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Korean Emotion Vocabulary: How to Express Your Feelings in Korean

by Nie Ae // May 12 // 0 Comments

감정[gamjeong] (emotion) is also expressed verbally and physically in Korean language. Just like in English, there are different words appropriate for every emotion.

This article will be your guide in wisely choosing which and when to use a Korean word to deliver the exact emotion aiming to express.

Korean Emotions vocabulary

Primary emotions / 기본 감정 [gibon gamjeong]

Joy / 기쁨 [ gippeum]

  • Different words to express this emotion:
한글 단어PronunciationTranslation
행복하다haengbokhada(be) happy
즐기다jeulgidaenjoy
진짜 좋아하다jinjja joh-ahadareally like
잘 되다Jal dwedaGood for (someone)
다행이다daheng-idaWhat a relief
만족하다manjookhadasatisfy / happy
축하하다chookhahadaCongratulations
감사하다kamsahadagrateful / thankful
재미있다jaemittainteresting / fun
웃기다wookidafunny
  • Sample phrases of joyful emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
저는 행복해요jeoneun haengboghaeyoI am happy
잘 됐어요jal dwaet-eoyoGood for you
다행이에요dahaeng-ieyoWhat a relief
최고예요choegoyeyoYou’re the best
즐거웠어요jeulgeowoss-eoyoI had fun
축하해요chughahaeyoCongratulations
잘 했어요jal haess-eoyo
Good job
대단해요daedanhaeyoAmazing
부러워요buleowoyoI envy you
도움이 돼서 기뻐요doum-i dwaeseo gippeoyoI am glad to be of help

Sad / 슬픔 [seulpeum]

  • Different words to express this emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
외롭다weroptalonely
우울하다woowoorhadadepressed
불행하다boorhaenghadaunhappy
절망하다jeolmanghadadespair
미안하다miyanhadasorry
실망하다silmanghadadisappoint
불평하다boolpyeonghadacomplain
억울하다eogoorhadaunfair
가망이 없다gamang-i eobdahopeless
포기하다pogihadagive up
  • Sample phrases of sad emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
너무 외로워요neomu oelowoyoSo lonely
우울해요u-ulhaeyoI’m depressed
슬퍼요seulpeoyoIt’s sad
절망적이에요jeolmangjeog-ieyoI’m in despair
유감이에요yugam-ieyoSorry for your loss
실망이에요silmang-ieyoSuch a disappointment
불평하지 마세요bulpyeonghaji maseyoStop complaining
억울해요eog-ulhaeyoIt’s unfair
가망 없는 생각이에요gamang eobsneun saeng-gag-ieyoWhat a hopeless thought
최악의 날이에요choeag-ui nal-ieyoWorst day ever

Fear / 두려움 [dooryeowoom]

  • Different words to express this emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
무섭다museobdascary
공포gongpohorror
소름soreumgoosebump
끔찍하다kkeumdzikhadahorrible
깜짝 놀라다kkamjjag nolladastartle
겁나다geobnadascared
당황하다danghwanghadapanic
아슬아슬하다*aseur aseur hadabreathtaking
긴장하다ginjanghadanervous
두려워하다dooryeowohadaafraid
  • Sample phrases of fear:
한글PronunciationTranslation
어머나 세상에!eomeona sesangye!Oh my goodness!
끔찍해요kkeumjjighaeyoHow horrible
못 보겠어요mot bogess-eoyoI can’t watch it
상상이 안 돼요sangsang-i an dwaeyoI can’t even imagine it
용서해 주세요yongseohae juseyoPlease forgive me
한 번만 봐주세요han beonman bwajuseyoForgive me just this once
앞으로 조심할게요ap-eulo josimhalgeyoI’ll be cautious from now on
제가 잘못했어요jega jalmoshaet-eoyoIt's my fault
무섭게 생겼어요museobge saeng-gyeot-eoyoLooks frightening
소름끼쳐요soleumkkichyeoyoCreepy

