How to Say ‘Cute’ in Korean

Last Updated on September 14, 2020 by 90 Day Korean
Two white puppies

Ever wondered how to say “cute” in Korean? Unlike English, the Korean word for cute is used a lot! It makes it a very good word to add to your Korean study. You can use it to describe something cute, such as a puppy or doll, or you can use the word to pay somebody a compliment.

Picture of two puppies where one is sleepy and the other one is making fun of the other

In fact, many people in Korea want to be seen as “cute”, and will behave in ‘cute’ ways. This is known as 애교 (aegyo). People acting in this way will be pleased to hear you describe them as ‘cute’, so make sure you learn this word so that you can make lots of friends in Korea.

Note: If you want to say cute as in “handsome”, such as “check out that cute guy over there”, then you should use the word for handsome instead.

Let’s do some learnin’!

“Cute” in Korean

Cute in Korean

It is cute

To say “cute” as in “It is cute” or “she is cute”, you can use the word 귀엽다 (gwiyeopda).

If you are talking to yourself (such as when you are walking down the street and see a cute dog or cat) then you can use this version of the word. However, if talking to somebody else, you should remember to use the correct level of politeness.

How to Say CUTE in Korean | 90 Day Korean

Formal “Cute” in Korean

1. How to Say cute in Korean formal

You might hear this word in a presentation about cuteness, in an interview, or in an announcement.

Example:

이 가수가 귀엽습니다 (i gasuga gwiyeopseumnida)

This singer is cute.

Standard “Cute” in Korean

1. How to Say cute in Korean standard

You can use this expression when talking to people who are older or not particularly close to you.

Example:

강아지가 너무 귀여워요 (gangajiga neomu gwiyeowoyo)

The puppy is very cute.

Informal “Cute” in Korean

1. How to Say cute in Korean informal

You can use this expression with people who are very close to you, such as with your girlfriend or date.

Example:

너는 완전 귀여워! (neoneun wanjeon gwiyeowo)

You are so cute! [literally – you are “totally” cute]

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Bonus: “The Cute Puppy” in KoreanHow to Say cute in Korean Bonus

If you want to say “cute” as in “the cute puppy” then you should use the word 귀여운 (gwiyeoun).

Example:

귀여운 강아지 (gwiyeoun gangaji)

cute puppy

귀여운 아기 (gwiyeoun agi)

cute baby

귀여운 여자 (gwiyeoun yeoja)

cute woman

공원 안에 귀여운 강아지가 많아요 (gongwon ane gwiyeoun gangajiga manayo)

There are lots of cute dogs at the park.

A Word of Caution About Romanization

We’ve added in the Romanization for all of these words to help with pronunciation. However, we recommend that you try to move onto reading comfortably in Hangul (the Korean alphabet), as this will improve your pronunciation and your reading skills. It will also help you notice patterns in words, which will lead you to improve the rate at which you learn new Korean words and grammar points.

You can download a free guide to learn the Korean alphabet in about an hour here.

Learning vocabulary words is a great way to help you learn the basics of a language, but your language learning will only really take off once you start attempting to have conversations in Korean. Take a look at our free list of Korean phrases or our full Korean course for all the help you will need when studying Korean.

Now that you know how to say cute in Korean, you can start complimenting people on their “aegyo” or describing all of the cute things that you see in Korea!

    44 replies to "How to Say ‘Cute’ in Korean"

    • Avatar for Leylu Leylu

      Would I say 귀염둥이 to comment that another girl’s selka is cute

    • Avatar for Suny Suny

      How would we say “cutie” in Korean? Would it be the same as saying “cute”?

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Good question, Suny! You can say 귀염둥이 or 귀요미 for cutie. ^^

    • Avatar for Jenny Jenny

      If a guy said to you “so cute” is because he think of you like a sort of a little sister? 😀

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Jenny! It means the same things as in English, and only the person who said it knows what he/she actually means. ^^

    • Avatar for Isabel Isabel

      i’ve also heard 귀엽네 being used. what’s the difference?

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Isabel! It means “(something’s) cute” as well. There is no difference. ^^

        • Avatar for Mariel Reyes Mariel Reyes

          How do you say cute when referring to non-living things like “a cute bag”?

          • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

            Hi, Mariel! We use the same word! “A cute bag” would be “귀여운 가방”. ^^

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