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You’re Welcome in Korean |A Simple Guide to Reply to Thank you

Learning how to say you’re welcome in Korean is essential when you’re interacting with Korean speakers, whether you’re traveling to Korea, trying to impress your Korean friends, or simply deepening your connection to Korean culture.

One of the most common phrases you’ll hear in Korean is “thank you,” and responding with “you’re welcome

The Korean language has various levels of politeness, so knowing how to say “you’re welcome in Korean” in different settings can help you navigate social situations more confidently. 

In this guide, I’ll take you through everything you need to know to master saying “you’re welcome” in Korean considering the formal, standard, and informal language levels.

How to say you’re welcome in Korean

How to say you're welcome in Korean

Before diving into the various ways to say “you’re welcome in Korean, it is essential to understand that Korean culture places a high value on respect and politeness. 

This is reflected in the language, which has distinct levels of formality depending on the age, social status, and relationship between the speakers. 

The most common ways to say “you’re welcome in Korean are 천만에요 (cheonmaneyo), 아니에요 (anieyo), and 괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo). 

We will discuss each of these expressions in more detail below, along with other ways to express gratitude and welcome.

1. Formal You’re Welcome in Korean

When speaking to someone much older, of higher social status, or a stranger, it is appropriate to use the formal level of Korean politeness. 

The formal way of saying “you’re welcome in Korean includes the following phrases:

Formal You're Welcome in Korean- 아닙니다 (animnida) / 천만에요 (cheonmaneyo)

1.1 아닙니다 (animnida)

This phrase translates to “no” in English, and it is a common response to “thank you in Korean. It may seem strange to say “no” when someone thanks you, but it is a humble way to downplay the importance of the favor you provided. 

아닙니다 (animnida) is most suitable in formal settings such as job interviews or when addressing people with high social status.

1.2 별말씀을요 (byeolmalsseumeullyo)

This expression means “don’t mention it” or “you’re welcome” in English. It is quite formal and not commonly used in everyday conversation. 

However, it is a polite and humble way to respond to an expression of gratitude and can leave a positive impression on the listener.

1.3 천만에요 (cheonmaneyo)

천만에요 (cheonmaneyo) is a very formal way of saying “you’re welcome in Korean”. It is derived from the number 천만 (cheonman), meaning “ten million” in English. The idea behind this phrase is that even if you performed the favor ten million times, the other person still wouldn’t need to thank you. 

Though rarely used in spoken conversation, it’s time to know this expression for formal situations or when reading Korean literature.

Example

Person A: 안녕하세요! 저번에 도움이 되셨던 걸로 기억하고 있어요. (Annyeonghaseyo! Jeobeone doumi doeum-i doesyeossdeon geollo gieokhago isseoyo.) – Hello! I remember that I was able to help you last time.

Person B: 네, 정말 감사했습니다. 정말로 고맙게 생각하고 있어요. (Ne, jeongmal gamsahaessseumnida. Jeongmallo gomabge saenggaghago isseoyo.) – Yes, I truly appreciate it. I genuinely think of it as a great favor.

Person A: 아니에요, 별 말씀을요. 필요한 게 있으면 언제든지 말씀해주세요. (Anieyo, byeol malsseumeul-yo. Piryohan ge iss-eumyeon eonjedeunji malsseumhaejuseyo.) – Not at all, you’re welcome. If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Person B: 감사합니다. 그럼 꼭 필요할 때 연락드리겠습니다. (Gamsahamnida. Geureom kkok pil-yohal ttae yeollagdeurigessseumnida.) – Thank you. Then, I will definitely contact you when it’s necessary.

Person A: 그렇게 하세요. 언제든 도와드릴 준비가 되어 있을 거예요. (Geuleohge haseyo. Eonjedeun dowadeuril junbiga doe-eo iss-eul geoyeyo.) – Please do so. I am always ready to help whenever you need.

Person B: 감사합니다. 정말로 감사드립니다. (Gamsahamnida. Jeongmallo gamsadeurimnida.) – Thank you. I am truly grateful.

