In this lesson, we’re going to show you how to say “hello” in Korean.

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Learning how to say “hello” in Korean helps you make friends, greet acquaintances, and seem like an overall warm and friendly person! It’s very likely one of the words you will use most often when visiting South Korea or speaking Korean.

Saying hello is one of the first Korean greetings that you should know. There are many ways of saying it, and not all of them are polite. Here are the three most common ways that you’ll hear this greeting:

English한국어 (Korean)Formality
Hello 안녕하십니까 (annyeonghasimnikka) Formal
Hello 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo)Standard
Hello 안녕 (annyeong) Informal

What is Hello in Korean?

Generally, there are three ways to say Hello in Korean: The formal way 안녕하십니까 (annyeonghasimnikka), the Standard way 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo), and the informal way 안녕 (annyeong). When it comes to Korean greetings, it’s best to use the Standard Form in most situations because you can use it for almost everyone. 

Remember that Korean is a hierarchical language. That means you need to use the proper formality level, or you can come off as offensive for being too casual or too formal to people you know.

Below, we’ll show you which phrase you should use and which ones to avoid. Let’s get to it!


The informal way of saying “hello” is 안녕 (annyeong). You may notice that this is the building block for the standard and formal ways of this greeting. 

How do you say Hi in Korean?

안녕 (annyeong) is used similarly to how the word ‘hi’ is used in the English language. Make sure to only use this greeting with close friends or to children since it is informal language.

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Is Annyeong hello or goodbye?

안녕 (annyeong) is the informal way of saying hello. However, it can also be used as an informal way of saying “bye.” You can’t use it with anybody, though, so be mindful of who you’re saying it to. 

Associations for Informal “Hello”

For our example, we’ll use a person named “Ann Young.” Ann Young is a student with exemplary manners. She always greets her friends when she sees them and when they part ways.