How to Say ‘Oh My God’ in Korean

Last Updated on February 2, 2021 by 90 Day Korean
A woman holding her head with both hands looking surprised

Life is full of surprises and shocks, and being able to show your surprise is very important! One way to show your surprise is to say ‘oh my god’ or some variant of that phrase such as ‘oh my gosh’.

This article will show you how to say ‘oh my god’ in Korean. Like in English, there are several ways to say it. We’ll show you how!

A woman holding her head with both hands looking surprised

‘Oh My God!’ in Korean

The most common way of saying ‘oh my god’ in Korean is

1. 세상에 (sesange)How to Say Oh My God in Korean formal

This comes from the word 세상 (sesang), which means ‘world’ (another, more common word for ‘world’ is 세계 | segye). 세상에 (sesange) can be interpreted more literally as something like ‘never in the whole world would I have expected that’.

Another expression sometimes used to say ‘oh my god’ is

맙소사! (mapsosa)How to Say Oh My God in Korean informal

You may see this often in Korean subtitles in movies.

The word 이런 (ireon), which usually means ‘this’, can also be used to mean ‘oh my god’ in Korean. Its more literal meaning would be something like ‘how can this happen?’ or ‘how did it come to this?’

The English phrase ‘Oh my god’ is well known in Korean, and often it is used instead of a Korean word. When it is written in Korean, it becomes 오 마이 갓 (o mai gat) and it is pronounced in such a way by Koreans. This expression is also the basis of several Korean puns due to its similarity in sound to the word ‘mother’s’ (엄마의 | eommaui). One example is the pun ‘엄마의 가스 레인지’ (eommaui gaseu reinji).

The sounds 어머 (eomeo) and 헐 (heol) can also sometimes be translated to ‘oh my god’ in some situations, often when there is some slight disappointment or concern due to something going wrong.

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Sample Sentences

You should use this phrase when speaking to people you don’t know well or who are older than you.

Example (Standard):

맙소사! 전 몰라요. (mapsosa jeon mollayo)

Oh my god! I don’t know!

오 이런, 제게 이러지 마요. (o ireon, jege ireoji mayo)

Oh my God, don’t do this to me.

Example (Informal):

You can use this phrase with those younger than you or the same age who you are on familiar terms with.

이런 세상에, 그녀는 정말로 사랑스러워! (ireon sesange, geunyeoneun jeongmallo sarangseureowo)

Oh my god she’s so adorable!

오 이런, 내가 방금 너의 칫솔을 사용했어. (o ireon, naega banggeum neoui chitsoreul sayonghaesseo)

Oh my god, I just used your toothbrush.

맙소사, 난 이 일이 싫어 (mapsosa, nan i iri sileo)

Oh my god, I hate this job.

오 이런, 너 진지한 거야? (o ireon, neo jinjihan geoya)

Oh my god, are you serious?

A Word of Caution About Using Romanization

As you can see from the example of ‘oh my god’ when written in Korean, the sounds of the Korean language are different from the English language. The best way to be able to sound like a Korean is to learn the Korean Alphabet (Hangeul). That way, you can notice the different sounds used in Korean and get used to how Korean sounds. Learning Hangeul is very easy; it can be done in just a couple of hours!

If you want to learn some more essential phrases, check out this article or try our full Korean course.

Wrap Up

Oh My God in Korean Wrap Up

Now that you know how to say ‘oh my god’ in Korean, let us know what things shock you and make you want to say ‘oh my god’ in Korean.

Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!

    5 replies to "How to Say ‘Oh My God’ in Korean"

    • Avatar for Ji-hye Ji-hye

      I know we English speakers see those Korean phrases as substitutions of the “oh my G**” expression, but would Koreans interpret those phrases to mean “oh my G**”? Or would they stick to their literal translations? Cuz saying “never in the world would I have expected that” is not the same as “oh my …”

      I ask because I am a Christian and thus cannot take the Lord’s name in vain : ) Thank you

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Ji-Hye! “Oh my god” is usually translated as the phrases above, for example, “세상에” (what on earth …). Only when a character is a religious person, will the translation be “오, 주여” (oh, my lord). ^^

        • Avatar for Ji-hye Ji-hye

          Ah, okay. I had been kinda confused cuz “Mr. Sunshine” translated those phrases “이런” as “oh dear” etc. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Sage Eucliffe Sage Eucliffe

      Nice one.

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