How To Say ‘Wait’ In Korean

Today we will go over how to say ‘wait’ in Korean. We’ll also cover a similar phrase that means “just a moment”. 

In this lesson, you’ll learn the necessary words and phrases. We’ll also give you some examples so you know how to use them properly for when you have to wait, or you need someone to wait for you while you’re in South Korea.

‘Wait’ no longer, let’s get right into learning!

A man sitting alone

‘Wait’ in Korean

The word for how to say wait in Korean is 기다리다 (gidarida). This is the basic form of the verb, and it will transform depending on the level of politeness and type of conjugation used. For example, when used with past tense, future tense, imperative, or in its noun form.

Luckily, the use of the verb 기다리다 (gidarida) is just as simple as other regular verbs in the Korean language. Additionally, the only translation for the word ‘wait’ in Korean is 기다리다 (gidarida), so there is no need to get confused while learning several words with slightly different meanings.

How to Remember “Wait” in Korean

To remember how to say wait in Korean, we’ll create an English association for it. This can be any word, phrase, or image that helps you recall the Korean word and its meaning.

So how can we remember 기다리다 (gidarida)? We can break it down into two parts:

기다 – gida | sounds like kid a

리다 – rida | sounds like reader

So imagine that you’re at the bookstore and your friends want to leave but you have to wait for your niece.

Girl Reading
Photo Credit: freepik


Wait for my niece, this kid is a reader. (기다리다/gidarida)

What associations can you think up to remember 기다리다? Remember, the more unique or strange the story is, the easier it is to remember.

How to Say “Just a Moment” in Korean

Since we’re covering “wait” in Korean, let’s also go over how to say “just a moment”. 

How do you say “just a moment” in Korean?

You can say:

Just a moment

Just a moment

대기하다 (daegihada) – be on standby

대기번호 (daegibeonho) – waiting number

Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 90 minutes!

A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?


Sample Sentences


Formal Examples:

1. 잠깐 기다려 주세요. → Please wait a moment.

    (jamkkan gidaryeo juseyo)


Standard Examples:

1. 벌써 1시간동안 기다리고 있어요. → I have already been waiting for 1 hour.

    (beolsseo 1sigandongan gidarigo isseoyo)


2. 저는 기회를 기다렸다가 마침내 그 남자한테 고백했어요. → I waited for an opportunity and finally confessed to that guy.

(jeoneun gihoereul gidaryeotdaga machimnae geu namjahante gobaekaesseoyo)


3. 밤이라서 버스를 한시간 넘어서 기다려 했었어요. → I had to wait for the bus for more than an hour since it’s night time.

(bamiraseo beoseureul hansigan neomeoseo gidaryeoya haesseosseoyo)


4. 시험 결과가 나올때까지 한달동안 기다리게 되었어요. → I have to wait for a month to before the exam results are out.

(siheom gyeolgwaga naolttaekkaji handaldongan gidarige doeeosseoyo)


5. 어쩔 수 없이 사장님 나갈때까지 기다려 봐야 할 것 같아요. → Looks like we have no choice but to wait and see until the boss leaves.

(eojjeol su eopsi sajangnim nagalttaekkaji gidaryeo bwaya hal geot gatayo)


6. 왜 기다리지 않았어요? → Why didn’t you wait?

(wae gidariji anasseoyo)


Informal Examples:

1. 늦어서 미안해. 나를 오래 기다렸어? → I’m sorry for being late. Did you wait a long time for me?

  (neujeoseo mianhae. nareul orae gidaryeosseo)


2. 날 기다려줘! → Please wait for me!

    (nal gidaryeojwo)


3. 좀만 더 기다려. → Wait just a little bit longer.

    (jomman deo gidaryeo)


4. 왜 나를 이렇게 기다리게 했지? → Why did you make me wait like this?

    (wae nareul ireoke gidarige haetji)


Want more Korean phrases? Click here for a complete list!



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