Korean Question Words – Vocabulary for Asking Important Questions

Illustration of female thinking about a question

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In this lesson, we’re going to cover the Korean question words. These are words that you can use to ask questions, which is really important for having conversations in Korean.

Once you learn these Korean question words, you will be able to ask many questions from your Korean friends and also understand the questions they’ll want to ask you.

Illustration of female thinking about a question

List of Korean Question Words

Here are the most common question words in the Korean language. Using these will help speed up your language learning by allowing you to have conversations right away.

What뭐 (mwo)
When언제 (eonje)
Where어디 (eodi)
Who누구 (nugu)
Why왜 (wae)
Which어느 (eoneu)
How어떻게 (eotteoke)
What kind of어떤 (eotteon)
What (kind of)무슨 (museun)
How many/much/long얼마나 (eolmana)
How much얼마 (eolma)
How many몇 (myeot)
What are the common question words in Korean?

How to Use Korean Question Words

To make your learning as easy as possible, we’ll also show you a sample sentence of each question word. There may also be some notes near the question words if there are special cases. We’ve included the English translation as well as the sentence in romanized English.

뭐 (mwo) – What

The question word 뭐 is the shortened form of 무엇. You’ll likely see 뭐 used most of the time, but it’s useful to learn both words.

이름이 예요? (ireumi mwoyeyo?)

What is your name?

언제 (eonje) – When

The example question below is one of the basic questions you’ll hear when having conversations in Korean. Make sure you know how to answer this one. We have two great resources on how to learn Korean dates and Korean numbers.

한국에 언제 왔어요? (eonje hanguge wasseoyo?)

When did you come to Korea?

You can put this question word in various parts of the sentence, but typically it is placed just before the verb. Often you’ll see Korean particles such as 부터 and 까지 to indicate “from” and “until” when something happens.

어디 (eodi) – Where

This is another common question that you’re bound to hear if you’re learning the Korean language. To reply, you need to know the name of your country in Korean. You can find a list of countries in Korean on this page. Some of the countries sound like the country’s name in English, and some don’t.

어디에서 왔어요? (eodieseo wasseoyo?)

Where are you from?

누구 (nugu) – Who

제일 친한 친구는 누구예요? (jeil chinhan chinguneun nuguyeyo?)

Who is your best friend?

왜 (wae) – Why

You can also use this question word on it’s own to say why. For example, you can ask 왜 or 왜요. The former is informal, and the latter is a standard version you can use with anyone. You can place this word anywhere before the verb. Most of the time it appears in front of the verb.

한국어를 배워요? (hangugeoreul wae baewoyo?)

Why do you study Korean?

어느 (eoneu) – Which

어느 대학교를 다니세요? (eoneu daehakgyoreul daniseyo?)

Which university do you go to?

어떻게 (eotteoke) – How

남자친구를 어떻게 만났어요? (namjachingureul eotteoke mannasseoyo?)

How did you meet your boyfriend?

Two people thinking

어떤 (eotteon) – What kind of

어떤 음식을 제일 좋아하세요? (eotteon eumsigeul jeil joahaseyo?)

What kind of food do you like the most?

무슨 (museun) – What (kind of)

이게 무슨 냄새예요? (ige museun naemsaeyeyo?)

What (kind of) smell is this?

What’s the difference between the Korean words 무슨 (museun) and 어떤 (eotteon)?

얼마나 (eolmana) – How many/much/long

집에서 홍대까지 얼마나 걸릴거예요? (jibeseo hongdaekkaji eolmana geollilgeoyeyo?)

How much time will it take from your home to Hongdae?

얼마 (eolma) – How much

바나나 1개 얼마예요? (banana hangae eolmayeyo?)

How much does one banana cost?

몇 (myeot) – How many

맥주  병 드릴까요? ( maekju myeot byeong deurilkkayo)

How many bottles of beer would you like?

What does the Korean word 몇 (myeot) mean?

Big congratulations! You have just learned the commonly used Korean question words! Now you can immediately go and start asking all the burning questions you’ve wanted to ask your Korean friends. Make sure to put the sample sentences to use so you can practice the language right away.

We’d also love to see your own sample sentence in the comments below! Remember that if you have any questions on the lesson topic we have just covered, we’re always happy to help. And when you’re ready for more, check out our full list of Korean phrases!

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