Site Feedback

Undecided questions
Korean honorific forms?

There was something I was wondering about.. I'm kind of getting the hang of the different forms, but what confuses me is I know a few Korean people in their twenties to thirties. There are two girls and a guy who I speak to and there's another Korean who's in their forties. The two guys (one in their thirties and one in their forties) speak to me using ~요 at the end of their sentences. For example they'll say something like "안녕하세요. 주말 잘 보냈어요?", while the girls speak down to me. I'm completely fine with it, but I was wondering why the two guys use ~요 with me when I'm sixteen and they're obviously older. I have a Korean name that I made which is 문희진 and they also say 희진 씨 or 머라이어 씨 when speaking to me. And also one of them is my Korean teacher. Anyways, I was just confused because I thought with the age difference they'd speak down to me or is there a reason that anyone knows of why they don't...

For learning: Korean
Base language: English
Category: Other



    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



    Sort by:

    I'm a student as well, so I hope I get this right but we will see. I imagine that the relationship you have with your male friends in their 30's and 40's is more formal than the one which you have with your female friends. Maybe since they are closer in age to you they also feel less social pressure to remain polite. As a side note, I have noticed while speaking to members of both sexes that females are more likely to slip into the more familiar language than the males.

    Hope that helps :)

    You should distinguish between 'honorific form' and 'polite form'.

    An honorific form is formed by adding '시' to a verb, like this.
    가다. to go, 가-시-다.
    오다, to come, 오-시-다.

    If these honorific forms are conjugated with sentence ending '어요'.
    가-시-어요. 가셔요, or 가세요. .
    오-시-어요. 오셔요, or 오세요.

    But, a polite form is formed by conjugating a sentence ending to a verb, like this. there is not '시' in the words.
    가다 to go , 가-(아)요. 가요, .
    오다 to come, 오-(아)요, 와요.

    Submit your answer

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.