Learning how to say goodbye in another language like Korean is a great way to ensure that there isn’t any awkwardness when you leave a situation and you end an interaction in a natural way.
After learning key greetings like “hello” and “how are you”, the next important phrase to add to your vocabulary is “goodbye” since it is a great way to end a conversation.
As you may be aware if you have learned some phrases in Korean already, there isn’t a one size fits all word in Korea for “goodbye”.
You will need to know different versions of goodbye in Korean depending on the context of the situation and who you are addressing.
Since Korean is a language based on respect, you will need to learn how to speak in three general ways, formal, standard, and informal depending on who you are speaking to.
Also, when saying “goodbye” you will need to change what you say depending on if you are saying goodbye when leaving the situation or remaining and wishing farewell to someone else.
How to Say Goodbye in Korean at a Glance
Before we begin, take a look at this brief overview of the farewell phrases we will be learning today.
- “Goodbye” (formal, when staying): 안녕히 가십시오 (annyeonghi gasipsio)
- “Goodbye” (formal, when leaving): 안녕히 계십시오 (annyeonghi gyesipsio)
- “Goodbye” (standard, when staying): 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghi gaseyo)
- “Goodbye” (standard, when leaving): 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi gyeseyo)
- “Go”(standard): 가세요 (gaseyo)
- “Go well” (standard): 잘 가요 (jal gayo)
- “Stay well” (standard): 잘 있어요 (Jal Isseoyo)
- “Bye” (informal): 안녕 (Annyeong)
- “Go well” (informal): 잘 가 (jal ga)
- “I’ll go first” (informal): 나 먼저 갈게 (na meonjeo galge)
- “See you next time” (informal): 다음에 봐 (daeume bwa)
- “See you tomorrow”(informal) 내일 봐 (naeil bwa)
How to Say “Goodbye” in Korean (Formal)
When saying goodbye in Korean, there are two ways of saying goodbye depending on if you are leaving or staying.
To wish someone “goodbye” in formal situations you would say “안녕히 가십시오 annyeonghi gasipsio” when someone else is leaving and you are staying.
“안녕히 가십시오 Annyeonghi gasipsio” actually translates roughly to “please go well”, so when someone is going, you wish them goodbye in this way.
When you are the one leaving and are wishing a farewell to someone else you would say “안녕히 계십시오 annyeonghi gyesipsio” which means “please stay well”.
Since you are the one leaving the situation it makes sense to wish goodbye to the person who is staying in this way.
This pattern of saying goodbye in two different situations follows throughout the other speech levels so it is important to understand.
However, these formal phrases are in fact overly formal and so you will only really hear them on television and radio shows or when the owner of a shop or restaurant is respectfully wishing you goodbye as you are leaving their establishment.
How to Say “Goodbye” in Korean (Standard)
You will need to know the standard version of “goodbye” since these are the versions that you will use most often.
Speaking in the standard form of Korean acts as a polite and neutral way to talk with people who are of the same age or social standing as you.
Although you won’t necessarily use this form with people you are close with, it always pays to be polite which is why the standard forms of “goodbye” are the most commonly used.
1. 안녕히 가세요 (Annyeonghi Gaseyo) – Goodbye in Korean When Staying
To say goodbye when the other person is leaving you would say “안녕히 가세요 annyeonghi gaseyo”.
“안녕히 Annyeonghi” derives from the Korean word “안녕 annyeong”. Although “안녕 annyeong” is a common way to say “hello” in Korean, it actually means “peace” and “안녕히 annyeonghi” translates to peacefully.
Combining “안녕히 annyeonghi” with the polite form of telling somebody to go “가세요 gaseyo” and you get the phrase “안녕히 가세요 annyeonghi gaseyo” meaning “go peacefully”.
This is a polite phrase to use when someone is going and can be used in most situations.
2. 안녕히 계세요 (Annyeonghi Gyeseyo) – Goodbye in Korean When Leaving
Similar to the last phrase, “안녕히 계세요 annyeonghi gyeseyo” is the standard “goodbye” that you would use when you are the person leaving and the person you are talking to is staying.
