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Learning how to say “thank you” in Korean is one of the most important things to learn when studying the language. 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! Not to worry, if you follow the Korean etiquette rules, you are sure not to offend anybody.
Today, we will learn how to say “thank you” in Korean properly.
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. We also have a free PDF guide that you can take with you on the go. Check it out below:
One last thing, we’re giving you the 한글 (hangeul), the Korean alphabet, and the romanization for these words. It’s better if you learn to read the Korean alphabet so you can learn the Korean language much more easily.
With that out of the way, are we ready to get started? Let’s get to it!
“Thank You” in Korean Video Lesson
Watch the video below and practice the pronunciation of “thank you” in Korean. This video will teach you the most common way to use this phrase, and also give you a sample situation where you can use it.
Formal “Thank You” in Korean
There are several levels of formality in the Korean language. 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 version first!
Most of the time, you will only need to use one of the two expressions below.
1. 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida)
This version of “thank you” in Korean comes from the Korean verb 감사하다 (gamsahada) which means “to thank.”
This is the most common word used for saying “thank you” in Korean. It is quite formal and polite, so can be used with strangers and people older than you.
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 고맙습니다 (yeomnyeohae jusyeoseo gomapseumnida)
Thank you for your concern.
The word 감사 (gamsa) is a noun that means “gratitude” or “appreciation”. The 합니다 (hamnida) part means “to do”. Put them together, and you get 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida | to do thanks).
You can use this phrase when saying “thank you” 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).
2. 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida)
The Korean phrase 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida) can be used in the same situations as 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida), but there is a slight difference in nuance. It’s better to only say this with your colleagues or strangers who are close in age to you. But it doesn’t matter that much, it’s better to be familiar with both.
This expression comes from the Korean descriptive verb 고맙다 (gomapda) meaning “to be thankful or grateful.”
그렇게 말씀해 주시니 고맙습니다. (geureoke malsseumhae jusini gomapseumnida)
Thank you for saying so.
메시지 보내주셔서 고맙습니다 (mesiji bonaejusyeoseo gomapseumnida)
Thank you for the message.
Standard “Thank You” in Korean
1. 고마워요 (gomawoyo)
99% of the time you will be speaking in the polite “-요” form of Korean rather than the formal, stuffy “-입니다” 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.
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. This word, like 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida), is from 고맙다 (gomapda) and is just conjugated differently!
Since 고마워요 is a slightly less formal version of 고맙습니다 (gomapseumnida), you might be wondering if the same is possible for 감사합니다. It is also possible to say 감사해요 (gamsahaeyo) at this level of politeness, but very few people say this.
정말 고마워요. (jeongmal gomawoyo)
Thank you so much.
알려줘서 고마워요. (allyeojwoseo gomawoyo)
Thank you for letting me know.
Informal “Thank You” in Korean
1. 고마워 (gomawo)
When talking to somebody you are very close to who is the same age or younger than you, then you can say 고마워 (gomawo). These might be people who are close friends or siblings.
Again, this form is preferred over 감사해 (gamsahae).
난 괜찮아, 고마워. (nan gwaenchana, gomawo)
I’m ok, thanks!
선물을 사줘서 고마워. (seonmuleul sajwoseo gomawo)
Thank you for buying me a present.
More Ways to Say “Thank You” in Korean
1. 대단히 감사합니다 (daedanhi gamsahamnida)
You’re very likely to hear this phrase during formal 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. 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”. If you want to up your “thank you” game, then this is a phrase you will want to add to your repertoire.
3. 정말 고마워요 (jeongmal gomawoyo)
The 정말 part means “really” or “truly”, so it’s like saying “thank you truly”. You can use this “thank you” in Korean version with 감사합니다 or 고맙습니다 as well.
4. 생각해 주셔서 감사합니다 (saenggakae jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)
This means “thank you for your consideration”.
5. 함께 해 주셔서 감사합니다 (hamkke hae jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)
This means “thank you for joining us”.
6. 선물 감사합니다 (seonmul gamsahamnida)
This expression means “thank you for the gift”.
7. 관심을 가져 주셔서 고맙습니다 (gwansimeul gajyeo jusyeoseo gomapseumnida)
This means “thank you for your interest”.
8. 다시 전화 주셔서 고맙습니다 (dasi jeonhwa jusyeoseo gomapseumnida)
This means “thanks for calling back”.
9. 와 주셔서 감사합니다 (wa jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)
This means “thank you for coming.”
10. 어떻게 감사를 드려야 할지 모르겠네요 (eotteoke gamsareul deuryeoya halji moreugenneyo)
This means “I don’t know how to thank you.”
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. 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”, which means “no”. It’s similar to saying “it was nothing, don’t mention it.”
2. 천만에요 (cheonmaneyo)
This is the equivalent of saying “don’t mention it”.
3. 별말씀을요 (byeolmalsseumeullyo)
This is another way of saying “don’t mention it”.
“Thank You” in Korean Summary
If all of this seems a bit confusing then follow these simple rules when deciding how to say “thank you” in Korean:
|감사합니다||Everyone, generally all purpose 'thank you'|
|고마워요||Similar aged people who you are close to|
|고마워||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”, then learn 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida).
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. Happy thanking!
Let us know in the comments below how you made use of the word “thank you” in Korean conversations!