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111 Core Korean Phrases — Primary Korean Phrases You Have to Study First

Do you know you may perceive about 50% of all Korean by studying the 100 commonest Korean phrases?

That’s proper! The 100 primary Korean phrases are so widespread they make up round half of spoken and written Korean. It’s only a matter of studying the fitting phrases first!

That’s why you want this record of 100 widespread Korean phrases by word-frequency technique, which I’ll inform you extra about later on this publish.

I’ll be writing utilizing 한글 (hangeul), the Korean writing system. It’s useful to study Hangul first as a result of it helps with pronunciation. And, whereas the writing system might look advanced…

Hangul was made to be straightforward to study! The truth is, you would study it in solely an hour or two. So brush up in your Hangul first, then begin engaged on the record under!

When you already really feel assured sufficient studying Hangul, let’s dive in.

10 Should-Know Primary Korean Phrases

When you’re solely going to study 10 Korean phrases, these are the must-knows!

  • 안녕하세요 (annyeong haseyo) – “Good day”
  • 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghi gaseyo) or 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi gyeseyo) – “Goodbye”
  • 네 (ne) or 예 (ye) – “Sure”
  • 예 (ye) or 괜찮다 (gwaenchanhda) – “Okay”
  • 아니요 (aniyo) – “No”
  • 주세요 (juseyo) – “Please”
  • 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) or 고마워요 (gomawoyo) – “Thanks”
  • 천만에요 (cheonmaneyo) – “You’re welcome”
  • 미안해요 (mianhaeyo) – “I’m sorry”
  • 몰라요 (mollayo) – “I don’t know”

Associated studying: Discover 57 extra must-know Korean phrases and phrases on this article.

10 Core Korean Pronouns

As in Japanese and even Spanish, pronouns are sometimes omitted from Korean sentences. That’s as a result of they’re understood by context.


You continue to have to know them! As a result of if it’s not clear what you’re speaking about, then you definitely want to have the ability to make it clear.

  • -씨 (-ssi) – “Mr., Mrs., Ms.”
  • 나 (na) – “I”
  • 여자 (yeoja) – “She”
  • 그 (geu) – “He”
  • 그들 (geudeul) – “They”
  • 우리 (uli) – “We”
  • 이 (i) – “This”
  • 그 (geu) – “That”
  • 저기 그거 (jeogi geugeo) – “That over there”
  • 그것 (geugeos) – “It”

Professional tip: “You” is 당신 (dangsin) in Korean. Nonetheless, I’m not counting it as a “core phrase” as a result of it’s not used usually.

“You” in Korean is just used for those who don’t know the opposite individual’s identify. In any other case, it’s a bit impolite. So as a substitute, use the individual’s identify + the honorific -씨 listed above. That’s one of the best ways to go about it!

When you want extra details about Korean honorifics, you may head to this information I wrote.

42 Primary Korean Nouns

When you’re aware of Fluent in 3 Months founder Benny Lewis’ Language Hacking technique, then he suggests studying phrases based mostly on what you personally say in on a regular basis life. These can be essentially the most useful nouns and verbs to study to begin talking quick.

And one of the best ways to apply is by creating Korean scripts with phrases you employ lots.

I exploit that technique, too. Particularly after I study the 100 commonest phrases in a language. So I nonetheless recommend you try this, too.

However as for the phrases under? They’re those you’ll hear most actually because they’re nouns for time, locations, getting round, individuals, and so forth. Perhaps you by no means trip a prepare to work, and so that you received’t say the phrase for prepare. However different individuals do, so it’s a good suggestion to study it.

Korean Phrases for Time

  • 일 (il) – “Day”
  • 주 (ju) – “Week”
  • 달 (dal) – “Month”
  • 년 (nyeon) – “Yr”
  • 오늘 (oneul) – “As we speak”
  • 어제 (eoje) – “Yesterday”
  • 내일 (naeil) – “Tomorrow”
  • 시 (si) – “Hour”
  • 분 (bun) – “Minute”
  • 시간 (sigan) – “Time”
  • 전에 (jeon-e) – “Earlier than”
  • 후 (hu) – “After”
  • 지금 (jigeum) – “Now”

