When it comes to family and cultural exchanges, one of the most essential words to learn in Korean is “dad.” Understanding how to say “father” in Korean will not only help you express yourself better but also enable you to communicate with your Korean friends about their families. In this guide, we’ll explore the different ways to address your dad in Korean, ranging from formal to informal expressions.

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Different Ways to Say “Father” in Korean

In the Korean language, there are three distinct ways to refer to “father,” each varying in formality. It’s crucial to grasp all three terms to communicate effectively about your dad in different situations.

Formal “Father” in Korean

The formal way to address “father” in Korean is “아버님” (abeonim). When speaking in a formal setting, it is customary to add the suffix “ (nim)” to the subject’s name to show respect. However, remember not to add this suffix to your own name. For instance:

아버님은 올해 환갑을 맞으셨다. (abeonimeun olhae hwangabeul majeusyeotda) My father reached the age of sixty this year.

Standard “Father” in Korean

The standard term for “father” in Korean is “아버지” (abeoji). This term is suitable for addressing your own father. However, instead of saying “my father,” use “우리 아버지” (uri abeoji), which translates to “our father” in English. For example:

자기 자식을 아는 아버지는 현명한 아버지이다. (jagi jasigeul aneun abeojineun hyeonmyeonghan abeojiida) It is a wise father that knows his own child.

Informal “Father” in Korean

The informal way to refer to “father” in Korean is “아빠” (appa). This term is similar to “dad” in English and is used affectionately within the family. When talking about your dad, use the word “우리” (uri), meaning “our,” instead of “my” to show closeness and respect. For instance:

아빠가 너에게 말하지 말랬어. (appaga neoege malhaji mallaesseo) Dad says not to tell you.

How to Pronounce “Father” in Korean

Now that you’re familiar with the different ways to say “father” in Korean, let’s take a moment to understand the pronunciation of these words. Pay close attention to the following video, which demonstrates the correct pronunciation of each term.

Beyond the various ways to say “father” in Korean, there are other essential terms related to dad and family. Let’s explore some of them:

Dad’s Parents

  • 할아버지 (halabeoji) – Grandfather (paternal)
  • 할머니 (halmeoni) – Grandmother (paternal)
  • 외할아버지 (woe halabeoji) – Grandfather (maternal)
  • 외할머니 (woe halmeoni) – Grandmother (maternal)

Mom’s Parents

  • 외할아버지 (woe halabeoji) – Grandfather (maternal)
  • 외할머니 (woe halmeoni) – Grandmother (maternal)

Uncle and Male Family Friends

  • 삼촌 (samchon) – Uncle
  • [Name] 삼촌 ([Name] samchon) – Addressing a parent’s close male friend as “Uncle [Name].”

Remember, the term “아빠” (appa) is used very frequently and is similar to “daddy” in English. However, it’s essential to recognize that the older you get, the less likely you are to use this term as it may sound immature in more formal settings.

Learning how to say “father” in Korean opens the doors to meaningful conversations with your Korean friends about family and cultural traditions. By understanding the different ways to address your dad, you can effectively navigate various social situations and show the appropriate level of respect. Moreover, diving into the world of Hangeul and Korean language will enrich your overall language learning journey, allowing you to communicate more fluently and confidently. Embrace these linguistic nuances and embark on a rewarding journey of cross-cultural communication with your Korean friends and family.


What is the best way to learn Korean pronunciation?

The best way to learn Korean pronunciation is by practicing regularly with native speakers, listening to Korean audio materials, and imitating the sounds they make. Consistent practice and exposure to the language will help you improve your pronunciation skills over time.

How can learning Hangeul save study time when learning Korean?

Learning Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, can save study time because it is a simple and easy-to-learn writing system. Once you understand Hangeul, you can read Korean texts, menus, and signs, which makes it easier to pick up new words and phrases without relying heavily on romanization.

What is the next step in language learning after vocabulary?

After learning vocabulary, the next step in language learning is to start practicing speaking and having conversations in the language. Engaging in real-life conversations with native speakers or language partners will help you apply the vocabulary you’ve learned and improve your overall language proficiency.


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