How to Conjugate Korean Verbs: Polite

There’s nothing easier than making informal Korean verbs into polite Korean verbs. (If only making everything polite were so simple!) First, make the informal form. Then, simply add 요 to the end of the verb. Ta-da!

The Polite form is used most often in Korean. Commonly, it’s used among friends, especially acquaintances but sometimes also with close friends. It’s OK to use this form for almost every daily interaction you have, but you’ll need to understand the honorific polite when it’s spoken to you by business owners and you’ll also be appreciated if you use the formal with people much older than you as well as people in positions of authority.

Polite Verbs

Vowel closest to -다 English meaning Dictionary form Base Informal form Polite form
If the verb ends in a consonant after dropping -다 receive; get 받다 받- 받아 받아요
be good 좋다 좋- 좋아 좋아요
take off [clothes] 벗다 벗- 벗어 벗어요
die 죽다 죽- 죽어 죽어요
be late 늦다 늦- 늦어 늦어요
wear [on feet] 신다 신- 신어 신어요
If the verb ends in a vowel after dropping -다 go 가다 가- 가요
pay 내다 내- 내요
see 보다 보- 봐요
stand 서다 서요
write 쓰다 쓰- 써요
wait [for] 기다리다 기다리- 기다려 기다려요
rest; relax 쉬다 쉬- 쉬어 쉬어요

Go back to the Korean Verbs page

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5 responses to “How to Conjugate Korean Verbs: Polite

  1. chahinezlorane

    oh thanks
    i was really hopeless about Korean conjugation but now thanks to you i became much better


  2. did you switch the formal and informal for 좋다? because the formal doesn’t have the 요 at the end.


  3. @Carlos – Yes they did.


  4. Do you use the 저 or 나 form of “I” with these?


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