How to Say Really in Korean – Jeongmal?

How to say 'Really' in Korean


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Today, we’re going to cover a common filler word in Korean. Like in English and most other languages, Koreans will use this in the same manner. There are quite a few ways to say ‘really’ in Korean, and we will break them down in the post so you understand when and how to use each one. Alright! Let’s get started!

진짜/진짜요/진짜로 (jin-jja/jin-jja-yo/jin-jja-ro)

These are very commonly used and as you might see, the base of all of them is the same. There are just some slight differences for each one. Let’s start with the first one.

 진짜 (jin-jja) 

This is the most casual form and you can use this with close people like your friends and family. It basically has the same meaning as the ‘really’ or ‘real’ in English. Here are some examples of how you can use it in sentences.

진짜 이유를 말해 봐. (jin-jja i-yu-reul mal-hae bwa) = Tell me the real reason.

이 책 진짜 재밌어. (i chaek jin-jja jae-mi-sseo) = This book is really interesting.

진짜 미안해. (jin-jja mi-an-hae) = I’m really sorry.

Now, let’s move on to the second word.

진짜요 (jin-jja) 

This version is the same as above, only more formal. You’ll notice the ‘요’ attached to the end of it which always makes any verb or adjective sound polite. Keep in mind though that you can only use this version by itself as a filler word or interjection. The ‘요’ attached to the end of it kind of makes it its own little sentence. Here are a few examples.

오! – 진짜요? (o! – jin-jja-yo) = Oh! Really/Is that so/Forreal?

아~ 진짜요? (a~ jin-jja-yo) = Ah, really?

세상에. 진짜요? (se-sang-e. jin-jja-yo) = Oh my God. Really?

You can also add more formal endings onto this one like so:

진짜입니다. (jin-jja-im-ni-da) = Really/Forreal/It’s the truth.

진짜입니까? (jin-jja-im-ni-kka) = Really?/Forreal?/Are you serious?

Now let’s move on to the last one.

진짜로 (jin-jja-ro)

The main difference between this one and the previous two we’ve just covered is that 진짜로 cannot be used as a noun or adjective. It can still be used as an adverb like the other two though. Here are some examples.

진짜 할 수 있어? (jin-jja hal ssu i-sseo) (Ok) = Can you really do it?

진짜로 할 수 있어? (jin-jja-ro hal ssu i-sseo) (Ok) = Can you really do it?

내 말이 진짜야. (nae ma-ri jin-jja-ya) (Ok) = It’s really true.

내 말이 진짜로야.  (nae ma-ri jin-jja-ro-ya) (Not Ok) = It’s really true.

Now let’s move along to another common way to say ‘really’ in Korean.

정말/정말요/정말로 (jeong-mal/jeong-mal/jeong-mal-lo)

These mean the same as the words we covered above, however, these have a bit more emphasis and more of a serious and baffling feeling. Almost like you really can’t believe what happened or what someone told you. I would also say the emotion behind 정말 is stronger. 정말로 is only used as an adverb. Here are some examples of each.

정말 좋아요. (jeong-mal jjo-a-yo) = It’s really good.

정말 힘드네요. (jeong-mal him-deu-ne-yo) = It’s really difficult/tiring.

정말로 궁금해요? (jeong-mal-lo gung-geum-hae-yo) = Are you really curious?

정말로 사랑합니다. (jeong-mal-lo sa-rang-ham-ni-da) = I really love you a lot.

좋아요? 정말요? (jo-a-yo? jeong-ma-ryo?) = It’s good? Are you sure?

And that’s it! These are some of the simplest phrases you can learn and understand quickly. Hopefully, you’ll be able to hear and recognize these now. Until next time!



Whether you want to understand basic words in K-pop or K-dramas, impress your Korean friends, or simply deepen your connection to the Korean culture, the Korean Language Starter Pack ensures that you quickly learn and retain the most commonly used Korean words and phrases today. Click here to learn more.