I Miss You in Korean: 10 Sincere Ways to Express Your Longing

It may not take long to say, but the impact of a simple “I miss you” can pack a punch few other expressions do.

It’s no different in Korean. K-drama aficionados already know this fact, and Korean learners can learn it early on in their studies, too.

Let’s go over the proper ways you can say “I miss you” in Korean, plus how you can respond to such a heartfelt statement from someone else.

Contents


How to Say “I Miss You” in Korean

1. 보고 싶어  / 보고 싶다  (Informal)

Romanization: Bogo sip-eo / Bogo sipda

보고 싶어 and 보고 싶다 are both casual expressions. Translated literally, they mean “I want to see you.”

The difference between them is nuanced. The 싶어 form (which is conjugated) implies a more direct comment, while the 싶다 form (which is “dictionary form”) suggests one may be talking more to themselves.

Both work, however, and you can use either for your good pals, significant others or those who are the same age as you or younger. They’re a bit too informal to use for anyone you’re not very close to, though.

동생! 보고 싶다. — Little bro/sis! I miss you.

안녕, 자기야! 잘 지내고 있어? 많이 보고 싶어. — Hi, darling! Have you been doing well? I really miss you.

2. 보고 싶어요  (Polite)

Romanization: Bogo sip-eoyo

In Korean, formality levels can dictate verb conjugations. The presence of 요 in a phrase generally means you’re speaking with a certain level of politeness.

보고 싶어요 can be used with less-familiar friends and acquaintances, or those who are older than you and deserve honorific language (like older family members) regardless of how chummy you are with them.

It can also be the phrase to use when saying you miss a person (whether close to you or not) to someone whom you don’t share a deep bond with. For example, if I were mourning about how much I missed my dog to a stranger I had just met, I would use 보고 싶어요.

남자 친구가 보고 싶어요. — I miss my boyfriend.

3. 보고 싶습니다  (Formal)

Romanization: Bogo sipseumnida

Compared to 요, the presence of 습니다 means that you’re being even more formal and respectful. For this reason, 보고 싶습니다 is best suited for those who are your elders (such as your grandparents), your boss or your workplace superiors.

To be honest, though, it’s not often that this phrase would be used with people outside of family. Personally, I find that the formality somewhat stilts the emotiveness. (After all, it’s not everyday one says they miss someone like their manager.)

저는 우리 할머니가 너무 보고 싶습니다. — I really miss my grandma.

More Ways to Say You Miss Someone in Korean

Besides those main phrases, there are quite a few other ways you can say that you’re longing for someone’s company.

4. 보고파  / 보고팡  I wanna see

Romanization: Bogopa / Bogopang

Formality: Very informal

To fully understand this phrase, you should understanding a type of behavior known as 애교 .

애교 is meant to be very cutesy and borderline baby-ish. It can often come off as flirtatious. It is commonly utilized by more youthful Korean idols to appeal to their fans, but it’s also used between couples or among friends in a joking manner.

This type of behavior is notably expressed in speech, usually by cutting or mashing together words. 보고파 and 보고팡 are manipulations of the more proper 보고 싶어 from above.

5. 보고 싶당  — I wanna see you

Romanization: Bogo sipdang

Formality: Very informal

This is another example of 애교 talk. Derived from 보고 싶다, the 다 experiences a similar unnecessary manipulation to become the more fluffy 당.

To emphasize the cuteness, you can drag out the 당 (in text, this would look like 보고 싶당~~~).

Don’t push it when speaking though, because 애교 talk can quickly become grating to the ears when used in excess.

6. 네가 여기에 있었으면 좋겠어  — I wish you were here

Romanization: Nega yeogie iss-eoss-eumyeon jokess-eo

Formality: Informal

Maybe you want your good friend around to help you with your housework. Or maybe you just want them near because you miss their infectious laugh and dumb jokes.

Whatever the case, you can be blunt about it and express your thoughts with this phrase—I’m sure they’ll appreciate it either way.

7. 당신과 함께 있었으면 좋겠어요  — I wish I was together with you

Romanization: Dangsingwa hamkke iss-eoss-eumyeon jokess-eoyo

Formality: Polite

Imagine this hackneyed K-drama plot: Two lovers who just started a tentative relationship are separated by land and sea due to a variety of unimportant reasons. They know how distant they are from each other.

As they look up to the sky and stare at the omnipresent celestial bodies, the bittersweet feelings become even more fervent. Together (but oceans apart), they sigh, “함께 있었으면 좋겠어요…”

Yes, it’s corny, but come on—how many sweeter ways are there to say you really want to be by someone’s side? This “I miss you” is as tender as it gets.

8. 나는 너를 생각하고 있어  — I’m thinking of you

Romanization: Naneun neoreul saeng-gakago iss-eo

Formality: Casual

With this phrase, you’ll let someone know that even though they’re not physically present, they’re still on your mind.

This can also suggest you’re worrying for the person, so it works in situations in which you’re concerned or wishing the best for them. For this reason, you may use it often with less familiar acquaintances, so you can slip in the 요 at the end.

9. 언제 다시 볼 수 있을까요?  — When can I see you again?

Romanization: Eonje dasi bol su iss-eulkkayo?

Formality: Polite

Here’s an “I miss you” in Korean that will effortlessly tug at the heartstrings. This simple yet plaintive question sends the message—politely, but strongly—that you’re yearning for the person’s company.

It begs for an answer too, so make sure the person you’re speaking to can handle the heartache and not be left floundering for a response.

10. 그리워  — Miss you

Romanization: Geuriwo

Formality: Casual

Feeling extra nostalgic? Then this may be the right phrase for you.

Compared to number one (보고 싶어) and its variants, this phrase has a deeper, more nostalgic note. You’re missing someone dearly and at the same time reminiscing about the memories you’ve shared with them. Sometimes, this can insinuate that seeing this individual may be a bit out of your means.

You may also say 그립습니다  if you want to be more formal.

Responding to “I Miss You” in Korean

It can take a lot for someone to admit that they miss you, so don’t leave them hanging after they share something so genuine! Come prepared with a sincere, relieving response that shows you share the feeling.

Here are a few ways you can respond to “I miss you” in Korean and help keep the other person’s spirits up:

If you want to see how Koreans respond to “I miss you” naturally, then you might try watching some Korean dramas, which are often filled with heartache and longing.

You can also try searching for specific phrases on a language learning program like FluentU to see them in videos featuring native Korean speakers.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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It never hurts to let someone know that you care for them, whether you’re just down the block for an hour or you’re years and continents apart.

Don’t be shy about expressing your feelings, either. Koreans can be a rather sentimental lot, so if you don’t say you miss them, they’ll probably do so first. So keep those responses above handy, too!

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