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How To Say Excuse Me in Korean(5+ correct ways)

Ever found yourself in a bustling Korean market, trying to navigate through the crowd, and thought, “What’s the best way to say “ Excuse me in Korean?” 

Well, folks, you’re not alone! 

In fact, when it comes to speaking Korean, knowing the basics can take you a long way. And one such crucial phrase is “Excuse Me in Korean”, which is “실례합니다” (sillyehamnida).

So, if you’ve ever wanted to delve deeper into the Korean language, or if you’re just curious, or maybe you’re planning a trip to the Land of Morning Calm, stick around! 

In this in-depth guide, we will explore the various ways to say “Excuse Me” in Korean, including formal, standard, and informal expressions. 

We will also cover how to ask for favors and get someone’s attention, as well as provide some helpful tips for remembering these phrases easily.

So, buckle up guys. We’re about to embark on a fun linguistic journey that’ll have you saying “Excuse Me in Korean” like a native in no time. 

Ready? Let’s dive right in!

How to Say Excuse Me in Korean

excuse me in korean

To say “Excuse me” in Korean, you would say “실례합니다” (pronounced: shil-le-hap-ni-da). Use this handy phrase when you need to grab someone’s attention or when you want to say sorry for a small mishap.

you’re in a crowded place and need to squeeze past someone, or maybe you’re trying to catch the eye of that busy shopkeeper. The magic words are “잠시만요”, pronounced “jam-shi-man-yo”. It’s like saying “Just a moment, please” in English. 

Pretty useful, right?

And don’t forget about “여기요” (yeogiyo) and “저기요” (jeogiyo). These two are your go-to phrases for calling someone over, whether it’s to order another round of kimchi pancakes at your favorite restaurant or to ask for directions in the bustling streets of Seoul.

Please note that the level of politeness in the Korean language is quite important, and these are the more polite versions of “Excuse me”. 

Always consider the context and the relationship you have with the person you’re speaking to.

Here’s how to Say Excuse Me in Korean in 5 different ways including formal, standard, and informal expressions.

  • Standard “Excuse Me” in Korean – 잠깐만요 (jamkkanmanyo) / 잠시만요 (jamsimanyo)
  • Informal “Excuse Me” in Korean-잠깐만 (jamkkanman) / 잠시만 (jamsiman)
  • Formal “Excuse Me” in Korean – 실례합니다 (sillyehamnida)
  • 여기요 (yeogiyo) and 저기요 (jeogiyo)-  when trying to get somebody’s attention
  • 죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida) – To Ask A Favor

Standard Excuse Me in Korean

Standard Excuse Me in Korean

In most situations, using the standard expressions for “Excuse Me” in Korean will be appropriate. 

These phrases are polite and can be used with anyone, regardless of age or social status.

잠깐만요 (jamkkanmanyo)

This Korean phrase means “wait a moment” but is sometimes used to mean “excuse me.” It should be used if you need somebody to move out of your way.


잠깐만요, 이 문제를 다시 한 번 설명해 주세요. (Jamkkanmanyo, i munjereul dasi han beon seolmyeonghae juseyo.)

Wait a moment, please explain this problem one more time.

잠시만요 (jamsimanyo)

Like 잠깐만요 (jamkkanmanyo), 잠시만요 (jamsimanyo) is also used to say “wait a moment.”


잠시만요, 제가 지금 확인해 보겠습니다. (Jamsimanyo, jega jigeum hwaginhage bogesseumnida.)

Just a moment, I’ll check right now.

Sometimes, this phrase is also used to mean “excuse me.” For example, you might use the word if you are on a subway and need people to step aside so you can get through.

Real life Examples

“잠깐만요, 이게 얼마예요?” (Jamkkanmanyo, ige eolmayeyo?) 

“Excuse me, how much is this?”

“잠시만요, 여기 앉아도 될까요?” (Jamsimanyo, yeogi anjado doelkkayo?) 

 “Excuse me, may I sit here?”

“잠깐만요, 제 가방을 봤나요?” (Jamkkanmanyo, je gabangeul bwatnayo?) 

“Excuse me, have you seen my bag?”

“잠시만요, 저기 화장실 어디인가요?” (Jamsimanyo, jeogi hwajangsil eodiingayo?) 

“Excuse me, where is the restroom?”

“잠깐만요, 여기서 어떻게 갈까요?” (Jamkkanmanyo, yeogiseo eotteoke galkkayo?) 

“Excuse me, how do I get there from here?

Informal Excuse Me in Korean

Informal Excuse Me in Korean

When speaking with close friends or people younger than you, it is appropriate to use the informal expressions for “Excuse Me” in Korean. 

Be sure to only use these phrases with people you are close to and who are lower in the social hierarchy than you are.

잠깐만 (jamkkanman) / 잠시만 (jamsiman)

These informal versions mean the same as the standard versions 잠깐만요 (jamkkanmanyo) and 잠시만요 (jamsimanyo). They mean “wait a moment” or “excuse me.”

