In this article, you will learn how to say “please” in Korean. Regardless of whether people are native speakers of a language or speaking a foreign one, it is always best to be polite. One way to be polite is to say the word “please.”
Firstly, how “please” is used in Korean is very different from how it is used if you speak English (here is a bit of background).
For starters, there are two different ways of saying please. This article focuses on the Korean word used for making requests. You have probably heard this phrase in a K-drama or perhaps a Korean song. Sample Korean phrases are also included for each word so you can practice reading them too.
We’ve also created a FREE PDF version of this lesson that you can take with you on the go. Check it out below:
- 1 How to say “Please” in Korean
- 2 The meaning of 제발 (jebal) in Korean
- 3 A Word of Caution About Romanization
- 4 Wrap Up
How to say “Please” in Korean
There isn’t a direct translation of “please” in English into Korean. The politeness in “please” is added to expressions and grammar by using special grammatical forms and vocabulary.
However, for simplicity, we’ll cover one of the common ways to say “please” in Korean when asking for requests.
The Korean equivalent of “please give” is based on the verb 주다 (juda), meaning “to give.”
Using 주다 (juda) with a noun, for example, saying “coffee please,” is simple enough. However, if you want to use it with a verb, such as “buy this please” or “go there, please,” you need to change the verb as follows:
사다 (sada | to buy) → 사 주다 (sa juda)
가다 (gada | to go) → 가 주다 (ga juda)
돕다 (dopda | to help) → 도와 주다 (dowa juda)
하다 (hada | to do) → 해 주다 (hae juda)
“Please” in Korean (Formal)
Here are the two different ways to say “please” in Korean formally. You’ll mostly encounter these terms in announcements or news reports.
1. 주십시오 (jusipsio)
This first word for “please” is the highest level of saying “please” that you can use. This polite ending in a sentence is something that you might hear during a speech or a news report.
잠시만 기다려주십시오 (jamsiman gidaryeojusipsio)
Please wait a moment.
2. 주시기 바랍니다 (jusigi baramnida)
A similar phrase that you might hear (especially in announcements) is:
–시기 바랍니다 (sigi baramnida)
Its meaning is slightly different from “please” in the regular sense, so be careful when using it.
안전선 뒤로 물러나 주시기 바랍니다 (anjeonseon dwiro mulleona jusigi baramnida)
Please step back behind the safety line.
“Please” in Korean (Standard)
Below are the more common ways of saying “please” in Korean, which is in its standard form.
1. 주세요 (juseyo)
The usual way of saying “please” in Korean is 주세요 (juseyo). You can use it in most situations, for example, ordering food in a restaurant or asking a taxi driver to take you to the train station.
돼지갈비 2인분 주세요 (dwaejigalbi i inbun juseyo)
Two portions of pork ribs, please.
서울역으로 가 주세요 (seoullyeogeuro ga juseyo)
Go to Seoul Station, please.
How to pronounce “please” in Korean (juseyo)
As this is the most common way of saying “please” in Korean that you might encounter, we have also added audio below that you can listen to.
2. 주시겠어요 (jusigesseoyo)
This version is standard but slightly more polite.
If you are speaking to somebody older than you or meeting somebody for the first time, you can also use this expression if you want to be more polite.
좀 도와 주시겠어요? (jom dowa jusigesseoyo)
Will you help me, please?
“Please” in Korean (Informal)
If you’re speaking to people with whom you are close, then the informal version of “please” in Korean can be used.
1. 줘 (jwo)
This informal ending in a sentence can be used with people who are very close to you and of a similar or younger age than you.
아이스크림 사 줘 (aiseukeurim sa jwo)
Buy me ice cream, please.
The meaning of 제발 (jebal) in Korean
What does “jebal” mean? This is another word that means “please” in Korean is 제발 (je-bal). It is used when pleading or begging for something or making a strong request.
제발, 제발 아빠한테 말하지 마세요. (jebal, jebal appahante malhaji maseyo)
Please, please, don’t tell my father.
제발 날 떠나지 마! 미안해! (jebal nal tteonaji ma! mianhae!)
Please don’t leave me! I’m sorry!
A Word of Caution About Romanization
We’ve added in the romanization for all of these words to help with pronunciation. However, we recommend that you try to move on to reading comfortably in Hangul (the Korean alphabet), as this will improve your pronunciation and your reading skills. It will also help you notice patterns in words, which will lead you to improve the rate at which you learn Korean words and grammar points.
Learning vocabulary words is a great way to help you learn Korean basics, but your language learning will only really take off once you start attempting to have conversations in Korean. Take a look at our free list of Korean phrases or our full Korean course for all the help you need when studying Korean.
Add “please” in our sentences if it’s needed to make them sound more polite and nice. Whether you’re asking for something or would want to say “be careful” in Korean to your close friend, it’s better also to say “please.” You’ll also often hear these words in K-dramas or K-pop songs. Now you know how to say “please” in Korean, go ahead and ask for some favors. Just don’t forget to say “thank you” afterward!