기쁘다 vs. 행복하다 vs. 즐겁다

If you're OO and you know it clap your hands. So what is being happy in Korean? 행복하다, right? What about 기쁘다? Couldn't you also say 즐겁다? Take a seat smiley and let's break it down.


행복하다 : happy

주말에 짐찔방에 가서 너무 행복했었어요
I was so happy that we went to the sauna.

결혼하게 돼서 행복해.
I'm happy to get married!

그냥 행복하고싶은데...
I just want to be happy...


기쁘다 : glad, happy, pleased

오늘 모임에 와줘서 기뻐.
I'm pleased that you joined the meeting today.

어제 우리는 작은 형이랑 맥주를 마셔서 기뻤어요
I'm happy that we went drinking with my older brother.

결혼기념일을 기억 해서 기뻐요
I'm so glad that you remembered our wedding anniversary.


즐겁다 : joy, pleased, enjoy

오늘 모임 정말 즐거웠어요.
Today the party was pleasant.

점심시간은 언제나 즐거워요.
I'm joyful whenever it's lunchtime.

음악 수업은 항상 즐거워요.
Music class is always enjoyable.

저의 영어 수업은 즐거운 수업이 될거예요!!!
Our English class is going to be really enjoyable.


행복하다 and 즐겁다 are continuous states of being. Both are quite similar but I feel 행복하다 is deeper. Perhaps because I'm more of a writer at heart? 기쁘다 is more tricky. It's a bit more temporary but can lead to being 행복하다. Maybe, if I have many 기쁜 날, then my life is 행복하다. Actually I guess it also depends on each person's feeling or habits of expression. I tend to be more deadpan in my spoken expressions so that certainly affects how I might say just how happy I am. But I'm also a drama queen when it comes to food, so I can say 한국에 살아서 맨날 청국장을 먹을 수 있어서 행복해요. Other people might say 괜찮았어, 좋았어, 맛있었어, 나쁘지 않았어 but one can also just say that they're happy.

Although it depends on who you ask, I would say that 기뻐 is more commonly spoken while 행복해 is a more written form of expression, but certainly not exclusive to writing. 행복했어 can be found alot in the lyrics of a song or a personal diary, while 기뻐, is more like an instant feeling.

a) 오늘 우리 한국이 축구를 이겨서 정말 기쁘다~~!!!
b) 오늘 우리 한국이 축구를 이겨서 정말 행복해~~!!!
both can be used but a) is more natural.

One Response to “기쁘다 vs. 행복하다 vs. 즐겁다”

Patrick said...

Matt,

This post is great. And I love your site. It's my first stop when I'm looking for clarifications on confusing words and grammar and I always look for new posts.

You think you could do something on the correct usage of "처음" and "먼저"?