Korean Phrases Basic Sentences for Solo Travel and Daily life!

korean phrases basic

In this article, we will share to you Basic Korean language, (Korean phrases basic) sentences for solo travel and daily life in korea.

Here’s the comprehensive list of basic Korean phrases that you’ll need to join in on the fun and converse in Korean. This is the up-to-date modern version of how Koreans actually talk, so it will be useful if you want to learn how to speak Korean. 

To get you started, here are some basic phrases you can use to speak Korean:

  • Yes – 네 (ne)
  • No – 아니오 (a-ni-yo)
  • Hello – 안녕하세요 (an-nyeong-ha-se-yo)
  • Thank you – 고맙습니다 (go-map-seum-ni-da)
  • You’re welcome – 천만에요 (cheon-man-e-yo) 
  • Excuse me – 실례합니다 (sill-ye-ham-ni-da) 
  • Ok – 괜찮아요 (gwaen-chan-a-yo) 
  • I don’t know – 몰라요 (mollayo)
  • Sorry  – 미안합니다 (mi-an-ham-ni-da)
  • Goodbye – 안녕히 가세요 (an-nyeon-ghi ga-se-yo) 

We highly recommend you learn first the Korean alphabet (Hangeul) ASAP, it’s only take about few hour to learn it. It’s an essential first step to improve your Korean language skills. It’ll help you speak Korean and correctly pronounce the basic Korean phrases you’ll find below.

Korean Phrases Basic

Need the bare minimum sentences for simple conversation? These are the basic Korean phrases you’ll want to get down to make sure your time in Korea is smooth sailing!

You might notice that there are a few ways of saying some of the basic Korean phrases, such as “excuse me”, “thank you,” and “goodbye”. In English, these phrases are much more multi-purpose. In Korean, there are specific phrases that you’ll use for certain situations. It’s important to know when to use these basic Korean phrases especially when you’re in South Korea. The different situations make learning the Korean language fun and interesting. 

Click on the word in Hangul to hear the pronunciation of the basic Korean phrases. To learn more about the phrases in detail, click on the English equivalent of the phrase. 

Thank You 고맙습니다gomapseumnida
Don’t mention it 천만에요cheonmaneyo
That’s OK 괜찮아요gwaenchanayo
Hello 안녕하세요?annyeonghaseyo?
Excuse me (to get attention) 저기요jeogiyo
Excuse me (to apologize) 실례합니다sillyehamnida
Excuse me (to pass someone) 잠시만요jamsimanyo
Hello (on phone) 여보세요yeoboseyo
Take me to the hospital (to taxi) 병원에 가주세요byeongwone gajuseyo
I need a doctor 의사가 필요해요uisaga piryohaeyo
Sleep well 잘 자요jal jayo
Sweet dreams 좋은 꿈 꿔요joeun kkum kkwoyo
Goodbye (to person leaving) 안녕히 가세요annyeonghi gaseyo
Goodbye (to person staying) 안녕히 계세요annyeonghi gyeseyo
Get home safely 잘 가요jal gayo
Have a nice day 좋은 하루 보내세요joeun haru bonaeseyo
Have a good trip! 여행 잘하세요yeohaeng jalhaseyo
Welcome 환영합니다hwanyeonghamnida
Yes 네ne
No 아니요aniyo
Maybe 아마도amado
Just a moment! 잠깐만요!jamkkanmanyo!
I feel sick 아파요apayo

Daily Korean Phrases

As you continue with your Korean learning, focus on these daily life Korean phrases that you will definitely use on a daily basis. You will use them when you meet friends or speak to the staff at the local market. This kind of korean phrases will really help you to practice and improve your korean language skills.

