How to Say ‘Girlfriend’ in Korean

There are certain questions that you will hear a lot when in Korea. One of them is ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ Knowing how to say ‘girlfriend’ in Korean will help you a lot when talking about this topic. It can also help you let people know that you want a girlfriend, which could lead to those people helping you find the perfect woman!

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‘Girlfriend’ in Korean

Girlfriend in Korean

여자친구 (yeojachingu)

The word ‘girlfriend’ is quite simple to learn. It is made up of two words: the word 여자 (yeoja), which means ‘woman’; and the word 친구 (chingu), which means ‘friend’.

Words are sometimes shortened in Korean, especially if they are four or more syllables long. The regular way of shortening a word is to take the first syllable from each component word.

In this case, 여 can be taken from 여자, and 친 can be taken from 친구. They can be combined to make the short word 여친, which is sort of like saying GF in English.

Shortening words is a useful skill to learn if you want to improve your Korean as many Korean words are formed in this way.

‘Girlfriend’ in Korean: Limits on Use

Like English, the Korean word for ‘girlfriend’ should generally only be used to refer to your partner. If you want to talk about a friend who is female then you should use a different word.

One phrase that you could use is the phrase 여성 친구 (yeoseong chingu) which literally means ‘female friend’ (여성 meaning ‘female’). Another is 여사친 (yeosachin), which is 여친 with the character 사 (from 사람 [saram] – person) in the middle of it.

Be Careful When Using Romanization

Romanization can help you when you start off learning Korean, but it can also cause difficulties and confusion. For example, when you read the letters ‘eo’, then this could mean 어, or it could mean 에오.

The best way to avoid any pronunciation mistakes is to learn Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. Learning Hangeul is easy; it only takes a few hours. However, once you have learned it, you will be able to learn Korean a lot faster, and your pronunciation will also improve.

Sample sentences

Formal ‘Girlfriend’ in Korean

여자친구 있으세요? (yeojachingu isseuseyo?)

Do you have a girlfriend?

Standard ‘Girlfriend’ in Korean

Standard Girlfriend in Korean

여자친구는 어떤 사람이에요? (yeojachingneun eotteon saramieyo?)

What is your girlfriend like?

당신*의 여자 친구가 되고 싶어요. (dangshinue yeojachinguga doego shipeoyo.

I want to be your girlfriend.

* 당신 (dangshin) means ‘you’; instead of using this word, you should replace it with the person’s name.


Informal ‘Girlfriend’ in Korean

Formal Girlfriend in Korean

여친 있어? (yeochin isseo?)

Do you have a girlfriend?

여자친구는 어떤 사람이야? (yeojachinguneun eotteon saramiya?)

What is your girlfriend like?

네 여자친구가 되고 싶어. (ne yeojachinguga doego shipeo.)

I want to be your girlfriend.

After reading this article, you should know how to say ‘girlfriend’ in Korean. Hopefully, you can use this new vocabulary word in a practical sense. You might use it to help find a girlfriend for yourself, or use it to help you find someone looking for a girlfriend. Let us know in the comments below which phrases using the word ‘girlfriend’ were the most useful!


*Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!

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