How to say I love you in Korean: Pronunciation and Ways to Express

Countries in Western Culture, like America, find it easy to express their feelings to each other and do it often. If you love someone, all you have to do is tell them “I love you”. In east Asian culture, it is not as common to express your feeling, like in Japan where more opt for physical gestures rather than exercising the words “I love you” in Japanese. While in Korean culture, it is only more recently that people are more expressive with their feelings. The younger generations are also more open with their feelings than the older generations.

To say “ I love you” in Korean is not as straightforward as in Western Culture. You have more options depending on the person you are talking to, your relationship with them, and the context of the situation. So it is important to know that you are expressing your feelings in the right ways to the right people!

This article will show you the different ways of saying “I love you” in Korean, and also other common and important expressions of feelings in Korean.

What is Saranghaeyo (사랑해요)?

Saranghaeyo is the respectful and polite way to say “I love you” in Korean. This is how you would usually tell your parents and teachers that you love them and also to express gratitude for what they do. This allows you to use say it in broader contexts. Sometimes it’s Romanized as Salanghaeyo and other times as Saranghaeyo, because in Korean, the ㄹ character is in between an “l” and an “r” sound in English. But they’re both written the same way in Korean Hangul as 사랑해요.

The ending (요 | yo) is added to make it polite. Learning a Romanized version of the Korean language can help you as a beginner, but it is not recommended to depend on this fully. The Korean Hangul alphabet is still the best and accurate way to learn the language and it is also not hard!

🎧Listen: Saranghaeyo (사랑해요)

Sentences using Saranghaeyo (사랑해요)

Korean HangulKorean RomanizedEnglish Translation
사랑했어요SaranghaesseoyoI loved (past tense)
사랑해요?SaranghaeyoDo you love me?

Other phrases for “I Love You” in Korean

Saranghae (사랑해)

Saranghae is the more informal way of saying “I love you.” It is more commonly used between couples and is mainly used with people you are close to. The polite ending (요 | yo) has been removed from the word. This is what makes it informal. You can also hear it in many K-dramas and movies as it is a common phrase. The Romanized version is Saranghae and the Korean Hangul version is 사랑해.

🎧 Listen: Saranghae (사랑해)

Sentences using Saranghae (사랑해)

Korean HangulKorean RomanizedEnglish Translation
나는 너를 사랑해Naneun neoreul saranghaeI love you (with “I” and “you” added)
사랑해? Saranghae?Do you love me?

Saranghamnida (사랑합니다)

Saranghamnida is the more formal way of saying “I love you”. You would use this when talking to someone older like your grandparents or someone with higher status, like a manager at work. It is also used when talking to large groups and audiences like bands telling crowds “I love you” at concerts. The (니다 | imnida) is added to make it more formal.

🎧 Listen: Saranghamnida (사랑합니다)

Sentences using Saranghamnida (사랑합니다)

Korean HangulKorean RomanizedEnglish Translation
나도 사랑합니다Nado saranghamnidaI love you, too.
나는 당신을 사랑합니다 !Naneun dangsineul saranghamnida!I love you so much!

What do the words mean in “Saranghaeyo”?

There are actually 3 different words that make the phrase Saranghaeyo. They are:

Sarang (사랑) – Love

Sarang (사랑) is the noun for Love. When you join it with a verb like (하다 | hada) “to do”, it becomes a verb “to love” 사랑하다 (saranghada).

🎧Listen: Sarang (사랑)

Examples of Sarang (사랑) used in other sentences

Korean HangulKorean Romanized English Translation
내 사랑Nae sarangMy love
죽는 날까지 당신만을 사랑할 거예요.Jungneun nalkkaji dangsinmaneul saranghal geoyeyo.I will love only you until the day I die.

Hae (해) – Do

Hae (해) is the present tense of the verb “hada” (하다), meaning to do.

