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
아주 좋아하다Ajoo jowahadaReally like / love
잘 되다Jal dwedaGood for (someone)
다행이다daheng-idaWhat a relief
만죽하다manjookhadaSatisfy / happy
축하하다chookhahadacongratulations
감사하다kamsahadaGrateful / thankful
재미 있다jaemittaInteresting / fun
웃기다wookidafunny
  • Sample phrases of joyful emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
나는 행복해!Naneun haengbokhae!I am happy.
잘 됐다!Jal dwetta!Good for you!
다행이다!dahaeng-ida !What a relief!
당신 최고다!Dangshin chwegoda!You’re the best!
즐거웠다!Jeulgeowotta!I had fun!
축하해!Chookhahe!Congratulations!
잘 했어!Jar haesseo!Good job!
대단하다!daedanhada!amazing!
너 부럽다!Neo booreopta!I envy you!
도움이 되서 기뻐요 !Dowoomi dweseo gippeoyo!I am glad to be of help!

Sad / 슬픔 [seulpeum]

  • Different words to express this emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
외롭다weroptalonely
우울하다woowoorhadadepressed
불행하다boorhaenghadaunhappy
절망하다jeolmanghadadespair
미안하다miyanhadasorry
실망하다silmanghadadisappoint
불평하다boolpyeonghadacomplain
억울하다eogoorhadaunfair
희망이 없는Himang-i omneunhopeless
포기하다pogihadaGive up
  • Sample phrases of sad emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
너무 외로워!Neomoo werowo!So lonely!
우울하네woowoorhaneI’m depressed.
슬픈 일이다!Seulpeun irida!It’s sad!
난 절망에 빠졌다!Nan jeolmang-e pajyeotta!I’m in despair!
유감입니다yoogam imnidaSorry for your loss.
실망이다!Silmang-ida!Such a disappointment!
불평하지마!boolpyeonghajima!Stop complaining!
억울해!eogoorhe!It’s unfair!
희망 없는 생각이다!Himang omneun saenggak-ida!What a hopeless thought!
최악의 날이다!Chwe-agye narida!Worst day ever!

Fear / 두려움 [dooryeowoom]

  • Different words to express this emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
무섭다mooseoptascary
공포gongpohorror
소름soreumgoosebump
끔찍하다kkeumdzikhadaHorrible
놀라다nolladastartle
겁내다geomnidascared
당황하다danghwanghadapanic
아슬아슬*aseur aseur hadaBreathtaking
긴장하다ginjanghadanervous
두려워하다dooryeowohadaafraid
  • Sample phrases of fear:
한글PronunciationTranslation
어머나 세상에!Eomeona sesangye!Oh my goodness!
끔찍해!kkeumdzikhae!How horrible!
못 보게서!Mot bogeseo!I can’t watch it!
상상도 못해!Sangsangdo mot hae!I can’t even imagine it!
용서 해주세요!Yongseo haejooseyo!Please forgive me!
한 번만 봐 줘Han beonman bwa jwoForgive me just this once
앞으로 주심 할게요Apro jooshim halkeyoI’ll be cautious from now on
제가 잘 못 했어.Jega jal mot haeseo.It's my fault.
무섭게 생겼네!Mooseopge saenggyeonneLooks frightening!
소름이 나!Soreumi naCreepy!

Anger / 분노 [boonno]

  • Different words to express this emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
화내다Hwaneda(be)angry
짜증dzajeungannoy
기본이 좋지 않은Giboni jochi aneunBad mood
속이 끓여Sogi ggeurhyeoFurious
미친michinMad
찡그림Dzing geurimFrowning
격노*gyeongnoRage
불쾌boolkhwedispleased
괴롭히다gwirophida(to) torment
미움miwoomhatred
  • Sample phrases of anger emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
꺼져!kkeojyeo!Get lost!
내 앞에 나타나지마!Ne aphe natanajima!Get out of my face!
감히!gamhi!How dare you!
미치겠네!michikene!You’re driving me mad!
당신 미워!Dangshin miwo!I hate you!
젠장!Jenjang!Damn it!
용서할 수 없어!Yongseohal soo eobseo!Unforgivable!
짜증 나 진짜!Dzajeung na jindza!This is ridiculous!
불 났다!Bool natta!(He/She)’s furious!
미쳐서!micheoseo!You’re crazy!

Confused / 혼란스러운 [honlanseureowoon]

  • Different words to express this emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
확실하지 않다Hwakshiraji antaUnsure
불안한booranhanUncertain
당황danghwangbewilder
걱정geokjeongWorry
속이다sogidaDeceive
멍하게 하다Meonghage hadaDaze
비슷하다biseuthadaSimilar
헷갈리다hekalida(to be) confused
부정확하다boojeonghwakhadaInaccurate
막연하다magyeonhadaVague
  • Sample phrases of confused emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
잘 몰라요.Jal molayo.I really don’t know.
확실하지가 않아요.Hwakshirajiga anayoNot really sure.
어떡하지?eotteokhaji?What should I do?
너무 헷갈려.Neomoo hekalyeo.How confusing!
비슷하게 생겼네.Biseuthage saengyeonneThey look so much alike.
잘 골라야 돼.Jal golaya dwe.Choose wisely.
생각할 시간을 줘Saenggakhal shiganeul jwoLet me think about it.
당신 따라 할게Dangshin ttara halkeI’ll follow your lead.
야! 걱정 했잖아!Ya! Geokjeong haechana!Hey! You got me worried!
설명 해줄래?Seolmyeong hejoole?Care to elaborate?

