Korean phrases. Koreans have different ways of speaking with each other depending on the age or position someone holds. Their way of speaking can vary from formal to casual language. Not to worry, if you follow the Korean etiquette rules, you are sure not to offend anybody.
Below, we will learn all of the various ways to say “thank you” in Korean, and the people they should be used with.
This informal version of showing thanks is less polite than the other versions of thank you, so it is something that is usually used with close friends or young children.
Learning this form of “thank you” phrase is better than learning 감사해 (gamsahae) because it is not used often. If you say 감사해 (gamsahae), people will know what you mean. However, 고마워 (gomawo) is a much more natural way of saying “thank you” in Korean when speaking informally.
What is the meaning of 고마워 (gomawo)?
Since this is an informal and less polite way of saying “thank you” in Korean, it’s similar to saying “thanks” in English.
난 괜찮아, 고마워. (nan gwaenchana, gomawo)
I’m ok, thanks!
선물을 사줘서 고마워. (seonmuleul sajwoseo gomawo)
Thank you for buying me a present.
How to write “thank you” in Korean
You can write this polite phrase as 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida). This is the one that’s most commonly used when learning the language.
How to spell “thank you” in Korean
You can spell the word as five separate syllables: 고-맙-습-니-다. You don’t need spaces between the syllables. It should look like this: 고맙습니다.
If you’re going to spell it using romanized letters, you can write gomapseumnida. It’s pronounced similar to go-map-seum-ni-da. There are no spaces between the letters.
How to say “Thank you very much” in Korean
There are many ways to say this. Two of the common ways are 대단히 감사합니다 (daedanhi gamsahamnida) and 정말 고마워요 (jeongmal gomawoyo).
The phrase 대단히 감사합니다 (daedanhi gamsahamnida) uses more formal language. The phrase 정말 고마워요 (jeongmal gomawoyo) is used when less formal language is required.
How to say “Thank you for the food” in Korean
If someone treated you to a meal and you want to express your gratitude, you could say 잘 먹었습니다 (jal meogeotseumnida). It’s a formal way of saying “thank you for the food” or “thank you for the meal”. It translates to “I ate well.”
How to Say “No, Thank You” in Korean
You can say 괜찮아요, 고마워요 (gwaenchanayo, gomawoyo) for standard situations.
To increase the formality of “No, thank you” in Korean, you can say 괜찮습니다 고맙습니다 (gwaenchanseumnida gomapseumnida).
How do you say thank you in Korean slang?
You can say 땡큐 (ttaengkyu), which sounds similar to “Thank you” in English. If you’re texting, you can write ㄱㅅ, which is shorthand for 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida).
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More Ways to Say “Thank You” in Korean
1. 대단히 감사합니다 (daedanhi gamsahamnida)
You’re very likely to hear this formal language version of thank you in Korean during announcements, such as an announcement on the subway. We already learned 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) earlier, which is a formal version of “thank you”.
The word 대단히 (daedanhi) means “very much” in English. If you put them together, it means “thank you very much”. You can use this phrase in formal situations, such as when you’re giving a speech or presentation.
2. 진심으로 감사드립니다 (jinsimeuro gamsadeurimnida)
The word 진심 (jinsim) here means “sincerely” in English. If you want to up your “thank you” game in the language, then this is a phrase you will want to add to your repertoire.
3. 정말 고마워요 (jeongmal gomawoyo)
The 정말 (jeongmal) part means “really” or “truly”, so it’s like saying “thank you truly” in English. You can use this “thank you” in Korean version with 감사합니다 or 고맙습니다 (gamsahamnida or gomapseumnida) as well. Use this version when you want to express a sincere and heartfelt thanks.
4. 생각해 주셔서 감사합니다 (saenggakae jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)
This thank you in Korean phrase means “thank you for your consideration”. It uses the word 생각 (saenggak | thought) and the verb 주다 (juda | to give) before 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida). Not only is this an expression that you can use in many situations, but it’s also an excellent way to learn some new Korean grammar and sentence structures.
5. 함께 해 주셔서 감사합니다 (hamkke hae jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)
This means “thank you for joining us” in English. 함께 (hamkke | together) means “together”. 주다 (juda | to give) is used along with 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) at the end.
6. 선물 감사합니다 (seonmul gamsahamnida)
This expression means “thank you for the gift”. The word before 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) is 선물 (seonmul), which means “gift”.
7. 관심을 가져 주셔서 고맙습니다 (gwansimeul gajyeo jusyeoseo gomapseumnida)
This means “thank you for your interest” in English. It uses the two verbs 주다 (juda | to give) and 가지다 (gajida | to have or carry), along with 관심 (gwansim | interest). You can also use 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) in place of 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida).
8. 다시 전화 주셔서 고맙습니다 (dasi jeonhwa jusyeoseo gomapseumnida)
This means “thanks for calling back” in English. You can use this expression on the phone, but make sure you know the correct way to say hello on the telephone. It is different than the phrases you’d use to say hello in person.
9. 와 주셔서 감사합니다 (wa jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)
You can say this version of “thank you” in Korean to express “thank you for coming.” You might use this phrase to thank a friend for coming to a get together, or thank a colleague for attending an event you organized.
10. 어떻게 감사를 드려야 할지 모르겠네요 (eotteoke gamsareul deuryeoya halji moreugenneyo)
This means “I don’t know how to thank you” in English. It’s a formal way of saying thank you, and ends in an exclamation.
Responses to “Thank You” in Korean
There are a variety of ways that you can respond to someone when they say “thank you” to you. Learning them will be useful so you can give a polite reply. Let’s go through a few.
1. 아니에요 (anieyo)
This is a way of saying “you’re welcome”. You should stretch it out in an elongated way to make it extra kind. The phrase comes from the word “아니다 (anida)”, which means “no”. It’s similar to saying “it was nothing, don’t mention it” in English.
2. 천만에요 (cheonmaneyo)
This is the equivalent of saying “don’t mention it”. If someone says “thank you”, you can respond with 천만에요 (cheonmaneyo).
3. 별말씀을요 (byeolmalsseumeullyo)
This is another way of saying “don’t mention it”. You can respond to a “thank you” in a more formal way by saying 별말씀을요 (byeolmalsseumeullyo).
“Thank You” in Korean List
If you’d like a simple way of learning these, then follow these basic rules when deciding how to say “thank you” in Korean:
|감사합니다 (gamsahamnida)||Everyone, generally all purpose “thank you”|
|고마워요 (gomawoyo)||Similar aged people who you are close to|
|고마워 (gomawo)||Younger people who you are close to|
When in doubt, remember what Mom always says—it is better to be polite than impolite! Therefore, if you only learn one way to say “thank you” in Korean, then learn 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida).
If you’re curious about the Korean language, here’s a great writeup where you can learn more about it.
Now it’s your turn. Get out there and give these expressions a try and put a smile on the faces of those you run into. Let us know in the comments below how you made use of the word “thank you” in Korean conversations.
Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!
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