Introduction to Korean Honorifics (Polite speech vs speaking casually)

Let's speak casually

Korean Honorifics is a big part of Korean culture and respect, and this is ingrained in the speech as well!

When should you use honorifics (높임말)?

1. When meeting someone for the first time

2. When speaking to people older than you

3. When speaking to your superiors/seniors in the workplace

So when should you drop the honorifics to speak casually?

1. When you become closer to the person after some time

2. When your elder/senior tells you to “Let’s speak casually”.

Here’s a video from Single’s Inferno showing a group of people using polite speech (honorifics) trying to decide whether to speak casually:

Bonus: Try to spot one of the grammar points for honorifics (-요) [-yo] at the end of the sentences.

Interested in learning more about the Korean culture? As the first Korean language school established in Singapore by native Koreans, Daehan Education Centre has a pool of experienced and qualified teachers who are dedicated to guide you through your learning journey at an affordable rate (SkillsFuture claimable!). Our syllabus is well-structured, easy-to-follow and continuously improved with the feedbacks from our students. Whether you are here just to learn basic conversational skills or looking to certify your mastery of the language by taking the TOPIK examinations, look no further in beginning your learning journey at Daehan Education Centre! 

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