Let's do it - 하자

Let's do it - 하자

This should be easy to learn. Just replace 다 of a plain verb with 자 to make a phrase, "Let's (verb)". Note: This is an informal form.

  • 하다 → 하자 = Let's do it
  • 먹다 → 먹자 = Let's eat
  • 마시다 → 마시자 = Let's drink
  • 가다 → 가자 = Let's go
  • 앉다 → 앉자 = Let's sit
  • 보다 → 보자 = Let's see
  • 읽다 → 읽자 = Let's read
  • 쓰다 → 쓰자 = Let's write
  • 듣다 → 듣자 = Let's listen
  • 달리다 → 달리자 = Let's run
  • 걷다 → 걷자 = Let's walk
  • 사다 → 사자 = Let's buy
  • 팔다 → 팔자 = Let's sell

Example Sentences

우리 = we
같이 = together
  • (우리) (같이) 농구 하자 = Let's do basketball. (Let's play basketball)
  • (우리) (같이) 피자 먹자 = Let's eat a pizza (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 커피 마시자 = Let's drink coffee (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 바닷가 가자 = Let's go to beach (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 벤치에 앉자 = Let's sit on the bench (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 영화 보자 = Let's watch a movie (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 교과서 읽자 = Let's read a textbook (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 아이포드 듣자 = Let's listen to ipod (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 새 신발 사자 = Let's buy new shoes (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 저 냉장고 팔자 = Let's sell that fridge (together)

The formal form of "Let's (verb)" is exactly the same as that of the formal spoken present form. You may want to refer to Verbs - Formal [Present, Past] "Please" is implied in the phrase.
  • 하다 → 해요 = (Please.) Let's do it
  • 먹다 → 먹어요 = (Please.) Let's eat
  • 마시다 → 마셔요 = (Please.) Let's drink
  • 가다 → 가요 = (Please.) Let's go
  • 앉다 → 앉아요 = (Please.) Let's sit
  • 보다 → 봐요 = (Please.) Let's see
  • 읽다 → 읽어요 = (Please.) Let's read
  • 쓰다 → 써요 = (Please.) Let's write
  • 듣다 → 들어요 = (Please.) Let's listen
  • 달리다 → 달려요 = (Please.) Let's run
  • 걷다 → 걸어요 = (Please.) Let's walk
  • 사다 → 사요 = (Please.) Let's buy
  • 팔다 → 팔아요 = (Please.) Let's sell

Example Sentences

우리 = we
같이 = together
  • (우리) (같이) 농구 해요 = [Please] Let's do basketball (Let's play basketball)
  • (우리) (같이) 피자 먹어요 = [Please] Let's eat a pizza (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 커피 마셔요 = [Please] Let's drink coffee (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 바닷가 가요 = [Please] Let's go to beach (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 벤치에 앉아요 = [Please] Let's sit on the bench (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 영화 봐요 = [Please] Let's watch a movie (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 교과서 읽어요 = [Please] Let's read a textbook (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 아이포드 들어요 = [Please] Let's listen to ipod (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 새 신발 사요 = [Please] Let's buy new shoes (together)
  • (우리) (같이) 저 냉장고 팔아요 = [Please] Let's sell that fridge (together)


  1. Actually, the formal form is not the present 요 form. The 요 form is polite informal. The formal form is V + (으)ㅂ시다.

    가다 --> 갑시다 (Let's go)
    먹다 --> 먹읍시다 (Let's eat)

    Also the formal present form can sound like a command rather than "let's ~"

  2. Correction on the last post:
    "Also the informal present form(Verb + 아/어/여 + 요) can sound like a command rather than "let's ~" "

  3. Hi Chris,

    I have classified those verbs that contain 요 as formal forms and 합시다, 갑시다 etc as honorific forms.

    The -요 form definitely means "(please) let's do something together" and in addition, it is also connotative of a command but more as a suggestion.

    농구 해요 means "(please) let's play basketball."

    If I said, 우리 농구 해요, then its meaning is more obvious.

    농구 해요 can also mean, "(I suggest) you play basketball."
    However, this meaning is almost exclusively used when it is used as an answer to a question. For eg,

    심심해. 뭐하고 놀지? = I'm bored. What should I do?

    농구 해요 = (I suggest) you play basketball.

    But it can also mean, "let's play basketball." The meaning depends on the intonation of the speaker. However, I won't go into depth with regard to the difference in the intonation as it can be less than accurate when described with words.

  4. I typed up a long explanation and not sure it's working since it's not appearing on the reload *sigh*

    Guess i'll have to type it again

  5. I wouldn't say 요 is a formal form. 요 is just used to add more respect. On top of just being respectful to others, 요 can be used to talk to someone who is the same age as me but I’m unfamiliar with, a stranger who is younger than me, a coworker, a friend who is older than me, my relatives etc. When I talk with one of my coworkers outside of work, we still use 요 even though she is the same age as me, we do it out of respect since we are not close friends. However the things we talk about are nothing of formal matter and the situation is not formal either. Again just out of politeness. Couples often use 반말, but sometimes they use 요, but that does not mean they are being formal. When I talk to my family members I use 요 out of respect, not related to being formal whatsoever. When I meet someone new, regardless of age I use 요 to be polite, no to be formal.

