“Hurry” in Korean – Expressing how to act with haste

Let’s learn to say the word “hurry” in Korean today, and perhaps it’ll even give you more insight into Korean life and Korean culture!

Whether you speak English, Korean, German, or other languages, or if you’re a student, office worker, or human in general, you are in a hurry at one point in your life.

A woman pointing to her watch with a big clock behind her

This seems, at times, to be especially true when you look at the life of Koreans, particularly those living in Seoul. As there are a few different Korean words for “hurry,” it is useful to learn each one and how each is used. This is also a vocabulary you are likely to hear quite often, especially in Seoul, where lives tend to get quite busy.

Although our topic is about “hurry,” take this as a sign to slow down first so we can carefully study these words and sentence examples.

Different ways to say “hurry” in Korean

There are three main ways in which you can say “hurry” or “hurry up” in Korean. If you’re not yet familiar with Korean letters, I suggest you check our article on the Korean alphabet first before we go in-depth into learning these Korean words!

서두르다 (seodureuda)

The first word for “hurry” in the Korean language is 서두르다 (seodureuda). Technically this may not be the more popular word of the two. However, this is the word that literally translates as “to hurry,” unlike the other verb you are about to learn below. This verb is also commonly used.

It also has a deep sense of urgency to it. It’s great to use when you want to imply something to be done or to happen fast, aka in a hurry. It can be used in any tense, although it is less likely to be used in future tense. Much like the below word, 서두르다 (seodureuda) can also be used to order someone to hurry up. But it can also be used to describe your own feelings or situation.

Here are some sentence examples:

서둘러 주세요. 늦으면 안돼요. (seodulleo juseyo. neujeumyeon andwaeyo.)

Please hurry up. We can’t be late.

서두를 필요 없어! (seodureul pillyo eopseo!)

No need to hurry!

서두르는 게 좋을 것 같아요. (seodureuneun ge joeul geot gatayo.)

We better hurry up.

오늘 요리를 서두르다 보니 샌드위치만 먹게 되었어요. (oneul yorireul seodureuda boni saendeuwichiman meokge doeeosseoyo.)

Because I hurried with cooking today, I ended up just eating a sandwich.

빠르다 (ppareuda)

The second Korean word for “hurry” is 빠르다 (ppareuda). Specifically, this word means “to be fast.” Thus, it doesn’t directly translate as “to be in a hurry.” However, it is often used in that context.

If you want to use it in the context of hurry, you are typically ordering someone to hurry up rather than describing your own feeling of hurry. You are also using it a little differently than a regular descriptive verb. Specifically, here is the word you will be using for hurry with this verb:

빨리! (ppalli!)

Hurry up!

숙제 빨리 해! 놀러 가고 싶어. (sukje ppalli hae! nolleo gago sipeo.)

Hurry up and do your homework fast! I want to go play.

You can use it on its own but also with action verbs in their imperative form. In other words, to use the action verbs casually, drop the -ㅂ니다 (-mnida) and -요 (-yo) endings. For example:

빨리 와! (ppalli wa!)

Come quickly!

빨리 타! (ppalli ta!)

Hurry up and get on! (a bus, taxi, train, car, etc.)

The verb 빠르다 (ppareuda) can also be used to form the short phrase, 빨리빨리 (ppallippalli), which is another hugely popular way to express hurry or that something needs to be done quickly. You might have heard this phrase in K-dramas before. As it combines the word 빨리 (ppali) twice, it can be seen as an expression of an even bigger rush than the above sample sentences contain. It directly translates as “Quickly, quickly!”.

You can also use it with any other action verb you can think of, with which you can imply hurry. However, due to the casual tone of the orders, you may want to refrain from using these sentences with those who are not close friends or are younger in age.

급하다 (geupada)

Finally, the third Korean word for “hurry” is 급하다 (geupada). This, too, can be used to mean something is urgent or pressing. You can use it to describe you are in a hurry, or something you’re doing is in a hurry. And you can also use it to tell someone to hurry up.

This is also the perfect verb to use when you want to assure someone they don’t need to hurry, so when the sentence is constructed as a negative. Below we’ll offer some sample sentences you can use to better memorize and understand this word.

뭐가 그렇게 급하냐? (mwoga geureoke geupanya?)

What’s the hurry?/What’s so urgent?

급하지 않아요. 우리 아직 시간 있어요. (geupaji anayo. uri ajik sigani isseoyo.)

It’s not urgent. We still have time.

나는 급해요. (naneun geupaeyo.)

I’m in a hurry.

여기 날씨도 좋고 분위기도 좋아서 집에 가는 것은 하나도 급할 게 없어요. (yeogi nalssido joko bunwigido joaseo jibe ganeun geoseun hanado geupal ge eopseoyo.)

Because the weather and atmosphere are so good here, I am in no hurry to go home.

Here are a few more words you can use in situations where you want to describe “hurry” or that you are busy with something.

재촉하다 (jaechokada)hurry, rush, push, press
서둘다 (seodulda)hurry
황급하다 (hwanggeupada)urgent
성급하다 (seonggeupada)hasty, rash, impatient
다급하다 (dageupada)urgent, pressing
바쁘다 (bappeuda)busy, hurried, hasty, pressing, urgent

Wrap Up

So, be honest: did you hurry through this article or take your time with it? Share your answer in the comments below!

Now that you know the term for “hurry” in Korean, if you’re in no rush elsewhere, maybe you’d like to learn more Korean adjectives?

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