How To Say Yes In Korean(Ne Or De)? The Correct Way



How To Say Yes In Korean(Ne Or De)? The Correct Way


The most common way to say yes in Korean is 네(ne). The other formal way is to use the Korean word for yes 예 (Ye). But if you want to say yes in a casual situation, you say the word 응 [eung] or 엉 [ung].

  • 네 [Ne] –Standard Way To Say Yes In Korean
  • 예 [Ye] - Politer/More Formal Way To Say Yes In Korean
  • 응 [Eung]- Informal and Cute Way Of saying Yes In Korean language(Used By Women)
  • 엉 [Ung] - The Korean word for Yes In informal way (Used By Men)

Respect is a big deal in Korean culture.

Basically, there are two levels of politeness in Korean: casual (반말) and polite (존댓말) and each has unique terms for each of them.

No worries. 

We've put together a guide to help you decide when and how to use each one.

Let’s start with….


Yes In Korean Formal: How Do You Say Yes In Korean Politely?

There are two ways to say yes in Korean language in formal situations like talking to someone older than you, boss, teachers, seniors, or strangers. One is to use the word  “네 (Ne)” and the other way is 예 (Ye).

The main difference between 네(ne) and 예(de) is that “예(de)” sounds more formal than the other.

Tips box: An interesting tip worth noting is that because 예[ye] was the original word for “yes” in Korean, the older generation tends to use it more. On the other hand, the younger generation tends to use 네[ne]... so it’s good to know both!


Let’s see how to use each of them in sentences


The Basic Polite Way To Say Yes In Korean: What Is 네 (Ne) In Korean?


It's a polite and standard way to say yes in Korean. It can be used in formal situations between strangers or parents, but also between teachers, students, and business partners.

There are so many ways to use 네(ne) in Korean! Here is a list of situations you can use it depending on what you're talking about. 

There's no need to be shy!

When to use

  • You are talking to someone older than you.
  • You are not sure if they are older or younger than you and don't know them , like a stranger.
  • You are talking with seniors, the boss, teachers or business partners.
  • You are talking to a group of people or in a debate (like formal situation) 
  • You are unsure if the situation requires formal or informal Korean.


How to use


You can bow once a little bit and then say "ne" to express agreement in Korean. The bow is a sign of respect in Korea.

Let’s see some examples …..., shall we?


  • Do you like soju?

          소주 좋아해요?soju joahaeyo

  •  Yes
     네- ne 


  •  Is this an apple?
     이게 사과예요?- ige sagwaeyo


  •  Yes, it is
     네, 사과예요 - ne sagwaeyo


Sample Korean conversation

Here is a general conversation between a senior and his junior in a college

Sunbae:  Did you read the magazine?

               그 잡지 읽었어요?- geu japjji ilgossoyo

Hubae:  Yes, I read it last night.

              네. 어젯밤에 읽었어요. - ne ojetppame ilgossoyo

Sunbae:  Did you see our article today?

               오늘 우리 기사 뜬 거 봤어요?- oneul uri gisa tteun go bwassoyo

Hubae:   Yes, but I didn’t know it was so long

               네, 하지만 그렇게 긴 줄 몰랐어요.- ne hajiman geuroke gin jul molrassoyo


Sunbae:  Did you understand everything?

               다 알아들으셨나요?

Hubae: yes, roughly

            네, 대충?-daechung

hubae:  I think it will help. Thank you, senior

             도움이 될 것 같은데.진짜 감사합니다, 선배님.- doumi dwel got gateunde.jinjja gamsahamnida sunbaenim

예 (Ye) How To Write Yes In Korean politely?

Just like "ne," "de" is a super formal way to say yes in Korean language.

However, Koreans don't tend to use it as much as "ne" in everyday situations.

When to use

So, when you are talking with older people who you want to be very respectful, like elders(grandma or grandpa) or you are meeting your “in-laws” for the first time, it is wise to use the Korean word for yes “예(de)”.

However, “네(ne)” is the common way of saying yes in Korean. So, when in doubt, just use the word “네(ne)”.

