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Sunbaenim is a combination of two Korean words “ Sunbae” which means older and “Nim” which means Mr or sir in english.

Sunbae is a Korean word used for far more experienced person than others. Especially the term can be used for seniors like, your teachers, officers, and brothers.

While, Nim is also a Korean word, used for the person that requires respect, or needs to be respected.


If you are wondering what does sunbaenim means? Then listen, Sunbaenim means, respectable elder person, that is used to show respect to the person who is elder in anything, whether its about age, height, rank, position or level.

In korean sunbaenim is written as “선배님” compiled of two words 선배 (sumbae) and 님 (Nim). Both of the words on combination means respectable elder person, respectable sir, etc
Sunbaenim, besides of its origin is an old historical word that has been used since korean were living.

Sunbaenim is used for the peoples who are high in rank, or have increase age, more experience, bigger in height etc.

The word Sunbae has different meaning with different combinations. In this scenario the word sunbae means elderly in terms of age or high rank of person, with respect.

Like sunbaenim, there is also another term 형 (hyeong; hyung), in english means elder brother, it is also used to call a male friend or male sibling older than you. The term is used for the younger male to the elder male.

Another word like sunbaenim is 언니 (eonni; unnie), which literally means elder sister. It is prefer for the older sister ans is used by a female younger sister to a female older sister Or friend.
How to say: use your female older sister name and say unnie or eonni after it.

For example: soojie eonnie/ unnie.

Sunbaenim shows your politeness and humbleness towards your loved ones or elder ones, whether you are on work with your boss or passing through an unknown person, you must show some respect.

Out of everything, sunbaenim is not a slang word, if any of you think like that, then stop thinking like that, because sunbaenim is not a slang word. The word is to show respect out of nothing.

Sunbaenim is used for:

You would also be wondering about for what readon sunbaenim is used for?

1. For older person:

Sunbaenim is used for person who are aged more than you. For example your uncle, aunty, parents (mother and father), teacher’s, etc.

That means if you have a brother who is 1 day older than you or 1 hour older than you, you should start calling him with respect like sunbaenim brother.

But, sometimes age doesn’t matter if you are in must condition to tell sunbaenim to a person. These must condition can confront only when you are facing your boss, work space, anger etc.

2. For Boss

Sunbaenim is mainly used for boss they are high ranked than you. In this case, the age doesn’t interface or matters.

For example,

if you are a driver of a rich gentleman who is 20 years old while you are 37 years old. Despite the fact that you are older than him. You must need to say sunbaenim to him, or else it would be unrespectful.

3. For teachers:

Sunbaenim is a obligated term for students to use it for their teachers. As, teachers are the most respectful and pure profession in the word.
Because, A Teacher’s dare to make his student a good and intelligent person, when other people are making of that student.

4. For parents and elder family members:

It is obvious to say sunbaenim to the parents, family members and elder siblings. But it doesn’t means saying sunbaenim is obligatory, as it is understood that that each and every member of family is respectful and considerate.

5. For civil Officers

Sunbaenim is used to show respect to the officers, although it isn’t obligatory. These Officers are high ranked government employees, having power and position.

These Officers needs to be respect, because they provide us the every comfort we need, while we are sleeping, working and having fun.

Age doesn’t matter here whether you are ninety (90) years old and the officer is 27 years old. You must show some respect so that the officer would feel pride and honesty.

What does sunbae means?

Sunbae(선배, 先輩) is a word that refers to people with more experience (at work, school, etc), and hoobae(후배, 後輩) refers to people with less experience.

Generally, hoobaes have to use jondaetmal(존댓말, honorific language) to sunbaes, meaning they have to speak very politely and treat them with respect.

What’s does hyungNim means?

HyungNim (형님); Sounds like → hyuhng ⋅ neem. Hyung-nim is utilized as a term for calling one’s ‘crowd chief,’ ‘kingpin,’ or ‘Wear’. It is a manly word, intended to be spoken from one male to a more established male, as it likewise usually implies more seasoned sibling

What’s does Nim means in Korean?

What’s the does Nim means in Korean? The word 님 (nim) could be generally meant “Mr.” or “Madam” in English. It is quite possibly the most well-known honorifics utilized in the Korean language. 씨 (ssi) This postfix is utilized to address individuals that are generally on a similar level of the social order.

