Don’t Ghost! How to Say Bye in Korean with Style

Elly Kim10 min
Created: Jul 1, 2024Last updated: Jul 3, 2024
Goodbye in Korean Language

Here’s the thing. Apparently, many people genuinely underestimate the importance of knowing how to say bye in Korean or any other foreign language. But the truth is that this knowledge is as vital as learning basic greetings. Especially when it comes to Korean, where politeness and respect are highly valued in communication. So, today, we’ll talk about different options to bid farewells in this tongue.

Formal and Standard Ways to Say Goodbye in Korean Language

The first thing you need to know about Korean farewells is that they change not only depending on the formality level (we’re talking honorifics) but also on whether you’re saying goodbye because you’re leaving and the other person’s staying, or vice versa. Yeah, something so insignificant at first glance can change the expression completely. So, here are some goodbye in Korean formal phrases for different occasions.

  • 안녕히 가십시오 (annyeonghi gasipsio) – [aːn.jʌŋ.hi ɡaː.ɕip.ɕio] – Goodbye (when you’re staying).

This is probably one of the most formal and respectful ways to say goodbye. It is rarely used in daily communication. In most cases, you’d hear it in news reports, on official television, or, for example, from restaurant staff. This expression is used when your interlocutor’s leaving and you’re staying, basically telling them to “go in peace.”

  • 안녕히 계십시오 (annyeonghi gyesipsio) – [aːn.jʌŋ.hi ɡjeː.ɕip.ɕio] – Goodbye (when you’re leaving).

Notice the subtle difference? This is another highly respectful way to say goodbye in Korean, just like the previous one. The only difference is that you need to use it if you’re the one who’s leaving. Literally, it translates to “stay in peace.”

  • 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghee gaseyo) – [aːn.jʌŋ.hi ɡaː.se.jo] – Goodbye (you’re staying).

This one is slightly less formal than the previous ones, but still very polite. Perfect for sending your buddy off to face the world (or just home from a coffee hangout). When it comes to conversations with strangers, this expression might be the safest choice.

  • 조심히 가세요 (joshimhee gaseyo) – [tɕoː.ɕim.hi ɡaː.se.jo] – Goodbye (you’re staying).

Imagine you’re everyone’s concerned mom for a second. This phrase is the ultimate “Text me when you get home” in Korean. It is still a polite way to say goodbye when other people are leaving, and it is literally you telling them to get home safely.

  • 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghee geseyo) – [aːn.jʌŋ.hi ɡje.se.jo] – Goodbye (you’re leaving).

And here’s another polite way to say bye in a Korean formal tone when you’re the one leaving. Nothing special – just as simple as that. And you can notice that even though there is a slight difference compared to the expression you use when you’re staying, it is still present and worth paying attention to.

  • 잘 들어가세요 (Jal deureogaseyo) – [tɕaːl tɯ.ɾʌ.ɡaː.se.jo] – Goodbye (you’re staying).

And lastly, here’s another polite goodbye Korean phrase. Once again, it should be used when you’re the one staying. This expression is a bit less formal than some previous options, but it is still polite enough to use in conversations with people you’re not quite close with. However, if you’re hesitating, it might be better to switch to a bit more formal options. 

How to Say Goodbye in Korean: Informal Ways

Now, let’s loosen up a bit. With the expressions from the list above, you’re equipped to handle most polite interactions. Yet, if you feel like those phrases are too official for your daily routine, say no more. Here’s the list of our favorite goodbye in Korean informal expressions.

  • 잘 들어가요 (Jal deureogayo) – [tɕaːl tɯ.ɾʌ.ɡaː.jo] – Enter safely (you’re staying).

This one is the less formal version of the last expression from the previous list. It basically conveys the same meaning – you wish your interlocutor to reach their destination safely. This Korean phrase is informal but also versatile, working for bidding farewells to both your friends and people you’ve just met recently.

  • 잘 가요 (jal-gayo) – [tɕaːl ɡaː.jo] – Goodbye (you’re staying).

And here’s another way to wish a person “to go well” casually. Once again, it is only appropriate for situations when you’re the one staying, and your interlocutor is leaving. It is quite informal, so it’s better to use it only at the end of conversations with close friends or family members.

  • 나 먼저 갈게요 (na meonjeo galgeyo) – [na mʌn.dʑʌ ɡal.ɡe.jo] – I’ll go first (you’re leaving).

This good bye in Korean is perfect when you’re ducking out early. It’s like saying, “I’m outta here!” in a totally cool and casual way. No need for awkward farewells, just a smooth exit. The phrase is casual, so be aware of your surroundings when using it.

  • 안녕 (annyeong) – [aːn.jʌŋ] – Bye.

If you’re looking for a more versatile farewell, here you go. It is mostly used when both you and your interlocutor are leaving but heading in different directions. Also, this casual expression can be used as a greeting, so always keep in touch with the context.

  • (나중에 / 다음에) 봐요 (najoonge/daeume bwayo) – [na.dʑuːŋ.e / taː.ɯm.e bwaː.jo] – See you later/next time.

And here’s not one but two expressions you can use as an informal way to bid farewell in Korean. Both are informal and mostly used when you and your interlocutor separate ways, yet you know you’ll see them in the near future.

  • 다음에 보자 (daeume boja) – [taː.ɯm.e bo.dʑa] – See you next time.

Using this expression, you will not only say your goodbyes but also express the desire to see your interlocutor again. Why? Because literally, this expression means “Let’s meet again next time.”

  • 그럼 가 볼게 (geureom ga bolge) – [kɯ.ɾʌm ɡa bol.ge] – I’ll be off then.

