How to Say Thank You in Korean

How to Say “Thank You” in Korean

One of the most important phrases in any language is “Thank You.” People that say “Thank you” or receive appreciation from others are happier than those who don’t. So let’s learn How to Say “Thank You” in Korean.

Honorific Korean Level

감사합니다 (kam-sa-ham-ni-da) is “Thank you” in Korean.


감사합니다 actually sounds like (kam-sam-ni-da) when spoken.


감사 (kam-sa) is “Appreciation” or “Gratitude” in Korean.

합니다 (hap-ni-da) is “Do” in Korean and comes from the verb 하다.


This is by far the most common way for how to say “Thank you” in Korean. It is also the most formal.


고맙습니다 (ko-map-seup-ni-da) is “Thank you” in Korean.


고맙습니다 has a nuance that gives the impression that you are closer in relationship to the person you say it to than saying 감사합니다.


Polite Korean Level

고마워요 (ko-ma-ueo-yo) is “Thank you” in Korean and comes from the verb 고맙다.


This form is used when you are close to someone that is older than you.


Remember, Korean honorifics can be a difficult concept to get used to. Therefore, I recommend using the honorific 감사합니다 to all people older than you until you are sure a different form is okay to use with them. Korean honorifics were explain in Lesson 1.


Informal Korean Level

고마워 (ko-ma-ueo) is “Thank you” in Korean.


고마워  is the least formal and should be used with very close friends and people younger than you.

Past Tense How to Say “Thank You” in Korean

“Thank you” can be expressed in Korean using the past tense.

This does not mean “I was thankful” but “I am thankful for what happened in the past.”

It took a minute for that to make sense to me and set in but I’m sure you got it.


Here are the past tense forms of “Thank you” in Korean.


Honorific Level

감사했습니다 (kam-sa-haet-sep-ni-da)

고마웠습니다 (ko-ma-ueot-sep-ni-da)


Formal Level

고마웠어요 (ko-ma-ueo-sseo-yo)


Informal Level

고마웠어 (ko-ma-ueo-sseo)


Learn Korean Language Tips

That was a lot of information on the seemingly simple phrase of “Thank you.”


Simply use 감사합니다 (kam-sa-ham-ni-da) to start off with.


Using a politeness level that is higher than a native speaker would use is completely fine. It’s better to be too polite than not polite enough. Hopefully you now know How to Say “Thank You” in Korean.



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