How to Ask a Korean Out on a Date

Professor Oh July 11, 2012 20

(Taekwon Do replied to the winners from last week’s contest. For this week’s contest, scroll to the end of the post!)

Want to strike a conversation with that cutie walking on the streets of Seoul? Granny Kim and her crew shows you how! Learn these simple phrases featured in KWOW #57 to get your love life started:

The phrases featured in the episode are FORMAL, which should be used towards those older than you or people you’ve just met. Familiarize yourself with the INFORMAL versions below to widen your dating circle.

Phrases for asking a Korean out on a date, complimenting them, and finding out if they’re single:
(Note: Dashes added for easier readability. Not added in cases where neighboring characters share a consonant. Also, some L consonants will have an R sound. This is normal.)

You’re beautiful.
아름다워. Ah-reum-da-wo. (informal)
아름다우시네요. Ah-reum-da-ooh-shi-ne-yo. (formal)

You’re cool.
멋있다. Musheetda. (informal)
멋있네요. Musheetneyo. (formal)

Are you hungry? Shall we go get some food?
배고파? 우리 밥 먹으러 갈까? Bae-go-pa? Oo-ri bap mug-eu-ruh gal-gga? (informal)
배고프세요? 우리 밥 먹으러 갈까요? Bae-go-peu-se-yo? Oo-ri bap mug-eu-ruh gal-gga-yo? (formal)

What are you doing today?
오늘 뭐해? O-neul mwo-hae? (informal)
오늘 뭐하세요? O-neul mwo-ha-se-yo? (formal)

What’s your phone number?
전화번호가 뭐야? Juhn-hwa-bun-ho-ga mwo-ya? (informal)
전화번호가 뭐예요? Juhn-hwa bun-ho-ga mwo-ye-yo? (formal)

Do you want to watch a movie?
영화보고 싶어? Young-hwa-bo-go ship-uh? (informal)
영화보고 싶어요? Young-hwa bo-go ship-uh-yo? (formal)

Are you single?
싱글이야? Shing-geul-ee-ya? (informal)
싱글이세요? Shing-geul-ee-se-yo? (formal)

Do you have a girlfriend?
여자친구 있어? Yuhja-chingoo eess-uh? (informal)
여자친구 있어요? Yuhja-chingoo eess-uh-yo? (formal)

Do you have a boyfriend?
남자친구 있어? Namja-chingoo eess-uh? (informal)
남자친구 있어요? Namja-chingoo eess-uh-yo? (formal)

To learn more about asking if someone has a boyfriend or girlfriend, watch KWOW #54 at 1:07.

Ways to say “YES” to accept the date offer:

Yes, I’m free. When should we meet?
어, 시간돼. 언제 만날까? Uh, shi-gan-dwae. Uhn-jeh mahn-nal-gga? (informal)
네, 시간돼요. 언제 만날까요? Neh, shi-gan-dwae-yo. Uhn-jeh mahn-nal-gga-yo? (formal)

Shall we meet today?
오늘 만날까? O-neul mahn-nal-gga? (informal)
오늘 만날까요? O-neul mahn-nal-gga-yo? (formal)

How about this weekend?
이번 주말은 어때? Ee-buhn joo-mal-eun uh-ddae? (informal)
이번 주말은 어때요? Ee-buhn joo-mal-eun uh-ddae-yo? (formal)

Let’s go eat dinner together.
우리 같이 저녁 먹자. Oo-ri gatchi juhn-yuk mug-ja. (informal)
우리 같이 저녁 먹어요. Oo-ri gatchi juhn-yuk mug-uh-yo. (formal)

I don’t have a boyfriend.
남자친구 없어. Namja-chinggoo upss-uh. (informal)
남자친구 없어요. Namja-chingoo upss-uh-yo. (formal)

I don’t have a girlfriend.
여자친구 없어. Yuhja-chingoo upss-uh. (informal)
여자친구 없어요. Yuhja-chingoo upss-uh-yo. (formal)

Ways to say “NO” to reject the date offer:

I’m busy.
나 바빠. Na ba-bba. (informal)
전 바빠요. Juhn ba-bba-yo. (formal)

Let’s just be friends.
우리 그냥 친구하자. Oo-ri geu-nyang chingoo-ha-ja. (informal)
우리 그냥 친구해요. Oo-ri geu-nyang chingoo-hae-yo. (formal)

