While we always hear the Korean way of saying “Congrats”, we are often confused about when to use which term for different people and occasions. Here are the Korean ways to say congratulations and the example on how to use them!
1. 축하드립니다 (chuk-ha-deu-rib-ni-da)
This is the most formal way of saying congratulations. It is used while speaking to job superiors (상사), teachers (선생님) or anyone who has positions of power over you in the place you work at. It is also used in more formal occasions such as a promotion (승진) in work.
2. 축하드려요 (chuk-ha-deu-ryeo-yo)
This is slightly less formal than chuk-ha-deu-rib-ni-da (축하드립니다). It is almost on the same level but used in different occasions (행사) such as weddings (결혼식) or anniversary’s (기념일). However, it is also used for people who have higher positions than you.
3. 축하합니다 (chuk-ha-hab-ni-da)
You would also use chuk-ha-hab-ni-da (축하합니다) to congratulate someone on their wedding or graduation (졸업식). It is used for people who are older than you such as relatives (친척) or maybe friends who are older.
4. 축하해요 (chuk-ha-hae-yo)
This is a less formal way of saying congratulations. It is used among acquaintances (지인), neighbors (이웃) or friends (친구) who you are not that close with. It is also used during formal occasions instead of birthdays (생일) and weddings.
5. 축하해 (chuk-ha-hae)
This is the most informal way of saying congratulations after removing the “yo“ (요) behind. This form is used while talking with close friends (친한 친구), children (아이들) or anyone who is younger than you. It is especially used during birthdays.
6. Example 쓰는 방법
Birthday (생일) = 생일 축하해 (saeng-il chuk-ha-hae)
Wedding (결혼) = 축하드려요 (gyul-hon chuk-ha-deu-ryeo yo)
Graduation (졸업) = 졸업 축하합니다 (jol-eob chuk-ha-hab-ni-da)