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When is 당신 used?

Updated: May 20, 2022

Hello guys and welcome back to another post. This post is going to be short and informative for Korean learners. I’m going to talk about the word ‘당신’.

The first words we learn when we learn a new language are usually 'me' 'I' 'my' 'you' 'your' etc. 당신 means 'you' in Korean but not exactly. What does it mean then? I'll break it down for you guys.

The word 당신 is rarely used among Korean speakers. They never use 'you' in sentences instead they'll address the second person with his/her name followed by 씨 or they'll just use the title like 사장님, 부장님, 선생님, etc. 당신 is never used when addressing someone formally.

당신 is actually used when you’re upset with someone and you don’t mind arguing with that person. I’ve heard 당신 many times in K-dramas, songs, etc.

But if you’re a foreigner you might not be aware of this fact and use it while speaking to the Koreans and they will understand you but it may still come off as rude.

It is better to refrain from using it if you don't want to offend the native speakers. It is really important to keep this in mind if you would like to blend into Korean culture.

Personally from my experience, I thought that the formal version of saying ‘you’ was 당신 and the informal version was 너는. But I was totally wrong about that. Most of the time Koreans just address someone by their name or by their title.

For example, if you’re in an office then you may address the team leader by saying 팀장님, assistant manager 대리님, the CEO 사장님, 부장님 the head of the department, etc. Similarly, in school, you could say 선생님(teacher) and 교수님 (professor).

When you don’t know a person well enough or their title then you can add 씨 after their name.

But straight-up saying 당신 is not encouraged.

Well, that was all for this post. I hope this post helped you in some way. Make sure to leave your thoughts down below and let me know what you think.

Until next time - HangugVocab.

You can go to my channel for some Korean Vocabulary.

Click here —> HangugVocab


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