How are you in Korean

If someone asks "How are you?" in Korean, how do you reply? And how do you ask them in return? Maybe you feel great, or you’re having a really bad day – either way you’ll know how to explain after this free Rocket Korean audio lesson. If you’re traveling to Korea or getting to know people closer to home, these words and phrases are essential for your Korean language survival kit.

By the end of this lesson you’ll know the formal and informal ways to ask people how they are to ensure you make a good first impression. And just in case you need to apologize… you’ll learn how to say sorry in Korean as well!

Resources for further reading:

Feeling confident with these basic Korean words and phrases will make such a positive difference to your experiences with Korean people. Remember, a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet!

Pronunciation of how are you in Korean...

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잘 지내셨어요?

Jal jinae shutsuyo?

Have you been well? (formal)

어떻게 지내셨어요?

Utduke jinaeshutsuyo?

How have you been?



Long time no see. (informal)

For strangers or more senior persons:



Long time no see. (formal)

After this, you’d want to ask how they’ve been, or if they’ve been well.

If someone asks you one of these questions, would you know how to answer? Here’s one possible answer:

잘 지냈습니다.

Jal jinaetseumnida.

I have been well. (polite)

How are you in Korean

Or, when in casual situations, you can use one of the following informal answers.

네. 잘 지냈어요.

Ne. Jal jinaetsuyo.

I'm fine, thanks!

그저 그래요.

Geujuh geuraeyo.


늘 그렇죠.

Neul geurucho.

As always.

좀 피곤한데요.

Jom pigonhandeyo.

A little tired.




안 좋아요.

An jowayo.


If someone tells you that he or she is not feeling well you could say the following…



I'm sorry.

If someone is feeling great you might want to say the following…

듣기 좋네요.

Deutgi jonneyo.

Nice to hear.

How are you questions in Korean

A common follow-up question after stating how you are, is, “And you?”

(그쪽은) 어떻게 지내세요?

(Geutjogeun) Utduke jinaeseyo?

And you? (formal)

넌 어때?

Nun utdae?

And you? (informal)

Koreans have a strong family bond and when people meet their close friends or people younger than themselves, they’ll ask how their family is. Remember never to greet older or more senior people in this way!

Here are some example dialogues:

Boomonimeun jal gyeshuh?

Are your parents doing well? (polite)

Ne, jal gyeshimnida.

Yes, they are doing well. (polite)

Boomonimeun gungang hashuh?

Are your parents healthy? (polite)

Gungang hashimnida.

They are healthy. (polite)

Remember, if you don’t understand something, you should always say so!

이해를 못 했습니다.

Ihaereul mot haetseumnida.

I didn't understand.

And hopefully the person you’re speaking to will speak slower.

To finish off today’s lesson, I’d like to leave you with THREE important phrases that you absolutely must know in any language. They are:


Mian haeyo.

I'm sorry.


Sarang haeyo.

I love you.



Excuse me… (to ask for something)

Hmm, I can’t think of a situation in which I’d need to use all three, but I’ll leave it to your imagination!

That’s it for this lesson. I do hope you enjoyed it. Remember that if you want to retain your new Korean knowledge, it requires a little practice. Sure, practice is not always the most fun thing to do, but the rewards are well worth it!

For more on the use of Korean questions check out these lessons...

Anyoung hee gaseyo!

Sujung Lee: Rocket Korean

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