합쇼체 examples – Korean Polite Language #6

The second honorific we'll learn is 합쇼체. These sentences end with -ㅂ니다. It is used in official and polite situations.

Declarative: 합니다

Declarative sentences end with -ㅂ니다 or -습니다.

저는 아침마다 책을 읽습니다.
I read books every morning.

제 실수로 이런 일이 벌어진 것에 대해 사과의 말씀을 드립니다.
I apologize for the situation that happened because of my mistakes.

Interrogative: 합니까

Interrogative sentences end with -ㅂ니까. As it is used for the higher rank people, it is usually used in the form of -(으)십니까.

어디 가십니까?
Where are you going?

오늘은 무엇을 하실 생각이십니까?
What do you want to do today?

In real world conversation, it is hard to hear 합쇼체 questions. We usually use 해요체 for questions. If you use it, it sounds a bit like soldiers.

Imperative: 하십시오

Imperative sentences end with -(으)십시오. One thing you should be careful is that it is used for the group of people, not a single higher rank person.

Can you imagine a kid commanding something to his parents? It's really odd. It's same in Korean.

안전띠를 착용하십시오.
Please fasten your seat belt.

손잡이에 매달리지 마십시오.
Don't hang on the handle. (You can see this in some buses.)

Requesting: 합시다

Requesting sentences end with -ㅂ시다. Like -(으)십시오, it is not recommended to use it for a single person.

전기를 절약합시다.
Let's save electricity.

오늘은 여기까지만 합시다.
Let's call it a day here.

You can also use -십시다 like 절약하십시다 or 여기까지만 하십시다. It's a bit more polite than -ㅂ시다. However, it can be too polite, so it is not used a lot.

Imperative and Requesting for a single person

We learned that it can be rude to use -(으)십시오 and -ㅂ시다 for a single person. Then, if we need to request or order something for the people higher than us, what should we do?

In that case, use interrogative forms like -겠습니까 or -시는 것이 어떻겠습니까?

할머니, 오늘 점심은 여기에서 먹읍시다. (X)
할머니, 오늘 점심은 여기에서 먹는 것이 어떻겠습니까?
How about eating lunch here today?

사장님, 회의하러 가십시오. (X)
사장님, 회의하러 가시겠습니까?
Boss, how about going to meeting?

However, in emergency, you can use imperative forms to higher rank person.

각하, 얼른 피하십시오.
Your Highness, run away! Quick!

각하 is the word to call the presidents of Korea.

Exclamatory: 합니다

In 합쇼체, exclamatory sentences also use -ㅂ니다 form.

우와, 대단하십니다.
You're awesome!

정말 잘하셨습니다.
You did a great job.