    Next A/V + (스)ㅂ니다, A/V + (스)ㅂ니까, V + (으)십시오, V + (으)ㅂ시다 are formal forms. You hear these forms on the news, on announcements (i.e. subway announcements, school announcements etc), on instructional signs, and other formal situations. While using the forms I mentioned above are more polite than 요, it's still a formal form. If 요 was the formal form, then that's what you would hearing on the news instead of (스)ㅂ니다 and (스)ㅂ니까.

    Next thing, you are giving your readers only two options:
    Low form - V + 자
    High form - V + 아/어/여 요

    However even though V + (으)ㅂ시다 can be used formally, it's also used in informal situations as the high form of V + 자 (since there is no V + 자요). In my opinion V + (으)ㅂ시다 is used A LOT more than V + 아/어/여 요 in saying "let's ~." In fact the examples you give in my opinion don't seem natural or even one of the best choices to use in those situations. For example:
    A: "배 고파요"
    B: "점심 먹어요." That wouldn't be a common response to telling someone "Let's eat" and the fact this is the only alternative you're giving your readers (most of whom who are beginners), it's likely to be misunderstood as a suggestion or command. More common responses would be:
    -"점심 (같이) 먹읍시다"
    -"점심 같이 먹을래요?"
    -"점심 같이 먹을까요?"
    -"점심 같이 먹으면 어때요?"
    While some of the examples above don't directly mean "Let's ~" I'd use all of the above before using "점심 먹어요" as to suggest I want to eat lunch with someone. If you add 같이, 우리 or a time period to V + 아/어/여 요 then it sounds more natural and a clearer meaning. Otherwise without it I would say it's just not a commonly used response and a beginner is going to make it sound like he's telling the person to go eat since he's hungry.

    If you’re at work at and you want to tell your coworkers let’s go eat together and you yell “점심 먹어요” it wouldn’t sound right. The most common way would be to say “점심 (같이) 먹읍시다,” I know because I hear it all the time.

    In short I think you’re giving your readers a bad alternative due it not being the most common way to suggest to someone “lets ~,” not to mention a response that’s likely to be misunderstood not only due to ambiguity, but due to the wrong intonation from a beginner. On top of that, V + (으)ㅂ시다 is used way more frequently as the high form (in my opinion).

  6. I classify -요 as a formal form and -시다 as an honorific form. I see that you call -요 as a polite informal form. It's the matter of classification and the definition of terms.

    This is my classification.
    먹자 = Let's eat (informal)
    먹어요 = Let's eat (formal)
    먹읍시다 = Let's eat (honorific)

    This is yours.
    먹자 = Let's eat (informal)
    먹어요 = Let's eat (polite informal)
    먹읍시다 = Let's eat (formal)

    먹읍시다 is probably used most frequently in companies by a team leader who announces that it's time for lunch/dinner.

    먹읍시다 is a very awkward one to use between young adults because it sounds like one who uses this is talking down to the other. Younger people should not use 먹읍시다 to older people. It's rude. 먹읍시다 is only used by those who are older or has a higher position in the company.

    I have personally never used 먹읍시다 in my life. NEVER. I have only seen it used in the Korean dramas where workers in a company go out to have lunch/dinner together or among adults approximately above the age of 30. 점심 먹을까요/먹을래요? are probably more commonly used alternatives as they sound less confrontational and demanding.
    읍시다 is usually used by a leader in a group talking to people who are younger and/or in a lower position in the group.

    Among young adults approximately below the age of 30, it would be quite funny to use 먹읍시다 as it sounds declarative, domineering, decisive, masculine and old-ish.

    우리 같이 밥 먹어요 sounds more colloquial, formal(or polite informal as you define it) and young-ish.

    There are other ways of expressing "let's do something" but then it no longer means "let's."

    For example,
    우리 점심 같이 먹을래요? = Shall we have lunch together?

    우리 점심 같이 먹는게 어때요? = How about we have lunch together?

    The sentences above are alternatives to 우리 같이 점심 먹어요. However, they are not translated into "let's."

    I'm only considering "let's" in this post.

    I also classify them as formal forms because they contain -요 (although you might call it polite informal form).

    I have done so in all of my previous posts and so I'd like to keep consistency.

  7. Formal is defined as "used in serious, official, or public communication but not appropriate in everyday contexts".. 요 is appropriate in everyday contexts so I think you're categorizing it wrong.

    Honorific is defined as " phrase or word, e.g. a pronoun or a verb inflection, that is used to show respect to somebody of a higher status." While ㅂ니다 ㅂ니까 do function as honorific, they are also used in formal situations as I mentioned such as the news. The news doesn't say ㅂ니다 to show extra respect for it's audience, it does so because it's formal speech.

    You might be right about the usage of ㅂ시다, i'll have to look into it more.

    1. You are spot on. My Korean teachers and books both say the same. I think Luke is misunderstanding what formal, informal, polite and honorific mean. Formal and informal is about the environment. You both seemed to agree on points but were more arguing semantics.

  8. As a Korean learner my study books and teachers classify 요 as informal polite and 니다 as formal polite. 으십시다 is formal polite meaning it can be used to people of same age or younger in formal settings but not to elders. To elders or those in a higher rank you need to use the honorific suffix 시 and honorific verb replacements etc


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