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.
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).
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
You might hear this word in a presentation about cuteness, in an interview, or in an announcement.
이 가수가 귀엽습니다 (i gasuga gwiyeopseumnida)
This singer is cute.
Standard “Cute” in Korean
You can use this expression when talking to people who are older or not particularly close to you.
강아지가 너무 귀여워요 (gangajiga neomu gwiyeowoyo)
The puppy is very cute.
Informal “Cute” in Korean
너는 완전 귀여워! (neoneun wanjeon gwiyeowo)
You are so cute! [literally – you are “totally” cute]
Bonus: “The Cute Puppy” in Korean
If you want to say “cute” as in “the cute puppy” then you should use the word 귀여운 (gwiyeoun).
귀여운 강아지 (gwiyeoun gangaji)
귀여운 아기 (gwiyeoun agi)
귀여운 여자 (gwiyeoun yeoja)
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!