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What Are Honorifics? | Different Honorific Words To Know

In Korean, there are different politeness levels. Informal, Polite/Casual, and Formal. But there is a form that is even more formal and It's refered to as "Honorifcs". Original IG Post

I'll go over when to use this, but for now I will mention that there are some words that your probably already know that change their form when honorifcs are used. In this post, I provide you with a list of all of those words.

There are different ways to use honorifics. Honorifics are usually used when the subject or the listener are older than the speaker, of a higher rank or social status, and also when the speaker and listener are not well acquainted with each other.

Overall, honorifics convey respect. When using honorifcs words change but keep their same meaning.


나이 (age) –> 연세

말 (words) –> 말씀

밥 (food) –> 진지 or 식사 (meal)

사람 (person) –> 분

생일 (birthday) –> 생신

집 (house) –> 댁

이름 (name) –> 성함


Rather than simply adding -(으)시다, the following verbs have a special honorific counterpart

자다 (to sleep) –> 주무시다

먹다 (to eat) –> 드시다

마시다 (to drink) –> 드시다

죽다 (to die) –> 돌아가시다

있다 (to exist) –> 계시다

있다 (to have) –> 있으시다

말하다 (to speak) –> 말씀드리다

주다 (to give) –> 드리다

묻다 (to ask) –> 여쭙다

보다/만나다 (to meet) –> 뵙다


이/가 –> 께서

은/는 –> 께서는

에게 (한테) –> 께

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