Korean has honorific expressions.

This is spoken when you respect the other person.

Honorifics are especially used in business situations and are very important.

The honorific expressions.

When are honorific expressions used?

In Korea, people speak respectfully to those who are older or in a higher social position.

In Korean, “-시” is used to express respect.

난 집에 갑니다.


아버지는 집에 가니다.

By using honorifics, you show respect for the other party.

How to use “-시”.

The honorific -시 is used with the stem of a verb or adjective.

Vst + -(으)시

사다 + -시 = 사
보다 + -시 = 보
바쁘다 + -시 = 바쁘
일하다 + -시 = 일하

받다 + -시 = 받으시
닫다 + -시 = 닫으시
앍다 + -시 = 읽으시
좋다 + -시 = 좋으시

만들다 + -시 = 만드시
살다 + -시 = 사
알다 + -시 = 아
묻다 + -시 = 물으시
춥다 + -시 = 추우시

※Vst = stem of verbs or adjectives.

The stem of a word without a patchum is marked with -시.

추석은 대구에 가세요?
Are you going to Daegu for Chuseok?
코스트코에서 뭘 사세요?
What do you buy at Costco?
팀장님은 지금은 바쁘십니다.
The team leader is very busy right now.

If the word stem has a patchum, add -으시.

잠깐 시간이 있으세요?
Do you have time?
사용후 반드시 뚜껑을 닫으세요.
Please make sure to close the lid after use.
왜 건강검진을 안 받으십니까?
Why don’t you take a medical checkup?

As you have probably already noticed, the imperative -세요 is also one of these expressions of respect.

Cases of irregular changes.


그렇게 많이 추우세요?
Is it really that cold?

The ㅂ patchum will be 우, so add -시 to it.

Part of ㄷpatchum

궁금한 건 뭐든지 물으세요.
Please ask me anything you care to know.

The ㄷ changes to ㄹ and the -으시 is added to it.


저녁식사는 뭘 만드세요?
What will you be cooking for dinner?

The ㄹ patchum drops out and the -시 enters there.

Incidentally, the original form of the prohibited sentence -지 마세요 is “-지 말다”, which is the pattern for ㄹ.

Master the honorific expressions.

When a noun is used with the respectful “-시”.

Nouns are always accompanied by -이다, but their usage changes depending on whether they have a patchum or not.

Nouns with patchum.

이 분은 혹성전자 회장닙이십니다.
This is the chairman of Hoksung Electronics.
그 분이 새로운 과외 선생님이세요.
That person is my new private tutor.

When there are patches, use -이세요/이십니다, etc.

Nouns without patchum.

민경씨 아버님은 약사세요.
Mr. Mingyong’s father is a pharmacist.
김선생님은 댁이 어디십니까?
Where does Dr. Kim live?

For nouns without patches, the -이 is omitted and becomes -세요/십니다.

What happens when it comes to modifiers?

When used as a modifier, -시 is changed to -신 or -시는.

멋지신이 누구세요?
Who is this cool person?
찾으시는 거 있으세요?
Can I help you find something?

The basic rule is that a noun comes after a modifier.

And 것 (거) is a dependent noun, used in combination with a modifier.

There is also a vocabulary of respectful words from the beginning.

Respectful vocabulary is not only expressed using -시.

이거 한번 드셔 보세요.
Please taste it.
집에 아무도 안 계세요?
Is there no one at home?

드시다 and 계시다 are respectful vocabulary.

Let’s learn these along with 시.

You should practice speaking slowly until you get used to it.