10+ Best Compliments In Korean

Ling Learn Languages
10 min readApr 25, 2022


Original blog post: https://ling-app.com/ko/best-compliments-in-korean/

Wanna make someone’s heart race? Learn these Korean phrases. Here’s a list of best compliments in Korean starting from “You are beautiful” (인이세요 Miiniseyo).

Imagine you are being complimented by your bias or favorite Korean actor or actress from a Korean drama. Surely, it will be a surreal moment like you are in a romantic Korean drama series. It will make your heart pound, and you can never get over it.

Koreans have a special way of giving compliments. It’s not just about the Korean words and phrases that they are using but also the way they say them and their body language — in Korean culture, complimenting someone, whether about their looks or skills, is a way of showing appreciation. After all, who doesn’t want to hear compliments?

Korean compliments are mostly used as part of Korean love words or Korean love phrases for couples. It is also used in the workplace when someone or the team did a great job. Compliments can push someone to be more motivated and inspired. When a person feels appreciated, accepted, and recognized, it allows them to be the best version of themselves.

In this blog, we will have a quick Korean compliment lesson. These will surely be useful, especially when you are traveling to South Korea or if you have a Korean special someone or Korean friend.

How To Say The Word Compliment In The Korean Language?

칭찬 (Chingchan)

You should learn how to say the word “compliment” in the Korean language. The Korean word for a compliment is 칭찬 (chingchan) which is the noun form. On the other hand, the Korean word 칭찬하다 (chingchanhada) is the verb form.

Now that you have already known this let’s go to the main topic — best compliments in Korean.

Compliments In Korean

1. Your Smile Is Beautiful.

Formal: 웃는 얼굴이 아름다워요. (Unneun eolguri areumdawoyo.)

Informal: 웃는 얼굴이 예쁘네. (Unneun eolguri yeppeune.)

One of the nice things in life is seeing the beautiful smile of your boyfriend or girlfriend, secret crush, friends, or family. A beautiful smile can trigger love at first sight. So, to compliment someone with a beautiful smile, you can say 웃는 얼굴이 아름다워요. (Unneun eolguri areumdawoyo.).

When we talk about a beautiful smile, we can’t forget the following Korean actors and actresses:

  1. Park Bo Gum
  2. Song Joong Ki
  3. Kim Woo Bin
  4. Kim Soo Hyun
  5. Suzy
  6. Gong Yoo
  7. Park Bo Young
  8. Park Hyung Sik

2. You Are Beautiful.

Formal: 미인이세요. (Miiniseyo.)

Informal: 미인이네. (Miinine.)

Who would have forgotten the iconic scene from the K-drama “Descendants of the Sun” when Kang Mo-Yeon hesitates to make eye contact with Yoo Si-Jin because she wears no make-up? This is a very touching scene because Yoo Si-Jin said, “You are already beautiful.” Well, this is just someone who loves you for who you are will see the beauty within you.

The second vocabulary on the list of best compliments in Korean is “You are beautiful.”. This is also one of the romantic Korean phrases that you’ll mostly hear from a boyfriend or a guy to his girlfriend or the woman he loves. The first way to say this is 미인이세요. (Miiniseyo.) which is the formal way. The formal way can be used for a guy’s older girlfriend like Sun-Woo to Bo-Ra in Reply 1988. The informal form 미인이네. (Miinine.) is used if the guy is older or they have the same age. It can also be used if you have agreed to be informal.

Couples are not just the ones who can use this Korean compliment. Even friends complimenting one another can use this. Just remember to always know how to properly address someone according to hierarchy.

3. You Are Handsome./You Are Cool.

Formal: 멋있어요. (Meosisseoyo.)

Informal: 멋져. (Meotjyeo.)

Did you know that in an online poll conducted by King Choice, Jung Hae-in and Kim Seonho are leading the category of most handsome Korean actors? After learning how to say “You are beautiful,” let’s now learn a Korean compliment to be used to compliment your boyfriend or a guy friend.

