Korean - Who Are You? (반말)

여러분 안녕하세요!

I did tell you guys we were going to learn the informal version of the phrase, “What is your name?”. What this means is you’ll be learning the 반말 form of the phrase. If you don’t know what that means, then go back to my previous post, because I explain it there.

What’s Your Name?

Now that you remember what we’re talking about, let’s dive in shall we? So, how do we say “what is your name” in the 반말 form? Like the formal form, or the 존댓말 form, there are many ways you can say it. It just depends on the situation you’re in which form of the phrase you use. So, let’s take a look at some of the more easily recognised forms.

이름이 뭐예요?

This is the most standard form of the phrase, and you can use it with nearly everyone. As I said before, there are two words for “name”. The first you’ve already learnt means “family name”, that one is the 존댓말 form, and that one looks like this “성함“. The one you see in this question, you see the word “이름“. This one just means “name”. So, in answer to this question, you’d most likely just give your first name or if you want to make a sentence out of it…

제 이름은 …오

Ok, so that’s not the full phrase to use, because it depends on how your name is spelt in 한글 how it should end, sometimes you’ll get 예요 or 이에요 as part of the ending. I haven’t covered this myself properly yet, but from what I’ve seen that’s how it is, otherwise you can be a little formal and use 입니다, it’s up to you.

Anyway, let’s look at the most informal form of the phrase “what is your name”, so we know how to talk to kids too! Yes, this form, or these forms are the most casual and informal ways to say the phrase, and will most likely be used with children, or when you’re asking about a pet. So, they are:

이름이 뭐야?


이름이 뭐니?

So, as you can see, they look the similar except one ends in 뭐야 and the other ends in 뭐니. The only difference between the two is that the one ending in 뭐니 is just that tiny bit politer than the 뭐야 version.

A Note On Names

There you go! Now you know how to ask for someone’s name in whatever way you see fit! Of course, there are times when you’ll want to ask what their name is again, because you didn’t quite catch it, or if you’re extra curious you can ask about their Korean name, since in many Asian countries, people are sometimes granted a special name in their native country, as well as a “Western” name.

What that means is, in Korea, they have names like “Kim Eun Ae” or “Yoo Jae Hyun”, but at the same time they could have English names like “Charlie” or “Sarah”. That’s because, English names are pretty difficult to pronounce, in 한글, because there are some sounds like “th” or “j” or “v” that they don’t have in their alphabet. So, they have to either compensate with a deviation of the name or use the Korean name that you’ve, either made for yourself, or had someone else make for you.

Homework Time!

Alright, it’s that time again! Where it’s up to you guys whether or not you want to keep learning. So, until the next time we meet in class, I want you to practice asking someone else for their name and answer the question yourself. Try out each individual phrase and listen to them. You’ll see the difference, and you’ll hear it too, when you’re practicing. You’ll know how to define what makes the phrase 존댓말 or 반말.

Well, that’s it from me today, I’ll see you guys next time. For now, don’t forget to like, subscribe and follow for more updates and the latest posts here on Feather’s Charm and on my social media accounts. Oh, and share these posts with family and friends, those who you’d think might enjoy these topics and tips! I’ll see you later!

With love,

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