If you’ve already figured out to how to say ‘hello’ in Korean, then you’re read 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.
Let’s get to it!
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Standard ‘Goodbye’ in Korean
1. 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghi kaseyo)
If the other person is leaving, then you should say 안녕히 가세요 ‘annyeonghi kaseyo’. Let’s break it down!
You have probably come across the word 안녕 from when you studied how to say ‘hello’ in Korean.
You can use 안녕 to say ‘goodbye’ informally too. It’s actual meaning is ‘peace’. The ‘히’ on the end of the word is one of the ways of turning a word into an adverb, so now 안녕히 roughly translates as ‘peacefully’.
가세요 is the polite way of telling somebody to go. You can use this word when in a taxi, for example ‘이태원에 가세요’ (go to Itaewon) if you want. When put together, 안녕히 가세요 means ‘go peacefully’.
2. 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi kyeseyo)
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 ‘annyeongi kyeseyo’.
계세요 is the honorific version of 있으세요 (from the verb 있다 – to exist). So when you say 안녕히 계세요, you are literally saying ‘peacefully exist’.
The difficulty that most students have is that they often mix up 가세요 and 계세요. They sound quite similar! Keep on practicing and eventually you will get it right.
3. 가세요 (ga-seyo)
Another common way of saying ‘goodbye’ in Korea is to simply say 가세요. Often older people use this word when saying ‘goodbye’ to younger people. It is a polite way of saying ‘go’.
4. 잘 가요 (jal gayo)
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
1. 안녕 (annyeong)
The simplest way to say ‘goodbye’ in Korean is to say 안녕. 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.
2. 잘 가 (jal ga)
If the other person is leaving, then you can say 잘 가 ‘jal ka’, meaning ‘go well’.
3. 나 먼저 가 (na meonjeo ga)
If you are leaving, then a frequently used expression is 나 먼저 가 ‘na meonjeo ga’ which means ‘I will go first’.
It is heard a lot in dramas, and can be used with close friends.
4. 다음에 봐 (daum-eh bwa)
This phrase means “see you next time”. You can use it in addition to the other ‘goodbye’ phrases above.
5. 내일 봐 (naeil bwa)
Use this phrase to express the idea of “see you tomorrow”.
Remember that if you are speaking to somebody older than you, then you should include the 요 ‘yo’ at the end.
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.
Keep on studying, and 다음에 봐요!