[Expression]어떻게 해요? vs 어떡해요?

어떻게(adverb) means ‘how’ and ‘해요(verb)‘ means ‘do’, so 어떻게 해요 means ‘what should I(you) do?”. And 어떡해요(adjective) is a short form for 어떻게 해요. Therefore, both mean “what should I do?”. They are used for when some BAD thing happened.

In conversations, it can be translated “Oh, no”, “Oh, my god!” or “Too bad”. I heard that a lot of people say ‘미안해요’ when they hear bad news because in English, they say “I am sorry to hear that.” when they hear a bad thing.

But “미안해요.” means “sorry/apologize”, not ‘feel sorry’.  You can say “아이고, 어떡해요.” or “어머, 정말 안 됐네요.(It is too bad)”.



A: 200만원을 잃어버렸어요. I lost 2,000,000 Won.
B: 아이고, 어떡해요. 그거 등록금이잖아요. Oh, my god! That was your tuition!

B: 왜 울고 있어요? 무슨 일 있어요? Why are you crying? What happened?
A: 어제 우리 집 강아지가 갑자기 죽었어요. My dog suddenly died yesterday.
B: 어머, 어떡해요… 무슨 병이 있었어요?  Oh, no… Was he sick before?

A: 지난 주에 정민 씨가 남자 친구하고 헤어졌어요. Jungmin broke up with her boyfriend last week.
B: 어머, 정말 안 됐네요. 정민 씨가 남자 친구를 많이 좋아했잖아요. That’s too bad, Jungmin really like him, right?




[vocabulary] adverb list for beginners

가끔 sometimes
가장 the most
갑자기 suddenly
같이[가치] together
계속 continously
그래서 so, therefore
그러나 but
그러니까 so, therefore
그러면 then
그런데 but
그럼 then
그렇지만 but
그리고 and
must, definitely
거의 almost
너무 too (much/many), very
늦게 late
다시 again
똑바로 straight
많이 a lot
매우 very
매일 everyday
먼저 first
모두 all
물론 of course
바로 right there (time/place)
벌써 already
보다 more
빨리 quickly
서로 each other
아마 maybe
아주 very
아직 yet
어디 where
어서 quickly
언제 when
언제나 always
얼마 how much
얼마나 how much/long
열심히 (do) hard
오래 for long time
오랜만에 it has not been long time
왜냐하면 because
이제 from now
일찍 early
자주 often
잠깐 for a short time
잠시 for a short time
정말 really
제일 the most
조금 a little bit
a little bit
지금 now
천천히 slowly
하지만 but
함께 together
항상 always

You can listen to the audio file by clicking here. 

What is ㅋㅋ or ㅎㅎ? 

What is ㅋㅋ in Korean? 

It is a chatting word which means “laugh” or “funny”. One of the laughing sounds in Korean is 크크, so we just write that without vowels. There is also ㅎㅎ, which is 하하.

 So if you see something funny, you can leave ㅋㅋ or ㅎㅎ. 

[Expression] 오래/오랫동안/오랜만 for long time

오래 means ‘a long time’ and 오랫동안 means ‘for long time’, which 동안 means ‘for (time)’. 오래 and 오랫동안 are often switchable.

오래 기다렸어요.  I waited for a long time. (=오랫동안)
남자 친구하고 오래 사귀었어요. I have been dating with my boyfriend for a long time. (=오랫동안)
여기에서 오래 살고 싶어요. I want to live here for a long time. (=오랫동안)
오래 앉아 있으면 허리가 아파요. My back is sore if I sit for a long time. (=오랫동안)
* 오래 안 걸릴 거예요. It won’t take long. (It is weird if the verb is 걸리다 which means ‘take time’)


오랜만 (or 오래간만means ‘do something that you have not done for a long time’. For example,

오랜만이에요. It has been a long time (since we saw last time)
오랜만 피자를 먹었어요. I ate pizza. (I had not had pizza for a long time)
오랜만 친구를 만났어요. I met my friend. (I had not seen him/her for a long time)
오랜만 영화를 봤어요. I watched a movie. (I had not seen a movie for a while)
오랜만 오셨네요. You came! (You have not been here for a long time)

You can listen to the audio file by clicking here. 

감사합니다. 미안합니다. and more

There are several ways to say thank you in Korean. 감사합니다 is the most polite way and formal way to say ‘Thank you’. 고맙습니다is a little less formal but still polite. 고마워요 is a friendly way to say, so you can use this to a person who are close to you, but not the same age friend. 고마워 is used between friends who are the same age or to a person who is younger than you.


For saying sorry, there are also many ways to say. 죄송합니다 is the most polite and formal way to say ‘I am so sorry’, it is usually to an old person or bosses. 미안합니다 is less formal than 죄송합니다, but it is still polite. 미안해요 is the most common because it is a friendly way to say ‘I am sorry’. You can use this to your generation, but not to elders. Between friends who are the same age, you can say 미안해 which is very casual.


