EXCUSE ME in Korean


This week on KWOW, we learn the various ways to say EXCUSE ME in Korean. We begin with 실례합니다 (shil-lae-hap-ni-da). Let’s say you’re walking through a crowded street and you’re trying to get by: 실례합니다! Excuse me! Or maybe someone is blocking your way while you exit the subway train: 실례합니다! Excuse me!

What if you want to say something like, “Excuse me, but you look familiar.” Instead of 실례합니다, we’d use 실례지만 (shil-lae-ji-man), which translates to: "Excuse me, but…"

실례지만, __________.
Shil-lae-ji-man, __________.
Excuse me, but __________.

Fill in the blank to complete the phrase. Here are some examples:

실례지만, 낯이 익은데요.
Shillaejiman, nachi egeundeyo.
Excuse me, but you look familiar.
(formal)

실례지만, 제 자리에 앉으신 것 같은데요.
Shillaejiman, je jariae anjeushin gut gateundeyo.
Excuse me, but I think you’re sitting in my seat.
(formal)

실례지만, 제 차례 같은데요.
Shillaejiman, je charae gateundeyo.
Excuse me, but I think it’s my turn.
(formal)

실례지만, 지금 몇 시예요?
Shillaejiman, jigeum myeosshiyeyo?
Excuse me, but what time is it?
(formal)

실례지만, 우리 전에 봤죠?
Shillaejiman, oori jeonae bwatjyo?
Excuse me, but didn’t we meet before?
(formal)

실례지만, 모자 어디서 사셨어요?
Shillaejiman, moja uhdisuh sashyussuhyo?
Excuse me, but where did you get your hat?
(formal)


Another way to say “Excuse me” in Korean is 저기요 (jugiyo). 저기요 can also mean, “hey” in a polite way. Use 저기요 when you’re trying to grab a stranger’s attention. If you’re trying to grab a friend’s attention, you’d use their name. If you’re trying to grab a family member’s attention, you’d use their title (ie: mom, dad, grandma, etc).

You can use 저기요 (jugiyo) at a restaurant to get your waiter’s attention:

저기요! 주문 하겠습니다.
Juhgiyo! Jumun hagesseubnida.
Excuse me! I’d like to order.
(formal)

저기요! 김치 주세요.
Juhgiyo! Kimchi juseyo.
Excuse me! Please give me kimchi.
(formal)

저기요! 계산해 주세요.
Juhgiyo! Gyesanhae juseyo.
Excuse me! Check, please.
(formal)


Let’s say you’re walking on the street. Someone drops their wallet. Being the good citizen that you are, you want to let them know:

저기요! 지갑 떨어트렸어요!
Juhgiyo! Jigap dduluh teuryussuhyo!
Excuse me! You dropped your wallet!
(formal)

You’re enjoying street food in Insadong. You stand at the vendor’s stall taking a bite out of a fresh hotteok. The customer next to you left their phone on the counter! You immediately look for them. There they are walking away!

저기요! 휴대폰 놓고 갔어요!
Juhgiyo! Hyoodaepon nohko gassuhyo!
Excuse me! You left your phone!
(formal)

There’s a senior citizen who entered the subway train. You’d kindly like to give up your seat. You call for their attention:

저기요. 여기 앉으세요.
Juhgiyo. Yeogi ahnjeuseyo.
Excuse me. Please have a seat here.
(formal)

You’re in a situation where you want to ask someone something. Maybe you’re a little shy or want to be polite:

저기요, 뭐 물어봐도 돼요?
Juhgiyo, mwo muluhbwado dweyo?
Excuse me, may I ask a question?
(formal)

By asking “May I ask a question?” you’re already asking a question. But how nice of you ask anyhow!

See you next Wednesday on my YouTube channel for another fun Korean lesson! :)

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