You can’t go wrong.


How to use

You can't just say "yes" in Korean. You need to bow your head once and then say "예(de)" for agreement. 


Now, let's see an example:

Sample Korean Conversation

Grandma: Minji, are you ok?

민지, 괜찮아?- minji, gwaenchanha?

Minji: yes, grandma

민지: 예, 할머니.- minji: ye halmoni

Grandma: Did you eat?

할머니: 밥 먹었어?- halmeoni: bab meog-eoss-eo?

Minji: yes, grandma

민지: 예, 할머니.- minji: ye halmoni

Pretty easy, isn’t it? 

So, what’s next? 


Yes In Korean Informal: How to Say Yes In Korean In Casual Style.

You don't have to worry about being polite with those close to you like when they're your friends, siblings, or anyone younger than you, you can relax and talk freely.

To answer yes in Korean, there are two informal ways to say it. One is 응 (eung) and the other is 어 (eo). The only difference between 어 (eo) and 응 (eung) is that Korean people use the word 응 (eung) more often during a real-life conversation than a phone call.

(응) Eung In Korean: How To Say Yes In Korean In Cute Way

응 is the word for yes in Korean language, which is mostly used by women. The way it's pronounced is a sound, "Eung".

Now, when you want to go ahead and say yes to friends or siblings, it’s really simple: just simply nod and say 응(eung).

How to use

Koreans usually say that when they are told something and they say 응 to confirm that they heard the person. But you can also type it "ㅇㅇ" because it's easier to type on a keyboard.

It is very important!!-If you use this to others you may be seen as an impolite person) And "네" is used to say to a stranger or who is older than you.

Example Conversation

  • Are you busy?
  • Yes


Sample Korean Conversation

Su jin: Did you work last night?

           너 어젯밤에 일했어?

Mi rae: Yes, I washed the dishes.

            응, 설거지를 했어 - eung solgojireul haesso

Su jin:  What else did you do?

            또 뭐 했어? - tto mwo haesso

Mi rae:  I listened to the radio for a while

            잠시 라디오를 들었어- jamsi radioreul deurosso

Su jin: I see. I thought you were working.

           그랬구나.나는 일하는 줄 알았어.-geuraetkkuna .naneun ilhaneun jul arasso

Mi rae:  No, I am on leave.

           아니,휴가 중이었다- anihyuga jungiottta

어 (Eo): How To Say Yeah In Korean Language To Friends.

You need to watch out for “어 (eo)”, guys!

Similar to 응 (eung), you can use the word 어 (eo) while you are talking to close friends, siblings and those younger than you. It is similar to “yeah” and “uhuh.


  • Sujin: Hello, billy

안녕, 빌리- annyong bilri

  • Billy: Hello sujin

안녕- annyong

  • Sujin: Are you busy tomorrow?

내일 바쁘니?- naeil bappeuni

  • Billy: No


  • Sujin: Do you want to go out for lunch?

점심 먹으러 나갈까?- jomsim mogeuro nagalkka

  • Billy: Yes! Let's go!

어! 가자


Example Conversation

  • Billy:   Hello, Min-ho

안녕, 민호야 - annyong minhoya

  • Min-ho:   Hello, billy

안녕, 빌리 - annyeong bilri

  • Billy:   Do you have plans tonight? Let’s go eat Chimaek (치맥)

오늘 약속 있나?치맥 먹으러 가자.oneul yaksok inna?chimaek mogeuro gaja

  • Min-ho: uhuh

어 (eo)

  • Billy:   Let's meet up at Hanchu Chicken.

그러면 한추치킨서 만나자.- geuromyon hanchuchikinso mannaja

  • Min-ho:   Ok. See you then.

그래. 그럼 그때 보자. - geurae geurom geuttae boja

  • Billy:  bye

안녕!- annyong

9 Advanced and Different Ways To Say Yes In Korean Language For Beginners.


As I said before ne literally mean yes in Korean language 

Ne is more than just yes in Korea. It can also mean many things

Actually, ne() can also mean “I agree” and also what you said is correct. In fact, it has a lot of meanings like I see, yay, i understand, that’s right. It can also be used as a conversation filler sometimes.

