Korean cultureKorean Words

‘Why’ in Korean: How to Say Why in Korean

By July 25, 2017 No Comments

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why in Korean

As we learn Korean, one important thing to note is to ask as many questions as you can. If you are an attentive and industrious person, you will always wonder why certain phrases and sentences are structured in such a way as they are in the Korean language. It is understandable that you would have many questions as you are learning a foreign language; therefore, we will learn how to say why in Korean. When you know how to say why in Korean, you will be able to ask as many questions about the Korean language and culture to a Korean person.


How to Say Why in Korean

Here is how to say why in Korean: 왜? [Wae ?]

As you many know in English, the word ‘why’ can stand on its own as an adverb, and can be used in a sentence without any other words. Therefore, if you simply want to ask why, you can simply say 왜?

Sample Sentences Using Why in Korean

왜 안돼? [Wae an de?]

Why not?

왜 물어봐요? [Wae Mul-eh-ba-yo?]

Why are you asking?

스텔라,나 오늘 왜 이렇게 힘든지 모르겠어 [Stella, na oh-nul wae ee-rut-ke him-deun-ji mo-reu-get-sseo]!

Stella, I don’t know why I am so tired today.

Saying why in Korean is very simple and can be fun! So try creating your own sentences using 왜!

Why in Korean in the Formal Way 

In our Beeline lessons, we typically focus on the formal and informal ways of speaking Korean, as the honorific form is not used very often in daily conversations. 왜 itself means ‘why’ and can be used in the informal way.

However, when you are speaking with anyone whom you are not familiar with, you have to use the respectful formal form of 왜, which usually varies with situations. For example,  왜요?[wae-yo?] is simply asking why? to a person whom you are not close to, whereas 왜입니까? [wae-ib-ni-gga?]  can be substituted for more formal situations.

Now that you know how to say why in Korean, start using this basic Korean word with your friends and teachers to ask as many questions about why certain things are the way they are.

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