How to say you’re welcome in Korean

Now that you can say “thank you” in Korean, you need to learn how to appropriately reply.

You may have read in textbooks or seen on old Korean dramas that using the reply 천만에요 is an acceptable phrase to use to mean “you’re welcome.” However, it is very rarely used in natural Korean conversation, if ever, and may sound a little awkward.

Instead, we can use the phrase 아니에요. The literal translation of 아니에요 is “it’s not,” but when using it as “you’re welcome,” it takes on the meaning of “not at all” or “it’s nothing.”

아니에요Polite
아닙니다Formal
아니야Casual

By now you should have an understanding of which politeness level to use with which person.

Although 아니에요 is the most common way to say “you’re welcome” in Korean, when speaking to someone you need to show respect to, such as an older stranger, a much older person or a teacher or boss, you should use the formal conjugation 아닙니다.

As always, if you don’t need to show politeness to the person you’re talking to, you can use the casual formation 아니야 towards close friends or those of which you have an intimate relationship with.

A: 감사합니다Thank you
B: 아닙니다 You're welcome
A: 고맙습니다Thank you
B: 아니에요You're welcome
A: 고마워Thanks
B: 아니야You're welcome

Note that even if someone has shown you respect with using 감사합니다 – the formal way of thanking someone – it is totally acceptable to reply with the informal reply 아니야 if they are much younger than you. For example, you may thank your teacher by saying “감사합니다” and he or she may reply with “아니야.”

August 24, 2016

4 responses on "How to say you're welcome in Korean"

  1. This is really helpful! Just today I read in my phrasebook to use “천만에요.” I guess it needs updating!

  2. Can you also use “뭘요” to mean “You’re Welcome”?

  3. You’re right, you can also use 뭘요. It is like saying “Don’t mention it!” 🙂

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