Level 5 Lesson 3 / Good work / 수고

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In this lesson, we are going to look at an expression that Koreans say very often but is somewhat difficult to be translated into English: 수고하세요, 수고하셨습니다. Do you hear these expressions a lot? Or is it the first time you heard these expressions? Hope you can use these expressoins after listening to this lesson! Enjoy!

You can view a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here. And after you learn the basics, try writing your own Korean sentences and get corrections from native speakers through HaruKorean, our 1:1 correction service.

  • http://mylinguistics.wordpress.com owbEe

    This is one of the few expressions that I’ve learned when I started learning Korean. I’ve read it from various Korean learning textbooks but I never tried to look up for the meaning of 수고. Thanks for all the hard work and for explaining this lesson really well. 수고하셨습니다, 선생님들. :D

    • KyungHwa Sun

      =) 감사합니다. Thank you for studying with us!

  • jollysheep

    ㅋ The picture looks like OTL

    • KyungHwa Sun


  • http://www.youtube.com/expatkerri kerri

    wow ~~~~ i’m so glad you made a video about this expression. i have been confused, as when i first learned it, i thought we can’t say it to anyone older than us… as i read that it implies some kind of evaluation or position of authority, but then i kept hearing my friends say it to taxi drivers and restaurant owners. now i understand how to use it. this is why talk to me in korean is such a great site. you explain so thoroughly and carefully. we all love your lessons!!!!! THANK YOU!!

    수고하세요 ^_^ !!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Josefina-Ilagan/100000665615078 Josefina Ilagan

    Hyun Woo, although most often one tries to say that you have worked hard, you also said that it implies to say “keep it up”,right? And so is it almost like saying 화이팅(fighting) as how I see/hear them say in most korean dramas?

    • KyungHwa Sun

      Oh, in that case, they might have said 수고하세요.
      수고하셨습니다. = Thank you for your hard work.
      수고하세요. = Keep it up!

  • dita

    좋은 레슨이에요. This is one of the most heard expression, so glad you do a lesson on this. Thank you.

    keep up the good work
    – OR –
    수고하세요 ^^

  • Caddie

    한국 드라마에서 자주 들었어요.ㅋㅋㅋ ^^

    • 케디 씨! 한국 드라마에 진짜 있어요?

  • Nancy Sanchez

    Then what would you say to show your appreciation or to encourage someone much older than you or someone whom you should respect?

    • KyungHwa Sun

      You can actually say (정말) 수고 많으셨습니다 to someone who is older than you.

  • Samier

    안녕하세요 ^^;;;;

    여러분 TTMIK에서 수고하세요 :D

    I learned a new phrase ^^ Thanks for the fun lesson :)


  • http://laracroft3.skynetblogs.be Lalique

    wanted to say hi :P
    happy week friend

  • khairshapiee (카에르)

    TTMIK팀 수고하셨습니다!^^


    • 카에르야.. ㅎㅎㅎ

      카이르 라는 니 맞은 이름일까?

    • 카에르야.. ^_^

      티티믹 댓글에 오랜만 안 만나나봐~ ㅎㅎㅎ
      근데 카이르 라는 니 맞은 이름 아닐까?

    • khairshapiee (카에르)

      카이르 아니다.. 카에르 맞아 ㅋㅋ

    • 알겠어용~ ㅎㅎ

  • 선생님들, 수고하셨습니다… ^_^

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nadiya-Ahya-Hayati/599141298 Nadiya Ahya Hayati

    아싸! 드디어, I’ve caught up with the lessons! So, 수고해 to me and 수고하셨습니다 to the TTMIK team! ^_^

  • taey

    I really enjoy culture+language lessons. What about polite titles of address I could use to address waiters, clerks, store owners, 길에 만날 사람 (people I meet on the street)…? Is it alright to address waiters, clerks, store owners, and similar service people as 선생님 or would doing so be strange?

    Can I use 수고하세요 to appreciate a waiter who seems to be in his/her mid 30’s.

    선생님 수고많으셔서 정말 감사합니다. 다 만들어주신 레슨에서
    하루 하루 새로운 걸 배웁니다.

  • Previously

    When my Korean friends want to be encouraging they try to say the same thing in English: “you tried your best” or “you worked really hard.” If I didn’t know the Korean expression they were thinking of when they said it, my feelings would have been hurt.

