Congratulations In Korean

There are many instances in which you might want to say congratulations in Korean. You may want to congratulate someone in Korean at their graduation or when they pass a test. Or perhaps you want to congratulate a Korean friend on their birthday, when they get married, or when they have a baby. Luckily, learning how to say congratulations in Korean is really easy, even for beginner Korean learners. In this post, we will teach you how to congratulate someone in Korean and the informal, polite, and formal ways to say congratulations in Korean.

Related: How To Say Happy Birthday In Korean

Congratulations In Korean

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Before we look at the different ways to say congratulations in Korean, let’s learn the verb ‘to congratulate’. The Korean verb for ‘congratulate’ is 축하하다 [chuk-a-ha-da]. 축하 [chuk-a] means ‘celebrations’ or ‘congratulations’ and 하다 [ha-da] means ‘to do’. Together, they make the verb 축하하다 (to celebrate). In order to say congratulations in Korean, you must conjugate this verb with an appropriate ending. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

Informal/Casual Form

The informal/casual way to say congratulations in Korean is 축하해 [chuk-a-hae]. Listen to the audio below to hear how to pronounce this word.

축하해 [chuk-a-hae]

축하해 [chuk-a-hae] is the verb 축하하다 (to congratulate) conjugated into the present tense. 축하해 [chuk-a-hae] is the informal/casual way to say congratulations, and so this should only be used with close friends and people younger than you. In most cases, it is best to try and use either the polite form or the formal way to say congratulations.

Polite Form

The polite way to say congratulations in Korean is 축하해요 [chuk-a-hae-yo]. Listen to the audio below to hear how to pronounce this word.

축하해요 [chuk-a-hae-yo]

As you can see, 축하해요 [chuk-a-hae-yo] is the same as the informal way above but with [yo] attached to the end. Adding changes this into the polite way to say congratulations in Korean. As 축하해요 [chuk-a-hae-yo] is the polite form, you can safely use this in most situations to congratulate someone in Korean and you will sound polite. However, it is much more common to use the following formal expression.

Formal Form

The formal way to say congratulations in Korean is 축하합니다 [chuk-a-ham-ni-da]. Listen to the audio below to hear how to pronounce this word.

축하합니다 [chuk-a-ham-ni-da]

축하합니다 [chuk-a-ham-ni-da] is made up of the verb 축하하다 (to congratulate) plus the formal ending ~(스)ㅂ니다. Together, they make 축하합니다 [chuk-a-ham-ni-da] which is used to congratulate people in formal situations. 축하합니다 [chuk-a-ham-ni-da] is by far the most common way to say congratulations in Korean and can be safely used in any situation. Even though it is the formal way, it can be used in informal and casual situations, and it still sounds normal. So. if you only want to remember one way to say congratulations in Korean, remember 축하합니다 [chuk-a-ham-ni-da].

As this is the formal way to say congratulations in Korean, you should especially use this form when congratulating people you are not close with (e.g. work colleagues), people older than you, and people in a ‘higher’ social position compared to you (such as your boss at work, your teacher, etc).

More Formal

Another formal way to say congratulations in Korean is 축하드립니다 [chuk-a-deu-rim-ni-da]. Listen to the audio below to hear how to pronounce this word.

축하드립니다 [chuk-a-deu-rim-ni-da]

축하드립니다 [chuk-a-deu-rim-ni-da] is made up of 축하 (congratulate) plus the ending 드립니다 which is an honorific way to say ‘give’. 축하드립니다 [chuk-a-deu-rim-ni-da] is ‘extra formal’ and so if you want to sound really respectful when you congratulate someone (for example when congratulating your boss, your grandparents, your girlfriend’s parents, etc) then you can use 축하드립니다 [chuk-a-deu-rim-ni-da].


Thanks for reading. Before you go, check out our free Korean lessons, and Korean vocabulary pages to learn more useful Korean words and expressions.