Back to Blog

Directions in Korean: 왼쪽, 오른쪽, 위, 아래, 앞으로, 뒤로, 진입, 이쪽, 저쪽 etc..

learning korean Dec 20, 2023
Directions in Korean: Positional & Directionl Words and phrases

- Author: Good Job Korean team 
- Editor: Good Job Korean team 

👍 Contents (Click to navigate instantly)

✅ Positional Words (왼쪽, 오른쪽, 위, 아래 etc…)
✅ Directional Words (앞으로, 뒤로, 진입 etc…)
✅ Other Directional Phrases (이쪽, 저쪽 etc…)


 Is traveling to Korea on your bucket list? When exploring South Korea, navigating its vibrant streets and bustling cities is an exhilarating experience. However, just like visiting any country, getting lost in a new place can be traumatizing. Therefore, whether you are asking for directions to find your way or simply asking for the location of things, it is crucial to understand the instructions.

 First of all, let us briefly explore the basic phrases that are useful when asking for directions:

  1. (name of place) 어떻게가요?
    How do I go to (name of place)?


    경복궁 어떻게 가요?
    How do I get to Gyeongbokgung Palace?

  2. (name of place) 어디예요?
    Where is (name of place)?


    롯데월드가 어디예요?
    Where is Lotte World?

  3. (name of place) 어디에 있어요?
    Where is the (name of the place)?


    화장실 어디에 있어요?
    Where is the washroom?

  4. (name of place) 어디에 있는지 알 수 있을까요?
    May I know where (name of place) is?


    N 서울타워 어디에 있는지 알 수 있을까요?
    May I know where N Seoul Tower is?


 Now that you have learned how to ask for directions, the most important part comes next — understanding the instructions given to you. It is essential to remember these words, or you might end up going farther away from your intended destination. Can you imagine taking a wrong turn because you could not understand the directions? Not only do you waste your energy, but you also waste your precious time going the wrong way.


 As you may sometimes need to navigate using maps, let us learn the cardinal directions in Korean.



 You may have heard North Korea is called 북한 — 북 means north and 한 means Korea. Therefore, South Korea is also sometimes known as 남한 — 남 means south and 한 means Korea.

[Note: In 1945, after the surrender of Japan in World War II, South Korea is formally known as the Republic of Korea (대한민국)].


 The following section will cover positional and directional words and phrases. These words and phrases will help you get to the location of places while being commonly used in everyday conversation. So, we strongly recommend you familiarize yourself with these words and phrases!



Left 왼쪽 Right 오른쪽
Above/Top Below/Bottom 아래
Front Back/Behind
Beside/Next to Middle 가운데
Inside Outside
Opposite/Across 건너편    



Positional Words (왼쪽, 오른쪽, 위, 아래 etc…)

Let’s practice direction with this picture with teacher Jin and teacher Kun

1. Left 왼쪽 (check the picture above!)

Example sentence:

A: 이중에 진 선생님은 누구인가요?

B: 진 선생님은 왼쪽에 있는 사람이에요.

A: Who among them is Teacher Jin?

B: He is the person on the left.

*그중에: among them
*누구: who
*있다: to be located (in/at)
*사람: person


2. Right 오른쪽 (check the picture above!)

Example sentence:

A: 그러면 쿤 선생님이 오른쪽에 계신가요?

B: 네 맞아요.

A: Then is Teacher Kun the one on the right?

B: Yes, you are correct.

*그러면: then (adverb)
*계시다: to be (honorific)
*네: yes
*맞다: to be right (correct)


3. Above/Top 위

Example sentence:

A: 제 지갑 본 적 있어요?

B: 네 책상 위에 있어요.

A: Have you seen my wallet?

B: Yes, it is on (top of) the desk.

*제: my
*지갑: wallet
*보다: to see
*책상: desk


4. Below/Bottom 아래

Example sentence:

A: 고양이는 어디에 숨었어요?

B: 고양이는 의자 아래에 숨었어요.

A: Where was the cat hiding?

B: The cat was hiding below the chair.

*고양이: cat
*어디: where
*숨다: to hide
*의자: chair


5. Front 앞

Example sentence:

A: 의진 씨 봤어요?

B: 방금 학교 입구 에서 봤어요.

A: Did you see Euijin?

B: I just saw him in front of the school entrance.

*보다: to see
*방금: just (now), a moment ago
*학교: school
*입구: entrance



6. Back/Behind 뒤

Example sentence:

그 식당은 이 건물 에 있습니다.

That restaurant is behind this building.

*그: that
*식당: restaurant
*이: this
*건물: building
*있다: to exist, to be located


7. Beside/Next to 옆

Example sentence:

신부의 여동생은 그들의 엄마 에 서 있어요.

The sister of the bride is standing next to their mother.

*신부: bride
*여동생: younger sister
*엄마: mom, mother
*서다: to stand
*있다: to exist, to be located



8. Middle 가운데

Example sentence:

제 짐은 가운데에 있습니다.

My baggage is the one in the middle.

*제: my
*짐: baggage
*있다: to exist, to be located



9. Inside 안

Example sentence:

A: 할아버지 어디 계세요?

