If you find yourself in need of help in Korea, you can use this phrase to get somebody’s attention. Then perhaps you can utilise one of the other phrases we have learnt in this series! Keep practising…

도와 주세요

(to-wa ju-se-yo)

This is a set phrase that literally means, “Please give me help.” That sounds a little awkward in English but the translation is clear. This phrase means, “Can you help me,” “I need help,” or “Please help me,” – something of that nuance.


The first part comes from the verb, 돕다 (tob-da), which is an irregular verb meaning ‘to help’. The second part is derived from the verb, 주다 (ju-da), which means ‘to give’. These are conjugated together in a polite form to make sure that your request doesn’t sound rude or demanding!

You might already be familiar with 주세요, can be used to ask for something (a noun) to be given to you or be done for you. In this case we are asking for help to be given, but we are also asking for somebody to do something helpful for us so both sense of the phrase are used. Grammatically, we are really using the second meaning; we cannot use the noun ‘help’ in this sentence.


If you need any help with your Korean, ask us in the comments below and kick your comment off with this new phrase!



About Author

Bringing you weekly Korean words, phrases and Fashion Fixes.