How To Say No In Korean

Politeness is a must-have in Korean culture.

There are just times when we have to disagree or give them negative answers but you don’t want to be rude, then you can just use this phrase.

The most standard way to say no in Korean is 아니요 (a-ni-yo) and it comes from the Korean verb 아니다[ a-ni-da] which literally means “to be not”. To say “no” in a more casual way, you can drop the 요 ending and just say 아니 (a-ni).

Here are the common ways to say no in Korean language with hangul and romanization while conveying what you need to.

  • The standard way to say no in korean-아니요 (a-ni-yo)
  • Informal way to say no in korean – 아니 (a-ni)
  • Formal way to say no in korean – 아닙니다 [ ah-neem-nee-dah ]

So let’s learn in detail with examples

아니요 (A-Ni-Yo):

아니요 (a-ni-yo) is the most basic form to say no in comes from the verb 아니다[ a-ni-da] means “to be not” with the ending ‘yo (요)’. You can use this while saying no to an elderly person and want to add a sense of politeness in your response. It can be shortened to 아뇨 (anyo).

When to Use

You should use this when

  • The person you are talking with is older than you
  • You’re not close friends with that person
  •  You’re talking to a group of people
  • You’re unsure what politeness level to use

How to Use

Here are some sample sentences using your new word:

  • Did you eat lunch?

점심은 먹었어요? – jomsimeun mogossoyo

  • No,i didn’t

아니요, 안 먹었어요 – aniyo an mogossoyo

아니 (A-Ni):

아니 (a-ni) is a common way of saying no in Korean in an informal or casual way. when you are talking with friends, siblings and those who are younger than you, just use 아니 [ ah-nee ] to express your disagreement.

When To Use

You can use the casual politeness level in the following situations:

  • When talking to somebody younger than you
  • When talking to somebody the same age as you
  • When you agree with somebody that it’s okay to use it
  • When talking to classmates you know are your age

 How To Use

Here are some examples of how to use 아니 if you’re talking to a close friend.

  • Did you see that movie?

그 영화 봤어? (Geu yeong-hwa bwass-eo?)

  • No, I didn’t see it.

아니, 안 봤어. (A-ni, an bwass-eo) 

아닙니다 [ Ah-Neem-Nee-Dah ]

아닙니다 (a-nib-ni-da) is the most formal way of saying no in Korean. It made up the word 아니 (ani) with the formal ending -ㅂ니다 (-ㅂ nida). Its translation is “not to be,”/ “no problem”.You can use it when speaking to an unknown audience or if you are required to be more respectful. 

아니 (ani) + ㅂ니다 (mnida) = 아닙니다 (animnida)

Don’t know the Korean word for thanks? Here’s our easy guide on how to say thank you in Korean like natives in a different situation


When To Use

You’ll also commonly see this form of the word in official documents.

How to use 

아까 도와주셔서 감사해요. (Akka dowajusyeoseo gamsahaeyo.) – “Thank you for helping me earlier.”

아닙니다. (Animnida.) – “No problem.” 

 The basic difference between 아니요 (aniyo) and 아니에요

아니요 (aniyo) is the polite way to say no in Korean which is made up two words i.e 아니 [a-ni] means ‘no’ and the ending 요 [yo]. It can shorten to 아뇨(anyo). But (아니에요) means“it is not” and  comes from a word “anida” (아니다) .아니야 (aniya) is used when you are speaking in an informal style.

Conclusion And Korean Quiz

You have just learned 10 different ways to say “no” in Korean. To really internalize these expressions, try coming up with your own examples to understand the different usages and contexts of the word.

Even better

learn them in the context of a story, so you understand the meaning but also the intent behind it.

If you to be a great example to your friends and family, seize the opportunity to be the master of all languages now

Can you think of more ways of saying “no” Korean? Please add them to the comment below – with an example if possible.

Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!