I’m married.
결혼했어. Gyul-hon-haess-uh. (informal)
전 결혼했어요. Juhn gyul-hon haess-uh-yo. (formal)

I have a boyfriend.
남자친구 있어. Namja-chingoo eess-uh. (informal)
남자친구 있어요. Namja-chingoo eess-uh-yo. (formal)

I have a girlfriend.
여자친구 있어. Yuhja-chingoo eess-uh. (informal)
여자친구 있어요. Yuhja-chingoo eess-uh-yo. (formal)

Here are some phrases for when your relationship develops: 

There’s no one like you.
너밖에 없어. Nuh-bak-eh upss-uh. (informal)
당신밖에 없어요. Dang-shin-bak-eh upss-uh-yo. (formal)

I can’t live without you.
너없이 못살아. Nuh-upsshi motsarah. (informal)
당신없이 못살아요. Dang-shin-upsshi motsal-ah-yo. (formal)

Will you go out with me?
나랑 사귈래? Na-rang sa-gweel-lae? (informal)
저랑 사귈래요? Juh-rang sa-gweel-lae-yo? (formal)

Let’s go see my parents.
내 부모님 보자. Nae boo-mo-nim bo-ja. (informal)
저희 부모님 뵈요. Juhui boo-mo-nim bwe-yo. (formal)

I want to meet your parents.
네 부모님께 인사드리고 싶어. Nee boo-mo-nim-ggeh een-sa deurigo shipuh. (informal)
당신 부모님께 인사드리고 싶어요. Dang-shin boo-mo-nim-ggeh een-sa deu-rhi-go ship-uh-yo. (formal)

Will you marry me?
나랑 결혼해 줄래? Na-rang gyul-hon-hae joo-lae? (informal)
저랑 결혼해 줄래요? Juh-rang gyul-hon-hae joo-lae-yo? (formal)

I love you.
사랑해. Saranghae. (informal)
사랑해요. Saranghaeyo. (formal)

To learn the different ways to say “I love you,” watch KWOW episode #1.

Here are some cute, semi-cheesy yet romantic phrases to use on your sweetie:

I want to see you.
보고 싶어. Bo-go ship-uh. (informal)
보고 싶어요. Bo-go ship-uh-yo. (formal)

I’m cold. Hug me!
추워. 안아줘! Choo-wo. Ahn-ah-jwo! (informal)
추워요. 안아줘요! Choo-wo-yo. Ahn-ah jwo-yo! (formal)

I want to be with you.
같이 있고 싶어. Gatchi itgo shipuh. (informal)
같이 있고 싶어요. Gatchi itgo shipuhyo. (formal)

Don’t go home. Stay with me.
집에가지마. 나랑 같이 있어. Jeeb-eh gajima. Narang gatchi eessuh. (informal)
집에가지마요. 저랑 같이 있어요. Jeeb-eh gajimayo. Juhrang gatchi eessuhyo. (formal)

I like you.
네가 좋아. Nee-ga jo-ah. (informal)
당신이 좋아요. Dang-shin-ee jo-ah-yo. (formal)

To learn more on how to say “like” and “don’t like,” watch KWOW episode #52.


Time to test your newly acquired skills! Take our weekly quiz to see if you can spot this week’s featured KWOW words in K-pop music videos. Answers below exercises.

QUESTION #1: Where do you hear 고백 (GOBEK/confession) in Secret’s “Starlight Moonlight”? Notice 사랑 (SARANG/love) and 좋아 (JOA/like) make multiple appearances.


QUESTION #2: Can you spot 소개팅 (SOGETING/blind date) in 2NE1 “I Don’t Care”?


QUESTION #3: Where does the second 사랑 (SARANG/love) appear in Ailee’s “Heaven”?

***ANSWERS BELOW. No peeking!***

Answer #1: GOBEK appears at 0:46.
Answer #2: SOGETING is heard at 2:07.
Answer #3: The second SARANG appears at 1:43. (What a coincidence because 143 is the numerical code for “I love you.”) Other SARANGs are sung at 0:59, 2:06, 2:52.


