[Korean Unnie] Learn Korean | How to Ask and Answer Names in Korean

Learn how to ask and answer names in Korean with Korean Unnie.


안녕하세요 여러분!

In this video, we will learn how to ask and answer our names in Korean.

After this video, you will know how to introduce your names and ask other people’s names.

In Korean, we distinguish between the informal, formal and honorific usage according to the circumstances or to whom you are talking.

So in my video, we will learn how to say “What’s your name?” and “My name is ___.” in all three ways: informal, formal and honorific.

Are you ready? Let’s go~



Q: 이름이 뭐야?

A: 내 이름은 __야. / 나는 __야. 


‘이름’ means ‘name’, and ‘뭐야’ means ‘what is’. So “이름이 뭐야” is “What’s your name?”

Note that this is an informal way of saying, so you can say this only to someone who is the same age, or who are younger than you.

Answering this question, you can say “내 이름은 __야” which means “My name is __.”

Or you can also say “나는 __야.” which means “I’m __.”

‘나’ means ‘I’ in Korean and ‘내’ is a possessive form of ‘나’ which is ‘my’.



Q: 성함이 뭐에요? 

A: 제 이름은 _예요. / 저는 _예요. 

‘성함’ also means ‘name’ like ‘이름’ but it’s more formal and more courteous.

‘요’ is a Korean particle that has a meaning of respect. So “성함이 뭐예요” has the same meaning as “이름이 뭐야?” but it has more respect.

You can use this phrase to people who are older than you, or at work or people who you are not yet close with.

When you answer, you don’t say ‘성함’ for your own name because you want to humble yourself. You say “제 이름은 __예요.” which means “My name is __”.  Or “I’m __”  if you remember from the previous video, ‘요’ is a particle that shows respect, ‘저’ is a humble form of ‘나’ and ‘제’ is it’s possessive form.



Q: 성함이 어떻게 되세요?

A: 제 이름은 _예요. / 저는 __예요. 

Honorific of “What’s your name” is not that different from the formal one, but you can ask a bit indirectly, saying “성함이 어떻게 되세요?” which literally means “How is your name.” Rather than directly asking ‘성함이 뭐예요?” which means “What is your name?”.


Now we mastered “how to ask for and respond names in Korean!” If you guys want to know how to spell your names in Korean characters Hangul, please leave a comment below and I will answer them. Please subscribe to my channel to learn more about Korean! Thank you!


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  1. Profile photo of Rica
    Rica 2 years ago

    Unni, can I request something? Can you please explain the differences of Subject and Topic Markers (이/가 & 은/는) and how to properly use them? I am so confused between the two. Thankyou~ ^_^

    • Profile photo of KoreanUnnie Author
      KoreanUnnie 2 years ago

      Hello Rica, Mr. Moon’s reply to your answer is correct!
      In short,

      You use 이/은 when there is a final consonant at the end of the syllable.
      말이 (‘말’ has a final consonant ‘ㄹ’ , so you use ‘이’ )

      You use 가/는 when there is no final consonant at the end of the syllable.
      사과가(‘사과’ doesn’t end with a consonant, so you use ‘가’)

      I hope this answered your question.

      • Profile photo of Fabien Abbenbroek
        Fabien Abbenbroek 2 years ago

        I think both of you slightly misunderstood Rica’s question.
        She probably already knows how to use them, but she’s asking the difference in usage of 이/가 & 은/는.

        Her question is probably, when do you have to use 은/는 or 이/가 instead of the other.

        Basically, you can interchange both of them without a problem, but usually:
        1) When you start with a certain topic you use 은/는 since it’s the first time you talk about this topic.
        2) 은/는 can be used to make a contrast between 2 different items
        3) 은/는 can be used to emphasize a certain item

        After that, if you repeat the subject, you can start using 이/가 since the listener already knows about which subject you’re talking. However when you start talking about a different topic, you’ll have to use 은/는 again, in order to let the listener know that you’re talking about something else.

        What you just really need to know about 이/가 is that is usually marks the subject, but not always, and that you can use it after having used 은/는 in a previous sentence and the subject stays the same.

        I’m sure I forgot some stuff, but with this post, you’ll probably receive the answer you’re looking for!

  2. Profile photo of SeungHeui Moon
    SeungHeui Moon 2 years ago

    Hi! Rica

    단어(word)가 받침(final consonant on the end of a Korean orthographic syllable)을 가지고 (have)있느냐 아니냐에 따라 다릅니다.(differerence).

    받침이 있으면 ‘이/은’을 사용(use)합니다.
    예를들면(for exampe), 말(horse)은 ㄹ이라는 받침을 가지고 있습니다.
    이 경우(In this case) 말이 매우(very) 빠르게 (fast) 달립니다(run). 말은 매우 빠르게 달립니다.(0)
    말가 매우(very) 빠르게 (fast) 달립니다(run). 말는 매우 빠르게 달립니다.(x)

    받침이 없으면 ‘가/는’을 사용(use)합니다.
    예를들면(for exampe), 고양이(cat)는 받침을 가지고 있지고 있지 않습니다.
    이 경우(In this case) 고양이가 매우(very) 빠르게 (fast) 달립니다(run). 고양이는 매우 빠르게 달립니다.(0)
    고양이이 매우(very) 빠르게 (fast) 달립니다(run). 고양이은 매우 빠르게 달립니다.(x)

    이해하셨습니까?(Do you understand?)


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