Let’s talk about how to say “goodnight’ in Korean.
Although several phrases will be taught in this lesson, it may be best to pick one formal and one less formal expression and practice trying to use those expressions as much as possible.
In addition to knowing how to say ‘goodnight’, you may wish to use the expression ‘see you tomorrow’ (내일 봐요 – nae-il bwa-yo) in certain situations too.
Here we go!
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Formal ‘Goodnight’ in Korean
1. 안녕히 주무세요 (an-nyeong-hee joo-moo-se-yo)
If you have studied ‘How to Say Goodbye in Korean‘, then you will be aware of the word 안녕히 (peacefully) already.
The next word, 주무세요, is to formal version of 자다 (to sleep). In order to show respect in Korean, you not only need to add ‘시’ into expressions, but you also need to change certain words.
From the lesson on saying goodbye, we learned that 계세요 comes from the honorific version of 있다. Likewise, if you want to say ‘sleep’ in a formal setting, then you should use the word 주무세요. Use the expression 안녕히 주무세요 when speaking to people who are your senior or who are a generation or two older than you.
2. 편안한 밤 되세요 (pyeon-an-han bam dwe-se-yo)
Another expression you can use is 편안한 밤 되세요. This comes from the verb 편안하다 (to be comfortable) and the word 밤 which means ‘night’ so the expression’s literal meaning is something like ‘have a comfortable night’.
Standard ‘Goodnight’ in Korean
1. 잘 자요 (jal ja-yo)
The verb 자다 means to sleep, and 잘 means ‘well’ so the expression 잘 자요 means ‘sleep well’. You can use this expression to say goodnight to somebody.
2. 좋은 꿈 꿔요 (jo-uhn kkoom kkweo-yo)
There are several Korean verbs that usually are made up of two separate words. 꿈을 꾸다 is one of these, 꿈 means dream so literally 꿈 꾸다 could be translated as ‘dream dreams’, but you should see the two words together as an expression meaning ‘to dream’. 좋은 means ‘good’ this expression means something like ‘dream some good dreams’.
Use these expressions with people who are of a similar age and rank to, but you don’t know too well.
Informal ‘Goodnight’ in Korean
1. 잘 자 (jal ja)
2. 좋은 꿈 꿔 (jo-uhn kkoom kkweo)
If you are speaking to somebody that you are close to, who is the same age or younger than you, then you can drop the 요 from the end of the regular expressions.
Bonus: ‘Did you sleep well?’
When you see somebody the next day, you can ask them if they slept well.
Formal ‘Did you sleep well?’
1. 안녕히 주무셨어요? (annyeonghi joo-moo-sheo-sseo-yo?)
The verb 주무시다 has been put into the past tense and asked as a question.
Regular ‘Did you sleep well?’
1. 잘 잤어요? (jal jasseo-yo?)
Informal ‘Did you sleep well?’
1. 잘 잤어? (jal jasseo?)
Now you should have a good understanding of how to say ‘goodnight’ in Korean.
*Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!
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