I always Kakao text my students parents by starting off with "안녕하세요", is it better to say "어머니 안녕하세요~" or with student's name in front like "민지 어머니 안녕하세요~"?

Which way is better if I text the parents on a weekly basis?

If the parents are in their 40s is it too formal to call them 어머님?

On a side note, I found it awkward to call the parents "mother" directly without student's name in front, is it natural in Korean culture to call the parents "어머니/ 아버지 face to face as well as on text message?

  • Polite is an of course, but are you looking for dry and formal or fun yet respectful? Not that it probably matters, but what subject is this you are teaching? Jan 15, 2018 at 22:35
  • I'm a foreign language teacher, just looking for natural and friendly way of calling the parents, not necessary to be dry and formal. For example, after lesson at student's home I need to call the parents to come into the room, do I start with "어머니"? like "어머니, 수업이 끝났어요"
    – Joy
    Jan 16, 2018 at 2:02
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    I was thinking for the text, you might either use "parents" or "ya'll" (the Korean version of course, which I'm happy to share). But I'm vexed that you keep focusing on "one mother", by saying "Mom" (어머니/어머님). Are you addressing multiple people in both situations? Besides, if you're teaching English, from my in-country, teaching experience, they don't want you to speak Korean. Yes, it's a nice gesture to show your interest; but they get Korean everywhere and are quite eager for "just a little more" of what they are learning. I would suggest using phrases that teach. Sorry about that. Jan 16, 2018 at 3:02
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    Please mark an answer as accepted if your question is resolved Jan 17, 2018 at 22:08

2 Answers 2


In addition to @WEBjuju's answer for addressing the parents in another room:

The terminology that refers to "parents of a student" is


An alternative that can cover "guardians and (older) siblings* of a student" is

학부형(學父兄) * the word calls for "father/brother of a student" but sibling is implied.

학부모 is used more formally in a context of addressing the general group of parents in the school or a class.

  • Formal Example: "Dear Parent (of student). Please note that tomorrow's test is cancelled"

학부모님께 알립니다. 내일 시험이 취소되었으니 참고 바랍니다.

In a casual context such as text messages, this would be more appropriate.

  • (More) Casual Example: "Hello Joy's mother/father. Tomorrow's test is cancelled so it is ok for Joy to miss school.

안녕하세요 Joy 어머님/아버님. 내일 시험이 취소되었으니 Joy는 학교에 안와도 돼요.

Your question regarding -님:

The age is not a main factor. If you want to be polite and respectful, you can append -님 even if the parents were younger than you, for instance. It's not limited to teacher-parent relationships.

Source: http://korean.joins.com/news/article/article.asp?total_id=2513233&ctg=

RE: 학부모(學父母) 학부형(學父兄)


To open a text message, I would greet with:

여러분 안녕하세요?

  • 여러분 is "everybody"
  • 안녕하세요? is the standard hello

As for calling one mother back into the room, yes

어머님, 수업이 끝났어요

If you are calling a mixed bunch of women and even one man, perhaps "parents" is better

부모님, 수업이 끝났어요

  • what is the difference between 안녕하세요 ? (with question mark does it also mean you are asking how are you?) and "안녕하세요~/안녕하세요." ?
    – Joy
    Jan 17, 2018 at 3:02
  • good question - click here Jan 17, 2018 at 3:11

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