Korean Phrases for Locations

  • 여기 (yeogi) – “Right here”
  • 그곳에 (geugos-e) – “There”
  • 장소 (jangso) – “Place”
  • 학교 (haggyo) – “Faculty”
  • 가게 (gage) – “Store”
  • 일 (il) – “Work”
  • 화장실 (hwajangsil) – “Toilet”
  • 도시 (dosi) – “Metropolis”
  • 나라 (nara) – “Nation”
  • 기차역 (gichayeog) – “Practice station”
  • 방 (bang) – “Room”
  • 대한민국 (daehanmingug) – “South Korea”

Korean Phrases for Issues

  • 것 (geos) – “Factor”
  • 아무것도 (amugeosdo) – “Nothing”
  • 뭔가 (mwonga) – “One thing”
  • 집 (jib)- “Home”
  • 차 (cha) – “Automotive”
  • 말 (mal) – “Phrases”
  • 언어 (eon-eo) – “Language”
  • 물 (mul) – “Water”
  • 영화 (yeonghwa) – “Film”

Korean Phrases for Folks

  • 여자 (yeoja) – “Girl”
  • 남자 (namja) – “Man”
  • 소녀 (sonyeo) – “Woman”
  • 소년 (sonyeon) – “Boy”
  • 친구 (chingu) – “Pal”
  • 사람 (saram) – “Individual”
  • 가족 (gajok) – “Household”
  • 이름 (ileum) – “Identify”

Associated studying: “Household” in Korean: Speaking About Your Household in Korean

25 Widespread Korean Verbs

These are the 25 commonest Korean verbs you have to know. You’ll be able to say lots with solely these 25, particularly with verbs like 하다 and 있다 which mix with different phrases and nouns to kind new verbs.

  • 하다 (hada) – “To do”
  • 있다 (issda) – “To be, there’s”
  • 지다 (jida) – “To turn into”
  • 말하다 (malhada) – “To say”
  • 오다 (oda) – “To return”
  • 가다 (kada) – “To go”
  • 할 수 있다 (hal su issda) – “To have the ability to do”
  • 보다 (boda) – “To see”
  • 보내다 (bonaeda) – “To ship”
  • 가지다 (gajida) – “To have”
  • 기다리다 (gidalida) – “To attend”
  • 만나다 (mannada) – “To satisfy”
  • 살다 (salda) – “To reside”
  • 생각하다 (saeng-gaghada) – “To assume”
  • 주다 (juda) – “To present”
  • 받다 (badda) – “To obtain”
  • 알다 (alda) – “To know”
  • 만들다 (mandeulda) – “To make”
  • 사용하다 (sayonghada) – “To make use of”
  • 배우다 (baeuda) – “To study”
  • 먹다 (meogada) – “To eat”
  • 마시다 (masida) – “To drink”
  • 웃다 (udda) – “To snigger”
  • 읽다 (ilgda) – “To learn”
  • 쓰다 (sseuda) – “To jot down”

19 Easy Korean Adjectives and Adverbs

There are such a lot of adjectives you would use so as to add shade to your Korean. However these are among the primary Korean phrases to get began with.

They’re tremendous useful as descriptive phrases, particularly for those who don’t know the fitting one for what you’re describing.

  • 많은 (manh-eun) – “Many, a number of”
  • 조금 (jogeum) – “Few”
  • 큰 (keun) – “Huge”
  • 작은 (jageun) – “Small”
  • 긴 (gin) – “Tall”
  • 짧은 (jjalb-eun) – “Quick”
  • 가까이에 (gakkaie) – “Close to”
  • 멀리 (meolli) – “Far”
  • 좋은 (joeun) – “Good, good”
  • 나쁜 (nappeun) – “Dangerous”
  • 쉬운 (swiun) – “Simple”
  • 어려운 (eoryeoun) – “Tough”
  • 아름다운 (aleumdaun) – “Lovely”
  • 못생긴 (mossaenggin) – “Ugly”
  • 맛있는 (masissneun) – “Scrumptious”
  • 뜨거운 (tteugeoun) – “Scorching”
  • 춥다 (chubda) – “Chilly”
  • 매우 (maeu) – “Very”
  • 재미 (jaemi) – “Fulfilling”

5 Core Korean Conjunctions and Connectors

Dialog connections are the keys to sounding fluent in any language. They assist clean out your sentence transitions and offer you a second to consider what you wish to say. These 5 are essentially the most useful:

  • 그러나 (geuleona) – “However, nonetheless”
  • 또한 (ttohan) – “Additionally”
  • 예를 들어 (yeleul deul-eo) – “For instance”
  • 그래서 (geulaeseo) – “So”
  • 그때 (geuttae) – “Then”

Bonus: 10 Cool Korean Phrases and Slang to Increase your Korean Vocabulary

You at all times want some cool Korean slang phrases so as to add to your reminiscence financial institution! These ten slang phrases are an excellent place to begin so that you sound extra pure in Korean.