  1. Write 10 of your favorite dating phrases from this week’s episode of KWOW.
  2. Take a photo of your beautiful work.
  3. Upload the photo onto Twitter.
  4. Copy and paste the link in the comment section below. (Note: Other submissions may not be considered an entry.)
  5. Don’t forget to ask your fun/crazy/yummy question to this week’s KWOW host Granny Kim.
  6. Have fun! The first *seven people* to complete the task will win a reply from Granny Kim :)


  1. HeeUnnie January 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    OMG! you are a awersome!!!!!! you are helping me a lot withm y korean !! and is really entertain! you keep me awake and wanting to learn more korean !

  2. Rean October 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Anyong Granny :)
    I am the new the student learning Korean !
    May I ask u , Where are u spent time for honeymoon ? :)

  3. Sandy September 18, 2012 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this post, I’ll definitely learn how to say such awesome things in Korean! It’s just so lovely!

  4. Kesh July 13, 2012 at 11:40 am - Reply

    D: you forgot 여보!

  5. kattlina July 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    hello…. please help me to transalate this in korean coz I coudn’t do that using a translator tool… which I think grammatically incorrect…. this is a song… hope you respond to me.. thanks much…

    There’s a love song i’ve heard
    But it felt strange and weird
    I couldn’t sing, I couldn’t sing
    My heart is out of tune so long ago

    If I could find love again,
    Would it be like a morning sun?
    What should I do, what should I do?
    Couldn’t remember how to say I love you..

    It’s a sad destiny, but I’m gonna start again
    I’ll sing with the birds, I’ll dance with the wind
    It’s love I found in you
    I love you, love you, love you…

    There’s a love song I’ve heard
    It felt wonderful and weird
    I’ll sing with you, I’ll dance with you
    ‘cause I feel magic like a diamond snow

    It’s a sad destiny, but I’m gonna start again
    I’ll sing with the birds, I’ll dance with the wind
    It’s love I found in you
    I love you, love you, love you…
    Yes, I love you, love you, love you…

    You’re my love song, hmmm
    I love you…

    • sweetandtastytv July 18, 2012 at 11:04 am - Reply

      Hello Kattlina,
      We receive translation requests from viewers almost everyday! It’d be almost unfair to respond to only one of so many. Perhaps my assistant can translate this for you at an arranged price. Thank you!

  6. Kristal Temple July 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm - Reply
    I tried to ask, in Korean, where your wedding took place, Granny Kim. My attempt is included in the picture of my homework.

    • sweetandtastytv July 18, 2012 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Magnificent work, Kristal! My husband and I had a traditional Korean wedding in Seoul. We wore hanbok and had ourselves a huge family and friends feast. You should’ve been there! Wow, I ate so much that I looked pregnant!

      Granny Kim

    • jangmiloveskwow July 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      How was your first date? Did you have your first kiss on your first date?

      • sweetandtastytv July 18, 2012 at 10:54 am - Reply

        Splendid job, Jangmi who loves KWOW! :)
        I had my first date in college. Back in those days, we were much naive compared to the kids these days. It was considered romantic to eat at the neighborhood jjajangmyun parlor. So yes, that was my first date. My first kiss was on my wedding ;)

        Granny Kim

  7. Katrina July 11, 2012 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Granny Kim, what is your best date in past, how was it?

    • sweetandtastytv July 18, 2012 at 10:52 am - Reply

      Fantastic job, Katrina! My best date? Hmmm… Let me wake up my brain cells… It’d have to be when my husband and I hiked up Seoraksan. We find nature to be very romantic :)

      Granny Kim

    • sweetandtastytv July 18, 2012 at 10:46 am - Reply

      Lovely work, Rancho! But no question for me? This granny is sad… haha.

      Granny Kim

  8. Kristýna Žáková (@Lennroe) July 11, 2012 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Granny Kim, Can I ask, when was your … 첫 키스 ?

    • sweetandtastytv July 18, 2012 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Very cute, Kristýna! I absolutely loved your cut-out heart! Back in my day, we were very old-fashioned. Believe it or not, my first kiss was on my wedding. Of course, there’s no proof that I’m telling the truth ;)

      Granny Kim

  9. Ryan (64Packets) July 11, 2012 at 12:26 am - Reply

    Granny Kim, how did your other half propose?

    • sweetandtastytv July 18, 2012 at 10:42 am - Reply

      Wonderful work, Ryan!
      My sweetheart thought it’d be romantic to put the ring into a cake. I ended up breaking a piece of my teeth off! My husband, he’s a doctor but not a dentist. Oh, life.

      Granny Kim

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