How to Say “Thank You” in Korean – The Different Ways to Express Thanks

how to say thank you in korean

Last Updated on

In this lesson, we’ll show you how to say “thank you” in Korean. It is one of the most important things to know when learning to speak the language. This video shows the most common ways of saying thank you.

How do you say “Thank you” in Korean?

When people first start to learn Korean, they are often surprised that there are more ways to say “thank you” than there are in English. The key is learning when to use which version! Not to worry, if you follow the Korean etiquette rules, you are sure not to offend anybody.

Below, we will learn all of the various ways to say “thank you” in Korean, and when they are used.

A wall that has drawings of different objects and a text written on it

We also have a free “Thank you in Korean” PDF guide that you can take with you on the go. Check it out below:

In this article, we’re giving you the 한글 (hangeul | the Korean alphabet) and the romanized English for these words. It’s better if you learn to read the Korean alphabet so you can learn the Korean language much more easily. 

Once you understand the subtleties in the various situations, listen for “thank you’s” in your day-to-day Korean conversations. It’ll all start to come together and will become second nature to you.

Are we ready to get started on how to say “thank you” in Korean? Let’s get to it!

How to Say “Thank You” in Korean Formal

There are several levels of formality in the Korean language. These levels are reflected in Korean culture. We’re going to break it down to 3 simple forms for you. For Korean phrases in general, we recommend using the standard form since it’s the most versatile. 

However, for “thank you” in Korean, it’s best to learn the formal language version first!

Korean Etiquette Thank You

Most of the time, you will only need to use one of the two expressions below for saying thanks.

1.  

This is the formal language version of “thank you”. It comes from the Korean verb 감사하다 (gamsahada) which means “to thank.”  

How to Say Thank You in Korean large in-post formal

감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) is one of the most common ways of saying “thank you” in Korean. It uses formal and polite language, so can be used with strangers and people older than you. You can use this for everyday life in Korea

Examples:

시간 내주셔서 대단히 감사합니다. (sigan naejusyeoseo daedanhi gamsahamnida)

Thank you very much for your time.

도와 주셔서 감사합니다. (dowa jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)

Thank you for helping me.

염려해 주셔서 감사합니다 (yeomnyeohae jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)

Thank you for your concern.

The word 감사 (gamsa) is a noun that means “gratitude” or “appreciation” in the Korean language.  The 합니다 (hamnida) part means “to do”. Put them together, and you get 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida | to do thanks).

You can use this phrase to express “thank you” in Korean in a restaurant, convenience store, or taxi. It is usually said quite quickly, so the pronunciation might sometimes sound to you like 감삼니다 (gamsamnida). But they are actually saying 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida).

Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 60 minutes!

2.

The Korean phrase 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida) is one of the most common ways to say thank you in Korean. It can be used in the same situations as 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida).

This “thank you” in Korean would be considered polite. That means you can use it with anyone: Friends, family, coworkers, etc. 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida) is a pure Korean word, so you’ll often hear newscasters use this polite version. It doesn’t matter a whole lot which one you choose, it’s better to be familiar with both versions of “thank you” in Korean.

How to Say THANK YOU in Korean | 90 Day Korean

This expression comes from the Korean descriptive verb 고맙다 (gomapda) meaning “to be thankful or grateful.” 

Below are some example sentences using “thank you” in Korean. You can use 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) in place of  고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida). It’s still polite and the meaning would be the same.

Examples:

그렇게 말씀해 주시니 고맙습니다. (geureoke malsseumhae jusini gomapseumnida)

Thank you for saying so.

메시지 보내주셔서 고맙습니다 (mesiji bonaejusyeoseo gomapseumnida)

Thank you for the message.

How to Say “Thank You” in Korean Standard

1. 고마워요 (gomawoyo)

If you are close to somebody, and they’re close in age to you, then you can say 고마워요 (gomawoyo) to express your thanks to them using standard language. This phrase 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida) comes from 고맙다 (gomapda). Therefore, this version of “thank you” in Korean is the same as 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida). It’s still polite, but it’s conjugated differently so it’s a bit less formal.