 However, these versions should not be used with people who are older than you, someone who holds a higher position than you, or even with strangers. 

Use these phrases for people you have a close relationship with, such as friends or people younger than you.


잠깐만, 다시 말해 줄래? (jamkkanman, dasi malhae jullae?)

Wait, can you say that again?

잠시만, 전화 좀 받아 볼게. (jamsiman, jeonhwa jom bada bolge.)

Just a moment, let me answer the phone.

여기요 (yeogiyo) and 저기요 (jeogiyo)

여기요 (yeogiyo) and 저기요 (jeogiyo)

These phrases are used when trying to get somebody’s attention. An example of when to use this would be calling the waiter in a restaurant.


여기요, 이 자리 비어 있나요? (Yeogiyo, i jari bieo innayo?)

Excuse me, is this seat empty?

저기요, 이 책 가지고 계신 분 계세요? (Jeogiyo, i chaek gajigo gyesin bun gyeseyo?)

Excuse me, is there someone here who has this book

Real life  examples

“잠깐만, 내 핸드폰 봤어?” (Jamkkanman, nae haendeuponeul bwasseo?) 

 “Hold on, have you seen my cellphone?”

“잠시만, 텔레비전 볼륨 좀 낮춰줄래?” (Jamsiman, tellebijeon bollyum jom najchweojullae?)  “Hold on, could you turn down the TV volume?”

“여기요, 메뉴 추가로 주세요.” (Yeogiyo, menyue chugaro juseyo.) 

“Hey here, please add this to the menu.”

“저기요, 물 좀 더 주시겠어요?” (Jeogiyo, mul jom deo jusigetseoyo?) 

“Hey, could you please give me some more water?”

“잠깐만, 이 길로 가면 돼?” (Jamkkanman, i gillo gamyeon dwae?) 

 “Hold on, can we go this way?”

Formal Excuse Me in Korean

Formal Excuse Me in Korean


실례합니다 (sillyehamnida) istranslates to “Excuse me” and is considered highly respectful. When interacting with strangers, elders, or people in positions of authority, it is essential to use the formal expression for “Excuse Me” in Korean-실례합니다 (sillyehamnida)

This shows respect and politeness, which is crucial in Korean culture

If in doubt, use 실례합니다 (sillyehamnida) because even if you are wrong, at least you aren’t being rude. 

This word is appropriate when approaching a stranger on the street, for example, when asking for directions.


실례합니다, 혹시 화장실 어딘지 아세요? (sillyehamnida, hoksi hwajangsil eodinji aseyo)

Excuse me, do you happen to know where the bathroom is?

실례합니다. 좀 지나갈게요. (sillyehamnida. jom jinagalgeyo.)

Excuse me. I’m going to pass by

실례합니다, 이 문서를 확인해 주실 수 있나요? (Sillyehamnida, i munseo-reul hwaginhae jusil su issnayo?)  

“Excuse me, could you please check this document?”

“실례합니다, 오늘의 회의 일정을 알 수 있을까요?” (Sillyehamnida, oneul-ui hoeui iljeong-eul al su iss-eulkka yo?) –

 “Excuse me, could I know today’s meeting schedule?”

“실례합니다, 여기서 서울까지 어떻게 가나요?” (Sillyehamnida, yeogiseo seoulkkaji eotteoke ganayo?) – 

“Excuse me, how do I get to Seoul from here?”

죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida)| Excuse Me in Korean – To Ask A Favor

죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida)| Excuse Me in Korean – To Ask A Favor

Absolutely! The phrase “죄송합니다” (joesonghamnida) is often used in Korean when apologizing or when asking for a favor in a polite and formal way. It’s similar to “Excuse me” or “I’m sorry” in English.

Let’s see how it works in some real-life situations:


죄송합니다, 다시 한 번 말씀해 주시겠어요? (Joesonghamnida, dasi hanbeon malsseumhae jusigesseoyo?)

I’m sorry, could you please say that again?

“죄송합니다, 이 편지를 보내주실 수 있나요?” (Joesonghamnida, i pyeonjireul bonaejusil su issnayo?) 

“Excuse me, could you send this letter for me?” 

Suppose you’re at a hotel in Korea and you want to send a postcard, you could use this phrase to ask the concierge for help.

“죄송합니다, 제 말을 잘 못 들으셨나요?” (Joesonghamnida, je mareul jal mot deureusyeotnayo?) 

Excuse me, did you not hear what I said?

 Let’s say you’re in a meeting and someone seems to have misunderstood your point. This phrase can be a polite way to bring it up.

“죄송합니다, 이 곳이 어디인지 알려주실 수 있나요?” (Joesonghamnida, i gosi eodiinji allyeojusil su issnayo?) 

Excuse me, could you tell me where this place is?

 If you’re lost while exploring a new city, this phrase could be a polite way to ask for directions.

“죄송합니다, 택시를 부를 수 있나요?” (Joesonghamnida, taeksireul bureul su issnayo?) 

 Excuse me, could you call a taxi?