 If you listen to two Korean people talking to each other, you might hear them say  ne quite often if even if not intended to say  yes or agree to what other person is saying

Just like this example

Seo-Jun: You know I bought this dress yesterday

서준: 제가 어제 이 드레스를 산 거 아시죠?- jega oje i deureseureul san go asijyo

Dambi: Yes

담비: 네(ne)


Seo-Jun: I really like the color but it’s too expensive

서준: 색깔이 정말 마음에 드는데 너무 비싸네요.- saekkkari jongmal maeume deuneunde nomu bissaneyo

Dambi: Ne. How much is it?

담비: 네, 얼마나요?-Ne, olmanayo

Seo-Jun: 25000000 won ( equal to $2102)

서준: 25만원-isibo manwon


Dambi: Yes(what?)

담비: 네(ne)

Seo-Jun: I paid with my credit card.

서준: 신용카드로 결제했어요. -sinyongkadeuro gyoljehaessoyo

Dambi: Yes(i see)

담비: 네 (Ne )

It might cause a problem if you don’t know about it. so we’ll tell you with examples

So here it is

Here is the complete list of  9 Other Meaning of yes in Korean language with translation and examples 

  • Okay in Korean
  • Yes, that’s right in Korean
  • “yes, I Think So” in Korean
  • Here ne
  • What? really? (ne)


So let’s learn with examples

Okay in Korean[네 Or 응]: How to Say It's Ok in Korean


OK could be translated into many different meanings in Korean. 네 or 응(Ne or Ung) is the most common way of saying “OK” or “good” to acknowledge and let the other person know that you understand what they said to.


Here are the ways you can say ok in Korean


OK = 네 or 응 (Ne or Ung: means Yes)

OK = 알았어 (arasseo: means I got it)

OK = 그래 (Grae: means Yes)

OK = ㅇㅋ (Okay: it is slang and abbreviation of OK in a text message.)

OK = 오케이(This is the Korean pronunciation of OK.)

OK? = 알겠어? (algessu?: Do you get it?)

We recommend you to check out our specific lesson on how to say “ok ” in Korean for more information about that word.



  • Do you wanna go live on Instagram?

우리 SNS 라이브 할까? - uri esseuenesseu raibeu halkka

  • yes

  • Please wait here for a minute.

여기서 잠깐 기다려 주세요.- yogiso jamkkan gidaryo juseyo

  • Ok


Sample Korean Conversation

  • Let’s go to the movies tonight.

오늘 밤에 영화 보러 가자.-oneul bame yonghwa boro gaja

  • Okay, Let's do that. I don't have a schedule today.

그래, 그러자.나 오늘 스케줄 없어.-geurae geuroja. na oneul seukejul opsso

  • What movie should we see?

무슨 영화를 볼까?-museun yonghwareul bolkka

  • Let’s watch a horror movie? 

우리 공포 영화 보러 가자.-uri gongpo yonghwa boro gaja

  • okay. See you in the evening.

네. 저녁에 보자.-ne. jonyoge boja

  • Bye


네, 맞아요– how to say That’s Right in Korean? 

맞아요 means, “That’s right.” In Korean, it literally translates to “you’re not wrong.” or what you said is correct.

If you are talking to elders, customer, boss or strangers, you can use 마자요.” (ma-ja-yo). 맞아(ma-ja) is the informal

I see, so Korean people often use 맞아요 [ma-ja-yo] after “네 [ne] ”. 네 [ne] is also used for "I see".


A:   isn’t this dress beautiful?

이 드레스 아름답지 않나요?-i deureseu areumdapjji annayo

B:  yes, That’s right

네,맞아요.- ne, majayo

A:   Isn't there 12 fruits in the bag?

봉지에 과일 12개 들어있지 않아?-bongjie gwail sibi gae deuroitjji ana

B:  yes, That’s right

응,맞아.- eung, maja

Sample Korean Conversation

  • Is there any supermarket here?

