I’ve noticed that most of the searches that people enter on my site relate either to “easy reading in Korean” or “common Korean phrases,” so I’ve decided to do some posts precisely on those topics, starting with the most essential Korean phrases that come to mind. I will present these phrases in informal language, or 반말.
Let’s get down to it.
사랑해 | saranghae | I love you
사랑 or sarang is the word for “love.” 해 (hae) comes from the verb 하다 (hada) which means to do or to make. Combined with a noun, it connotes the a verb form of that noun.
As Korean often omits the subject of a sentence, 사랑해 is simply (I) love you, and the subject is implied by context. A way of directly and explicitly saying “I love you” is 나는 너를 사랑해. 나 is I, 너 is you, and the particles attached to them denote subject and object respectively. Korean follows a subject-object-verb sentence structure, by the way.
A famous oldie called Sunset Glow, or 붉은 노을, has been performed by many Korean singers, and it features the wondrous phrase of 사랑해 repeatedly. Naturally I’m providing Big Bang’s version of the song. Not biased. Not biased at all.
난 너를 사랑해~
Ahem. Moving on to Song Joong Ki, who is back and beautiful in Descendants of the Sun. Which admittedly I still haven’t seen because I haven’t really been watching any dramas recently, but that’s beside the point.
가지마 | kajima | Don’t go
가 (ka) comes from the verb 가다 (kada) which means to go. ~지 말다 (~ji malda) attaches to verbs and makes them “not” or “don’t (usually – it’s not this simple, but if you’re looking to learn more, you should consider properly studying Korean for fun via TTMIK).
보고 싶어 | bogo sipeo | I miss you*
보 comes from the verb 보다, which, among many other meanings, translates to “to see.” It’s an irregular verb, conjugating to 봐(요). ~고 싶어 is an ending that means that the the action is desired – the speaker or doer wants the action to occur.
You can translate 보고 싶어 literally to “I want to see you” or you can translate it as “I miss you” – it’s generally used in situations where English-speakers would say I miss you, although there’s another Korean word for when you miss someone (그립다/그리워하다). I would say that you’re safer using 보고 싶어 since 그립다 and 그리워하다 are a bit less common.
Also, if you finally get to see that person again and you want to say “I missed you” just say 보고 싶었어 (bogo sipeosseo).
Next time you’re watching a drama, try to listen for these phrases! Practice saying them the way the actors and actresses do – it’ll improve your accent and intonation even if you’re just beginning to learn Korean.
지금 재생 중
What can I say? I’m obsessed with 수란’s voice. Now the lyrics are a little interesting…but I love this song ㅎㅎ