12 Different Ways to Say Goodbye in Korean

goodbye in Korean

In English, there are many different ways to say goodbye. From a casual “Bye” used between intimate friends, “See you later” that is more appropriate for almost anyone, to a formal “Goodbye”, or “Have a nice day!” used between strangers, English language contains a variety of ways to say goodbye. AND SO DOES KOREAN!

We all know Korean culture stresses etiquette and seniority, which reflects in the Korean language as speech levels. So when it comes to saying goodbye in Korean, there are many more ways than you know! So in this article, we prepared 12 commonly used ways to say goodbye in Korean, to help you find the right word on the right occasion!

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Different ways to say Goodbye in Korean

Formal ways to say goodbye in Korean 

When you are in a very serious situation, like on a TV news broadcast, or communicating with your boss, a client, or a less familiar elder, you need to say goodbye in the formal way. Also, we often hear clerks saying goodbye to customers in the formal way in convenience stores, restaurants, cafes, etc.

In Korea, saying goodbye is very specific. Whether you’re leaving and the other person is staying, or you’re staying and the other person is leaving, or both are leaving, you need to say goodbye in a different way. Don’t get confused, as I’ll explain them to you one by one clearly.

Let’s start with what you should say when you’re staying and the other person is leaving!

You’re staying and the other person is leaving

  • 안녕히 가십시오 (annyeonghi gasipsio)

안녕히 가십시오 means “please go peacefully” in English and you can use it at different times of the day.  안녕히 is an adverb, meaning ‘peacefully’. 가십시오 is the courtesy form of verb 가다, which means ‘to go’.

Here you need to pay attention to one common mistake: the distinction between 오 and 요. When saying formal goodbye, some people mispronounce it as 안녕히 가십시요 (annyeonghi gasipsi-yo) when it should be 안녕히 가십시오 (annyeonghi gasipsi-o).

You’re leaving and the other person is staying 

  • 안녕히 계십시오  (annyeonghee gasipsio)

안녕히 계십시오 means “Please stay peacefully”. You can only use it if you’re leaving and someone else is staying where they are. 계십시오 is the courtesy form of 있다, which means “to stay”. 

Standard ways to say goodbye in Korean

This is the most common way to say goodbye when living in Korea, just as oftenly used as “see you later” in English. You can use it with colleagues you don’t know very well, classmates, or people of your age whom you don’t know well. 

You’re staying and the other person is leaving

  • 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghee gaseyo)

가세요 is the standard form of 가다. It has the same meaning as 안녕히 가십시오, which means “please go peacefully”. It’s still a polite way to say goodbye but more common to lesser-known peers heard in Korea.

It is generally used when we stay where we are, such as at home or in the office, and the other person is leaving.

  • 조심히 가세요 (joshimhee gaseyo)

조심히 is an adverb, meaning “carefully, safely” in English. So together the phrase means “please go safely/carefully”. 

You’re leaving and the other person is staying 

  •  안녕히 계세요(annyeonghee geseyo)     

안녕히 계세요 has the same meaning as 안녕히 계십시오, which means “Please stay peacefully”. It’s important to note that we don’t say 안녕히 계세요 or 안녕히 계십시오 when we’re at restaurants or cafés, as even if the other person is staying for a little longer, they are expected to leave at some point in the near future.

A mother saying goodbye to her child

You’re both leaving

  •   잘 들어가세요 (Jal deureogaseyo)

잘 means “well”, and 들어가 means “to enter/ go in”. So 잘 들어가세요 literally means “enter well” or “go in well”. We can use it when we know the other person is going home. 

Common greetings like “hello” and “goodbye” in Korean are also ways to wish for the well-being of the other person. 

Informal or casual ways to say goodbye in Korean

You’re staying and the other person is leaving  

  •  잘 가요(jal-gayo) 

As we mentioned before, 잘 means “well’, 가요 means “to go“, so together it means “to go well”. You can also say 잘 가, this is the casual way only be used to say goodbye to your close family members or friends.

  •  잘 들어가요 (Jal deureogayo) 

It is the informal way of  잘 들어가세요, so they have the same meaning of “enter well/ go in well.”  You can use it to say goodbye to someone you’ve met but don’t know very well, or if it’s someone you know very well, you can drop the 요 and just say 잘 들어가.

You’re leaving and the other person is staying 

  • 나 먼저 갈게요 (na meonjeo galgeyo) 

This is one of the most used phrases in Korea when something comes up and you have to leave first. 나 means “I”, which is an informal expression,  먼저 means “first”, 가 means “to go”, “ㄹ” is placed after the verb to indicate something you are going to do, 게요 is added when you decide to do something under subjective consciousness. If you put them together, it means “I will go first”. 나 먼저 갈게 is the casual way to say it.

Parents saying goodbye to their kids

You’re both leaving

  • (나중에 / 다음에)  봐요 (najoonge/daeume bwayo) 

나중에 means “later”, 다음에 means “next time” while 봐요 is the polite form of verb 보다, which means “to see”.  So 나중에 봐요 means “see you later”. 다음에 봐요 means “see you next time.” In casual settings, you can say 다음에 봐.

  • 조심히 가요 (joshimhee gayo)

Do you recognize this as an informal form of one of the sentences mentioned above? It has the same meaning as 조심히 가세요 which is “to go carefully/safely”.

  • 안녕 (annyeong)

It is frequently used to say goodbye to close friends or family. In fact, it can be used not only when both are leaving, but you can use it whether you are staying or the other person is going to stay. It has a similar meaning to the very casual “bye” in English. It is important to note that 안녕 does not have the added form of 요 like other expressions.

Now you know the 12 different ways to say “goodbye” in Korean! It’s time to try them out!


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10 months ago

I usually use annyeonghee geseyo and joshimhee gayo. Thanks for you useful blog. I know more ways to say goodbye in Korean now

8 months ago

Could we use “annyeonghee gasipsio” when we talk to elders? or friends only?

7 months ago
Reply to  線上英文

Normally we say this sentence to elders, not friends. With friends you can simply say 안녕 (annyeong).