여기 슈퍼마켓이 있나요?-yogi syupomakesi innayo

  • There’s one besides to that drugstore

저 약국 옆에 하나 더 있어요.-jo yakkkuk yope hana do issoyo

  • Do you mean that blue building ?

저 파란 건물 말씀하시는 건가요?-jo paran gonmul malsseumhasineun gongayo

  • Yes, that’s right

네,맞아요.- ne, majayo

  • Thank you 



You're so happy! You can't wait to say yes. 

 How are you going to let the world know? Say 'yes!'

You can use Korean to show your excitement. Just say "네, Neeee!"

Sample Korean Conversation

  • I'm going to buy some food. Do you want anything?

먹을 것 좀 사 올게요. 뭐 먹을래요?

  • Yes, chicken

네, 치킨- ne chikin

  • I will go buy it

내가 사올게- naega saolge

  • Yay. thanks friend

네. 고마워 친구야 - ne. gomawo chinguya 



When someone says something to you but you don’t understand or you are not paying too much attention, you can say "ne". It means “What did you say?”, “Pardon me?” or “Sorry, I didn't hear you.


Sample Korean conversation

ji-woo :  Hey, do you have an umbrella?

은우:  저기요, 우산 있어요? -  Eunu :  jogiyo usan issoyo

Soo-ah : pardon

수아 : 네 - ne

Jiwoo:  Do you have an umbrella? Umbrella?

지우:  있어요? 우산? -  usan issoyo?usan?

Soo-ah:  yes, I have. you can take this

수아: 네, 있어요. 이거 가져가도 돼요 - sua: ne issoyo. igo gajogado dwaeyo

Jiwoo :  thank you 

감사합니다 - gamsahamnida

Soo-ah:  yes

수아: 네 - ne

  • How to express “yes, I Think So” in Korean?

You can use ‘네?’ to express your opinion when you are unsure of something or agree with the other person. 

Sample Korean Conversation

Do you know the guy over there?

저기 있는 남자 알아요?-jogi inneun namja arayo

yes, I think it's my friend, Ji woo

네, 제 친구 지우인 것 같아요.- ne, je chingu jiuin got gatayo

Here -내(ne) 

Let's say the Teacher is Calling students' names in the class and students are answering “yes, I am here”. Koreans use 내(ne)  to express their presence in such cases. 

Let me explain with an example 

Teacher: Min ji

선생님:민지- sonsaengnim minji

Min-ji:   Yes

민지: 네.- minji ne

Teacher: Soo-ah

선생님: 수아

sonsaengnim sua

Soo-ah:  Yes 

수아: 네.- sua ne

Teacher:  Jiwoo 

선생님: 지우-sonsaengnim jiu

Jiwoo:  Yes




 The surprised yes in Korean : What? (ne)

When does someone say something that is too hard to think that it’s true or it's way too unbelievable then, just like in English we say "what"? Korean use "ne" instead 

Let’s see one example to see what I mean 


Mi-soo: I bought earrings yesterday. This one.

미소: 저 어제 귀걸이 샀어요. 이거.

Misu: jo oje gwigori sassoyo. igo.

Sun-Hee: So pretty. Where did you buy it?

선희: 너무 예뻐요. 어디서 샀어요?

sonhi: nomu yeppoyo. odiso sassoyo. 

Mi-soo: At Galleria Department Store. But it’s expensive

미소: 갤러리아 백화점에서요. 하지만 비싸요

Misu: gaelroria baekwajomesoyo. hajiman bissayo.

Sun-Hee: How much?


sonhi: olmanayo

Mi-soo: 10000000 won (note: equals to $844)

미소: 100만원 -Misu: baek manwon

Sun-Hee: What?


Sonhi: (Ne)

Mi-soo: I paid with my mother's credit card. I think I'm in trouble.

미소: 나는 엄마 카드로 결제했어요. 나 큰일 난 것 같아.

Misu: naneun omma kadeuro gyoljehaessoyo na keunil nan got gata.

Sun-Hee: For sure. 

선희: 물론

sonhi: mulron.