    In English, in some situations, it can imply “you failed but … we know you tried your best.” or “you worked really hard… even though it wasn’t good enough.” Instead it’s better to say “thank you for your hard work.”

    • Katherine Traylor

      Would that be “수고하셨서 감사합니다”? I guess it must sound super formal in Korean, but I think I would be more comfortable saying that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alex-Finch/744676080 Alex Finch

    I hear this a lot at work from the Korean teachers. There’s a certain feeling that is carried with it and it makes the work you did seem much more worth it.

    • KyungHwa Sun

      =O You got the gist, Alex. ;-)

  • http://www.g3mdr3i.blogspot.com 지윤



  • wintergreen


    이 레슨에서 표현을 배우고 문화도 배웠어요.
    항상 이렇게 좋은 레슨을 만들어 주셔서 정말 감사합니다.
    TTMIK 선생님들 모두 수고하셨습니다.

  • Tze Lim

    선생님들 감사합니다.

  • jon

    Does anyone know if the japanese word すごい (sugoi) and 수고 are related in some way?

  • megumitch

    티티믹 팀 수고하셨습니다! ^^_^^

  • Nikki

    오늘 체육대회였는데 교감 선생님께 “수고하셨습니다”라고 했어요. 괜찮아요? 실수했어요? “수고하세요” 말은 교감 선생님께 안 되지만 “수고하셨습니다” 말도 안 돼요? 잘 모르겠어요…

    TTMIK선생님이 항상 수고하셨습니다~~ 감사합니다~~^^

    • KyungHwa Sun

      괜찮아요. 더 공손하게 말하고 싶으면 “교감 선생님, 오늘 정말 수고 많으셨습니다.”라고 하면 돼요.^^

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jolly-Good/100002653168045 Jolly Good

    수고하셨습니다! ^^

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hee-Lee/100002453367433 Hee Lee

    When Super Junior finish a recording or photoshoot , they often say outloud to all the staff crew :
    그리고 , 선상님들 께서 , 수고 많으셨습니다
    수고해주세요 (is it ok ?)

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  • Chea Sokteang

    I am Cambodia, I want to study and work at Korea,but I dont know how to do?

    • https://www.facebook.com/SaMnGuYeN.2k sam nguyen

      scholarship :)

  • 빛나

    your lessons have been so helpful! for so long i have been studying alone.. and it’s so difficult. these lessons are so interesting and well planned, that learning is becoming easier everyday!

    아무튼 .. 수구하세요! 감사해요!

  • Cheng Har

    hi, greatly appreciate your hard work. how do I say that “I will be counting on you for this task.”

    Thank you very much.

  • eliza

    선생님들, 수고하세요 ▲_▲
    너무 감사합니다.

  • eliza

    선생님들, 수고하셨습니다 ▲_▲
    너무 감사합니다.

  • http://vietnamguidebook.blogspot.com Tung

    선생님들, 수고하셨습니다!

  • AhuvaT

    What if I talk to someone on the phone and he says “I’m going back to work now”, and I want to show support and let him know that I appreciate his hard work… can I say in this case: 수고하세요 ?

    • Seokjin Jin

      Yes, you can say 수고하세요, but it will be much better if you added some supporting words like 힘 내세요.

  • Florence Loh

    so if i want to thank my teacher for teaching me all this while, can i say “그 동안 수고하셨습니다 or 수고 많으셨습니다 .”?
    is it rude?

    • KyungHwa Sun

      No, it isn’t. 수고 많으셨습니다 sounds a little bit more formal than 그동안 수고하셨습니다, by the way. =)

  • Francesco Colléter

    So If I’m working at macdonalds and it’s time for me to finish, but some other guys are going to take my place … Would it be a good situation for me to say “수고하세요” to them and for them to say “수고하셨습니다” to me ?

    • KyungHwa Sun

      Exactly! +_+

  • Katherine Traylor

    This is one of those things that will be really hard for me to say. It’s SO condescending in English! -_-

    • KyungHwa Sun

      ㅎㅎㅎ If you live in Korea, you will probably say it without thinking of the literal meaning as just a greeting.

  • Eman

    수고하세요 ^^