Since 고마워요 (gomawoyo) is a slightly less formal version of 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida), you might be wondering if the same is possible for 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida). It is also possible to say 감사해요 (gamsahaeyo) at this level of politeness, but very few people say this. You can say this in Korean, however it sounds a bit strange. 

How to Say Thank You in Korean

99% of the time you will be speaking in the polite “-요” form of Korean rather than the formal, stuffy “-입니다 (-imnida)” form of Korean. However, you should generally still use the words 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) or 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida) when saying “thank you” in Korean. The only time that you should break this rule is when you are talking to people who you are close to, such as your friends.

Example:

정말 고마워요. (jeongmal gomawoyo)

Thank you so much.

알려줘서 고마워요. (allyeojwoseo gomawoyo)

Thank you for letting me know.

How to Say “Thank You” in Korean Informal

1. 고마워 (gomawo)

This version of “thank you” in Korean is used in situations where formal language is appropriate. You might say 고마워 (gomawo) to somebody you are very close to who is the same age or younger than you. This is a good way to thank people who are close friends or siblings.

How to Say Thank You in Korean informal

This informal version is less polite than the other versions of thank you, so use it with close friends or young children.

This “thank you” phrase is better to use than 감사해 (gamsahae). If you say 감사해 (gamsahae), people will know what you mean. However, 고마워 (gomawo) is a much more natural way of saying “thank you” in Korean when speaking informally.

What is the meaning of 고마워 (gomawo)?

Since this is an informal way of saying “thank you” in Korean, it’s similar to saying “thanks” in English. 

Examples:

난 괜찮아, 고마워. (nan gwaenchana, gomawo)

I’m ok, thanks!

선물을 사줘서 고마워. (seonmuleul sajwoseo gomawo)

Thank you for buying me a present.

How to write “thank you” in Korean

You can write it as 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida). This is the one that’s most commonly used in the language. 

How to spell “thank you” in Korean

You can spell the word as five separate syllables: 고-맙-습-니-다. You don’t need spaces between the syllables. It should look like this: 고맙습니다. 

If you’re going to spell it using romanized letters, you can write gomapseumnida. It’s pronounced similar to go-map-seum-ni-da. There are no spaces between the letters. 

How to say “Thank you very much” in Korean

There are many ways to say this. Two of the common ways are 대단히 감사합니다 (daedanhi gamsahamnida) and 정말 고마워요 (jeongmal gomawoyo). 

The phrase 대단히 감사합니다 (daedanhi gamsahamnida) uses more formal language. The phrase 정말 고마워요 (jeongmal gomawoyo) is used when less formal language is required. 

How to say “Thank you for the food” in Korean

If someone treated you to a meal, you could say 잘 먹었습니다 (jal meogeotseumnida). It’s a way of saying “thank you for the food” or “thank you for the meal”. It translates to “I ate well.” 

How to Say “No, Thank You” in Korean

You can say 괜찮아요, 고마워요 (gwaenchanayo, gomawoyo) for standard situations.

To increase the formality of “No, thank you” in Korean, you can say 괜찮습니다 고맙습니다 (gwaenchanseumnida gomapseumnida). 

More Ways to Say “Thank You” in Korean

1. 대단히 감사합니다 (daedanhi gamsahamnida)

You’re very likely to hear this formal language version of thank you in Korean during announcements, such as an announcement on the subway.  We already learned 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) earlier, which is a formal version of “thank you”.

The word 대단히 (daedanhi) means “very much” in English. If you put them together, it means “thank you very much”. You can use this phrase in formal situations, such as when you’re giving a speech or presentation.

2. 진심으로 감사드립니다 (jinsimeuro gamsadeurimnida)

The word 진심 (jinsim) here means “sincerely” in English. If you want to up your “thank you” game in the language, then this is a phrase you will want to add to your repertoire.

