Answering questions with "you" So my question is how do i answer a question with "you" in formal situation. for example if someone that is older than me asks:Q: "for whom are you cookin?"(누굴 위해 요리하고 있나?) A:"for you." (?) i think you know what i mean. thank you very much, i hope someone can help me :) (if my korean sentence is incorrect or unatural, please let me know)
Oct 30, 2017 3:30 PM
Answers · 4
Hi, I'm Jina :) I think most Korean books say that formal way of 'you' is 당신. But I never use 당신 to older people. Because depending on the nuance, it could be really rude. Sometimes 당신 is used between (old) couple like darling. Sometimes you use it when you call people who are really older than you in a super polite way. You can also use it to strangers but in this case, its nuance is more like 'hey' in a rude way. so when you call older people in Korea, you use their positions. The position could be 어머니(mom), 형(brother), 선생님(teacher), 할아버지(grandfather), 사장님(boss), 아저씨(mister) and, 아줌마(ma'am) etc. It was quite hard to explain in English but I hope it will help you!
October 30, 2017
Here is very good blog post that answers your question and more. On a side note, just like English, spoken Korean and written Korean are slightly different. So regarding your sentence, "누굴 위해 요리하고 있나?" is not exactly right. We do not know what the context is, so if you can give us specifics as to whom you are talking to in what situation, we will be able to assist you better. Generally, and in SPOKEN Korean, it should be "누구 요리를 하세요?" If the context is something about doing a favour or as a part of caring act, you can then use -을/를 위해서. This is the over-used and misused expression that has very specific nuance. Internet made this expression popular, but it's the expression I discourage everyone from using until reaching upper novice level. There are many easier and natural expressions.
October 31, 2017
Jina's answer was great. I'd just like to mention that you should avoid using the word 'you' in Korean, unless you are very intimate with the person and they are younger than you. As an alternative, as Jina mentioned, use the person's title or name+씨. even with dudes I have known for years, I always say 형, and never 너, and definitely never ever 당신, cause they'd probably think I was hitting on them If you don't know their title or name, use 언니, 어머니, 아줌마, 아저씨, or even 선생님 (even though they aren't a teacher).
October 31, 2017
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