해요체 examples – Korean Polite Language #8

Like I said earlier in the series, if you're not sure which form to use, it's usually the best choice to use 해요체. And then, you'll decide which style to use after that.

It's a friendly and polite, so I recommend it. And many Koreans do that, too.

One thing interesting about 해요체 is that almost every sentence with different intentions end with -요. Only imperative form ends with -세요. So, you should check the context and intonation to understand the speaker's intention and more importantly, show your intention.

Declarative: -요, with a little bit tone down at the end

Declarative sentences end with -요 with a little bit tone down.

지금 공부해요.
I'm studying.

생각해 보고 말씀드릴게요.
I'll tell you after thinking about them.

Interrogative: -요 with a tone up at the end

Unlike declarative sentences, interrogative sentences end with tone up like many other languages.

지금 어디 가요?
Where are you going?

내년에는 뭘 하실 생각이세요?
What are you planning to do next year?

Imperative: -세요.

Imperative sentences end with 세요.

그거 만지지 마세요. 뜨거워요.
Don't touch it. It's hot.

아직 움직이지 마세요. 다 안 됐어요.
Don't move yet. It's not done.

Requesting: -요 with some words like 우리, 같이.

Requesting sentences end with -요, too. But you can usually find some words like 우리(we), or 같이(together) in that sentence.

우리 이제 집에 가요.
Let's come back home now.

같이 먹어요.
Let's eat together.

Exclamatory: -요, -네요

Exclamatory sentences end with -요, too. However, it's a bit different. The first syllable of the verb part is a little bit longer than usual. For example, 멋져요(cool) is not 멋져요 with the same sound length each. You should sound the first syllable 멋 a little bit longer like 멋져요. Likewise, the first syllable in 잘했어요, 훌륭해요, 대단한데, etc. should be longer than usual.

But don't make it too long. It's awkward. And sometimes, it sounds a bit sarcastic. For example, when you did something wrong, you can hear someone saying "자~알 한다". That doesn't mean you did a good job. It's a sarcastic way of telling you that you did something really wrong. So, don't make it too long.

우와, 멋져요.
Wow, cool.

대단하네요. 그걸 다 해내다니.
Awesome. You did them all.