Anger / 분노 [boonno]

  • Different words to express this emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
화나다hwanada(be) angry
짜증나다jjajeungnadaAnnoy
기분이 안 좋다gibun-i an johdaBad mood
속이 끓다sog-i kkeulhdaFurious
미치다michidaCrazy
미칠 듯이 화나다michil deus-i hwanadaMad
찡그리다jjing-geulidaFrowning
분노하다bunnohadaRage
불쾌하다bulkwaehadaDispleased
괴롭히다gwirophida(to) torment
증오하다jeung-ohadahatred
  • Sample phrases of anger emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
꺼져!kkeojyeo!Get lost!
내 앞에 나타나지 마!ne aphe natanajima!Get out of my face!
감히!gamhi!How dare you!
미치겠어!michigess-eo!You’re driving me mad!
너 미워!neo miwo!I hate you!
젠장!jenjang!Damn it!
용서할 수 없어!yongseohal su eobs-eo!Unforgivable!
말도 안 돼!maldo an dwae!This is ridiculous!
속 끓어!sog kkeulh-eo!(He/She)’s furious!
미쳤어!michyeot-eo!You’re crazy!

Confused / 혼란스러운 [honlanseureowoon]

  • Different words to express this emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
확실하지 않다hwagsilhaji anhdaUnsure
확신이 없다hwagsin-i eobdaUncertain
어리둥절하다eolidungjeolhadabewilder
걱정하다geogjeonghadaWorry
속이다sogidaDeceive
멍하다meonghadaDaze
비슷하다biseuthadaSimilar
헷갈리다hetgallida(to be) confused
부정확하다bujeonghwaghadaInaccurate
어렴풋하다eolyeompushadaVague
  • Sample phrases of confused emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
잘 몰라요jal mollayoI don’t know
확실하지 않아요hwagsilhaji anh-ayoNot really sure
어떡해요?eotteoghaeyo?What should I do?
너무 헷갈려요neomu hetgallyeoyoHow confusing!
비슷하게 생겼어요biseushage saeng-gyeot-eoyoThey look so much alike
잘 골라야 돼요jal gollaya dwaeyoChoose wisely
생각해 볼게요saeng-gaghae bolgeyoLet me think about it
따라 할게요ttala halgeyoI’ll follow your lead
걱정했어요geogjeonghaet-eoyoYou got me worried
설명해 주세요seolmyeonghae juseyoPlease explain

Shy / 부끄러움 [beukkeoreowoom]

  • Different words to express this emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
창피하다changpihadaEmbarrassing
소심하다sosimhadaTimid
쑥스럽다sujubdaShy
주저하다jujeohadaHesitate
차분하다chabunhadaDemure
내성적이다naeseongjeog-idaIntrovert
쑥스럽다ssugseuleobda(be) ashamed
겸손하다gyeomsonhada
Humble
온순하다onsunhadaDocile
자신없다jasin-eobdaUnconfident
  • Sample phrases to express shy emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
창피해요changpihaeyoHow shameful
쑥스러워서 못 참겠어요ssugseuleowoseo mos chamget-eoyoI can’t help it, I’m so shy
제발 이러지 마세요jebal ileoji maseyoPlease don’t do this
바보 같아요babo gat-ayoHow stupid
바보 같은 생각이에요babo gat-eun saeng-gag-ieyoWhat a foolish thought
당황스러워서 할 말이 없어요danghwangseuleowoseo hal mal-i eob-eoyoSo embarrassing, I am speechless
젠장!jenjang!Damn it!
사라지고 싶어요salajigo sip-eoyoI want to vanish
도망가고 싶어요domang-gago sip-eoyoI wanna flee
바보 멍청이!babo meongcheong-i!Stupid fool!