Saying “You’re handsome/You’re cool” can be expressed in two forms. The first one is the formal form 멋있어요. (Meosisseoyo.) which is used when talking a girl is talking to her older boyfriend or friend and when they are in a formal situation like the first date. The other one, 멋져. (Meotjyeo.), is used for informal situations or people of the same age.

One of the best examples of the K-drama scene where this Korean compliment can be used is when Captain Ri from “Crash Landing On You” is trying out different suits and attire, but the sales lady said no matter what he wears, he looks so handsome. Well, he indeed was.

4. How Is Your Skin So Flawless?

Formal: 어쩜 피부가 이렇게 고와요? Uhjjeom pibuga eruhgae gowayo?)

Informal: 어쩜 피부가 이렇게 고와? (Uhjjeom pibuga eruhgae gowa?)

When it comes to skincare, there’s no other country that you can think of other than South Korea. Having youthful, flawless skin is part of their Korean beauty standards; that’s why complimenting someone for having flawless skin is a big deal.

Even Korean dramas, never fail to feature their skincare routines and products. Just remember when Sa Hye-Jin asked An Jeong-Ha, “How come I don’t get a face pack?” then An Jeong-Ha replied, “ You have good skin, you don’t need that.”

For Koreans, part of being good-looking has nice skin. So, to compliment someone for their flawless skin, you can say 어쩜 피부가 이렇게 고와요? Uhjjeom pibuga eruhgae gowayo?) for formal situations and 어쩜 피부가 이렇게 고와? (Uhjjeom pibuga eruhgae gowa?), for informal.

If you’re wondering what flawless Korean skin looks like, just take a look at the top idols with flawless skin like IU, Exo’s Baekhyun, OH MY GIRL’s Arin, and NCT Jaehyun.

5. Great Job!

Formal: 잘 하셨어요. (Jal hasyeosseoyo.)

Informal: (잘했어. Jalhaesseo.)

“You did a good job today. Just name it whatever you want.” This is one of the lines in the first episode of the K-drama “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?”. It’s when Vice Chairman Lee Yeong-Jun complimented Secretary Kim after doing great in an event they went to. This is just a simple expression, but it means a lot to the people who hear it.

Just like in this scene, the Korean expression 잘 하셨어요. (Jal hasyeosseoyo.) is one of the best compliments in Korean to be used to commend others. It is used in most situations like in the workplace, school, or even just at home when finishing your chores. This is one of the common words that Koreans use, so it’s important to learn it. The formal and informal way of saying this is also given above.

6. You Are The Best!

Formal: 최고예요! (Choegoyeyo!)

Informal: 최고야! (Choegoya!)

How many times did you hear this Korean compliment in the hit K-drama series, “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha”? Well, if you have the licenses and capabilities like Hong Banjang, you deserve to be complimented using this Korean expression. I am running a few minutes late; my previous meeting is running over.

If you want to use this Korean compliment, there are two ways to do that — formal and informal. You can use it in almost any situation, like when you thank someone after they helped you or when you have witnessed someone doing incredibly amazing things. There’s nothing in complimenting someone.

Being the best doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re perfect. You can receive this compliment even by just being the best version of yourself. Others will appreciate and see what we are best at. Comparing yourself with others will never be a solution to bring out the best in you.

7. You Are Good At Cooking.

Formal: 요리 정말 잘하시네요. (Yori jeongmal jalhasineyo.)

Informal: 요리 장잘 잘하네. (Yori jangjal jalhane.)

In the K-drama series “Itaewon Class,” do you remember how hard Hyun-Yi had worked out before she actually got recognized with her cooking skills? She won a contest despite people bringing her down because of being transgender.

Cooking and food are special in Korean culture. It’s one of the things they are proud of. This is the reason why complimenting someone’s cooking skills is one of the essential Korean phrases to learn. They also have this dining etiquette when they say 잘 먹겠습니다 jal meokgesseumnida or (I’ll eat well) and 잘 먹었습니다. jal meogeossseupnida. (I ate well.) to express appreciation and gratitude for the food served to them.

