Is your stomach grumbling? Did you skip lunch?
Then you’re going to need to know how to say ‘I’m hungry’ in Korean!
Let’s jump right into it.
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‘Hungry’ vs. ‘Full’ in Korean
When talking about whether you are hungry or not, two different adjectives are used.
In front of each adjective is the word 배 (bae), which means ‘stomach’. To say that you are hungry, you add the adjective 고프다 (go-peu-da) to make 배고프다.
Strictly speaking, the particle ‘가’ (ga) should come after ‘배’ to make ‘배가 고프다’. However, when speaking, people drop this particle.
If you want to say that you are full, then you need to use a different adjective completely. This adjective is 부르다 (boo-reu-da), so to say ‘I am full’ in Korean, you would use 배부르다.
Hungry Exclamations in Korean
1. 배고프다! (bae-go-peu-da) – I’m hungry!
2. 배부르다! (bae-boo-reu-da) – I’m full!
When talking to themselves or making expressions, Koreans sometimes use a special form of the language which ends in 다. Although it looks like the dictionary form of the word, it is actually slightly different.
If you are using an adjective (like ‘hungry’) then you don’t need to change the word. You can use the standard form of the verb.
If you are making an exclamation that uses a verb, then the verb changes (for example 비가 온다 – It’s raining).
Formal ‘I’m Hungry’ in Korean
1. 배고픕니다 (bae-go-peum-ni-da) – I’m hungry
2. 배부릅니다 (bae-bu-reum-ni-da) – I’m full
In very formal situations, you can use these two expressions. However, in reality you are unlikely to say them often.
Standard ‘I’m Hungry’ in Korean
1. 배고파요 (bae-go-pa-yo) – I’m hungry
2. 배불러요 (bae-bul-leo-yo) – I’m full
You can use these expressions to say that you are hungry or that you are full. They can be used in most situations.
If you want to ask somebody if they are hungry or full then just change the intonation to make a question. For example, you could ask: ‘배고파요?’
Informal ‘I’m Hungry’ in Korean
1. 배고파 (bae-go-pa) – I’m hungry
2. 배불러 (bae-bul-leo) – I’m full
These expressions can be used when talking to close friends of a similar age.
They can also be used instead of exclamations when you are talking to yourself.
To ask them as a question, just change to an updward intonation at the end of the expression.
Other ‘Hungry’ Korean Phrases
If you are really hungry then you can use the following expression. It’s meaning in Korean and English is basically the same, so it should be easy to remember.
1. 배가 고파서 죽을 것 같다 (bae-ga go-pa-seo juk-eul geot gatda)
I’m so hungry that I could die
If you want to sound cute then you can use this aegyo expression.
2. 배고팡 (bae-go-pang)
I’m hungry (aegyo)
Now you know how to say ‘I’m hungry’ in Korean, it is time to find a 맛집 (delicious restaurant) and chow down.
What is your favorite Korean food to eat when you’re hungry? Let us know in the comments below!
*Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!
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