How to Say ‘I Love You’ in Korean

One of the first phrases that people want to learn when studying a foreign language is how to say ‘I love you’.

After all, it’s important to express our how we feel about those important people in our lives.

Keep reading to learn how to say ‘I love you’ in Korean!

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Standard ‘I Love You’ in Korean

1. 사랑해요 (Saranghaeyo)

This is the standard way of saying ‘I love you’ in Korean.

The dictionary form of the verb ‘to love’ is saranghada (사랑하다). As a ‘hada’ verb, it has a regular conjugation so should be easy to use in different situations.

In the present tense, it becomes 사랑해요. You might notice that the words ‘I’ and ‘you’ have been dropped. You can say these if you want to, making the phrase:

‘저는 (person’s name)씨를 사랑해요’

However, if it is clear who you are talking to, then you can just say 사랑해요.

If you want to conjugate this verb, then you can follow the standard conjugation rules for 하다 verbs:

Korean English
사랑해요? (rising intonation) Do you love me?
사랑했어요 I loved (past tense)
사랑할 수 있어요 (없어요) I am able (unable) to love
사랑하는 사람 The person that I love

Informal ‘I Love You’ in Korean

1. 사랑해 (Sarang-hae)

This is the informal way of saying ‘I love you’. The difference is the polite ending (요) has been dropped. This is used between people that you are close to, such as boyfriends and girlfriends. Therefore, is the most common way of saying ‘I love you’ . This is because you generally only use it when talking to somebody that you are close to.

You can add the words ‘I’ and ‘You’, making the phrase 나는 너를 사랑해 if you want to, but often the context is clear so these can be omitted.

To make it into a question (do you love me?), simply say it with a rising intonation (사랑해?).

Other ways to say ‘I Love You’ in Korean:

1. 사랑한다  (Sarang-handa)

This is the written form of the verb ‘to love’, you might come across it in poems or essays about love if you read enough Korean.

2. 사랑하십니다 (Sarang-ha-shimnida)

This is the highest level of the word, it is used with elderly people who you do not know well (such as the queen).

3. 사랑합니다 (Sarang-hamnida)

This is the formal version of the word, and should be used with people who you do not know, or when talking to a large group.

It isn’t used often because of the nature of the word, but might be used if you are making a presentation or a speech at a wedding.

4. 사랑하세요 (Sarang-haseyo)

This is the honorific version of the word, and should be used when talking to elderly people who you are close to, such as grandparents.

Wrap Up

As you can see, there are many ways to say ‘I love you’ in Korean. When starting out, focus on using 사랑해 and 사랑해요.

Due to its regularity as a 하다 verb, it can be useful for learning how verbs change in different situations. It is also useful for learning how the 를 and는 particles work. For example 나는 너를 사랭해 (I love you) vs 너는 나를 사랑해 (You love me).

Hopefully after reading this article you are now an expert in knowing how to say ‘I love you’ in Korean!


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

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