3. 정말 고마워요 (jeongmal gomawoyo)

The 정말 (jeongmal) part means “really” or “truly”, so it’s like saying “thank you truly” in English. You can use this “thank you” in Korean version with 감사합니다 or 고맙습니다 (gamsahamnida or gomapseumnida) as well. Use this version when you want to express a sincere and heartfelt thanks.

4. 생각해 주셔서 감사합니다 (saenggakae jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)

This thank you in Korean phrase means “thank you for your consideration”.  It uses the word 생각 (saenggak | thought) and the verb 주다 (juda | to give) before 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida). Not only is this an expression that you can use in many situations, but it’s also an excellent way to learn some new Korean grammar and sentence structures

5. 함께 해 주셔서 감사합니다 (hamkke hae jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)

This means “thank you for joining us” in English. 함께 (hamkke | together) means “together”. 주다 (juda | to give) is used along with 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) at the end. 

6. 선물 감사합니다 (seonmul gamsahamnida)

This expression means “thank you for the gift”. The word before 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) is 선물 (seonmul), which means “gift”.

7. 관심을 가져 주셔서 고맙습니다 (gwansimeul gajyeo jusyeoseo gomapseumnida)

This means “thank you for your interest” in English. It uses the two verbs 주다 (juda | to give) and 가지다 (gajida | to have or carry), along with 관심 (gwansim | interest). You can also use 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) in place of 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida). 

8. 다시 전화 주셔서 고맙습니다 (dasi jeonhwa jusyeoseo gomapseumnida)

This means “thanks for calling back” in English. You can use this expression on the phone, but make sure you know the correct way to say hello on the telephone. It is different than the phrases you’d use to say hello in person.

9. 와 주셔서 감사합니다 (wa jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)

You can say this version of “thank you” in Korean to express “thank you for coming.” You might use this phrase to thank a friend for coming to a get together, or thank a colleague for attending an event you organized

10. 어떻게 감사를 드려야 할지 모르겠네요 (eotteoke gamsareul deuryeoya halji moreugenneyo)

This means “I don’t know how to thank you” in English. It’s a formal way of saying thank you, and ends in an exclamation. 

Responses to “Thank You” in Korean

There are a variety of ways that you can respond to someone when they say “thank you” to you. Learning them will be useful so you can give a polite reply. Let’s go through a few.

1. 아니에요 (anieyo)

This is a way of saying “you’re welcome”. You should stretch it out in an elongated way to make it extra kind. The phrase comes from the word “아니다 (anida)”, which means “no”. It’s similar to saying “it was nothing, don’t mention it” in English.

2.

This is the equivalent of saying “don’t mention it”. If someone says “thank you”, you can respond with 천만에요 (cheonmaneyo).

3. 별말씀을요 (byeolmalsseumeullyo)

This is another way of saying “don’t mention it”. You can respond to a “thank you” in a more formal way by saying 별말씀을요 (byeolmalsseumeullyo). 

“Thank You” in Korean List

If you’d like a simple way of learning these, then follow these basic rules when deciding how to say “thank you” in Korean:

KoreanUse With
Everyone, generally all purpose "thank you"
고마워요 (gomawoyo)Similar aged people who you are close to
고마워 (gomawo)Younger people who you are close to

When in doubt, remember what Mom always says—it is better to be polite than impolite! Therefore, if you only learn one way to say “thank you” in Korean, then learn 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida).

If you’re curious about the Korean language, here’s a great writeup where you can learn more about it

Now it’s your turn. Get out there and give these expressions a try and put a smile on the faces of those you run into. Let us know in the comments below how you made use of the word “thank you” in Korean conversations.

Happy thanking!

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

    22 replies to "How to Say “Thank You” in Korean – The Different Ways to Express Thanks"

    • Avatar for q q

      Hi . can I say “seonmul gomawo, unnie” to my older sister ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.