“I Love You” in Korean & 34 Romantic Words / Phrases You Must Know

How to say “I love you” in Korean can be simple or complicated just like love in the real world. So many honor levels, different kinds of relationships, and types of love.

That’s why we are going to break it down simply and step-by-step for you.

What is “I Love You” in Korean?

사랑해 (sa-rang-hae) is “I love you” in Korean.

사랑해 is the informal Korean level form but there are other forms that you should be aware of so you should read on to see when and how to use the different forms of “I love you” in Korean.

If you notice, the ㄹ in 사랑해 doesn’t quite sound like “L” or “R.” It’s more of a mix between “L” and “R.” It can be difficult to pronounce so listen carefully and practice your Korean pronunciation a lot.

Here is a screenshot from Naver Translate:

Click here to see the translation of “I love you” on Naver Translate.

Plain Dictionary Form of "I love you" in Korean

The dictionary or plain form of “I love you” is 사랑하다. If you remove 하다 from 하다 verbs, you are left with a noun.

사랑 = love (noun)
하다 = to do (verb)
사랑하다 = to love (verb)

Korean Honorific Levels of "I love you" in Korean

If you have studied Korean much, then you know there are different ways to speak Korean from informal to formal.

Let’s see how 사랑해 is said at each level and who you should say it to.

Honorific Korean Level

사랑합니다 (sa-rang-ham-ni-da) is “I love you” in Korean

The most formal way to say “I love you” is 사랑합니다.

사랑합니다 is used in formal situations like:

  • Korean weddings
  • speeches
  • presidential addresses
  • when speaking to large groups

It’s unlikely that you will have to use 사랑합니다 very often given the types of situations it is used in.

President Moon Jae In and Kim Jung Un in Pyongyang
South Korean President Moon Jae In said 사랑합니다 while addressing a crowd in Pyongyang, North Korea.

우리민족은우수합니다. 우리민족은강인합니다. 우리민족은평화를사랑합니다. 그리고우리민족은함께살아야합니다.

President Moon Jae In

Our people are brilliant. Our people are tenacious. Our people love peace. And our people should live together.

President Moon Jae In

Click here to read the entire speech and its English translation.


사랑하다 Honorific Level







Polite Korean Level

사랑해요 (sa-rang-hae-yo) is “I love you” in Korean

사랑해요 is the polite form of “I love you.” This can be used when you are speaking to elders like:

  • mothers
  • fathers
  • grandmothers
  • grandfathers
  • aunts
  • uncles
  • & other elders

Some couples use polite Korean when speaking with each other. If that’s your style say, 사랑해요.

Korean people often drop subjects and objects when speaking if they are obvious.

For example:

I love you. = 저는 당신을 사랑해요.
changes to
I love you. = 사랑해요.

저 = I
당신 = you

Dropping the subjects and objects is very natural but be careful when doing this because it can become confusing very quickly.

You can also add people’s name to the end which is a quick and natural way to speak.

Korean Conversation

Mother(older than you): 사랑해.
Korean Learner(You): 사랑해요, 어머니.

Uncle(older than you): 사랑해.
Korean Learner(You): 사랑해요, 삼촌.

어머니 = mom
삼촌 = uncle

사랑하다 Polite Level






사랑할 거예요

Logan in Korean is 로건

Informal Korean Level

사랑해 (sa-rang-hae) is "I love you” in Korean

사랑해 is the informal form of “I love you.” This can be used when you are speaking to people that you are very close to you or younger like:

  • lovers
  • friends
  • & people younger than you

Korean Conversation

Korean Person(your lover): 여보, 사랑해.
Korean Learner(You): 사랑해.

Korean Person(same age or younger than you): 사랑해, 수진.
Korean Learner(You): 사랑해.

여보 = honey
수진 Soo Jin (a girl’s name)

사랑하다 Informal Level






사랑할 거야

Korean Finger Heart Signs

Making your fingers into the shape of a heart is very popular in Korea. You put your index finger and thumb together opposing each other to make the Korean fingers heart.

It means love. Posing for pictures with the heart is very trendy.

사랑행 adding 애교 (Aegyo) for Extra Cuteness

애교 (aegyo) is used to be cute, adorable, or affectionate and is shown with gestures or a cute baby voice.

When you add 애교 to 사랑해, it changes to 사랑행.

사랑행! 😘

애교 is usually used between friends, family, and people very close to you.

Often when you see ㅇ added to a word, it is 애교.

Romantic Korean Phrases & Words with 사랑하다

우리는 깊은 사랑에 빠졌다. = We fell deeply in love.
내 친구는 지금 사랑에 푹 빠져있어. = My friend is deeply in love now.

당신만을 사랑합니다. = You are the only one I love.

참사랑 = true love

사랑스럽다 = lovely

많이 사랑합니다. = I love you very much.

그것은 첫눈에 반한 사랑이었다. = It was love at first sight.

그는 그녀에게 사랑을 고백했어요. = He declared his love for her.

그는 나의 첫사랑이었어요. = He was my first love.

나는 부모님의 사랑을 많이 받고 자랐다. = I grew up in a loving home.



Bonus Romantic Korean Phrases & Words

난 니꺼야. = I’m yours.
넌 내꺼야. = You’re mine.

너 참 예쁘다. = You’re so pretty.
너 참 잘 생겼어. = You’re so handsome.
정말 귀여워요. = You’re really cute.
넌 섹시해. = You are sexy.

내 남자친구가 되어줄래? = Will you be my boyfriend?
내 여자친구가 되어줄래? = Will you be my girlfriend?

키스해도 돼? = May I kiss you?
키스해 줘! = Kiss me!

손을 잡고 싶어. = I want to hold your hand.

나 안나 줘. = Hug me.

보고 싶어. = I miss you.

여보. = Honey.
자기(야). = Honey, Dear

나와 결혼해 줄래요? = Will you marry me?
우리 결혼하자. = Let’s get married.
당신이 내 아내가 돼는 영광을 내게 주시겠습니까? = Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?

나를 세상에서 가장 행복한 남자로 만들어 줄래요? = Will you make me the happiest man alive?
나를 세상에서 가장 행복한 여자로 만들어 줄래요? = Will you make me the happiest woman alive?

나랑 사귈래? = Will you go out with me?

또 볼 수 있을까요? = Can I see you again?

그녀는 남자 친구와 헤어졌어. = She broke up with her boyfriend.

그들은 이혼을 한다. = They’re getting divorced.

Learn Korean Language Tips

  • There is no wrong way to express your love but if you are worried about it, just say 사랑해요.
  • Romantic phrases and idioms often don't have direct translations. For example: Head over heels in love. Keep it simple.
  • Listen to how other people express themselves in Korean and try to imitate them. Imitation is the biggest form of flattery.
  • Make sure to refer back to this post when you are planning to meet that special someone. 💖

Lesson Conclusion

Now you can say “I love you” in Korean and have a big list of romantic phrases and words to keep that tingling feeling. Make sure to make a Korean finger heart sign the next time you take a selfie (셀카) with your friends or the one you love.

Feel free to take a look around Hello In Korean if you want to learn more Korean words, phrases, and grammar in easy to understand lessons.


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