The Three Magical Words In Korean – How to Say ‘I Love You’ the K-Style

I love you in Korean is a simple expression. The way to say I love you in Korean is Sa Rang He.

Learning the language of love might not need words but the simple phrase saying I love you in Korean will help you get started. More and more people are getting attached to the Korean language every day.

While it’s impossible to learn an entire language from an article, let me introduce a simple sentence in Korean.

“I Love You” might be your introduction to Korean because after all, this easy phrase could be one of the most helpful and important things you can say.

I Love You in Korean Culture

There are different ways to say it in the Korean culture; it’s based on how close you are to the person you’re addressing and on the context. Because it’s not the same speaking to your significant other and talking to a member of your family, the Koreans have developed their own ways of saying this sentence.

It’s not like English, where the word “love” is limited to a certain use or occasion. You’ll find that people in America, for instance, take this word more seriously, while Korean people use it more comfortably.

Love in Korean doesn’t necessarily mean you’re serious about your relationship with someone if you use it. But in America, you’ll use the L-word after you’ve thought thoroughly about your relationship, and you’ve decided it’ll last for a lifetime.

Also, the person receiving it will know this is a big deal. After all, it’s a matter of difference in culture and traditions.

Different Ways to Say “I Love You” in Korean

1.   The Formal Way to say I love you in Korean

사랑합니다 (saranghapnida)

This way is used when addressing a person you don’t know. But it’s not common due to its nature. However, there are occasions you might need to use it, like after you’ve given a wedding toast or speech.

2.   The Standard Way to say I love you in Korean

사랑해요 (saranghaeyo)

You can use this form when addressing your family members or your friends. Although you’ll find a special way to tell your significant other that you love them, you can use this phrase nonetheless. Also, you use it when you speak to elders.

3.   The Informal Way to say I love you in Korean

사랑해 (saranghae)

You’ll find the only difference between this phrase and the one before it is the polite ending 요. You must be aware of this simple change, because now you’re being more intimate. This phrase is usually used when speaking to your spouse.

You can also use it when speaking to your dearest friend, or people younger than you.

Pro tip: if you want to ask someone if they love you, just simply say the same phrase with a higher intonation at the end. 사랑해?

4.   The Special Way to say I love you in Korean

사랑행 (saranghaeng)

Here’s your chance to get extra mushy with your spouse or significant other. Simply, add the to the previous informal way, and you’ll get a cuteness bonus.

Including Korean Names

Now that you know how to use different ways to express affection, you might try using I Love You with a name. It’s pretty easy, just add the person’s name as follows, but remember to pay attention to social hierarchy.

‘저는 (person’s name)씨를 사랑해요’

However, if you’re addressing a Korean person, there’s an important grammar rule when saying Korean names:

●      If a Korean name ends in a consonant, add 아(ah) to the end of it.

●      If it ends in a vowel, add 야 (ya) to the end of it.

Extra Phrases

If we’re talking about expressing love, then we might as well consider other related expressions. In the following shortlist, you might find some helpful phrases. These are other phrases you might say other than I love you in Korean.

1.   Will you marry me?

나와 결혼해 줄래요? (Nawa gyeolhonhae jullaeyo?)

This is the basic and straightforward way to propose in Korean. Just to be sure I haven’t been to vague here… Asking someone to marry you is not taken lightly in Korea. You’ll need to do a lot a lot of preparation before you can pop the question. So be sure you have everything in order first.

2. I have a crush on you

나는 너에게 반했어 (Naneun neoege banhaeseo)

If it’s a simple crush and you’re feeling lucky, go ahead and seize the day by saying this phrase. No one really uses this but if you want to be bold then try it out.

3. Would you like to go on a date with me?

저랑 데이트 하실래요? (Jeorang deiteu hashillaeyo?)

Here’s your shot to ask your Korean crush out. Use this cute-sounding question. Be sure you ask this. You don’t want to have someone think you are just going out as friends.

4. Why do you love me?

왜 나를 사랑해? (Wae Na-reul Sa-rang-hae?)

Sometimes we feel the need to hear the answer. When the time comes, ask away without hesitation! This you will probably hear a lot. Most Koreans are extremely modest by nature its synonymous with politeness. It’s best to answer this sincerely and not ask it too much.

5. I want to stay friends.

난 친구로 지내고 싶어 (Na-do, Na-do Bo-go-sip-peul-ggua-ya!)

You might as well learn how to reject someone. It’s not easy, but you have to say it anyway. This almost doesn’t exist in Korean culture. Once you break up, you don’t talk to eachother anymore. Even if its a good break up. This might be changing in more modern parts of Korea (like in Seoul) but don’t count on it. If you are ready to take things down a level don’t be surprised if you lose a friend as well.

Wrap Up

By now you know plenty of Korean phrases, including the life-changing three words. Hopefully, you now know how to express love, ask someone out on a date, and even reject the person you’ve been running from for long!

Korean is a fun language, and maybe after reading this article, you’ll want to know more about Korea’s culture and tradition. Also, you might find yourself drawn to the language itself.

For the first while it might look difficult, but you’ll find out that its grammar and alphabet are easy.

If this article shook your inner linguist, then go ahead and learn Korean. You might find yourself fluent quicker than you think!