Person A: 천만에요. 더 도움이 필요하면 언제든 연락주세요. (Cheonmaneyo. Deo doumi piryohamyeon eonjedeun yeollagjuseyo.) – You’re welcome. If you need more assistance, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Person B: 감사합니다. 그렇게 하겠습니다. (Gamsahamnida. Geuleohge hagessseumnida.) – Thank you. I will do so.

In this formal conversation, Person A acknowledges that they were able to help Person B in the past, and Person B expresses their sincere gratitude and appreciation.

 Person A reassures Person B that they are welcome and encourages them to reach out if they need anything. 

Person B expresses their intention to contact Person A when necessary, and Person A confirms their readiness to assist.

 Person B thanks Person A once again, and Person A responds with “천만에요” (cheonmaneyo), meaning “You’re welcome.” 

The conversation ends with Person B expressing their determination to act accordingly.

2. Standard You’re Welcome in Korean

For more casual settings, such as speaking with acquaintances or strangers of a similar age, it is appropriate to use the standard level of politeness. The standard ways to say “you’re welcome” in Korean include:

Standard You're Welcome in Korean-아니에요 (anieyo) / 괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo)

2.1 아니에요 (anieyo)

아니에요 (anieyo) is the most common response to “thank you” in Korean, and it translates to “no” in English. To convey the intended meaning of “you’re welcome,” it is crucial to use the correct tone when saying 아니에요 (anieyo). Stretch the word so it sounds more like 아… 니에에요 (a…nieyo), which helps demonstrate the kindness behind the phrase.

Example

그것은 내 가방이 아니에요. (Geugeoseun nae gabangi anieyo.)

That is not my bag.

저는 공부를 안 했어요. (Jeoneun gongbureul an haesseoyo.)

I did not study.

그 음식은 매운 맛이 아니에요. (Geu eumsigeun ma-eun mashi anieyo.)

That food is not spicy.

2.2 괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo)

This phrase means “it’s alright” or “it’s okay” in English, and it can also be used to say “you’re welcome” in Korean. Combining 아니에요 (anieyo) with 괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo) as 아니에요, 괜찮아요 (anieyo, gwaenchanayo) can create a warm and reassuring response to someone’s expression of gratitude.

Example

오늘은 괜찮아요. (Oneureun gwaenchanayo.)

Translation: Today is okay/I’m fine.

걱정 마세요, 다 괜찮아요. (Geokjeong maseyo, da gwaenchanayo.)

Translation: Don’t worry, everything is okay/I’m fine.

일어나셔도 괜찮아요. (Ireonasheodo gwaenchanayo.)

Translation: You can get up, it’s okay/I’m fine.

이 문제는 해결되었어요, 다 괜찮아요. (I munje-neun haegyeoldoeeosseoyo, da gwaenchanayo.)

Translation: This problem has been resolved, everything is okay.

 Example

Person A: 안녕하세요! (Annyeonghaseyo!) – Hello!

Person B: 안녕하세요! 저기요, 이 책 좀 가져갈 수 있을까요? (Annyeonghaseyo! Jeogiyo, i chaek jom gajyeogal su isseulkkayo?) – Hello! Excuse me, can I take this book?

Person A: 네, 괜찮아요. 자유롭게 가져가세요. (Ne, gwaenchanayo. Jayurobge gajyeogaseyo.) – Yes, it’s okay. Feel free to take it.

Person B: 감사합니다! (Gamsahamnida!) – Thank you!

Person A: 천만에요. (Cheonmaneyo.) – You’re welcome.

Person B: 이용해도 될까요? (Iyonghaedo doelkkayo?) – Can I use this?

Person A: 네, 당연히 이용해주세요. (Ne, dangyeonhi iyonghaejuseyo.) – Yes, of course. Please go ahead and use it.

Person B: 감사합니다! (Gamsahamnida!) – Thank you!

