*** Note: I do not use romanized lettering for the conversation below. Please refer to my Learn Hangeul post series to learn the Korean alphabet to learn the pronunciation of the letters for the phrases below. Thank you 🙂 ***
This is the first of hopefully many to come of conversational learning posts. I will begin with one or two small dialogues, explain the conversation piece by piece, and then give you all more phrases or vocabulary that may be commonly used or heard in a typical conversation. I’m pretty bad at small talk in my native language, so if you have any suggestions of topics you would like to cover or have other phrases or vocabulary words you think would be useful, please feel free to comment below.
Person 1: 안녕하세요!
Person 2: 안녕하세요!
Person 1: 제 이름은 은혜입니다.
Person 2: 만나서 반갑습니다! 제 이름은 영희입니다.
Person 1: 반갑습니다!
Person 2: 안녕히계세요!
Person 1: 안녕히 가세요!
All right! Now, let’s break this short (and maybe somewhat awkward) conversation down. We can think of this scenario as two people meeting for the first time. As mentioned in the past, present, and future tense posts, there are different levels of endings we can use based on age or status of the person you’re speaking to. To keep this simple, we’re going to use the formal version.
Person 1: 안녕하세요! – “Hello!”
Person 2: 안녕하세요! – “Hello!”
The phrase “안녕하세요” is the most commonly used form of “Hello”. Therefore, in the first section of this conversation, we can see Person 1 and Person 2 greeting each other with “안녕하세요!”, or “Hello!”.
Person 1: 제 이름은 은혜입니다. – “My name is Eun Hye.”
Let’s look at just the first line (Person 1), 제 is a humble way to say “my” and used in conjunction with the polite (요) and formal speech patterns (as seen above).
Next, we see “이름은“. The word “이름” translates to “name”. Directly following “이름” we see “은“. This is what is known as the Topic Marker / Topic Particle and shows the topic of the sentence or who the sentence is referring to; there are two versions of the Topic Marker (-은 and -는). -은 is used when the last letter of the word before it ends is a consonant (공원은 – the park), and -는 is used when the last letter of the word before it ends in a vowel (시계는 – the clock). This particle basically means that you are only talking about this person/thing, nothing else. Going back to the sentence “제 이름은 은혜입니다.” this person is saying “ONLY my name is Eun Hye.” or “As for me, my name is Eun Hye.” The Topic Marker can be a pretty confusing topic for many learners, and there will be another post fully dedicated to explaining it in the future. 🙂
Lastly, we see “은혜입니다.” 은혜 is the name of Person 1 in this conversation, and “입니다” is the formally conjugated form of the verb 이다 (to be). Therefore, “은혜입니다.” is literally “Eun Hye is” or “Eun Hye equals”.
Putting all of the above explanations together, we can see that “제 이름은 은혜입니다.” translates to “My name is Eun Hye.”
*** BONUS: Another (and shorter) way to introduce yourself is “저는 _____입니다.” Literally “I am _____.” or “I equal _____.”
Person 2: 만나서 반갑습니다! 제 이름은 영희입니다. – “Nice to meet you! My name is Yeong Hui.”
Person 1: 반갑습니다! – “Nice to meet you!”
Person 2 then replies to Person 1 with “만나서 반갑습니다! 제 이름은 영희입니다.” The first sentence, “만나서 반갑습니다!” basically means “It’s nice to meet you.” For a more in-depth look, let’s break it down into its literal meaning. The first part, “만나서” is a conjugation of 만나다 (to meet) and -서, which can be added onto the end of verbs that are not at the end of the sentence to mean “because”. The second part, “반갑습니다!” is a formally conjugated form of 반갑다 (to be glad). So, the phrase “만나서 반갑습니다!” literally means “Because I meet you, I am glad.” or more grammatically correct “Because I (have met / am meeting) you, I am glad.” The second part of the sentence is the same format as mentioned in the last section and gives the name of Person 2, Yeong Hui.
Eun Hye replies to Yeong Hui by saying “반갑습니다!” Here, she is also saying “Nice to meet you.” while omitting “만나서“, which make the sentence more simple while still having the same meaning and politeness.
Person 2: 안녕히 계세요!
Person 1: 안녕히 가세요!
Great job! You’ve made it to the last block of text! Let’s finish strong and start having super simple conversations!
In this block of text we see that each person is saying something similar, but not quite the same. This is another situation where new learners might get confused, I know I did before I began practicing aloud. Each of the sentences above mean “good-bye,” but each are used in different situations.
안녕히 계세요 is used when the person speaking is leaving and the person the speaker is speaking to is staying wherever they are (literally means “stay in peace”)
안녕히 가세요 is used when the person speaking is staying and the person the speaker is speaking to is leaving (literally means “go in peace”)
To clarify the difference a bit more, let’s imagine Person 1 is sitting at a desk reading and Person 2 is getting ready to leave the library. Person 2 begins to walk away from the table, says to Person 1 “안녕히 계세요!“, and begins walking out of the room. Person 1 looks up from their books to see Person 2 walking toward the door and says “안녕히 가세요!“. That is a simple situation in which each of the two “good-bye” phrases above would be used. Hopefully that example helped distinguish the difference between the two!
You did it! You’ve made it to the end of the conversation and have learned how to greet someone, introduce yourself, and say good-bye to someone in less than 900 words! Go you! If you want to challenge yourself by trying out some other phrases related to greetings, check out the extra vocabulary listed below, and I’ll talk to everyone in the next post! ❤
Phrases and Vocabulary:
안녕하세요. = Hello.
좋은 아침입니다. = Good morning.
안녕히 주무세요. = Good night.
제 이름은 은혜입니다. = My name is ____.
저는 _____입니다. = I am _____. (an alternative to “My name is _____.”)
만나서 반갑습니다! = It’s nice to meet you!
안녕히 계세요. = Good-bye (speaker is leaving, listener is staying)
안녕히 가세요. = Good-bye (speaker is staying, listener is leaving)
수고 하세요. = Good-bye (to someone still working when you leave ***NOTE: Only use if the person is younger than you. Don’t use if the person working is older than you.)
제 = my (humble/polite)
이름 = Name