Hurt / 기분 상하다 [gibun sanghada]

  • Different words to express hurt emotion.
한글PronunciationTranslation
질투하다jiltuhadaJealous
배신하다baesinhadaBetrayal
실망하다silmanghadaDisappoint
상처받다sangcheobaddaBruise
기분 상하다gibun sanghadaInjured
거절하다geojeolhada
Reject
상심하다sangsimhada(to be) heart broken
사기당하다sagidanghadacheat
학대하다hagdaehadaabuse
왕따 당하다wangtta danghada(be) bullied
  • Sample phrases in Korean.
한글PronunciationTranslation
아파요, 그만해요apayo, geumanhaeyo
It hurts, stop it
너무해요neomuhaeyoYou’re unbearable
마음이 아파요ma-eum-i apayoMy heart aches
모두 악몽이에요modu agmong-ieyoThis is all a bad dream
가슴이 찢어져요gaseum-i jjij-eojyeoyo
My heart is breaking
마음이 미어져요ma-eum-i mieojyeoyo
It tears my heart apart
어떻게 이럴 수가 있어요?eotteohge ileol suga it-eoyo?How can you do this to me?
저한테 왜 그래요?jeohante wae geulaeyo?Why are you doing this to me?
정말 울고 싶어요jeongmal ulgo sip-eoyo
I really wanna cry
저 좀 내버려 두세요jeo jom naebeolyeo duseyoLeave me alone

Tired / 피곤하다 [pigonhada]

  • Different words to express tired emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
힘이 빠지다him-i ppajidaDrained
영혼이 없다yeonghon-i eobdaDead tired
몸이 무겁다mom-i mugeobdaCan’t get up
기운이 없다giun-i eobdaBurned out
지치다jichidaexhausted
쓰러지다sseuleojidaKnocked out
연약하다yeon-yaghadavulnerable
과로하다gwalohadaOver fatigue
낙담하다nagdamhadadiscouraged
무너지다muneojidaBreak down
  • Sample phrases in Korean:
한글PronunciationTranslation
졸려요jollyeoyo
I’m sleepy
너무 피곤한 일이에요neomu pigonhan il-ieyoWhat a tiring job
완전히 지쳤어요wanjeonhi jichyeot-eoyoTotally exhausted
아무것도 하기 싫어요amugeosdo hagi silh-eoyoI don’t wanna do anything
충전이 필요해요chungjeon-i pil-yohaeyoI need to recharge my energy
힘이 완전 빠졌어요him-i wanjeon ppajyeot-eoyoI’m totally drained
더 이상 못 하겠어요deo isang mot haget-eoyo
I can’t do it anymore
그만둘래요geumandullaeyoI quit
오늘은 여기까지 해요oneul-eun yeogikkaji haeyoLet’s wrap up for today
아무 데도 가기 싫어요amu dedo gagi silh-eoyoI don’t wanna go anywhere

Quick notes:

  • *Why is 아슬아슬하다 pronounced as [asuerasuerhada] when the word spelling looks like it should be asuelasuelhada?

    It is because when ㄹ is used as the last letter of a word, its sound is not R of the English alphabet but L. But when it is used as the first letter or when it is next to the letters ㅇ and ㅎ of Korean alphabet, the sound of becomes R.

Conclusion

Korean language has a very unique system that there are times when all we see is a single word yet it has its complete thought. So as you can see on the sample phrases, the Korean word and translation differ in number of words.

It is because Korean language has a thought in advance before the spoken or written word that even if they don’t include who or what (subject) is being discussed they already are understood.

There are also rules to consider regarding the Korean alphabet, in which some symbols have changes in phonetics when used in a word with some specific symbols.

I encourage you to try expressing these phrases according to your emotion and be more familiar with the usage and pronunciation for a more natural effect.

Have fun and stay tuned for more interesting topics. Please don’t forget to share on Facebook, twitter, Instagram or send to your friends email. Thank you so much! 즐거웠어요!

About the Author Nie Ae

Nie Ae is a Filipina by blood but is now bearing a Korean citizenship and residing in South Korea. She is a Christian missionary, writer, translator, and more than 10 years ESL teacher to Korean nationals.