So we've got this awesome question over here: What is the meaning and etymology of 본 적 (없다/있다). It goes over the meaning and basic usage, but one thing I'm not sure about is how to properly apply honorifics to it.

My question is, what is the proper honorific for using this (to a superior/elder/etc)? How is the ~시~ honorific infix used in this case, and which of the following are correct?

  • 한 적 있으세요?
  • 하신 적 있으세요?
  • 하신 적 있어요?
  • In all seriousness, I actually don't know the answer here. So instead, I usually just avoid situations where I'd use honorifics and 한 적, and use things like "해보셨어요?" because every time I ask a Korean which is correct, I get a different answer.
    – user12
    Jun 24, 2016 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


"XYZ 한 적 있으세요?" is used to ask the other party if they've had any experience in doing XYZ. Therefore, it is more natural to ask "XYZ 해본 적 있으세요?" than "XYZ 한적 있으세요?"

'하다' means to 'do' and '해보다' means to 'try or experience'.


  1. 해본 적 있으세요? 2. 해보신 적 있으세요? 3. 해보신 적 있어요?

No. 2 sounds more honorific than other twos because it is using two honorific words, 해보시다, 있으시다. It is used to a person who is more senior to people for whom you would use No. 1 and No. 3 and when the speaker is not familiar with them. For example, a new employee would use No. 2 to his CEO.

No. 1 sounds more honorific than No. 3 as it uses the honorific for 있다.

No. 3 sounds least honorific and idiomatic. It rather sounds friendlier than the other two.

Nobody would raise eyebrows when they hear you speak any of the three, but I would recommend using No. 2 for a very senior person and No. 1 for senior person.

It is never easy to tell the difference. But the more honorific words you use, the more honorific it sounds.

  • This is a great answer, but the section on 해본 vs 한 is totally external - you say it's more natural - and this is often true - it is definitely not a universal rule, and not part of the question. I might suggest reformatting the question to have that section as an extra note at the end, or just removing that section entirely.
    – user12
    Jun 25, 2016 at 14:04
  • That's exactly what I'm saying, which is why I made the suggestion.
    – user12
    Jun 25, 2016 at 14:08
  • As you said, using 한 적 vs 해 본 적 doesn't change the answer that is what I mean when I say it is external to the question, however related. So my suggestion is to move or delete that section
    – user12
    Jun 25, 2016 at 14:25

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