How to Conjugate Korean Verbs: Honorific Polite

The honorific polite form is used often in the Korean business world. You’ll hear it when from people speaking to business clients and customers, to teachers and elders, on semi-formal occasions and also from time to time among friends. 

Honorific Polite Verbs

To make the honorific polite form, first drop the dictionary -다 ending to reveal the verb base. If the verb base ends in a vowel, add 세요. If the verb base ends in a consonant, add 으세요. Here’s a table with examples.

English meaning Dictionary form Base Honorific polite form
If the verb ends in a consonant after dropping -다 receive; get 앉다 앉- 앉으세요
be good 좋다 좋- 좋으세요
to lack; not have 없다 없- 없으세요
pick [fruit] 줍다 줍- 줍으세요
be late 늦다 늦- 늦으세요
read 읽다 읽- 읽으세요
If the verb ends in a vowel after dropping -다 to do; make 하다 하- 하세요
be finished 끝내다 끝내- 끝내세요
come 오다 오- 오세요
learn 배우다 배우- 배우세요
be fast 빠르다 빠르- 빠르세요

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