When one wants to say in Korean, "pleeeease", the way we do in English when we might even add "pretty please with a cherry on top", 제발 seems like a common translation of please; however, I mostly hear that used the same as Google suggests (whiny and sarcastic):

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I have heard 부탁드립니다 used in a way that seems like an authentic please.

Though my question is really just one question: how does one translate a positive, non-sarcastic please?, allow me to add to the question three slants that help guide answers to what I'm really looking for:

  • are there more authentic and/or more cute/innocent ways of saying please?
  • am I right in thinking that 제발 is simply rude and better left out of a positive/optimistic conversation?
  • are there other ways to say/infer please that I should consider in verbal and/or written communications?
  • 4
    I think 제발 is not exactly rude, but rather desperate. You'd say "제발 말 좀 들어라!" to an unruly three-year-old, or "제발 제 말 좀 들어주십시오!" to an officer who's about to throw you out, etc. Something like "제발 밥 좀 주세요." would usually mean that you're starving to death.
    – jick
    Sep 10, 2017 at 17:02
  • 2
    제발 is like 'I beg you!' Sep 10, 2017 at 18:18

2 Answers 2


Direct translations of please are 제발 or 부디. Simply speaking, however, do not use 제발 or 부디 in most cases. When you say 제발, you look like making you too lower than the hearer. 부디 is better but heard too old way. Instead, you can use more modest expressions like ~(을)를 부탁드립니다, ~(을)을 해주세요 or many others alike.

  • is 부디 mostly only a written adverb? Sep 10, 2017 at 2:59
  • 1
    You may use it in verbal, but I have not been heard or spoken it for several tens years. Sep 11, 2017 at 6:38
  • 부탁드립니다/부탁드리겠습니다 will be what you looking for. This is appropriate in almost every single circumstances.

  • 제발 is not rude at all, but rather gives one an impression like this - 'The one who is saying '제발' is too desperate that he can do whatever he should, even if what he is going to do may damage his reputation - or anything negative.' This is why Nemo said "you look like making you too lower than the hearer". And I see jick's comment now... his explanation is great.

  • Same answer as the first one.

  • i'm leaning towards this as the final answer as it appears to be more complete. could you add something regarding this part of the discussion point, are there any cute ways of saying "pleeeeeeease, with a cherry on top"? - 부탁드립니다 Dec 4, 2017 at 20:44

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