How to Say ‘Cute’ in Korean

Two white puppies

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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

It is cute

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

Cute in Korean

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.

Formal ‘Cute’ in Korean

1. 귀엽습니다 (gwiyeopseumnida)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.

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Standard ‘Cute’ in Korean

1. 귀여워요 (gwiyeowoyo)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. 귀여워 (gwiyeowo)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]

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 one 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!

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

    • Raccoon

      If you go to Korea, you’ll notice that some people say “cute” in English.

      • 90 Day Korean

        That’s true, Raccoon! Koreans use a lot of Konglish words as well! 90daykorean.com/konglish/ ^^

    • meng

      Annyeong! How do you say “i’m cute’ in korean?

    • koreanlearner

      Is there any other words to say ‘cute’ in Korean? I’ve heard people in k-dramas and idols say ‘aegyota’ or something related to that word.

      • 90 Day Korean

        Hi koreanlearner! I think you mean “애교 있다”, it means ‘to act cute’. ^^

        • koreanlearner

          Thank you!

          • koreanlearner

            Also, is that an informal or formal way of saying ‘to act cute’ ?

            • 90 Day Korean

              ‘애교 있어요’ would be a formal way to say that. ^^

    • Yaiya Dollah

      How to say, the your nephew (baby) is so cute? Informal way. Is it 귀여운 아기 or 귀여워유 아기?

      • 90 Day Korean

        Hi Yaiya! 귀여운 아기 means ‘a cute baby’. You can also say 아기가 귀여워요 (The baby is cute). ^^

    • Karl Macadangdang

      How do you say “ is so cute”? Is it “-(는/은) 귀여워요” or “-(가/이) 귀여워요”?

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