 If you’re at a restaurant and need help getting a taxi, this phrase could be very useful.

“죄송합니다, 제가 약간 늦을 것 같아요.” (Joesonghamnida, jega yaggan neutgeul geot gatayo.) 

Excuse me, I think I’m going to be a little late.

 If you’re running late for a meeting, this would be a polite way to let your colleagues know.

In situations where you could potentially replace “excuse me” with “sorry,” then you can say 죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida). 

This phrase can be used in situations when you need to ask for a favor, such as asking for a picture to be taken.

Using Titles to Get Someone’s Attention

Instead of shouting out 여기요 (yeogiyo), you might hear somebody using a person’s title in order to call somebody or grab their attention.

 The word you use depends on the other person’s gender and age compared to you.

Sure, in Korean culture, titles are commonly used to show respect and are used when addressing people. Here are a few common titles:

  • 씨 (ssi): This is similar to “Mr.” or “Ms.” in English. It’s used after the person’s full name or just their first name, especially if they’re about the same age as you. For example, if someone’s name is Jungkook Jeon, you can call him “Jungkook ssi” or “Jeon Jungkook ssi”.
  • 님 (nim): This is used to show high respect, often used in business settings or when talking to customers. It can also be used online to show respect to others.
  • 선생님 (seonsaengnim): This means “teacher”. It’s not only used for school teachers but also for someone who’s an expert in their field. It’s a highly respectful title.
  • 교수님 (gyosunim): This means “professor”. It’s used to address university professors.
  • 아가씨 (agassi) / 아저씨 (ajeossi): “Agassi” is used for young women (often unmarried) and “Ajeossi” is used for middle-aged men.
  • 언니 (eonni) / 누나 (noona) / 오빠 (oppa) / 형 (hyeong): These are used when a younger person is addressing an older person who they are close to. “Eonni” and “Noona” are used by females and males respectively to address an older sister, while “Oppa” and “Hyeong” are used by females and males respectively to address an older brother.

Please note that using these titles correctly requires a good understanding of Korean social hierarchies and norms.

The wrong usage can be seen as disrespectful.


아저씨, 문 열어 주세요 (ajeossi, mun yeoreo juseyo)

Bus driver, can you open the door, please?

“정국 씨, 이것 좀 도와주실 수 있나요?” 

Jungkook ssi, could you help me with this?

“김 팀장님, 요청하신 보고서입니다.” 

Team Leader Kim nim, here is the report you requested.

“선생님, 숙제를 이해하지 못했습니다.” 

Teacher, I didn’t understand the homework.

“교수님, 과제를 다시 설명해 주실 수 있나요?” 

Professor, could you explain the assignment again?

“아저씨, 이것은 얼마입니까?” 

Sir, how much does this cost?

“언니, 화장 좀 도와줄래?” 

Older sister (unni), can you help me with makeup?

“오빠, 오늘 학교까지 태워 줄 수 있을까?” 

Older brother (oppa), could you drive me to school today?

How to Remember “Excuse Me” in Korean Easily

To help remember the phrases for “Excuse Me” in Korean, try creating associations or visualizations that connect the words to something familiar. 

For example, imagine Yogi Bear in a restaurant asking for the waiter with a “yo!” when trying to remember 여기요 (yeogiyo). The sillier the associations, the more likely you are to recall them.

The Korean phrase for “Excuse me” is “실례합니다” (sillyehamnida). Here are a few tips to help you remember it:

  • Break it down:

Sil (sounds like “shill”) – lyeh (sounds like “yeah”) – ham (sounds like “hum”) – ni (sounds like “knee”) – da (sounds like “duh”).

  • Create a story or image: For instance, you might imagine a person (“shill”) who always says “yeah” but they are a “humming knee duh” (hamnida). The sillier the image, the easier it might be to remember!
  • Repeat it: The more often you repeat a word or phrase, the easier it will be to remember. Try to use “실례합니다” in various situations, such as when you’re trying to get someone’s attention or when you’re apologizing.
  • Practice with songs or media: If you’re a fan of Korean media like K-drama or K-pop, try to listen for “실례합니다” in the dialogues or lyrics. Seeing the word used in context can help reinforce its meaning and usage.

Please remember, “실례합니다” is a formal way to say “Excuse me” and it’s suitable for polite situations.

For a more casual situation, you might use “잠깐만요” (jamkkanmanyo) which is more like “Just a moment” or “Hold on a second”.

 It’s always important to consider the context when choosing which phrase to use.


So, there you have it – your crash course in saying “how to say Excuse Me in Korean”.

it’s time to practice saying “Excuse me in Korean” and use them in various social situations. Remember to observe Korean culture and listen to native speakers to gain a better understanding of when and how to use these phrases correctly.

At the end of the day, remember that learning a new language, or even just a new phrase, is a journey, not a race.

So go out there and give it a shot!

Happy learning, and remember, every new word is a step closer to bridging cultural gaps and forming new connections. 

So keep going, you’re doing great!

excuse me in korean

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