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Punctuation

Korean writing used to be written top to bottom, its style following the Chinese writing style. In modern times, the direction of Korean writing is similar to the western style. Korean text is written and read from left to right on the page and each sentence uses punctuation marks just as in English.

좋은 하루 되세요.
Joeun haru dueseyo.
Have a good day.

지내세요?
Jal jinaeseyo?
Are you spending time well? (How are you doing?)

In addition to periods and question marks, Korean writing also uses commas and exclamation marks as well.

만나서 반갑습니다!
Mannaseo bangapseumnida!
Glad to see you!

리사 , 만나서 반갑습니다.
Lisa ssi, mannaseo bangapseumnida.
Ms. Lisa, I’m glad to see you.

Colons (:) and semi-colons (;), however, are not used in Korean writing the same way they are used in English, so it’s best to avoid using them for now.

It is quite common to change the pattern of grammatical use depending on who you are speaking to. You may use 한국어 있어요 Hangugeo hal soo isseoyo with your peers. This expression is not honorific, but it is still a polite form as you can see by the yo at the end. When asking a question, just raise the tone at the end of the sentence. In writing, simply add a question mark to turn a statement into a question.

한국어 있어요? (question: rising tone)
Hangugeo hal soo isseoyo?
Can you speak Korean?

, 있어요. (statement: no rising tone)
Ne, hal soo isseoyo.
Yes, I can.