Where is the bathroom?화장실은 어디에 있어요?hwajangsireun eodie isseoyo?
Please repeat that 다시 말해 주세요dasi malhae juseyo
Please speak slowly 천천히 말해 주세요cheoncheonhi malhae juseyo
Please write it down 적어 주세요jeogeo juseyo
I understand 이해해요ihaehaeyo
I don’t understand 이해 못해요ihae mothaeyo
I don’t know 몰라요mollayo
I know 알아요arayo
Can you speak Korean? 한국말을 할 수 있어요?hangungmareul hal su isseoyo?
I can speak a little Korean한국말을조금할수있어요hangungmareul jogeum hal su isseoyo
I can’t speak Korean 한국말을 못해요hangungmareul motaeyo
Don’t worry!걱정 하지 마세요!geokjeong haji maseyo!
How much is this? 이거 얼마예요?igeo eolmayeyo?
I’ll be right back! 금방 갔다 올거예요!geumbang gatda olgeoyeyo!
What is this? 이게 뭐예요ige mwoyeyo
So-so그저 그래요geujeo geuraeyo
Bad 안 좋아요an joayo
Good 좋아요joayo

Food Korean Phrases

You can’t travel to another country and not try the delicious local foods. Ordering food in a Korean restaurant can vary from being really easy to a real challenge. Some restaurants will have picture menus and English translations, while others may all be entirely in Korean.

Lots of restaurants in Seoul will have picture menus or pictures on the wall. The easiest way to order is to  point to the picture or something you see plus the word ‘ju-se-yo‘ which means please. This simple Korean phrase will help you get what you want most of the time. It really is one of the most versatile of all these essential Korean phrases.

When you first enter the restaurant, usually the staff will ask you how many people are in your group. You can use the first phrase below ask if they have a table for 4. The staff will likely speak to you in honorific language, but you can reply in standard everyday Korean. 

Do you have an English menu?영어메뉴가 있나요?yongeo menyuka issnayo?
Please give me a menu 메뉴판 주세요menyupan juseyo
Do you have vegetarian dishes? 채식주의자용 식사 있어요?chaesikjuuijayong siksa isseoyo?
Is this spicy? 이거 매워요?igeo maewoyo?
Please do not make this spicy 맵지 않게 요리해 주세요maepji anke yorihae juseyo
Please give me 4 orders of galbi 갈비 사인분 주세요galbi sainbun juseyo
Please give me 1 bottle of soju 소주 한병 주세요soju hanbyeong juseyo
Please give me 3 glasses 유리잔 세개 주세요yurijan segae juseyo
It’s delicious! 맛있어요!masisseoyo!
I don’t like it 맛없어요maseopseoyo
It was a delicious meal! 잘 먹었습니다!jal meogeotseumnida!
What time do you close? 몇시에 문 닫아요?myeotsie mun dadayo?
Do you take credit cards? 카드 돼요?kadeu dwaeyo?

Drinks Korean Phrases

If you’ve been to Seoul before, then you know you can go more than a few minutes in each direction without running into a cafe. Korea has a massive coffee-drinking culture, and it’s continuing to spread all over south korea. so make sure you learn these essential basic korean phrases that will help you to order your desired drinks while you travel south korea.

Please give me 1 hot coffee따뜻한 아메리카노 한잔 주세요ttatteutan amerikano hanjan juseyo
Please give me 2 ice coffees 아이스 아메리카노 두잔 주세요aiseu amerikano dujan juseyo
Do you have non-caffeinated drinks? 카페인 없는 음료 있어요?kapein eomneun eumnyo isseoyo?
Where are your electrical outlets? 콘센트 어디에 있어요?konsenteu eodie isseoyo?
I’d like this to go (drink only) 테이크 아웃이에요teikeu ausieyo
Do you have electrical outlets?콘센트 있어요?konsenteu isseoyo?
Please throw away my receipt 영수증은 버려 주세요yeongsujeungeun beoryeo juseyo
Do you have wifi here? 와이파이 있어요?waipai isseoyo?
What is the wifi password? 비밀 번호 알려 주세요bimil beonho allyeo juseyo

Travel Korean Phrases to getting around

Travelling in Korea is a lot easier than you might think. Almost all of the signs at the airport, train stations, in subways, and on buses, are in English. They’re also in Chinese and Japanese most of the time.

Korea is a very modern country when it comes to transport and there are a lot of different transport options. These useful phrases will help you to avoid getting lost and, if you do, help you find your way around.

Whether you’re in the big city or quiet countryside, use these Korean phrases to ask the locals where something is.

Start things off with a simple “잠시만요”, and then get to chat in the local language!