Shy / 부끄러움 [peukkeoreowoom]

  • Different words to express this emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
창피해changpiheEmbarrassing
소심하다soshimhadaTimid
수줍다soojooptaShy
주저하다joojeohadaHesitate
차분한chabonhanDemure
내성적인naeseongjeoginIntrovert
쑥스럽다ssookseureopta(be) ashamed
겸손하다gyeomsonhadaHumble
온순한onsoonhandocile
자신감이 없다Jasingami optaUnconfident
  • Sample phrases to express shy emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
창피해!changpihae!How shameful!
쑥스러워서 못 잠겠네요!Sookseurwoseo mot jamkeneyoI can’t help it, I’m so shy!
제발 이러지마!Jebal ireojima!Please don’t do this!
바보 같이!Babo kachi!How stupid!
어리석은 생각이다!Eoriseokeun senggagida!What a foolish thought!
당황해서 할말이 없어!Danghwangheseo halmari eopseo!So embarrassing, I am speechless!
젠장!Jenjang!Damn it!
사라지고싶다!Sarajigoshipta!I want to vanish!
도망가고싶다!domanggagoshipta!I wanna flee!
바보 멍청이!Babo meongcheong-iStupid fool!

Hurt / 상하다 [sanghada]

  • Different words to express hurt emotion.
한글PronunciationTranslation
질투JiltooJealous
배신BaeshinBetrayal
실망SilmangDisappoint
상처SangcheoBruise
다지다DajidaInjured
거절하다GeojeorhadaReject
감정을 상하게 하다Gamjeong-eul sanghage hada(to be) heart broken
사기 당하다Sago danghadacheat
학대하다Haktaehadaabuse
왕따 당하다Wangta danghada(be) bullied
  • Sample phrases in Korean.
한글PronunciationTranslation
아프다 그만해!Apeuda, geumanhae!It hurts, stop it!
너무 하다 진짜!Neomoo hada jindza!You’re unbearable!
마음이 아프다Ma-eumi apeudaMy heart aches.
이것 다 나쁜 꿈이다!Iigeot da nappeun goomida!This is all a bad dream!
심장이 깨질 것 같아!Simjang-i kejil keot kata!My heart is breaking!
가슴이 미어지다Gaseumi miyeojidaIt tears my heart apart!
어떻게 이럴 수가 있어?Eottoke ireol ssoga iseo?How can you do this to me?
나 한테 왜 그래?Na hante we geurae?Why are you doing this to me?
울고 싶다 정말!Woolgo shipta jeongmal!I really wanna cry!
나 내버려 둬!Na naebeoryeo dwo!Leave me alone!

Tired / 피곤하다 [pigonhada]

  • Different words to express tired emotion:
한글PronunciationTranslation
힘이 빠지다Himi pajidaDrained
영혼이 없다Yeonghoni eoptaDead tired
몸이 무겁다Momi moogeoptaCan’t get up
기운이 없다Giwooni eoptaBurned out
지친Jichinexhausted
쓰러지다SeureojidaKnocked out
취약chweyakvulnerable
피루에PirooyeOver fatigue
낙담한Nakdamhandiscouraged
넘어지다NeomeojidaBreak down
  • Sample phrases in Korean:
한글PronunciationTranslation
줄린다JoolindaI’m sleepy.
하얗게 불 태우다!Hayake bool tewoodaWhat a tiring job!
완전 지쳤어!Wanjeon jicheoseo!Totally exhausted!
아무것도 하기 싫다!Amoogeotdo hagi shilta!I don’t wanna do anything!
나 충전 시켜 줘Na choongjeon hae jwoI need to recharge my energy.
힘이 완전 빠졌어!Himi wanjeon pajeoseo!I’m totally drained!
더 이상 못 하겠어!Deo isang mot hageseo!I can’t do it anymore!
나 이제 그만 할래!Na ije geuman halle!I quit!
오늘 여기까지만 하자Oneul yeogigachiman hajaLet’s wrap up for today
어디도 나가기 싫다!Eodido nagagi shilta!I 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.

  • *Why is 격노 pronounced as [gyeongno] when the alphabet is supposed to be [gyeogno]?
    It’s because when the Korean alphabet of is used next to , the phonetics of the becomes [ng] so instead of the word sounding as gyeogno it becomes gyeongno.

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! 즐거웠다!

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.

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