I know I can add (으)시 in the honorific structure to someone whose age or status is higher than me. Example:

아빠, 밥을 드셨어요?: Dad, have you eaten yet?

누나, 저한테 이거 가르쳐 주세요: Sister, please teach this to me.

엄머, 할아버지계서는 지금 방에서 책을 읽고 계세요: Mom, grandfather now is reading book in the room.

But I don't know if I can eliminate (으)시 in 반말체 . Example:

아빠, 밥 먹어?

누나, 저한테 이거 가르쳐 줘.

엄마, 할아버지 지금 방에서 책을 읽고 있어.

If I remove (으)시 like the sentences above, will my words be rude or disrespectful?

  • 1. "밥을 드셨어요?" sounds awkward to me; "밥 드셨어요?" or "식사하셨어요?" is better. 2. "저한테 이거 가르쳐 줘" sounds wrong because of 저. 3. Some use 반말 to their parents (but not to their grandparents); others use the honorifics to their parents (and also to their grandparents). I cannot tell you whether 반말 is rude when it comes to the family.
    – Klmo
    Mar 12, 2020 at 8:25
  • In most cases, 반말체 does not use -(으)시-. You should use -(으)시- in 반말체 when you refer to a person higher or older than the listener. A typical example is 선생님이 너 오라셔 (Note: 오라셔 = 오라고 하셔). Even in this case, nonetheless, some people just do not use -(으)시- when they use 반말체.
    – Klmo
    Mar 12, 2020 at 11:09

2 Answers 2


There seems to be some confusion: -(으)시- is politeness toward the subject of the phrase. 존대말/반말 distinction is politeness toward the listener. Frequently they are totally different people.

  • If they are different people, then -(으)시- and 반말 are clearly independent. If there's any correlation, that's because 반말 is the most informal speech, so one may use "less polite" expressions in general. However, -(으)시- can be used with 반말 quite naturally. E.g.,

    누나, 아빠 오셨어.

    야, 선생님이 뭐라고 하셔?

  • If they are the same people (i.e., the subject is "you"), then using -(으)시- with 반말 would be weird. As far as I know, they are mostly used sarcastically, showing "mock politeness" - could be used between very closed friends, for example.

    아이구 그래서 허리가 아프셨어? = Oh so you had a back pain? (Yeah right.)

    알았으니까 빨랑 오기나 하셔. = Fine, fine, just come now!

    (Caution: You probably don't want to practice this, until you have a very firm grasp of Korean politeness level.)


If you want to use 반말, you need to change the other words in addition to omitting -(으)시-. 아빠, 밥 먹었어? (Dad, have you eaten? 밥 먹어? is not the same because it means 'are you going to eat' or 'are you eating?')

누나 나한테 이거 가르쳐줘.('저' is not natural in this case.)

엄마, 할아버지 지금 방에서 책을 읽고 있어. (It is okay if the culture of your family allows you to use 반말 to elderly ones.)

Of course, you can eliminate -(으)시 in 반말체 but I would not recommend you to use 반말 to others outside your family, except your close friends....It sounds too rude and disrespectful.


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