Person A: 천만에요. 언제든지 필요하면 말씀해주세요. (Cheonmaneyo. Eonjedeunji piryohamyeon malsseumhaejuseyo.) – You’re welcome. If you ever need anything, please let me know.

Person B: 감사합니다! 정말 친절하신 분이세요. (Gamsahamnida! Jeongmal chinjeolhasin bun-iseyo.) – Thank you! You’re really kind.

Person A: 아니에요, 제가 도움이 될 수 있어서 기쁩니다. (Anieyo, jega doumi doel su isseoseo gippeumnida.) – Not at all, I’m glad I could help.

In this conversation, Person B asks for permission to take a book, and Person A kindly allows them to take it. 

Person B expresses gratitude, and Person A responds with “천만에요” (cheonmaneyo), which is the standard way of saying “you’re welcome” in Korean.

 Later, Person B asks if they can use something, and Person A gladly gives permission. The conversation ends with Person A offering further assistance if needed and Person B complimenting Person A’s kindness.

 Person A humbly expresses happiness in being able to help.

3. Informal You’re Welcome in Korean

When speaking with close friends, someone of the same age, or someone younger, it is acceptable to use the informal level of politeness. The informal ways to say “you’re welcome” in Korean include:

Informal You're Welcome in Korean- 아니야 (aniya)/괜찮아 (gwaenchana)

3.1 아니야 (aniya)

아니야 (aniya) is the informal equivalent of 아니에요 (anieyo) and translates to “no” in English. As with the standard version, use the appropriate tone of voice to convey the meaning of “you’re welcome” when saying 아니야 (aniya).

3.2 괜찮아 (gwaenchana)

This phrase is the informal version of 괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo), meaning “it’s alright” or “it’s okay” in English. When speaking informally, both 아니야 (aniya) and 괜찮아 (gwaenchana) can be used to convey the meaning of “you’re welcome,” and they can be combined as 아니야, 괜찮아 (aniya, gwaenchana) for a more casual and friendly response.

Example

Person A: 안녕! (Annyeong!) – Hi!

Person B: 안녕! 그 영화 재밌었어, 고마워! (Annyeong! Geu yeonghwa jaemit-eosseo, gomawo!) – Hi! That movie was fun, thank you!

Person A: 아니야, 별말씀을요. (Aniya, byeolmalsseumeul-yo.) – No problem, you’re welcome.

Person B: 진짜 고마워! (Jinjja gomawo!) – Seriously, thank you!

Person A: 그래, 언제든지 함께 영화 볼까? (Geurae, eonjedeunji hamkke yeonghwa bol-kka?) – Sure, anytime you want to watch a movie together?

Person B: 좋아! 그럼 다음 주에 볼까? (Joha! Geureom da-eum ju-e bol-kka?) – Great! How about next week?

Person A: 좋아, 약속이다! (Joha, yaksokida!) – Sounds good, it’s a promise!

Person B: 고마워! (Gomawo!) – Thank you!

Person A: 천만에! (Cheonmane!) – You’re welcome!

In this informal conversation, Person B expresses gratitude for watching a fun movie, and Person A responds with “아니야, 별말씀을요” (Aniya, byeolmalsseumeul-yo), which means “No problem, you’re welcome” in an informal tone. Person B expresses their gratitude again, and Person A suggests watching another movie together in the future. 

They agree on a plan, and Person A confirms it with “좋아, 약속이다!” (Joha, yaksokida), meaning “Sounds good, it’s a promise!” Person B thanks Person A once more, and Person A replies with the informal version of “you’re welcome,” which is “천만에!” (Cheonmane).

4. how to say You’re Welcome in Korean After Giving a Gift

In situations where someone expresses gratitude after receiving a gift, you can use the phrase 별거 아니에요 (byeolgeo anieyo), which translates to “it’s nothing special” in English. 

This response downplays the importance of the gift and highlights the giver’s humility.