B: 할아버지는 집 에 계십니다.

A: Where is Grandpa?

B: Grandpa is inside the house.

*할아버지: grandpa, grandfather
*어디: where
*계시다: to exist, to be located (an honorific form of 있다)
*집: house


10. Outside 밖

Example sentence:

에서 큰 쾅 소리가 나서 아빠가 확인하러 가셨어요.

There was a loud bang outside, so Dad went to check.

*크다: to be big, to be large
*쾅: bang, thump
*소리: noise, sound
*아빠: Dad, father
*확인하다: to check
*가다: to go


11. Opposite/Across 건너편

Example sentence:

약국은 길 건너편에 있습니다.

The pharmacy is across the road.

*약국: pharmacy
*길: road, street
*있다: to exist, to be located



Forward 앞으로 Backward 뒤로
Upward 위로 Downward 아래로
To the left 왼쪽으로 To the right 오른쪽으로
Proceed 진행 Reverse 후진
Go straight 직진 Turn right 우회전
Turn left 좌회전 This way 이쪽
That way 저쪽    


Directional Words

1. Forward 앞으로

Example sentence:

앞으로 걸어가면 우체국이 보입니다.

If you walk along (forward), you will see the post office.

*걸어가다: to walk along
*~면: if
*우체국: post office
*보이다: to be seen, to come to sight, to appear


2. Backward 뒤로

Example sentence:

롤러코스터가 뒤로 갔을때 어지러웠어요.

I felt dizzy when the roller coaster went backward.

*롤러코스터: roller coaster
*가다: to go
*때: the time, the moment
*어지럽다: to feel dizzy



3. Upward 위로

Example sentence:

커튼을 천천히 위로 올리자 햇빛이 방으로 들어왔어요.

As I slowly raised the curtain (upwards), the sun shone into the room.

*커튼: curtain
*천천히: slowly
*울리다: to raise, to lift, to put up
*햇빛: sunlight
*방: room
*들어오다: to enter, to come in



4. Downward 아래로

Example sentence:

아이는 공이 언덕 아래로 굴러 떨어지자 울었어요.

The child cried as his ball rolled down the hill

*아이: child
*공: ball
*언덕: slope, hill
*구르다: to roll (over)
*떨어지다: to fall, to drop
*울다: to cry



5. To the left 왼쪽으로

Example sentence:

서점에서 왼쪽으로 돌면 동물병원이 보입니다.

Turn left at the bookstore, and you will see the animal hospital.

*서점: bookstore
*돌다: to turn
*동물: animal
*병원: hospital
*보이다: to be seen, to come in sight, to appear



6. To the right 오른쪽으로

Example sentence:

오른쪽으로 가시면 엘리베이터가 보일 거예요.

If you go to the right, you'll see the elevator.

*가다: to go
*엘리베이터: elevator
*보이다: to be seen, to come in sight, to appear



7. Proceed 진입

Example sentence:

도로 공사로 인해 현재 이 도로는 진입이 불가능합니다.

Due to the construction, this road is currently impossible for traffic to proceed (closed for traffic).

*도로: road
*공사: construction
*인하다: to be caused by, to be due to
*현재: now, at present, at the moment, currently
*불가능하다: to be impossible



8. Reverse 후진

Example sentence:

이 주차장에 후진 주차해 주세요.

Please reverse park in this parking lot.

*주차장: parking lot
*주차하다: to park (a car)



Other Directional Phrases


1. Go straight 직진

Example sentence:

출구에서 나오면 직진하세요. 계단에서 기다리고 있어요.

Go straight when you get out of the exit. I am waiting for you by the stairs.

*출구: exit
*나오다: to come out
*계단: stairs
*기다리다: to wait


2. Left turn 좌회전

Example sentence:

좌회전 후에 사고가 났습니다. 조심해주세요.

There was an accident after the left turn. Please be careful.

*사고: accident
*사고 나다: to have an accident
*조심하다: to be careful



3. Right turn 우회전

Example sentence:

우회전 후 저를 내려주세요.

Please drop me off after the right turn.

*후: after
*저: me, I
*내리다: to get off



4. This way 이쪽

Example sentence:

어서 오세요. 이쪽으로 오세요.

Welcome. Please come this way.

*어서: quickly
*오다: to come
*어서오시다: to welcome



5. That way 저쪽

Example sentence:

A: 영화관이 어디 있습니까?

B: 영화관은 저쪽에 있습니다.

A: Where is the cinema?

B: The cinema is over there (The cinema is on that way).

*영화: movie
*영화관: cinema
*어디: where
*있다: to be located


 In this blog post, we explored the basic phrases you may need when asking for directions and the important words that help you understand how to go to your destination. While many Koreans speak English these days, it is safer to memorize these directional words before heading to Korea for your holidays! :)

Bonus: That That by Psy feat. SUGA

흔들어 좌우, 위, 아래로
Shake it from left to right, up to bottom

*흔들다: to shake
*좌우: left and right
*위: up
*아래: bottom

- Author: Good Job Korean team 
- Editor: Good Job Korean team