Excuse me (asking for help politely)실례합니다sillyehamnida
Excuse me (asking for help) 저기요jeogiyo
I’m lost 길을 잃어버렸어요gireul ireobeoryeosseoyo
Do you know where Apgujeong station is? 압구정역 어디인지 아세요?apgujeongyeok eodiinji aseyo?
How far is it from here? 여기에서 얼마나 걸리는지 아세요?yeogieseo eolmana geollineunji aseyo?
Is it far from here? 여기에서 멀어요?yeogieseo meoreoyo?
It’s quite far 꽤 멀어요kkwae meoreoyo
It’s not far 멀지 않아요meolji anayo
It’s close 가까워요gakkawoyo
It’s not within walking distance 걸어갈 만한 거리가 아니예요georeogal manhan georiga aniyeyo
It’s about 1 kilometer from here 여기에서 1킬로정도 멀어요yeogieseo ilkillojeongdo meoreoyo
Can you show me on the map? 지도로 보여 주시겠어요?jidoro boyeo jusigesseoyo?
I’m sorry, I’m not from around here 미안하지만 저는 이 근처 사람이 아니예요mianhajiman jeoneun i geuncheo sarami aniyeyo
It’s that way 그 쪽으로 가세요geu jjogeuro gaseyo
Go left 왼쪽 가세요oenjjok gaseyo
Go right 오른쪽에 가세요oreunjjoge gaseyo
Go straight 쭉 가세요jjuk gaseyo

Transportation Korean Phrases

The Korean bus system is one of the best systems in the world.

The buses are fast, clean, and on time. This goes for the smaller local buses (마을 버스), the regular city buses, and even the express buses (고속 버스).

At many bus stops in Seoul, there is a digital display that shows which buses are coming and what time they will arrive. It’s very accurate!

Please stop the bus here여기서 세워 주세요yeogiseo sewo juseyo
Please open the bus door 버스 문 열어 주세요beoseu mun yeoreo juseyo
What time is the last bus? 마지막 버스 언제예요?majimak beoseu eonjeyeyo?
How much is the bus fare? 버스 요금 얼마예요?beoseu yogeum eolmayeyo?
Where can I charge my bus card? 버스 카드 어디에서 충전할 수 있어요?beoseu kadeu eodieseo chungjeonhal su isseoyo?
How much is a bus ticket to Seoul? 서울에 가는 버스 표가 얼마예요?seoure ganeun beoseu pyoga eolmayeyo?
One ticket to Gangneung, please 강릉에 가는 표 한 장 주세요gangneunge ganeun pyo han jang juseyo
Where does this bus go? 이 버스는 어디로 가요?i beoseuneun eodiro gayo?
Where is the bus to Jinju? 진주에 가는 버스는 어디에 있어요?jinjue ganeun beoseuneun eodie isseoyo?
Are there tickets available for the 3pm bus to Geo Je Island? 3시에 거제도 가는 버스 자리 있어요?sesie geojedo ganeun beoseu jari isseoyo?
Does this bus stop in Incheon International Airport? 이 버스는 인천국제공항에 서요?i beoseuneun incheongukjegonghange seoyo?
When does the bus for Sokcho leave? 속초에 가는 버스는 언제 출발해요?sokchoe ganeun beoseuneun eonje chulbalhaeyo?
When does bus number 605 arrive? 605번 버스는 언제 도착해요?yukbaegobeon beoseuneun eonje dochakaeyo?
When will this bus arrive in the Namsan Tower? 이 버스는 남산타워에 언제 도착해요i beoseuneun namsantawoe eonje dochakaeyo?

Let’s talk more about some of the key Korean words that you’ll see above to help expand your vocabulary. Knowing certain parts of the sentence can really help you making your own sentences.

____ 어디예요? (____ eo-di-ye-yo?) means ‘where is ____? ‘ and can be used for all sorts of questions and is very helpful not only for transportation, but also shopping and when you need the bathroom.

Want to know how to get to certain place? Point to a picture of it and ask eo-di-ye-yo? they will tell you where and how to go to that place and hopefully you can at least understand their words.

____ 가주세요 (____ ka-ju-se-yo) which is used to ask someone to ‘take you somewhere’. You probably recognise ‘ju-se-yo‘, which features in a lot of these phrases and means ‘please’. The ‘ka’ part of this phrase is from ‘ka-da‘, the verb for ‘to go’.

You can use ka-ju-se-yo whenever you want to go somewhere. Especially in private Taxy, you can just enter in and tell the driver ‘Singil-yeok (Singil Station) ka-ju-se-yo‘ and they’ll take you straight there.

