Normally there are two types of questions in Korean language. One is asking whether something is true or not. Questions like did you eat, are you Korean, do you want, will you go etc. These are questions that you can answer in the form of yes or no. And there is a second type of question which is asking specific things using Korean question words like who, what, when, where, which, why, how and more.
Asking questions in Korean is a lot simpler than asking questions in English. A lot of English beginners find it difficult because the word order changes in English while in Korean question it doesn’t, so it’s very simple. You just form a normal sentence in Korean without changing in word order and then you just have to put a question mark at the end and raise a tone. Let’s see an example-
영국에서 왔어요/ I’m from the UK. This is a normal statement and answer statement of 영국에서 왔어요? (Are you from the UK?). We just have to raise the tone and add a question mark in a normal statement to ask a question in Korean.
아이스크림 좋아해요. I like icecream.
아이스크림 좋아해요? Do you like icecream?
한국말 잘해요. I’m good at korean./ My korean language is good.
한국말 잘해요? Are you good at korean language? / Is your korean good?
These are 존댓말 statement and questions. Which means they are formal, polite, respectful. Now let’s learn 반말 which are less formal less polite and less respectful.
밥 먹었어. I ate/ had rice.
밥 먹었어. Did you eat rice?
배 고파 I’m hungry.
배 고파? Are you hungry?
피곤해. I’m tired
피곤해? Are you tired?
KOREAN QUESTION WORDS
Where, when, which, how much, how, who, why, which, what etc are Korean question words.
wh questions in Korean
Where(어디), when(언제), which(어느), how much(얼마), how(어덯게), who(누구), why(왜), which(무슨), what(뭐) are WH questions in Korean. Let’s learn Korean question words with examples.
WHO IN KOREAN
무엇, 뭐 – 무엇 (Muas) is commonly replaced by 뭐 most of the time. 무엇 is commonly used while writing something like an article or a book or a letter and most of the time we use 뭐. For example-
뭐야? 뭐예요? What is it?
이름이 뭐야? 이름이 뭐예요? What is your name?
뭐 해? / 뭐 해요? – What’s up? / What are you doing?
뭐 공부해? 뭐 공부해요? What are you studying?
WHO IN KOREAN
누구 means who in the Korean language.
누구야? / 누구세요? Who are you? / Who is it?
누구 좋아해? / 누구 좋아해요? Who do you like?
누구랑 놀러 갔어? 누구랑 놀러 갔어요? With whom did you play?
누가 했어? / 누가 했어요? Who did it?
누가 is a combination of 누구 and 가 subject marker.
WHERE IN KOREAN
어디 means where in the Korean language.
어디야? / 어디예요? means where is it? / Where are you?
어디 가? / 어디 가요? Where do you go?
집 어디야? / 집 어디예요? means where is your home.
어디 살아? / 어디 살아요? Where do you live?
WHEN IN KOREAN
언제 means when in the Korean language.
언제야? 언제예요? When is it?
생일이 언제야? / 생일이 언제예요? When is your birthday?
언제 가? 언제 가요? When are you/we/i going?
WHEN IN KOREAN
어떻게 means how. Let’s see some phrases related to 어떻게.
어떻게? / 어떻게요? How?
어떻게 지내? / 어떻게 지내요? How are you doing?
어떻게 해? / 어떻게해요? How do you do it?
WHY IN KOREAN
왜 is why in the Korean language. It’s easy to remember 왜 because it sounds a little bit similar to why.
왜? / 왜요? Why
왜 웃어? 왜 웃어요? Why are you laughing?
왜 먹었어? / 왜 먹었어요? Why did you eat?
왜 안했어? 왜 안했어요? Why didn’t you do it?
KOREAN QUESTION ENDINGS
There are various question endings in Korean (questions in korean). We can use 아/어 or 아요/어요 by using question mark and increasing the tone. For example-
커피 어때? = How’s Coffee?
Why are you late? = 왜 늦었어?)
뭐 먹어요? = What are you eating?
누가 전화했어요? = Who called?
어디 살아요? = Where do you live?
저녁 언제 먹었어요? = When did you have (eat) dinner?
서울에 어떻게 가요? = How do you/I go to Seoul?
한국어 어디에서 배웠어요? = Where did you learn Korean?
엄마 언제 와요? = When is mom coming? / Mom, when are you coming?
There are other types of Korean question endings also (나, 니, 냐). For example- 냐 is used within friends and with someone who is smaller than you in age. You shouldn’t use this with someone you don’t know well. You shouldn’t use 나, 니, 냐 to someone you don’t know well.
밥 먹었니? / 밥 먹었냐? Both means Did you have rice? / Did you eat?
나요 is a formal and respectful expression. 요 adds politeness just like in other sentences. -나 is informal with no politeness, -나요 is informal with politeness. For example- 밥 먹었나요.
Another korean question ending is using 까? For example 어디에 사십니까? (Eodie sasimnikka?) Where do you live?
Another Korean question ending is ㄹ/을까? which is indirect question. 엄마는 아침을 먹었을까? (I’m wondering if mom ate breakfast.) 내일 비가 올까? (I’m wondering if it will rain tomorrow.)
Another Korean question ending is 지? -죠? which is an affirmative question. 알지? (You know right?) 너 나 좋아하지? (You like me, right?) 저 행복해 보이죠? (I look happy, right?)
Another Korean question ending is ㄹ/을까? -래? -래요? which is a suggestion, invitation 공부할까? (Shall we study?) 나갈래? (Shall we go outside?) 죽을래? (Wanna die? 죽을래 is used as a cute, aggressive phrases)
MOST COMMON QUESTIONS IN KOREAN
Here is a list of korean questions (questions in korean) that you need to know when you meet someone for the first time.
이름이 뭐예요? What’s your name?
어떻게 지내세요? How are you?
전화 번호가 뭐에요? What’s your phone number?
몇 살이세요? How old are you?
생일이 언제예요? when is your birthday?
어디 출신이세요? where are you from? / Where did you born?
어디에 사십니까? Where do you live?
어디에서 일해요? Where do you work?
연봉이 얼마에요? what much do you earn annually?
화장실은 어디에 있습니까? Where is the bathroom?
슈퍼마켓은 어디에 있습니까? where is the supermarket?
지하철은 어디에 있습니까? where is the subway station?
이거 뭐예요? What’s this?
한국 음식을 좋아합니까? Do you like Korean food?
뭐라고 했어요? What did you say?
한국어를 공부한 지 얼마나 됐어요? How long have you been studying Korean?
한국어를 어디서 배웠습니 까? where did you learn Korean?
한국에 가본 적이 있습니까? Have you been to South Korea?