This is the Korean equivalent of something like, “Welp, I’m heading out.” It’s informal and gives off chill vibes, like you’re totally cool with leaving but also looking forward to the next meet-up.

  • 이따가 또 보자 (ittaga tto boja) – [it.ta.ɡa tto bo.dʑa] – See you again today.

The last expression on the list only works when you know for sure that you’ll see your interlocutor again today. For example, it can be a good way to end your coffee break with a colleague, knowing that you’ll meet each other in the office within the next few hours.

7

Slang Ways to Say Bye in Korean Language

In Korea, like in many other countries, slang is an integral part of daily communication. Though it is important to know when and where it’s appropriate to use them, learning a few colloquial goodbyes will be helpful. So here you go, some of the most popular farewells to bid in relaxed settings.

  • 내일 봐요 (naeil bwayo) – [nɛ.il bwa.jo] – See you tomorrow.

This one is a classic and widely used among close friends, peers, and family members. Since it implies that you’ll catch up with your interlocutor again within the next 24 hours, use it only when you’re sure it will definitely happen.

  • 가지 마 (Gaji ma) – [ka.dʑi ma] – Don’t go.

Use this when you’re feeling a bit clingy but in a cute way. It’s the Korean way of saying, “Stay a little longer!” You’re not ready for the party to end, and you’re not afraid to show it. This expression is slightly teasing, so use it only with people you’re really close to.

  • 나갈게 (Nagalge) – [na.ɡal.ge] – I’m leaving.

No fuss, straight to business. If you want to let your friends know that you’re outta here, you should choose this slang expression.

  • 빠이빠이 (Bbaibbai) – [p͈a.i.p͈a.i] – Bye-bye.

This is a playful and super informal farewell, perfect for friends and close buds. You’re saying goodbye with a dash of cuteness. And yeah, it is a perfect example of Konglish – it’s a familiar bye-bye but with a Korean take.

  • 잘 살아 (Jal sara) – [tɕaːl sa.ɾa] – Bye.

And here is another way to say bye in Korean! It is a modern slang expression, mostly used among Gen Z. However, it is still a great option to bid your farewells in a playful and relaxed way.

  • 바이 (Bai) – [ba.i] – Bye.

Simple and to the point, this is another Konglish example that is quick and easy and gets the job done without any extra fluff.

  • 다음에 봐 (Daeume bwa) – [ta.ɯ.me bwa] – See you next time.

When you wanna hang out with your interlocutor again, this is your way of expressing it. It’s simple and casual, but still works wonders when it comes to relaxed settings.

  • 잘 있어 (Jal iss-eo) – [tɕaːl iːs.ə] – Bye (you’re leaving).

Remember what we’ve told you about the importance of different greetings depending on whether you’re the one staying or leaving? Well, in some situations, it works even for slang expressions. Like this time, you’re casually saying bye but also mean, “Stay safe while I’m gone.”

  • 잘 가 (Jal ga) – [tɕaːl ɡa] – Bye (you’re staying).

The last expression on the list is your informal “Take it easy!” It’s friendly and chill, perfect for sending off friends without making a big deal.

Annyeonghi Gyeseyo and Beyond: Master Korean Farewells with Promova

Here you are, already familiar with a ton of different Korean goodbye expressions. We are sure it can be an amazing way to boost your vocabulary and a great addition to your language-learning process in general. Yet, if you need a more complex approach, look at the Promova application. Our app is your one-stop solution for mastering Korean, English, ASL, German, French, and plenty of other languages. Intrigued already? Let us tell you more!

The Promova app contains everything you need to master the most essential language learning skills – speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Our lessons are created by fellow language enthusiasts, making them helpful, genuinely interesting, and exciting. 

Additionally, the application allows you to reach your goals simply by spending a few minutes a day. Yeah, you’ve got that right! Not hours, but minutes! That’s because we always prefer a bite-sized approach, allowing you to focus on the essential things without feeling overwhelmed by tons of unnecessary information.

You can access the courses within a few simple steps. For starters, install the Promova application on your iOS or Android tablet or phone. After that, open it and choose the language you want to master. Provide some information about your current level and the time you are ready to spend studying, and ta-da! You’re ready to start your journey.

Conclusion

All in all, we can say that it’s vital to know how to bid your farewells on different occasions. Of course, there is no need to actually memorize all those phrases (but if you want to, of course, do it, you go!). Yet, if you’re just starting to learn a language, remembering a couple of ones for different formality levels will be enough. And that’s it for now! 잘 가!

FAQ

How to say bye in Korean texting slang?

Oh, there are so many options! For starters, you can use the phrases ㅂㅂ (short for 바이바이 (baibai)) or ㅃㅃ (short for 빠이빠이 (ppaippai)), both meaning exactly what they sound – bye-bye. And if you feel specifically edgy, you can use the phrase 바2 (bai), which also means bye.

How do I say goodbye to a group of people in Korean?

Genuinely, just the same way you’d say it to one person. There is no difference. However, keep in mind several factors – choose whether to use bye in Korean formal or informal version according to your relationship with the group. And don’t forget to select the expression depending on who’s leaving first – you or the said group.

Is there a difference between saying goodbye in the morning and the evening in Korean?

No, not really. The phrases for saying goodbye in Korean do not change based on the time of day. You use the same expressions whether it’s morning, noon, evening, or late at night.

Is it important to match the formality level of the person when saying goodbye?

Absolutely! It is a great way to show respect and understanding of Korean culture and social hierarchies. If the other person uses polite language, the only right is to respond with the same level of formality.

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