Shopping Korean Phrases

If you’re out in Dongadaemun, Garosul-gil, or Myeongdong, you are definitely going to need some Korean phrases to help you shop!

The Korean language has it’s own specialized vocabulary terms when it comes to shopping, so make sure you know these sentences before you head out for the next shopping spree. For example, did you know that some Korean credit cards give you the choice of paying for your purchase over one month or multiple month installments? The installment plans have interest fees, so plan accordingly! Be ready for this question, since some stores will ask you if you want your purchase to be put through as 일시불 (ilsibul).

Throw away the receipt영수증은 버려 주세요yeongsujeungeun beoryeo juseyo
Please give me a receipt 영수증 주세요yeongsujeung juseyo
Put it in a bag 봉투에 넣어 주세요bongtue neoeo juseyo
Please give me a discount 좀 깎아 주세요jom kkakka juseyo
How much is it? 얼마예요?eolmayeyo?
Please give me coffee 커피 주세요keopi juseyo
Do you have wallet? 지갑 있어요?jigap isseoyo?
Can I pay with credit card? 카드 돼요?kadeu dwaeyo?
Please give me a refund 환불해 주세요hwanbulhae juseyo
Please exchange this 교환해 주세요gyohwanhae juseyo
Please wrap it for me 포장해 주세요pojanghae juseyo
One-time payment 일시불ilsibul
3 month installments 3개월 할부samgaewol halbu

Let’s talk more about some of the key Korean words that you’ll see above to help expand your vocabulary. Knowing certain parts of the sentence can really help you making your own sentences.

얼마예요 (eol-ma-ye-yo) means ‘how much‘ and is another one of those essential Korean words you can use for ordering food, shopping, and so much more. Want to haggle for a new bag in the market? Just point the bag you want plus ol-ma-ye-yo? Want to know the cost of a train to certain city, example gwangju, just say gwangju plus ol-ma-ye-yo? It’s short and an easy Korean word to remember.

싸요! (ssa-yo!) and 비싸요! (bi-ssa-yo!) which mean ‘cheap’ and ‘expensive’. You can use these all the time in the traditional markets when you want to haggle. The market vendor usually will start to haggle and lower the price.

Emergency Korean Phrases

Korea is a very safe country, so hopefully you will have a safe and pleasant time here. However, emergencies do happen, and it’s always good to know a few key phrases to help make sure that you navigate through them smoothly!

There are separate numbers for the different emergency services in Korea. Dial 112 to contact the police and 119 for fire and medical emergencies.

Below are some important emergency Korean phrases. Learn them so you have them ready in case of an emergency. You will thank yourself later!

This is an emergency 아주 급해요aju geupaeyo
Where is the nearest police station? 제일 가까운 경찰서가 어디예요?jeil gakkaun gyeongchalseoga eodiyeyo
Where is the closest hospital? 가장 가까운 병원이 어디예요?gajang gakkaun byeongwoni eodiyeyo
Please call an ambulance 구급차를 불러 주세요gugeupchareul bulleo juseyo
Please take me to the hospital 병원에 데려가 주세요byeongwone deryeoga juseyo
Please help me 도와주세요dowajuseyo
Please call the US Embassy immediately 즉시 미국 대사관으로 전화해 주세요jeuksi miguk daesagwaneuro jeonhwahae juseyo
Where can I get help? 어디에서 도움을 구할 수 있어요?eodieseo doumeul guhal su isseoyo?
I am a diabetic 저는 당뇨가 있어요jeoneun dangnyoga isseoyo
I am allergic to cucumber 오이에 알레르기가 있어요oie allereugiga isseoyo

Let’s talk more about some of the key Korean words that you’ll see above to help expand your vocabulary. Knowing certain parts of the sentence can really help you making your own sentences.

도와주세요 (do-wa-ju-se-yo) means to ‘please help me’ and isn’t just used in emergencies. If you have some heavy burden or task and you need someone to help carrying it down the stairs, you can say ‘do-wa-ju-seh-yo‘ (in a calm voice). Some kind Korean person will surely help out after hearing this basic Korean word.

의사 (wi-sa) means ‘doctor’ in Korean. This doctor will treat general medical conditions.

How was your Korean language study process? Do you like to learn korean language? do you plan to travel south korea? Comment below!

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