wikiHow to Apologize in Korean

Two Methods:Speaking InformallySpeaking Formally or with an Elder

Apologizing is an important skill in life, and even more so in a language you don't know very well. It's likely you'll make cultural or language mistakes if you're a tourist or new to the language, so follow the steps below to apologize in Korean!


  1. 1
    Learn a little about the language first. The grammar is very different than English's grammar, and the subject of the sentence is often implied, rather than stated.
    • You may not need to learn Hangul, the Korean alphabet, if you are only visiting the country for a short while, but if you want to speak the language fluently it is a must. Learning to read Hangul can actually be a quick and easy process, some say it only takes a few hours!
  2. 2
    Understand the difference between formal and informal speech. Informal speech is for family, friends, and people your age or younger.
    • If in doubt, just use the formal way of speaking with someone. It will bother people more to be referred to informally when the situation warrants politeness.
    • This kind of way to speaking to people isn't limited to Korean, is also used in French, Italian, and German to name just a few.

Method 1
Speaking Informally

  1. 1
    Say "미안해". It is pronounced "Mi-ahn-hae" and means "I'm sorry." It is informal, and can be used with close friends or with people younger than you.

Method 2
Speaking Formally or with an Elder

  1. 1
    Say the phrase "미안해요". It means "I am sorry" and is pronounced "Mi-ahn-hae-yo". It is formal, and can be used with someone you don't know well, someone who is older, and someone in a higher position than you.
  2. 2
    Say the phrase "미안합니다", which means, "I am sorry". This very formal and polite way of apologizing is pronounced "Mi-ahn-ham-ni-da". It can be used with someone you don't know well, someone who is older, someone in a higher position than you.


  • If you're unsure what to use say the more polite version, 미안해요, as it will fit any situation.

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Categories: Korean