If you’ve already figured out to how to say ‘hello’ in Korean, then you’re ready to add the next important phrase to the mix.
Today, we’ll show you how to say ‘goodbye’ in Korean.
There is more than one way of saying ‘goodbye’. You should use a different ‘goodbye’ phrase depending on whether you are the person going or the person staying. We also have a FREE guide that you can take with you on the go. Check it out below:
Let’s get to it!
Formal ‘Goodbye’ in Korean
These are the most formal ways to say ‘goodbye’ in Korean. You might hear these on radio shows or on TV.
Standard ‘Goodbye’ in Korean
If the other person is leaving, then you should say 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghi gaseyo). Let’s break it down!
You have probably come across the word 안녕 (annyeong) from when you studied how to say ‘hello’ in Korean.
You can use 안녕 to say ‘goodbye’ informally too. Its actual meaning is ‘peace’. The ‘히 (hi)’ on the end of the word is one of the ways of turning a word into an adverb, so now 안녕히 (annyeonghi) roughly translates as ‘peacefully’.
가세요 (gaseyo) is the polite way of telling somebody to go. You can use this word when in a taxi, for example ‘이태원에 가세요’ (itaewone gaseyo | go to Itaewon) if you want. When put together, 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghi gaseyo)) means ‘go peacefully’.
Imagine you have to say ‘goodbye’ to someone (so sad!).
In this scenario, you are the person who is leaving, and the other person is the one who is staying. In this situation, you should say 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi gyeseyo).
계세요 (gyeseyo) is the honorific version of 있으세요 (isseuseyo | from the verb 있다 (itda) – to exist). So when you say 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi gyeseyo), you are literally saying ‘peacefully exist’.
The difficulty that most students have is that they often mix up 가세요 (gaseyo) and 계세요 (gyeseyo). They sound quite similar! Keep on practicing and eventually you will get it right.
Another common way of saying ‘goodbye’ in Korea is to simply say 가세요 (gaseyo). Often older people use this word when saying ‘goodbye’ to younger people. It is a polite way of saying ‘go’.
You can say ‘goodbye’ by using the phrase 잘 가요 (jal gayo), which literally means ‘go well’. This expression can only be used when the other person is leaving.
Informal ‘Goodbye’ in Korean
The simplest way to say ‘goodbye’ in Korean is to say 안녕 (annyeong). Remember that this is quite informal, so don’t say it at work or to people older than you! You can use this regardless if the other person is staying or going.
If the other person is leaving, then you can say 잘 가 (jal ga), meaning ‘go well’.
If you are leaving, then a frequently used expression is 나 먼저 갈게 (na meonjeo galge) which means ‘I will go first’.
It is heard a lot in dramas, and can be used with close friends.
This phrase means “see you next time”. You can use it in addition to the other ‘goodbye’ phrases above.
Use this phrase to express the idea of “see you tomorrow”.
If they are significantly older than you, then you may want to change 봐 to 보세요 (boseyo) to make it more formal. It’s good manners!
Hopefully, you now understand how to say goodbye in Korean. If you liked this, then check out our free resource guide on how to learn Korean online.
Keep on studying, and 다음에 봐요 (daeume bwayo)!
Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for even more!