There is one more thing I want to add in this post, which is “Happy birthday!”. It is 생일 축하합니다 or 생일 축하해요 생일 means ‘birthday’ and 축하합니다/축하해요 mean ‘Congratulations’.

The birthday song in Korean is

생일 축하합니다. 생일 축하합니다. 사랑하는 ㅇㅇㅇ(name), 생일 축하합니다. 

You can sing this song for your Korean friends! You can click a link below to listen to the full song.

[Expressions] Formal? polite? honorific?

When you learn Korean, you will hear terms like formal, polite and honorific. I want to explain this to you in this post.

Formality is about situation. You use formal endings like -습니다, -는다 when you have business meetings, presentations or ceremonies. For normal situations(non-formal) like talking to family, friends or people who you know well, you can use -아/어/여요 or -아/어/여.

Politeness is about listener. When you talk to someone who is older that you or higher position, you should use polite endings like 습니다 or 아/어/여요. When you talk to someone who is the same age as you or younger, you will use -는다 or -아/어/여.

formal non-formal
polite -(스)ㅂ니다 아/어/여요
non-polite -는다 아/어/여

For example,

비가 왔습니다. (formal, polite : news anchor)
비가 왔어요. (non-formal, polite : a kid to a mom)
비가 온다. (formal, non-polite : writing a diary, news paper, books)
비가 와. (non-formal, non-polite : between friends or to young people)

Honorific forms  are used when a subject is a person who is older generation or higher position while politeness is about listener. You will use -(으)시 after verbs and adjectives. For example,

할머니가 오어요.
선생님이 부르요.

You can study honorific forms by clicking here. 

One more thing, 저 and 나 both are ‘I’ or ‘me’. 저 is humble way which is polite, 나 is non-polite. So if you use 저(I,me), you’d better use -(스)ㅂ니다 or -아/어/여요. On the other hand, if you use 나, you can use -ㄴ/는다 or 아/어/여.


[Expression] 안녕하세요. Hello

안녕하세요. means ‘Hello’ when you meet someone. It is very polite, so you can use anyone. Between friends(the same age), you can just say 안녕 which is very casual.

When you say ‘Good bye’, there are two different ones. If you leave, you will say ‘안녕히 계세요’ which means ‘Stay well’. If you stay, you will say  ‘안녕히 가세요’ which means ‘Go well’.

When you both leave like on the street, you both say ‘안녕히 가세요’, whereas when you hang up the phone, you both say ‘안녕히 계세요’.

Let’s practice 안녕하세요. 안녕히 가세요. and 안녕히 계세요. with these videos.


안녕하세요. Hello


안녕히 계세요. Stay well, good bye.


안녕히 가세요. Go well, good bye.

basic Korean verb/adjective – future tense

You can listen to audio files by clicking here.

동사/형용사  verb/adjective -(으)ㄹ 거예요
가르치다 to teach 가르칠 거예요.
배우다 to learn 배울 거예요.
회의하다 to have a meeting 회의할 거예요.
끝나다 to be finished 끝날 거예요.
시작하다 to start 시작할 거예요.
빌리다 to borrow 빌릴 거예요.
여행 가다 to go on a travel 여행 갈 거예요.
읽다 to read 읽을 거예요.
좋아하다 to like 좋아할 거예요.
운동하다 to exercise 운동할 거예요.
테니스를 치다 to play tennis 테니스를 칠 거예요.
결혼하다 to marry 결혼할 거예요.
고치다 to fix 고칠 거예요.
초대하다 to invite 초대할 거예요.
좋다 to be good 좋을 거예요.
켜다 to turn on 켤 거예요.
많다 to be many 많을 거예요.
말하다 to speak 말할 거예요.
맛있다 to be delicious 맛있을 거예요.
맛없다 not be delicious 맛없을 거예요.
먹다 to eat 먹을 거예요.
사다 to buy 살 거예요.
이사하다 to move 이사할 거예요.
만들다 to make 만들 거예요.
정리하다 to organize 정리할 거예요.
졸업하다 to graduate 졸업할 거예요.
준비하다 to prepare 준비할 거예요.
청소하다 to clean 청소할 거예요.
만나다 to meet 만날 거예요.
피곤하다 to be tired 피곤할 거예요.
마시다 to drink 마실 거예요.
앉다 to sit 앉을 거예요.
이야기하다 to talk 이야기할 거예요.
열다 to open 열 거예요.
일하다 to work 일할 거예요.
끄다 to turn off 끌 거예요.
바쁘다 to be busy 바쁠 거예요.
아프다 to be sick 아플 거예요.
예쁘다 to be pretty 예쁠 거예요.
가다 to go 갈 거예요.
오다 to come 올 거예요.
자다 to sleep 잘 거예요.
공부하다 to study 공부할 거예요.
기다리다 to wait 기다릴 거예요.
듣다 to listen 들을 거예요.
걷다 to walk 걸을 거예요.
닫다 to close 닫을 거예요.
받다 to receive 받을 거예요.
춥다 to be cold 추울 거예요.
덥다 to be hot 더울 거예요.

