How to Say ‘Happy’ in Korean

Last Updated on April 6, 2021 by 90 Day Korean
Young girl with a pink shirt on smiling

We can all use a little positivity and happiness in our lives.

Therefore, if you are happy and you know it, then you should say it!

Once you know how to say ‘happy’ in Korean, you will be able to let people know how you are feeling. Learning how to express different emotions can really help you get closer to your Korean friends.

Let’s get to the bottom of this “happy” Korean word!

Young girl with a pink shirt on smiling

‘Happy’ in Korean

There are two words that are used to say ‘happy’ in Korean.

The first word for happy is 행복하다 (haengbokada).

The second word for happy is 기쁘다 (gippeuda).

Korean dictionaries usually translate 기쁘다 (gippeuda) as ‘glad’, rather than ‘happy’. However, its meaning is very similar to the English word for ‘happy’.

Formal ‘Happy’ in Korean

1. 행복합니다 (haengbokamnida)How to Say Happy in Korean formal

2. 기쁩니다 (gippeumnida)

If you want to say ‘happy’ in formal Korean then you can use the above expressions. Formal Korean is used in interviews and presentations.

Example:

A: 행복합니까? (haengbokamnikka)

Are you happy?

B: 네, 행복합니다. (ne, haengbokamnida)

Yes, I’m happy.

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Standard ‘Happy’ in Korean

1. 행복해요 (haengbokhaeyo)How to Say Happy in Korean standard

2. 기뻐요 (gippeoyo)

You can use these expressions when talking to people who are older or not particularly close to you. Notice how the forms of the words have changed from their dictionary form. All ‘하다 (hada)’ words will change so that their endings become ‘해요 (haeyo)’ in the standard form. Noticing how these words change can help you notice patterns more easily and learn Korean more quickly.

Example:

A: 행복하세요? (haengbokaseyo)

Are you happy?

B: 네, 행복해요. (ne, haengbokaeyo)

Yes, I’m happy.

그 사람과 있으면 행복해요? (geu saramgwa isseumyeon haengbokaeyo)

Are you happy being with him?

Informal ‘Happy’ in Korean

1. 행복해 (haengbokae)

2. 기뻐 (gippeo)How to Say Happy in Korean informal

You can use these expressions with people who are close to you and who are of a similar or younger age.

Example:

A: 기뻐? (gippeo)

Are you happy?

B: 응, 기뻐. (eung, gippeo)

Yes, I’m happy.

나는 아주 행복해. (naneun aju haengbokae)

I am so happy.

Bonus: ‘A Happy Person’ in KoreanHow to Say Happy in Korean Bonus

If you want to use the word ‘happy’ to describe a noun, then you have to change its form again.

행복하다 (haengbokada) becomes 행복한 (haengbokan), and 기쁘다 (gippeuda) becomes 기쁜 (gippeun).

Example:

행복한 사람 (haengbokan saram) – happy person

기쁜 남자 (gippeun namja)               – happy man

행복한 여자 (haengbokan yeoja)   – happy woman

그때가 내 인생에서 가장 행복한 시기였다.

(geuttaega nae insaengeseo gajang haengbokan sigiyeotda)

That was the happiest time of my life.

‘Happiness’ in KoreanHow to Say Happy in Korean - happiness

To say ‘happiness’ in Korean, you can say 행복(haengbok) or 기쁨 (gippeum).

Example:

행복을 찾다 (haengbogeul chatda)

To find happiness.

A Word of Caution About Romanized Korean

If you want to sound natural when speaking Korean, then learning how to read the Korean alphabet is a must. It only takes about an hour, and you will see an instant improvement in your Korean ability.

Once you learn the alphabet, go here for a guide on how to learn Korean: https://www.90daykorean.com/learn-korean/

If you want to continue your Korean study then our full Korean course can help you out with structured lessons to help you learn efficiently and effectively.

Now that you know how to say ‘happy’ in Korean, let us know what Korean experiences make you feel happy!

Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!

    16 replies to "How to Say ‘Happy’ in Korean"

    • Avatar for Caryn Caryn

      Is there a way to say “Be happy, Stay Happy”? Would it just be 행복하세요?

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Caryn! That’s right! 행복하세요 would work. You can add ‘늘’ in the front so it means ‘always be happy’. ^^

    • Avatar for noor noor

      How do i say i was really happy to meet after along time to a friend? 너무 기뻤어 or 너무 행복했어? Who’s better and more meaningful??

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Noor! Both are very meaningful and fine to use! Koreans usually say “오늘 너무 즐거웠어” (I had so much fun today) to mean that the time spent together was very joyful. ^^

    • Avatar for Ari Ari

      thank you for this! if it’s no trouble I was wondering if you could tell me the different ways to say “be happy”?

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Ari! You can say “행복하세요” when you wish someone to be happy. ^^

    • Avatar for EL EL

      KAMSAHAMNIDA! I’ll be able to use this to my Korean students. ^^

    • Avatar for Almas :) Almas :)

      Thank uu ??

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        No problem, Almas! 행복하세요 (Please be happy)! ^^

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