How to Say ‘OK’ in Korean

Last Updated on August 4, 2022 by 90 Day Korean

As you know, the word ‘OK’ has several different meanings in English.

It can mean ‘yes’.

It can also mean that something is sufficient or ‘not bad’.

Likewise, when looking at how to say ‘OK’ in Korean, there are several different words that we can use depending on the type of ‘OK’ that we want to say. We’ve included a FREE PDF guide of this lesson that you can take with you on the go. Check it out below:

Are you ‘OK’ to jump right into it? Here we go!

Asian woman giving the 'OK' handsign

‘OK’ as in ‘yes’

If you want to say OK as in ‘yes’, then you can simply use the Korean word for yes. You can also use the word ‘to know’.

To show how these are used, you can read the conversation below. In the conversation, ‘A’ is giving a direction and ‘B’ is saying ‘OK’ two different ways.

Formal ‘OK’ in Korean

A: 거기에 가십시오 (geogie gasipsio)Go there
B: 예 (ye)OK (yes)
B: 알겠습니다 (algetseumnida)OK (I know)
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Standard ‘OK’ in Korean

A: 거기에 가세요 (geogie gaseyo)Go there
B: 네 (ne)OK (yes)
B: 알았어요 (arasseoyo)OK (I know)

Informal ‘OK’ in Korean

A: 거기에 가 (geogie ga)Go there
B: 응 (eung)OK (yes)
B: 알았어 (arasseo)OK (I know)

‘OK’ as in ‘quite good / not bad’

For this more common use of the word OK, we can use the Korean adjective 괜찮다 (gwaenchanta). This is used in a variety of situations such as asking if somebody is okay or giving him or her some support.

If you go to a sports match in Korea, often the supporters of the losing team will chant ‘괜찮아, 괜찮아 (gwaenchana, gwaenchana)’ in order to try and make the players feel better.

Formal ‘OK’ in Korean

1. 괜찮습니다 (gwaenchanseumnida)How to Say OK in Korean formal

This is the formal way of saying OK. It could be used in meetings, announcements, or interviews. To say ‘OK’ as a question (such as ‘are you OK?’) in formal Korean, ask ‘괜찮습니까?’ (gwaenchanseumnikka?) instead.

Standard ‘OK’ in Korean

1. 괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo)How to Say OK in Korean standard

This is the most common was of saying ‘OK’. You can use this expression in regular conversation. To ask ‘Are you OK?’ just change your intonation so that it sounds like a question.

Informal ‘OK’ in Korean

1. 괜찮아 (gwaenchana)How to Say OK in Korean informal

You can use this version of the word ‘OK’ with close friends of a similar age or younger. Again, you just need to change the intonation to turn it into a question.

괜찮다 (gwaenchanta) can be used to say that something is ‘good’, ‘alright’, or ‘fine’. It can also be used to ask about somebody’s feelings. To answer such a question, rather than saying yes, you should respond with ‘괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo)’ or ‘안괜찮아요 (angwaenchanayo).

If you want to say ‘It’s OK but…’ then you can say ‘괜찮은데… (gwaenchaneunde…)’ which implies that actually something is not alright.

OK is one of the most commonly used words in the English language. Now that you know how to say OK in Korean, be careful how you use it as it is not used exactly the same in Korean as it is in English.

Also be careful when using 괜찮다 (gwaenchanta). If somebody offers you a drink (for example) and you want to say ‘OK’, use the word for ‘yes’ or say ‘좋아요 (joayo)’ rather than ‘괜찮아요. (gwaenchanayo)’ If you want to say ‘no thanks, I’m OK’ then say ‘아니요, 괜찮아요 (aniyo, gwaenchanayo)’. If you just say ’괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo)’, then you might need to prepare yourself for an unexpected drink!

There’s a lot more Korean Phrases where this came from so don’t let the good study times end too soon!

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