Greeting (인사)

Whenever and wherever you meet korean people you can say 안녕하세요? to greet them. It means “how are you, hi or hello”.

If you want to know the real meaning of 안녕하세요, Let’s break it down into two parts:

  1. 안녕 which means peace, well-being or being well.
  2. 하세요 is derived from 하다 which means to do. When we put a question mark (?) after it, 하세요? then it becomes question. If you make a pattern N1 (Noun)+하세요?, it means “Are You doing N1? or Do you do N1?

So, according to that breaking down, 안녕하세요? means “Are you doing peace?” or “Are you in peace?”. Well, it sounds rather strange, right? Yeach it actually means “How are you?, Hello or Hi”.

Example in a dialogue

A: 안녕하세요?

B: 안녕하세요?

The answer to 안녕하세요? is simply the same expression.


Well, I’ll say again that N1+하세요? means we ask something: Do you do N1?

But N1+하세요 (without question mark) means “Please do N1!”


지금녹음하세요? means “Are recording now?”. (audio recording, not video)


지금녹음하세요! Please record now!

When you change question into exclamation mark, the meaning changes into

“Please do recording now or Please record now!”

The Past Form


To make the past form, change 하세요 into 하셨어요. Then the sentence above becomes 녹음하셨어요? (Did you record?)

See some other examples:

선생님, 결혼하셨어요? (Teacher, did you get married?)


Filed under: Korean (Speaking)

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