Or is it?

The most common all purpose greeting in Korean is


The initiator of the greeting uses it as a question and the receiver responds as an answer. Why isn't the response 안녕합니다?

Is it a cultural thing or is 안녕합니다 as a statement grammatically wrong somehow?

  • 안녕하세요 is a question grammatically, but in reality, it's just a phrase you say when you meet someone, and no one expects you to answer it. Therefore saying 안녕합니다 back would be an awkward response. Normally you're expected to say 안녕하세요 back as a response.
    – Jake
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 0:46

2 Answers 2


'안녕합니다' means 'I am well'. It's not grammatically incorrect.

However, as a response to '안녕하세요?', it can be perceived as a joke or even an insult.

It's analogous replying to "How do you do?" with "I do well."


It is not grammatically wrong. It is just an idiomatic usage of the adjective 안녕하다. It is mainly used when asking a question or describe a third person. It is rarely used for the first person unless you try to make a joke.

For example:

아버님은 안녕하세요?: How is your father? or Is your father well? 아버님도 안녕합니다.: Yes, my father is well (doing fine), too.

The most broadly used response to "안녕하세요?" would be "네. 고맙습니다. (Yes, thank you)" or "네. 안녕하세요? (Yes, how are you?)"

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