How to Say “What a Relief!” in Korean: 다행이다 [dahengida]

How to Say “What a Relief!” in Korean: 다행이다 [dahengida]


 

As a Korean language teacher, I’ve seen many learners struggle to understand the meaning of 다행이다 [da-heng-i-da]. It expresses two mixed emotions—relief and happiness—which makes it difficult to translate correctly into English.

To be precise, 다행이다 is more about a feeling of relief. If there’s a possibility of something bad, and then it didn’t actually come to pass, we stop worrying: a feeling of “Thank goodness it didn’t happen.” That’s the case in which we can use 다행이다, which conveys the meaning “what a relief” or “thankfully.”

Be careful that you don’t use it to express only a happy or joyful mindset. Remember that it delivers a relieved feeling, dealing with situations.

Grammatically, Korean usually conjugates verbs or adjectives, adding the 아서 [aseo]/ 어서 [eoseo] meaning “because” to the stem, and then putting 다행이다 at the end of a sentence.

Now let’s get down to some examples, one by one. You’ll see 다행이다 is used in a variety of situations.

 

비가 안 와서 다행이에요.

[biga an waseo daheng-ieyo]

Thankfully it didn’t rain.

Word List   
비 [bi]rain안 [an]not
오다 [oda]to come다행이다 [daheng-ida]that's a relief

 

호텔 방이 별로 안 더러워서 다행이에요.

[hotel bang-i byeollo an deoreoweoseo daheng-ieyo]

Thankfully the hotel room isn’t too dirty.

Word List   
호텔 [hotel]hotel방 [bang]room
별로 [byeollo]not really, not particularly안 [an]not
더럽다 [deoreopda]dirty다행이다 [daheng-ida]that's a relief

 

별로 안 비싸서 다행이에요.

[byeollo an bissaseo daheng-ieyo]

Thankfully it’s not too expensive.

Word List   
별로 [byeollo]not really, not particularly안 [an]not
비싸다 [bissada]expensive다행이다 [daheng-ida]that's a relief

 

④ 

완전히 나아서 다행이에요.

[wanjeonhi na-aseo daheng-ieyo]

It’s a relief that you fully recovered from the injury.

Word List   
완전히 [wanjeonhi]fully, completely낫다 [natda]to recover, to get well, to feel better
다행이다 [daheng-ida]that's a relief

 

⑤ 

와! 그렇다니 정말 다행이에요.

[wa geureotdani jeongmal daheng-ieyo]

Wow! It’s such a relief to hear that.

Word List   
정말 [jeongmal]really, truly다행이다 [daheng-ida]that's a relief

 

⑥ 

A: 지갑 찾았어요!

[jigap chajatsseoyo]

I found my wallet!

B: 정말요? 휴, 다행이에요!

[jeongmal-yo hyu daheng-ieyo]

Really? Phew, what a relief!

Word List   
지갑 [jigap]wallet찾다 [chatda]to find, to look for
정말 [jeongmal]really, truly다행이다 [daheng-ida]that's a relief