Understanding Hajima & Kajima

Two of my favorite words in Korean are 하지마 (hajima) and 가자마 (kajima). They are both common words in everyday 반말 (banmal) or informal language, and they appear in just about every K-pop song.

하지마 (hajima) usually is translated as “Don’t do it”. 하 (ha) comes from the verb 하다 (hada) which means “to do.” 지마 (jima) is part of a negative conjugation where the speaker asks or orders someone else to not do something.


하 (ha) = “(you) do”


지마 (jima) = “don’t”

= “Don’t do it”

Seungri really doesn't want you to do it. Hajima!

Seungri really doesn’t want you to do it. Hajima!


Note that the Korean word for “you” is omitted. The person you’re talking to is implied by context.

Likewise, 가지마 (kajima) uses the conjugation of 지마 (jima). 가 (ka) comes from 가다 (kada) which is the verb meaning “to go.”


가 (ka) = “(you) go”


지마 (jima) = “don’t”

= “Don’t go.”

Please, GD, kajima!

Please, GD, kajima!


These phrases are commonly used in dramas where someone orders someone else not to do something or to go somewhere.


Person 1: 집에 가. (Jib-e ka.) “I’m going home.”

Person 2: 집에 가지마! (Jib-e kajima!) “Don’t go home!”

From http://25.media.tumblr.com/b0b55f4def1776af83390768a9c86fc2/tumblr_mgahm3FZMj1rwnim2o1_500.gif


Person 1: 그래. (Keurae.) “Okay.”


top jibe


That just about sums up GD & T.O.P.’s ‘Don’t Go Home’ song. Can you guess the Korean name of that song? 네. (Ne.) It’s 집에 가지마 (jib-e kajima).

Here’s an example using “Don’t do it.”


Person 1: 야…난…널… (Ya…Nan…Neol…) “Hey…I…to you…”

Person 2: 뭐? 야! 하지마! 하지마! (Mweo? YA! Hajima! Hajima!) “What? HEY! Don’t do (say) it! Don’t!”

Person 1: 사랑해. (Saranghae.) “I love you.”

T.O.P. loves SE7EN-hyung

T.O.P. loves SE7EN-hyung

Person 2: 하지마! 난 니가 싫어.. 넌 못생겼어.  (Hajima! Nan niga sirheo. Neon mot saengyeosseo.) “Don’t! I hate you. You’re ugly.”


T.O.P. disapproves


How about some song examples in K-pop where hajima or kajima are used very obviously?

Monster by Big Bang

Don’t Go Home/Jibe Kajima by GD & T.O.P.,

Stop It by B.A.P.



A/N: Revised April 9, 2018, as the previous version was written years ago when I barely knew any Korean; I previously (and mistakenly) told readers that these sentences can also mean “I don’t do it”. That was incorrect. 하지마 and 가지마 are both commands/requests to another person to not do something. An exception may occur in the form of a question in some situations, such as when someone teases someone else. The would-be teaser might ask, “하지마?” Effectively, they’re saying to the other person, “(Are you telling me) don’t do it?”

Happy studying!