How to Say ‘Happy’ in Korean

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!

‘Happy’ in Korean

There are two words that are used to say ‘happy’ in Korean. The first word for happy is 행복하다 (haengbokhada). The second word for happy is 기쁘다 (gippeuda). Dictionaries usually translate 기쁘다 as ‘glad’, rather than ‘happy’. However, its meaning is very similar to the English word for ‘happy’.


Formal ‘Happy’ in Korean

Happy in Korea Formal

1. 행복합니다 (haengbokhamnida)

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.


A: 행복합니까? (haengbokhamnikka?) – Are you happy?

B: 네, 행복합니다. (ne, haengbokhamnida.) – Yes, I’m happy.


Standard ‘Happy’ in Korean

Happy in Korea Standard

1. 행복해요 (haengbokhaeyo)

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’ words will change so that their endings become ‘해요’ in the standard form. Noticing how these words change can help you notice patterns more easily and learn Korean more quickly.


A: 행복하세요? (haengbokhaseyo?) – Are you happy?

B: 네, 행복해요. (ne, haengbokhaeyo.) – Yes, I’m happy.

그 사람과 있으면 행복해요? (geu saramgwa isseumyeon haengbokhaeyo?)

Are you happy being with him?

Informal ‘Happy’ in Korean

1. 행복해 (haengbokhae)

2. 기뻐 (gippeo)

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


A: 기뻐? (gippeo?) – Are you happy?

B: 응, 기뻐. (eung, gippeo.) – Yes, I’m happy.


나는 아주 행복해. (naneun aju haengbokhae)

I am so happy.


A Happy Person in Korean

If you want to use the word ‘happy’ to describe a noun, then you have to change its form again. 행복하다 becomes 행복한, and 기쁘다 becomes 기쁜.

For example:

행복한 사람 (haengbokhan saram) – happy person

기쁜 남자 (gippeun namja) – happy man

행복한 여자 (gippeun yeoja) – happy woman


그때가 내 인생에서 가장 행복한 시기였다.

(geuttaega nae insaengeseo gajang haengbokhan shigiyeottda.)

That was the happiest time of my life.


Happiness in Korean

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

For example:

행복을 찾다 (haengbokeul 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 a couple of hours, and you will see an instant improvement in your Korean ability.

If you are serious about learning Korean then the first thing you should do is learn the alphabet. 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.


How to Say ‘Happy’ in Korean Wrap Up

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

Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series:

Korean lessons   *  Korean Phrases    *    Korean Vocabulary *   Learn Korean   *    Learn Korean alphabet   *   Learn Korean fast   *  Motivation    *   Study Korean  


Please share, help Korean spread!