Korean Question Words – Asking about what you want to know

Last Updated on June 3, 2021 by 90 Day Korean
Illustration of female thinking about a question

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

Here is a free PDF guide that you can download and take with you:

Get “Korean Question Words” Free PDF Guide

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.

EnglishKorean
What뭐 (mwo)
When (eonje)
Where (eodi)
Who (nugu)
Why (wae)
Which (eoneu)
How (eotteoke)
What kind of (eotteon)
What (kind of) (museun)
How many/much/long (eolmana)
How much (eolma)
How many (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.

What in Korean – 뭐 (mwo)

The word for “what” in Korean is 뭐 (mwo) which 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?

When in Korean – 언제 (eonje)

The example question below is one of the basic questions you’ll hear when having conversations in Korean. The word for “when” in Korean is 언제 (eonje). 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.

Where in Korean – 어디 (eodi)

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. So if you want to ask “where” in Korean, you can say it as 어디 (eodi).

어디에서 왔어요? (eodieseo wasseoyo?)

Where are you from?

Who in Korean –  누구 (nugu)

If you want to know someone’s name or identity, you can ask “who” in Korean as 누구 (nugu).

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

Who is your best friend?

Why in Korean – 왜 (wae)

You can also use this question word 왜 (wae) on its own to say “why” in Korean. 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?

Which in Korean –  어느 (eoneu)

If there are several choices in a scenario, you can say 어느 (eoneu) translating to “which” in Korean.

어느 대학교를 다니세요? (eoneu daehakgyoreul daniseyo?)

Which university do you go to?

How in Korean –  어떻게 (eotteoke)

You’d often hear this as an expression but 어떻게 (eotteoke) simply translates to “how” in Korean.

남자친구를 어떻게 만났어요? (namjachingureul eotteoke mannasseoyo?)

How did you meet your boyfriend?

Two people thinking

What kind of in Korean – 어떤 (eotteon)

The word for “what kind of” in Korean is 어떤 (eotteon).

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

What kind of food do you like the most?

What (kind of) in Korean –  무슨 (museun)

You can say “what (kind of)” in Korean as 무슨 (museun).

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)?

How many/much/long in Korean – 얼마나 (eolmana)

When asking about “how many” in Korean, you can say it as 얼마나 (eolmana). Same goes for “how much” in Korean and “how long” in Korean.

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

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

How much in Korean -얼마 (eolma)

You can also say “how much” in Korean as 얼마 (eolma).

바나나 1개 얼마예요? (banana hangae eolmayeyo?)

How much does one banana cost?

How many in Korean –  몇 (myeot)

The more specific word for “how many” in Korean is 몇 (myeot).

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. If you want to know more about Korean, we have a guide that will teach you the best way to learn Korean.

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!

    6 replies to "Korean Question Words – Asking about what you want to know"

    • Avatar for Melanie Melanie

      안녕하세요! 제 이름은 멜라니 입니다. Is that correct to introduce myself? Thank you so much po for this site 90dayKorean, I’m learning a lot I already know how to read in Korean words.

    • Avatar for Patricia Patricia

      Hi

      Is there any website where you can ask questions to Korean individuals in regards to the language? Like spelling and grammar…

      Many thanks

    • Avatar for Iwan Iwan

      This is very gooodd, Excellence work. Actually i really have a question about korean, i still don’t understand on how to make a sentence using korean? like which one first (Subject or Object or something). Appreciate your response:)

      Great Job 🙂

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