Let’s talk about how to say ‘Stop’ in Korean. Whether your intention is to tell someone to stop what they are doing or describe how someone or something stopped moving, it’s possible to express both very conveniently in Korean.
The basic form to use when talking about stopping something is 그만하다 (geumanhada) which is often used especially to describe that you stopped or quit doing something or you are telling someone to stop doing something. On the other hand, 멈추다 (meomchuda) also means ‘stop’ but is usually more specifically used to describe movement.
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Formal ‘Stop’ in Korean
1. 멈춥니다 (meomchumnida)
2. 멈췄습니다 (meomchueosseumnida)
3. 그만합니다 (geumanhamnida)
4. 그만 뒀습니다 (geuman dueosseumnida)
It is good to use the formal version of how to say ‘stop’ in Korean in situations such as conducting a presentation. Adding the ㅆ to the verb makes it the past tense.
광고에 좋은 반응을 못 얻아서 그만 뒀습니다 (Gwanggoe joheun baneungeul mot eodeoseo geuman dueosseumnida).
We stopped running the advertisement because we couldn’t get positive response to it.
Standard ‘Stop’ in Korean
1. 멈춰요 (meomchueoyo)
2. 멈췄어요 (meomchueosseoyo)
3. 그만해요 (geumanhaeyo)
4. 그만 뒀어요 (geuman dueosseoyo)
These can be used in almost any daily conversations. You might use this with people that you’re not that close with, coworkers, store clerks, or acquaintances who are older than you.
차가 막혀서 버스가 멈췄어요 (chaga makhyeoseo beoseureul meomchueosseoyo).
The bus stopped because of traffic.
Informal ‘Stop’ in Korean
1. 멈춰 (meomchueo)
2. 멈췄어 (meomchueosseo)
3. 그만해 (geumanhae)
4. 그만했어 (geumanhaesseo)
The informal version can be used when speaking to someone close to you (but same age or younger) or someone who’s much younger than you.
이런 잔소리를 이제 그만해 (ireon jansorireul ije geumanhae)
Stop nagging like this now.
Additionally, 그만하다 is also a good way to express quitting something.
그 일은 너무 힘들어서 그만 뒀어요 (geu ireun neomu himdeureoseo geuman dueosseoyo).
I quit that job because it was too hard.
Other Ways to Say ‘Stop’ in Korean
The meaning is basically the same as 그만하다, but by replacing 하다 with 두다 the word 그만 gets more emphasis and the word truly becomes to mean quitting/stopping something for good. More so than 그만하다, 그만두다 is heard when someone is describing quitting their job.
This specifically means something wasn’t continued or something was halted, such as the production of a good. Both 멈추다 and 그만하다 can be used interchangeably with 중단하다 in this meaning – however, 중단하다 specifically only means this type of stopping.
This verb also means ‘stop’ as a way of describing the ending of something such as a school lecture or a relationship. If you want to put emphasis on you having ended something, the verb can change into 끝내다 (ggeutnaeda).
Now that you know how to say ‘stop’ in Korean, get out there and tell people what you plan on stopping!