You can listen to audio files by clicking here.

basic Korean verbs and adjectives-past tense

You can listen to audio files by clicking here.


동사/형용사 verbs/adjectives -(았/었/했)어요
가르치다 to teach 가르쳤어요.
배우다 to learn 배웠어요.
회의하다 to have a meeting 회의했어요.
끝나다 to be finished 끝났어요.
시작하다 to start 시작했어요.
빌리다 to borrow 빌렸어요.
여행 가다 to go on a travel 여행 갔어요.
읽다 to read 읽었어요.
좋아하다 to like 좋아했어요.
운동하다 to exercise 운동했어요.
테니스를 치다 to play tennis 테니스를 쳤어요.
결혼하다 to marry 결혼했어요.
고치다 to fix 고쳤어요.
초대하다 to invite 초대했어요.
좋다 to be good 좋았어요.
켜다 to turn on 켰어요.
많다 to be many 많았어요.
말하다 to speak 말했어요.
맛있다 to be delicious 맛있었어요.
맛없다 not be delicious 맛없었어요.
먹다 to eat 먹었어요.
사다 to buy 샀어요.
이사하다 to move 이사했어요.
만들다 to make 만들었어요.
정리하다 to organize 정리했어요.
졸업하다 to graduate 졸업했어요.
준비하다 to prepare 준비했어요.
청소하다 to clean 청소했어요.
만나다 to meet 만났어요.
피곤하다 to be tired 피곤했어요.
마시다 to drink 마셨어요.
앉다 to sit 앉았어요.
이야기하다 to talk 이야기했어요.
열다 to open 열었어요.
일하다 to work 일했어요.
끄다 to turn off 껐어요.
바쁘다 to be busy 바빴어요.
아프다 to be sick 아팠어요.
예쁘다 to be pretty 예뻤어요.
가다 to go 갔어요.
오다 to come 왔어요.
자다 to sleep 잤어요.
공부하다 to study 공부했어요.
기다리다 to wait 기다렸어요.
듣다 to listen 들었어요.
걷다 to walk 걸었어요.
닫다 to close 닫았어요.
받다 to receive 받았어요.
춥다 to be cold 추웠어요.
덥다 to be hot 더웠어요.


You can listen to audio files by clicking here.

basic Korean verbs and adjectives – present tense

You can listen to audio files by clicking here.


동사/형용사  verb/adjective -(아/어/해)요
가르치다 to teach 가르쳐요.
배우다 to learn 배워요.
회의하다 to have a meeting 회의해요.
끝나다 to be finished 끝나요.
시작하다 to start 시작해요.
빌리다 to borrow 빌려요.
여행 가다 to go on a travel 여행 가요.
읽다 to read 읽어요.
좋아하다 to like 좋아해요.
운동하다 to exercise 운동해요.
테니스를 치다 to play tennis 테니스를 쳐요.
결혼하다 to marry 결혼해요.
고치다 to fix 고쳐요.
초대하다 to invite 초대해요.
좋다 to be good 좋아요.
켜다 to turn on 켜요.
많다 to be many 많아요.
말하다 to speak 말해요.
맛있다 to be delicious 맛있어요.
맛없다 not be delicious 맛없어요.
먹다 to eat 먹어요.
사다 to buy 사요.
이사하다 to move 이사해요.
만들다 to make 만들어요.
정리하다 to organize 정리해요.
졸업하다 to graduate 졸업해요.
준비하다 to prepare 준비해요.
청소하다 to clean 청소해요.
만나다 to meet 만나요.
피곤하다 to be tired 피곤해요.
마시다 to drink 마셔요.
앉다 to sit 앉아요.
이야기하다 to talk 이야기해요.
열다 to open 열어요.
일하다 to work 일해요.
끄다 to turn off 꺼요.
바쁘다 to be busy 바빠요.
아프다 to be sick 아파요.
예쁘다 to be pretty 예뻐요.
가다 to go 가요.
오다 to come 와요.
자다 to sleep 자요.
공부하다 to study 공부해요.
기다리다 to wait 기다려요.
듣다 to listen 들어요.
걷다 to walk 걸어요.
닫다 to close 닫아요.
받다 to receive 받아요.
춥다 to be cold 추워요.
덥다 to be hot 더워요.

You can listen to audio files by clicking here.