Being able to tell people your wants and needs is a very useful skill. It’s especially important when you’re living in or visiting a foreign country!
Today we’re going to focus on how to say ‘I need you’ in Korean. Once you know how to say ‘I need you’, you will also be able to say ‘I need _____’ in Korean. Once you learn this, you’ll feel much more confident about begin in Korea.
‘I Need You’ in Korean
The verb ‘to need’ in Korean is 필요하다 (pillyohada).
To use this verb in a sentence, you should first say the object that you need, followed by 이 (i) or 가 (ga) [depending on whether the word ends in a vowel or consonant], followed by 필요하다.
돈이 필요하다 (doni pillyohada) – to need money
커피가 필요하다 (keopiga pillyohada) – to need coffee
This verb is not used in the same way as its English equivalent, so you need to be careful.
In English, you can use the word ‘need’ to describe things that you must do. For example, you could say ‘I need to clean my car’.
In Korean, to describe an action that needs doing, the verb 필요하다 cannot be used. Instead, the sentence often ends in -야 하다 (-ya hada) or -야 되다 (-ya doeda).
세차해야 돼요 (sechahaeya dwaeyo)
I need to clean my car.
Formal ‘I Need You’ in Korean
1. 당신이 필요합니다 (dangsini pillyohamnida)
당신 (dangsin) = you
You can use formal Korean in situations such as reports, presentations, and interviews.
Although 당신 means you, it should be replaced by the speaker’s name/position in society.
엄마가 필요합니다 (eommaga pillyohamnida)
I need you. (to your mother)
선생님이 필요합니다 (seonsaengnimi pillyohamnida)
I need you. (to a teacher or doctor)
돈이 필요합니다 (doni pillyohamnida)
I need some money.
Standard ‘I Need You’ in Korean
1. 당신이 필요해요 (dangsini pillyohaeyo)
Standard Korean is used when speaking to people who you don’t know well or who are older than you. As with formal Korean, you should replace 당신 with somebody’s name or title.
오빠가 필요해요 (oppaga pillyohaeyo)
I need you. (female speaking to a slightly older male friend)
도움이 필요해요 (doumi pillyohaeyo)
I need some help.
Informal ‘I Need You’ in Korean
1. 네가 필요해 (nega pillyohae)
You can use these expressions with people who are close to you and who are of a similar or younger age. You might use this with a spouse or significant other.
돈이 필요해 (doni pillyohae)
I need some money.
우산이 필요해 (usani pillyohae)
I need an umbrella.
A Word of Caution About Romanization
Although this article contains Romanization to make your studying easier, it is actually far quicker in the long term to learn the Korean alphabet (Hangeul) before continuing with your studies. Learning Hangeul is easy, and can be done in about an hour!
The benefits of being able to read Korean include being able to recognize grammar patterns and parts of words more easily. This makes the language far less confusing and improves the speed at which you can pick up new words.
Now that you know how to say ‘I need you’ in Korean, start expressing what you need to others!