5. Alternative Ways to Say You’re Welcome in Korean

In some cases, you might want to use alternative phrases to say “You’re welcome in Korean”. These expressions include:

Alternative Ways to Say You're Welcome in Korean

5.1 필요가 없어서 (pilyoga eobseoseo)

This phrase translates to “no need to” in English and can be used informally to say “you’re welcome” in Korean. By using this expression, you imply that you did the favor without expecting anything in return, and the other person does not need to thank you.

5.2 초대해 주셔서 감사합니다 (chodaehae jusyeoseo gamsahamnida)

This phrase means “thank you for inviting me” in English and can be used as a response to someone’s expression of gratitude for attending an event. This way, you reciprocate the gratitude and create a balanced exchange of appreciation.

How to Say Thank You in Korean

thank you in korean

Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know about saying “you’re welcome in Korean”, let’s talk about how to say “thank you.”

 As I mentioned earlier, the most common way to say “thank you in Korean is “감사합니다” (gamsahamnida). This word is used in both formal and informal situations.

If you want to be a bit more casual, you can also say “고마워” (gomawo), which is the informal version of “gamsahamnida.” This phrase is often used with friends and people you’re close to.

Another informal way to say “thank you” in Korean is “고맙다” (gomapda). This phrase is a bit more casual than “gomawo,” and is often used in everyday conversation.

Finally, there’s “감사해요” (gamsahaeyo), which is a bit more formal than “gamsahamnida.” 

This phrase is often used in situations where you want to show respect to the person you’re speaking with, but it’s not as formal as “byeol malsseumeul yo.”

6. How to easily remember “you’re welcome in Korean 

To master the various ways of saying “you’re welcome in Korean”, it is essential to listen to native speakers and practice the phrases in context. 

However, it’s worth noting that the concept of “you’re welcome” is not used as frequently in Korea as it is in Western cultures. 

Often, a simple nod or smile is sufficient. If someone thanks you, you can just say “네” (pronounced: ne), which means “yes.”

Here are a few tips on how to practice and remember this phrase:

  • Repetition: Simply repeating the phrase out loud several times can help solidify it in your memory. Try to do this throughout the day to keep it fresh in your mind.
  • Use in Context: Try to use the phrase in context as much as possible. If you’re learning other Korean phrases or sentences, include “천만에요” where it’s appropriate.
  • Flashcards: Write the phrase on one side of a flashcard and the English translation on the other side. Regularly test yourself with these flashcards. You can start with these links.

https://quizlet.com/713731277/thank-you-and-youre-welcome-korean-flash-cards/

https://quizlet.com/267886702/thank-you-and-youre-welcome-etckorean-flash-cards/

https://quizlet.com/258973646/top-25-korean-phrases-flash-cards/

  • Audio Resources: Listen to native speakers using this phrase, whether in language learning apps, songs, TV shows, movies, or YouTube videos. This will help you understand the proper pronunciation and usage in context.
  • Language Exchange: Practice with native speakers or other learners. This can be in person or through language exchange websites and apps. They can correct your pronunciation and usage, which can be very helpful.
  • Mnemonic Device: Create a mnemonic device or a visual image in your mind that can help you remember the phrase. The more vivid and personal the mnemonic, the easier it will be to remember the phrase.

Remember, consistency is key when learning a new language. Try to practice a little bit every day to build and maintain your language skills.

8. Conclusion

Getting a handle on saying “You’re welcome in Korean” is pretty crucial when you’re on your journey to mastering the language.

 It’s also a surefire way to make connections with Korean speakers. you know, With practice and dedication, you’ll be chatting in Korean just like a local before you know it!

By drilling down on the phrases and expressions we’ve gone over in this guide, you’re setting yourself up to confidently handle a bunch of different social scenarios. 

You’ll be expressing gratitude like a pro in no time.

So, remember, the next time you get a “thank you” thrown your way in Korean, hit ’em back with the right response. Your good manners and respect are gonna go down a treat, I promise.

Oh, and remember, if you’re scratching your head about any of this Korean learning stuff, don’t hesitate to ask your questions in the comments. 

I’ll be more than happy to jump in with a reply as soon as I can.

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