🎧Listen: Hae ()

Examples of Hae (해) used in other sentences

Korean HangulKorean Romanized English Translation
사랑하다Sarang hadaTo love
나는 그 사람을 사랑해요aneun geu sarameul saranghaeyoI love that person.

Yo (요) – Polite Particle/Ending

Yo (요) is a polite particle added to the end of a word to make it polite. It indicates when the listener is in a higher position than the speaker, like when a child is talking to an adult.

🎧Listen: Yo (요)

Examples of Yo (요) used in other sentences

Korean HangulKorean Romanized English Translation
아저씨, 이거 얼마예요Ajeossi, igeo eolmayeyo.Sir, how much is it?
그러게요GeureogeyoYes, I agree.

Ways to say “I Like You” in Korean

Here are a few ways to tell your friend or your crush, that you like them in Korean.

좋아해요 (Jowahaeyo) – I like you (polite)

좋아해 (Jowahae) comes from the verb 좋아하다 (Jowahada), meaning “to like”, which is different from Saranghada, meaning “to Love”. The (요 | yo) is added to make it polite, just like it is used at the end of Saranghaeyo (사랑해요).

좋아합니다 (Jowahamnida) – I like you (formal)

Like with Saranghamnida (사랑합니다), the (니다 | imnida) is added at the end to make it more formal.

정말좋아해요 (Jeongmal jowahaeyo) – I really like you.

Here, the word (정말 | jeongmal) is added which means “really.”

Other ways to say “I Love You” in Korean

Here are more ways to express your love to your special person:

너무 사랑해요 (Neomu saranghaeyo) – I love you very much

The word 너무 (Neomu) is added, which means “too much” or “very much”

많이 사랑해요 (Mani saranghaeyo) – I love you alot

The word 많이 (Mani) is added, which means “alot”

당신 없인 못 살아 (Dangsin eopsin mot sara) – I can’t live without you

A strong way to express your feelings and is usually heard in k-dramas and movies. The word 당신 (dangsin) is used which means “you”.

같이 있고 싶어요 (Gat-i itgo sipeoyo) – I want to be with you

You can see the polite particle (요 | yo) at the end here again.

보고 싶어요 (Bogo sipeoyo) – I miss you

You can also see the polite particle (요 | yo) being used here at the end to make it a polite expression of feelings.

Ways to say “I Hate You” in Korean

Here are ways for you to let your anger out for someone that has upset you!

싫어해 (Sileohae) = I hate you (informal)

Sileohae is the informal and common way of saying “I hate you”. You can use tell this to friends or younger people. The word 싫어하다 (sileohada) is a verb which means “to hate”. If you want to tell a specific person, you can use ‘I’ (저 | jeo) and ‘you’ (당신 | dangsin). But you should replace 당신 (dangsin) with somebody’s name or title, just like you would with formal expressions.

싫어해요 (Sileohaeyo) = I hate you (polite)

This is a polite version of saying “I hate you” to older people or to those you do not know well. The (요 | yo) is added to make it polite, just like it is used at the end of Saranghaeyo (사랑해요).

싫어합니다 (Sileohamnida) = I hate you (formal)

This is the formal way of saying “I hate you”, and would be used in speeches, interviews, or presentations. The (니다 | imnida) is added at the end to make it more formal, just like in Saranghamnida (사랑합니다).

Conclusion for Ways to Say I love You in Korean

There are so many ways to express your feelings and sentiments to the people in your life. The Korean language has many options for you to tell different kinds of people in your life that you love them. These can be strangers, friends, teachers, parents, crowds, and even your special person. It is important to know which expression of love to use so that you can deliver the right message to who you are talking to. There are even many ways to express your like and hate for people too! Korean can be a very expressive language, so what are you waiting for? Learn some awesome Korean expressions to share your feelings with the people in your life!

But don’t stop your language journey for spreading love here! If you want to learn how to express love in other languages, we have you covered. Check out our other articles on how to say “I love you” like: I Love You In French and I Love You In Spanish. Start

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