Lesson 7: Using Honorific in Korean

Korean is probably the only language that has an honorific grammatically.

1. In honorific sentence 시 (shi) added to the verb.
Go – 가다 (ga-da) – 가시다 (ga-shi-da)
Come -오다 (oh-da) – 오시다 (oh-shi-da)
Wear – 입다 (ib-da) – 입으시다 (ib-eu-shi-da)
Shoot – 쏘다 (sso-da) – 쏘시다 (sso-shi-da)
Do – 하다 (ha-da) – 하시다 (ha-shi-da)

Example:
I go to school. – 나는 학교에 갑니다
(na-neun-hak-gyo-eh-gam-ni-da)
My Mother goes to the market. – 나의 어머니는 시장에 가십니다.
(na-eui-uh-mu-ni-neun shi-jang-eh-ga-shim-ni-da)

In this sentence, note that present tense verb 갑니다(gam-ni-da) changes to
가십니다 (ga-shim-ni-da)

2. My friend came. – 내 친구가 왔습니다.
(nae-chin-goo-ga-wat-seum-ni-da)
My Father came. – 내 아버지께서 오셨습니다.
(nae-ah-bu-ji-gge-su-oh-shut-sem-ni-da)

In this sentence, note that subject-particle  가(ga) changes to
께서 (gge-su) and past tense verb 왔습니다 (wat seum-ni-da) changes to 오셨습니다.(oh-shut-sem-ni-da)

3. Some of the pronouns change to an honorific too.
When you speak to older people,
I –나는 (na-neun) has to change to 저는(ju-neun)
We-우리들은(woo-li-deul-eun) has to change to 저희들은(ju-hee-deul-eun)

4. Some verbs changes irregular way.
Eat-먹다 (muk-da) -드시다 (deu-shi-da)
Talk-말하다(mal-ha-da)-말씀하시다(mal-sseum-ha-shi-da)

Example:
I talked to my father. – 나는 나의 아버지께 말했습니다.
(na-neun-na-eui-ah-bu-ji-gge-mal-haet-seum-ni-da)
My father talked to me. – 나의 아버지께서 내게 말씀하셨습니다.
(na-eui-ah-bu-ji-gge-su-nae-ge-mal-sseum-ha-shut-sem-ni-da)

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5 Responses to Lesson 7: Using Honorific in Korean

  1. Magda says:

    Annyeong! I’m Romanian and try to learn a bit Korean and noticed that , that’s right, when youngsters are talking to older people, they are talking at the 3rd perso, even the person is in front and it should be the 2nd or , at least these are the translations :” X is a very warm person “. and they are talking to that person. Why is that ? We have the personal pronoun of politeness which have the 2nd person.Doesn’t it exist in Korean? Thank you very much! Kamsahamnida!

  2. let says:

    hi, i am a filipino, i am a frustrated larner of korean, pls. help me..

  3. let says:

    i am studying now the tenses of verbs but its a bit difficult for me coz i have to memorize the different honorifics,

  4. chhengkheang says:

    아녕하새요

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