See also:

Korean edit

Etymology 1 edit

First widely attested in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels intended for popular consumption. Stems from a contraction of (-i-o, it is that...), from (-i-, to be, copula) + (-o, declarative verbal suffix of the semi-formal speech level).[1][2] The suffix (-o) itself goes back to Middle Korean ᅀᆞᇦ〯 (-zǒW-, object honorific verbal suffix), though the exact derivation is unclear, and ultimately to Old Korean (*SOLP-, to inform a superior).[3] Compare Kapampangan , yu (plural polite form, emphasis particle). Compare also Jeju 마씀 (-masseum) which has the same function.

Pronunciation edit

Revised Romanization?yo/yeo
Revised Romanization (translit.)?yo/yeo
Yale Romanization?yo/ye

Particle edit


  1. A particle attached to intimate-style verbs and adjective endings and some blunt-style endings to form the polite style, the usual speech level for polite but not extremely formal conversation, e.g. by a student to a teacher, a child to a parent, or between colleagues.
    .Hae-yo.Let's do it.
    도와드리지.Je-ga dowa-deuriji-yo.I can give you a hand.
    여행 준비 ?Yeohaeng junbi-neun da haen-na-yo?Have you finished preparing for your trip?
  2. A particle attached to substantives, adverbs, or non-sentence-final endings to show respect to the listener in the polite style.
    어제 던데……Eoje nun-i o-deonde-yo……(But) it was snowing yesterday…
    어머니 동생한테 내셨어요.
    Eomeoni-neun-yo dongsaeng-hante-man-yo hwa-reul nae-syeoss-eoyo.
    Mom only got angry at my younger sibling.
    먹었나요? — 라면.
    Mwol meog-eon-na-yo? - Ramyeon-yo.
    What did you eat? — Ramen.
Usage notes edit
  • (-yo) is the traditional, prescriptive pronunciation; (-yeo) is a common alternative pronunciation by young South Koreans.
  • For the copula 이다 (-ida, to be) and 아니다 (anida, to not be), the form is irregularly 에요 (-i-eyo).
  • For the honorific 으시 (-eusi-), the form is irregularly 으세요 (-euseyo).
  • In the polite style, there is no explicit marker to distinguish between indicative, interrogative, imperative, and hortative moods. The distinction is made only by pitch in speech (e.g. rising pitch for questions), and by punctuation in writing.
  • For the second definition, it was considered prescriptively incorrect to add the allomorphic form 이요 (-iyo) to words ending in a consonant, even though that it was common in usage; however, this was updated on February 3, 2021 to where 이요 (-iyo) may be used after words ending in a consonant.[4][5] Nonetheless, it is still prescriptively correct to add after words ending in both vowels and consonants.[6]
Alternative forms edit
  • 이요 (-iyo)optional after consonants
Alternative forms edit
  • (-yeo)spelling pronunciation of modern Seoul, used for "cutesy" effect
  • (-yu)Chungcheong dialect, often considered the archetypal "dialectal" pronunciation
  • (-ye)Gyeongsang dialect

Etymology 2 edit

See (-so). The semivowel is introduced to break hiatus.

Suffix edit


  1. Gyeongsang and Jeolla dialect form of (-o, post-vowel allomorph of (-so, semi-formal style sentence-final suffix)).

References edit

  1. ^ 고광무 [gogwangmu] (2000) “상대높임의 조사 '요'와 '(이)ㅂ쇼'의 기원과 형성 과정 [sangdaenopimui josa -yo wa -(i)psyo ui giwon'gwa hyeongseong gwajeong, The origin and formative process of the addressee honorific particle -yo and -(i)psyo]”, in Gugeohak, volume 36, pages 259—282
  2. ^ 허재영 [heojaeyeong] (2008) “높임의 조사 '요'의 문법화 [nopimui josa -yo ui munbeophwa, The grammaticalization of the honoring particle -yo]”, in Hanmal yeon'gu, volume 23, pages 473—493
  3. ^ 이승희 [iseunghui] (2012) “명령형 종결어미의 역사적 변화 [myeongnyeonghyeong jonggyeoreomiui yeoksajeok byeonhwa, The historical transformation of imperative sentence-final suffixes]”, in Gugeosa yeon'gu, volume 14, pages 7—28
  4. ^ National Institute of the Korean Language (2021) “이요³ — 편집 이력 [iyo³ - pyeonjip iryeok, 이요³ — Edit history]”, in 표준국어대사전 [pyojun'gugeodaesajeon]‎[1], retrieved December 6, 2023
  5. ^ 임동근 [imdonggeun] (2021 February 4) “듣는 사람 존대하는 보조사 '이요' 표준국어대사전에 추가 [deunneun saram jondaehaneun bojosa iyo pyojun'gugeodaesajeone chuga, '이요', the addressee-honoring particle, has been added to the standard dictionary]”, in 연합뉴스[2] (in Korean)
  6. ^ National Institute of the Korean Language (2023 December 6 (last accessed)) “요14 [yo14]”, in 표준국어대사전 [pyojun'gugeodaesajeon]‎[3]