I know that when I use the ㅂ니다/습니다 form, if I want to say "I" I should say "저" and I know that when I speak in 반말 I should use "나" instead. But what about the intermediate semiformal 요 form, should I use "저" or "나"?

2 Answers 2


You can use both 저 and 나 in a sentence ending with -요.
It is kind of midway between -ㅂ니다/습니다 and 반말 sentence, so it can go both ways.


내가 먼저 하겠습니다 (X). Very strange.

제가 먼저 할게 (X). Even stranger - 저, 제 is never used in 반말.

제가 먼저 할게요 (O). Fine - with someone you're not so familiar with.

내가 먼저 할게요 (O). Also fine - with someone you're familiar with but not close enough to use 반말.


Almost always, and regardless of what form, 저 and 제 are used in formal contexts opposed to 나 or 내 which are used in informal contexts.

  • Technically. But, half-honorific construction is a thing. They sometimes make “-요”-ending sentences with “나” for “I” when they want to respect the listener and don’t want to humble themselves to do that. Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 20:06

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