Tips and Examples: How to Say Thank You for the Food in Korean

When visiting Korea or enjoying a scrumptious meal with Korean friends, expressing gratitude for the food is always appreciated and considered good manners. In this guide, you’ll learn various ways to say thank you for the food in Korean, both formally and informally. So, whether you’re learning Korean for travel, cultural interest, or simply to wow your Korean friends, let’s dive in and explore the beautiful ways to express gratitude in the Korean language!

Formal Expressions:

Formal expressions are typically used when showing respect to elders, strangers, or in formal situations. Here are a few ways to say thank you for the food formally:

1. 감사합니다. (Gam-sa-ham-ni-da)

This is the most commonly used expression for thank you in Korean. It can be used in any situation and is the go-to phrase for expressing gratitude for the food.

2. 정말로 감사합니다. (Jeong-mal-lo gam-sa-ham-ni-da)

This expression conveys a deeper sense of gratitude by emphasizing “정말로” (jeong-mal-lo), meaning “really” or “truly.” It is a polite way to express sincere appreciation for the meal.

Informal Expressions:

Informal expressions are used when speaking to close friends, family members, or those younger than you. These expressions showcase a more casual tone:

1. 고마워요. (Go-ma-wo-yo)

This is a standard way to say thank you informally and is used among friends or people of similar age or familiarity.

2. 정말 고마워요. (Jeong-mal go-ma-wo-yo)

Similar to the formal expression mentioned earlier, adding “정말” (jeong-mal) here enhances the level of appreciation, allowing you to express a deeper sense of gratitude to those close to you.

Dialectal and Regional Variations:

While the expressions mentioned above are widely understood and used throughout Korea, dialectal variations may exist in different regions. Here are a few examples of regional variations:

1. 감사해요. (Gam-sa-hae-yo)

This variation is commonly used in the Gyeongsang Province. The word “합니다” (ham-ni-da) in the formal expression is replaced with “해요” (hae-yo) in this region.

2. 고마워. (Go-ma-wo)

In the Jeolla Province, you may come across this variation of the informal expression. The polite ending “-요” (-yo) is omitted from “고마워요” (go-ma-wo-yo) to make it more colloquial.

Tips for Saying Thank You for the Food:

1. Be sincere:

When expressing gratitude, it’s important to be genuine and show your appreciation from the heart. Korean culture values sincerity, so make sure your gratitude reflects that.

2. Add gestures:

Pairing a warm smile or a slight bow with your words can further enhance your appreciation. Non-verbal cues play an essential role in Korean culture, so a small gesture can go a long way.

3. Use 반말 (ban-mal) with caution:

While it is generally acceptable to use informal expressions among friends, it’s important to be mindful of age, seniority, or the nature of the relationship. If unsure, it’s safer to use formal expressions as a sign of respect.



– 선생님, 오늘 음식 정말로 맛있었습니다. 감사합니다.

(Teacher, the food today was truly delicious. Thank you.)


– 친구야, 늘 맛있는 음식을 사주니 정말 고마워.

(Hey, friend, thank you for always buying delicious food for me.)

Regional Variation:

– 고마워. 배부르게 먹었어. (Used in Jeolla Province)

(Thank you. I ate until I was full.)

Remember, expressing gratitude is highly valued in Korean culture and shows your respect and appreciation. By utilizing these phrases and tips, you’ll be able to navigate social interactions in Korea more smoothly and make lasting impressions with your graciousness. Enjoy your Korean dining experiences and continue spreading the warmth of gratitude through the beautifully diverse Korean language!

Written by William Roy

안녕하세요! I'm William, your go-to source for all things related to the Korean language. As a passionate linguist, I've put my love for learning and teaching different languages into my writing. With my comprehensive guides on how to say various phrases in Korean, I hope to bridge cultural gaps and make language learning enjoyable for everyone. When I'm not researching new phrases, I enjoy exploring new cuisines (한식이 제일 좋아요!) and hiking around nature trails. As a lover of both language and culture, my work revolves around understanding and sharing the beauty of Korean language. 한국어 전문가 윌리암이라고 합니다.

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