  • 대박 (daebak) – “Wonderful, nice”, or “that’s loopy”
  • 짱 (jjang) – “The most effective, superior”
  • 꿀잼 (kkuljaem) – “Enjoyable, fascinating, or humorous”
  • 닭살 (dalgsal) – “Tacky”
  • 극혐 (geughyeom) – “Completely disgusting/repulsive”
  • 불금 (bulgeum) – “TGIF”, “Burning Friday” or “Golden Friday”
  • 행쇼 (haengsyo) – “Be glad” (a classy phrase made common by Ok-Pop idol, G-Dragon)
  • 헐 (heol) – “OMG, no approach”
  • ㅋㅋ (kk) – “Haha” or “lol” (Solely utilized in textual content)
  • 만렙 (manleb) – “Degree 10,000” (or as I like to consider it… “It’s over 9,000!”)

When you’d wish to study extra Korean slang, I’ve bought precisely what you want: Korean Slang: 80+ On a regular basis Phrases and Phrases to Sound Like a Native.

Find out how to Study the Most Widespread Korean Phrases With the Phrase-Frequency Technique

The word-frequency technique is my favourite technique for studying vocabulary in a brand new goal language.

I’ve performed this technique with core Japanese phrases and primary Spanish phrases as nicely. It helps me stage up my listening comprehension and talking capability quick.

That’s as a result of I’m strategic about studying crucial, widespread phrases first.

I like to consider this technique like a newbie’s strategy to health: begin with compound workout routines that construct a number of muscle groups directly, so that you get essentially the most out of it, quick.

These phrases do the identical factor on your Korean language muscle groups. They strengthen your core and work your mind in one of the best ways potential. You’ll see good points quick!

Fairly than study a “newbie’s Korean vocab record,” which regularly focuses on classroom or office vocab first, you’re studying Korean phrases utilized in on a regular basis life. When you pair that with Korean greetings and phrases, you’ll see loads of progress!

I comply with this technique as much as about 1,000 phrases after which transfer on to studying crucial phrases for me particularly. (Issues like job-specific vocabulary, or phrases associated to my favourite hobbies.)

That’s as a result of 100 phrases will get you to 50% fluency, and 1,000 phrases will get you to about 70%. However after that? The payoff slows down. Examine that to 10,000 phrases, which will get you to round 90% fluency! 20% extra for 10x the vocabulary. Not as efficient.

(BUT that doesn’t imply you must by no means study 10k phrases! It simply means you must diversify your examine time for one of the best output.)

Now, one factor to notice about these core Korean phrases listed above. I’m skipping Korean particles and repeats of phrases which can be totally different solely by grammar conjugation. What meaning is, I’m not together with particles like topic marker 는 (neun) or variations of verbs like “see/noticed” or “go/went”, or informal/honorific variations.

Why? As a result of that’s a waste! You’ll be able to study these whenever you study grammar. In addition to, to incorporate issues like particles can be complicated as a newbie for those who don’t perceive their utilization. (For my part, they fall extra beneath grammar patterns than vocabulary.)

The remainder of these easy Korean phrases shall be straightforward to grasp since you’ll see and listen to them on a regular basis!

Huge Features for Your Korean Language Studying Muscle groups

Flex these Korean abilities and exhibit your swole vocabulary! As a result of now that you simply’ve gotten by this record, you may transfer on to extra advanced Korean language matters.

You possibly can discover a Korean language alternate companion to apply with, or begin immersing your self in Korean at residence with Korean dramas and TV reveals.

Btw, if you need the finest Korean language course to stage up your Korean, take a look at my evaluation of 90 Day Korean. It’s what helped me study Korean and Hangul within the easiest method potential, and it’s truthfully my very favourite language studying course I’ve used up to now.

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Caitlin Sacasas

Content material Author, Fluent in 3 Months

Caitlin is a content material creator, health coach, zero waster, language lover, and Star Wars nerd. She blogs about health and sustainability at Insurgent Coronary heart Magnificence.

Speaks: English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish

View all posts by Caitlin Sacasas



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