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해요체 (haeyoche) is a speech level used mainly between strangers, especially those older or of equal age. Traditionally it was used more by women than men, but in Seoul many men currently prefer this form to 합쇼체 (hapsyoche). Like other speech levels, it is applied to verbs and adjectives to reflect the relationship between the speaker and the audience. It is used both with and without honorifics, which reflect the relationships with the referent of the subject.
Korean words inflected in this speech level are characterized by the ending 요 (yo, IPA: [jo]). E.g.:
- 해요 (haeyo): (non-honorific) "does"
- 하세요 (haseyo): (honorific) "does"
- 했어요 (haet-eoyo): (non-honorific) "does?"
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