Combining “안녕히 annyeonghi” meaning peacefully with “계세요 gyeseyo” which derives from the verb “to exist” – “안녕히 계세요 annyeonghi gyeseyo” effectively translates to “peacefully exist” or “peacefully stay”.
Be aware that the similarity between both of the two standard versions of “goodbye” mentioned so far can make it difficult to remember which is the right one to use for each situation.
Since “가세요 gaseyo” and “계세요 gyeseyo” look and sound alike, the only way to ensure you are saying the correct “goodbye” phrase is to practise and practise some more!
3. 가세요 (Gaseyo) – “Go” in Korean
Another common standard way to say “goodbye” in Korean is to say “가세요 gaseyo”.
This short phrase is often used by older people when saying goodbye to younger people as it is simply a polite way of saying ”go”.
4. 잘 가요 (Jal Gayo) – “Go Well” in Korean
A simple and polite way to wish someone well when they are leaving is to say “잘 가요 jal gayo” which is literally translated as “go well”.
You can only say this expression to someone who is leaving as it wouldn’t make sense if you said it as you were leaving.
5. 잘 있어요 (Jal Isseoyo) – “Stay Well” in Korean
As you may have noticed, all the “go” goodbye phrases have an opposing “stay” goodbye phrase that completes the pair.
Therefore, when you are wishing someone farewell and you are the one leaving, you would say “잘 있어요 jal isseoyo” meaning simply “stay well”.
How to Say “Goodbye” in Korean (Informal)
Informal “goodbyes” are useful to know when verbally parting ways with a close friend or a family member.
You need to be mindful when speaking casually to people in Korea so as to not cause offense.
Therefore, you would not use the informal speech level when at work, when talking to people older/more senior than you, or when talking to strangers.
1. 안녕 (Annyeong) – “Bye” in Korean
The easiest and most common way to say “goodbye” in Korean is to say “안녕 annyeong”.
Actually, “안녕 annyeong” is also a Korean way to say “hello”.
Since “안녕 annyeong” translates as “peace” in Korean, it is used in the same way Italians use the word “ciao”.
“안녕 Annyeong” is a great word to remember since not only can it be used for both “hello” and “bye” but it can also be said when saying “bye” to someone no matter if they are staying or going.
2. 잘 가 (Jal Ga) – “Go Well” in Korean
The informal form of “잘 가요 jal gayo” is “잘 가 jal ga” meaning “go well” and it can be used as a casual greeting to a friend if they are leaving.
As you can see, it is simple to create an informal phrase from a standard one by simply taking off the last character “요”.
3. 나 먼저 갈게 (Na Meonjeo Galge) – “I’ll go first” in Korean
A commonly used expression for saying “goodbye” in Korea is saying “I’ll go first”.
When you are announcing that you are leaving you would say “나 먼저 갈게 na meonjeo galge”.
This phrase is usually said between friends as it is an informal phrase. You may also have heard it in Korean dramas.
4. 다음에 봐 (Daeume Bwa) – “See You Next Time” in Korean
If you want to mix up your vocabulary when talking to friends, then learning to say a phrase like “see you next time” is a great idea.
Say “다음에 봐 daeume bwa” when you want to say “see you later” to a friend you will surely see again.
5. 내일 봐 (Naeil Bwa) – “See You Tomorrow” in Korean
Another useful alternative to “goodbye” is “내일 봐 naeil bwa” which means “see you tomorrow”.
If you want to make this term more polite, all you have to do is simply add the character “요” to the end.
Alternatively, if you are going to see someone tomorrow who is a lot more senior than you in social standing and want to formally say “see you tomorrow” to them, then you should change “봐” to “보세요” making “내일 보세요 naeil boseyo”.
How to Say Goodbye in Korean – Video Guide
Goodbye in Korean – Final Thoughts
Hopefully, now you understand the ways in which to say “goodbye” in Korean and will be able to say farewell to anyone you wish to, no matter if you are leaving or staying and no matter the social context!
Want an easier way to practice and learn Korean? Check out our comprehensive guide on the best app to learn Korean.
How to Say – Hello in Korean
How to Say – How Are You in Korean
How to Say – No in Korean