Is it bedtime where you are right now? Hopefully, everyone is sleeping well! Like saying good morning in Korean, saying good night has different levels of formality depending on who you are talking to.
안녕히 주무세요 (an-nyeong-hi ju-mu-se-yo)
For saying good night formally, I use this often with my mother and father in law and if taken for its literal meaning, it means to sleep peacefully.
However, if you are not close to a Korean family, or a Korean who is significantly older than you, you will rarely use this phrase. It is still a good thing to know as you will hear it in dramas and TV shows.
잘 자요/잘 자 (jal ja-yo/jal ja)
For the second version of this phrase, you would use it as a standard good night, and you can drop the (요) for people you are really close to. For example family, romantic relationships, and people younger than you.
You would never say this to someone older than you as it is quite rude. If you are new to learning Korean, they might give you a free pass, but it’s still better to learn the formal way and remember it. Learning correctly is always the best way 🙂
These are both pretty simple and easy to learn, and they are phrases you can use immediately with your Korean friends.
For the past tense of both:
Formal – 안녕히 주무셨어요? (an-nyeong-hi ju-mu-shyeo-sseo-yo)
Standard/Casual – 잘 잤어요?/잘 잤어 (jal ja-sseo-yo/jal ja-sseo)
P.S. Here are some example sentences using the phrases above. Hope these help!
여러분도 잘 자요. (yeo-reo-bun-do jal ja-yo) = Good night everyone.
잘 자. 좋은 꿈 꿔. (jal ja. jo-eun ggum ggweo.) = Good night. Sweet dreams.
아버지 안녕히 주무세요 (a-beo-ji an-nyeong-hi ju-mu-se-yo) = Good night father.
오늘 밤 잘 자요. (o-neul bam jal-ja-yo) = Sleep well tonight.
정말 고마워, 잘 자. (jeong-mal go-ma-weo, jal ja) = Thanks so much. Good night.