In the 해라체 (haera-che) speech level (which is a lower level as far as I understand), the present is 한다 (handa), which corresponds to the declarative present formal low form when looking for the conjugation of 하다 online. However, there is also the honorific present, which is 하신다 (hasinda) in the 해라체 speech level.

I used 하다 as an example, but this occurs for all verbs. While I understand the different formality levels, I don't understand the honorific/non-honorific choice within one formality level (e.g. 해라체 as mentioned above).

When do Koreans use the non-honorific present tense 한다 and when do they use the honorific one 하신다?

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


It's usually reasonably simple - you insert the (으)시 particle into a verb when the actor of that verb needs to be honoured. - e.g.

할머니께서 가신다

Grandmother is leaving.

A couple of things to watch for -

If you find it simpler (I do!), you don't need to imagine that there's an honorific form of each of the speech levels - I just think of it as using (or not using) the (으)시 particle.

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