Sunbea implies senior. In particular, (sunbea) implies individuals who are on upper evaluation than you. For instance, in the event that you are rookie in school, and somebody is sophomore, you should call somebody 선배(sunbea) in Korea.

Korean Honorifics:

The Korean language has an arrangement of honorifics that perceives and mirrors the various leveled societal position of members regarding the subject or potentially the item as well as the crowd.

Speakers use honorifics to demonstrate their social relationship with the recipient or potentially topic of the discussion, concerning their age, economic wellbeing, sexual orientation, level of closeness, and discourse act circumstance

One fundamental guideline of Korean honorifics is ‘making oneself lower’; the speaker can utilize honorific structures and furthermore utilize humble structures to make themselves lower.

The honorific framework is reflected in honorific particles, action words with extraordinary honorific structures or honorific markers and exceptional honorific types of things that incorporates terms of address

Honorifics forms of korean:

Pronouns in Korean have their own arrangement of respectful reciprocals (e.g., 저 (jeo) is the unassuming type of 나 (na, “I”) and 저희 (jeohui) is the modest type of 우리 (uri, “we”)). In any case, Korean language takes into consideration rational grammar without pronouns, successfully making Korean an alleged supportive of drop language, hence Koreans for the most part try not to utilize the second-individual particular pronoun, particularly when utilizing honorific structures.

Third-individual pronouns are once in a while kept away from too, for the most
part to keep a feeling of pleasantness. Although honorific type of 너 (neo, particular “you”) is 당신 (dangsin, in a real sense, “companion” or “dear”), that term is utilized uniquely as a type of address in a couple of explicit social settings, for example, between individuals who are hitched to one another, or from an amusing perspective between outsiders.

Different words are generally subbed where conceivable (e.g., the individual’s name, a connection term, an expert title, the plural 여러분 yeoreobun, or no word by any stretch of the imagination, depending on setting to supply importance all things being equal).

Dispersing spelling show

The National Institute of Korean Language groups nim/ssi/weapon/yang as needy things that follow a formal person, place or thing, and they endorse that a space ought to show up between a thing and its reliant thing. (for example Jaebeom nim 재범 님) This isn’t to be mistaken for the fasten – nim utilized with regular things, since joins are composed without spaces. (for example seonsaengnim 선생님)
Advantages of Being Older in Korea

1. You can arrange 동생 (dongsaeng) “youthful colleagues” to get things done for you.

In case you’re more seasoned (either 오빠/형 oppa; hyung/hyeong or 언니/누나 unni/unnie; noona/nuna) and need to request that somebody bring you something or get things done for you, you’re permitted to do this basically on the grounds that you’re more established. You can demand basic errands, for example, presenting to you the telephone (if it’s a long way from you), getting some nourishment for you from the store, and numerous other little assignments that you would prefer not to do.

2. Others will show regard to you by bowing to you.

Koreans don’t wave or shake hands to make proper acquaintance or farewell to their seniors. You need to bow to elderly folks to show kindness. Additionally, did you realize that there are various levels of the bow to show obligingness? A fifteen-degree bow is an exceptionally basic method of welcome seniors, and a 45 degree bow is to show the most significant level of neighborliness. Professional tip: Pay thoughtfulness regarding 한국 드라마 (hanguk deurama) “Korean shows.”

3. Individuals will address you with formal language.

Do you realize how to say a formal and casual “hi” in Korean? You can not say 안녕 (annyeong)— which is a casual welcome in Korean—to somebody who is more seasoned than you. 안녕 (annyeong) is utilized when you’re talking with somebody of a similar age or somebody who is more youthful than you. In the event that you need to welcome a more seasoned individual, you need to utilize formal language. For this situation, you need to say 안녕하세요 (annyeong haseyo) which is a conventional welcome in Korean.


Sunbaenim which is an korean Honorific form, like oppaNim, hyungNim, eonnie, unnie and others.

Sunbaenim means respectable senior, elder, officer, etc. The word is used by the male and female both for their seniors whether they are in rank, position, level, job etc.

Sunbaenim is composed of two words, sunbae and Nim, which combinely is known as respectable or, respectful person.

Sunbae means senior, like, teacher, officer,etc. which is used to give respect and admiration to the other.

While, Nim literally means Mr in english, bèy in turkish, janab in urdu. The term also shows respect and rank.

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