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아니요 vs 아니에요 vs 아니라 | What’s the difference between 아니요 & 아니에요?

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Today I’ll tell you about an easily mistaken, but simple to understand concept. How to say, “No” in Korean, it seems simple enough but there’s 3 different ways to say it - kind of.

The root word here is 아니다, which depending on the form it takes can have the meaning of ‘no’ or ‘not’. The 3 common forms we’ll look at today are 아니요, 아니라, 아니에요.

Simple Explanation:

아니요 - No

아니에요 - It’s Not

아니라 - It’s Not A but B

Let’s Go Into More Detail With Each Of These -


아니요 is simply no. It’s the opposite of 네 (yes).

Polite/Formal - 아니요

Informal - 아니


A: 너 이거 먹을래?

Do you want to eat this? B: 아니요. 괜찮아요.

No, I’m okay.

아니다: 아닙니다, 아니에요, 아니야

아니에요 is used to say ’It’s Not’ or ‘I’m Not’. It’s the opposite of ~이다 (입니다, 이에요, 이야) which means ‘To Be’ - ‘It Is’ or ‘I am’.

Formal - 아닙니다

Polite/Casual - 아니에요

Informal -아니야


A: 저 사람 한국 사람이에요?

Is he/that person a Korean person?

B: 아니요, 한국 사람이 아니에요.

No, he is not Korean.


This is used to say, It’s Not ‘A’ but (It Is) ‘B’. Or It’s not this, It’s that. Usually the particles 이/가 come right before 아니라. It’s used in the middle of a sentence and It has no Informal or formal counterpart.


그 사람은 학생이 아니라 선생님이에요.

That person is not a student, they are a teacher.

저 사람은 한국 사람 아니라 일본 사람이에요. He isn’t Korean, he is Japanese.

Same Sentence | Different Grammar

저것은 사람이 아니라 눈사람이에요.

That isn’t a person, It’s a snowman.

저것은 사람이 아니에요. 눈사람이에요.

That is not a person. It’s a snowman.

가: 저것은 사람이에요? A: Is that a person?

나: 아니요, 저것은 눈사람이에요. B: No, It’s a snowman.


Comment Your Answer Below or Do It On Your Own!

Write These Sentences Using The Correct Grammar:

I am not a teacher, I am a student.

This woman is a doctor not a nurse.

That is not water. It’s sprite.

No, this is a library. It is not a bookstore.

This is the end of today’s post. Hope it helped you distinguish between these 3 forms.

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very clear. thanks

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