But, aside from the two Korean phrases mentioned above, the most commonly used Korean compliment for someone’s cooking skills is 요리 정말 잘하시네요. (Yori jeongmal jalhasineyo.) “You are good at cooking.” If you’re friends with the person

8. Your Resume Is Impressive.

Korean: 이력서가 인상적이네요. (Iryeokseoga insangjeogineyo.)

What if you’re a CEO of a company and you are impressed by the resume of a literally random applicant, then you actually met him without knowing it’s him? That’s what Cha Soo‑Hyun from the K-drama “Encounter” has experienced. Spoiler alert, this random person has been destined to find her and make her life complete.

For every job seeker, this is definitely one of the best Korean compliments you’ll want to hear. If you’re being told that you have an impressive resume, you already have a shot at getting the job, but you still have to back it up with confidence and impressive job interview skills. Since it’s always heard in the workplace, the formal is the preferred version to be used.

9. You’re Smart!

Korean: 머리가 좋네요. (Meoriga jonneyo.)

Now, let’s talk about geniuses and smart people. How do we compliment them? Well, that’s easy, simply say 머리가 좋네요. (Meoriga jonneyo.). There are lots of K-drama characters with smart or genius roles that we can name, like Han Jin Woo in “God’s Quiz,” Park Shi On in “Good Doctor,” and Han Joon Hwi in “Law School.” If you wanna know why they are being complimented for being smart, then watch these series.

Aside from being the genius kind of smart, there are also people who are street smarts who know their ways in life. They know how to get through difficult situations and even outsmarted the geniuses sometimes. So, this compliment can also be used for them.

10. You Are So Cute.

Korean: 정말 귀여워요. (Jeongmal gwiyeowoyo.)

Acting cute is one of the trademarks of Koreans. With their youthful look and sweet and cute phrases, you can’t really resist when they act cutesy. In Korean, the term for that is Aegyo (애교). This is a cute way to express your affection. So, to compliment someone for their extreme cuteness, you can say (정말 귀여워요. Jeongmal gwiyeowoyo) which means, “You are so cute.”

11. You Are An Awesome Friend.

Korean: 넌 멋진 친구야. (Neon meotjin chinguya.)

OG K-drama fans will surely agree that Reply 1988 is the best series to binge-watch when it comes to awesome friends. A friend who will always have your back and always be there despite your ups and downs. So, if you have met someone like Deok-Sun, Taek, Sun-Woo, Dong-Ryong, and Jung-Hwan, you can say “넌 멋진 친구야. (Neon meotjin chinguya.)” which means “You’re an awesome friend.”

12. That Jacket Looks Nice On You.

Korean: 재킷이 잘 어울려요. (Jaekisi jal eoullyeoyo.)

During the winter season in South Korea, the temperature is really freezing, so one of the staple clothing is jackets. Oversized long jackets can be easily rocked by Koreans, whether men or women. So, to compliment them, you can say 재킷이 잘 어울려요. (Jaekisi jal eoullyeoyo.) which means, “That jacket looks nice on you.”. You can also simply change jackets into different clothes or accessories in Korean. Check out the Korean vocabulary about clothes to know more.

If you wanna have ideas on how you pull off an outfit with a Jacket, just check out the Kdramas Goblin, Crash Landing On You, Vicenzo, Itaewon Class, The World Of The Married, It’s Okay To Not Be Okay, and The King: Eternal Monarch.

More Korean Compliments

Here are more Korean phrases to add to your list of best compliments in Korean.

Korean Compliments For Someone’s Look

Korean Compliments For Someone’s Skills

Korean Compliments For Someone’s Work

Korean Compliments For Someone’s Work

Wanna Be Complimented For Your Korean Skills?

Learning Korean or any new language is not that easy. It’s one of the most serious lifelong commitments you’ll ever make. But, imagine receiving a compliment in the Korean language by saying “처럼 한국어를 잘하시네요. (cheoreom hangugeoreul jalhasineyo.)” which means “You speak Korean like a native.” How awesome is that?

If I were you, do not waste any more opportunities. Start learning Korean now. Here is Ling App that will truly make your language learning journey easy. Backed with linguistic research and well-developed features, you can achieve your language goals in record time. So, learn Korean and other languages with Ling App now!



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