How to Say Happy in Spanish

Three Parts:Conjugating and Using Proper GrammarConsidering Different Terms For HappyPracticing Pronunciation

Spanish is a rich language and there are many ways to express happiness in Spanish. Here are a few ideas you can use to expand your vocabulary and express yourself more precisely. For beginners, there is a breakdown of grammar and punctuation. If you know some Spanish, learn different terms for happiness and brush up on your grammar. Finally, learn tips on how to improve your pronunciation. Also, for many of the words for happiness used in this article, there are other definitions of these words as well. For example gusto also means "taste." For the purpose of this article, we will discuss how different words can be used to specifically express happiness.

Part 1
Conjugating and Using Proper Grammar

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    Use the correct masculine or feminine form of contento(a). In Spanish, the endings of some words are changed to o or a depending on whether you are speaking about a male or female. When referring to a female, you say está contenta, “she is happy,” with the a ending. When referring to a male, you say está contento, or “he is happy,” with the o ending.[1]
    • None of the other words for happy have endings that change to a masculine or feminine form.
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    Use the correct verb of to be, ser or estar. If you are saying something or someone is happy as a temporary state of being/feeling, you should use the estar form of happy. Estar is more common for talking about happiness in Spanish. If you are saying someone is a happy person as a permanent way of being; however, you will use ser.
    • An example of estar would be if you said, Estoy contento de que vinieras, or “I (male) am happy you came.” Being happy about an action is an impermanent state, and so you would use estar.
    • An example of ser would be if you said, Siempre ha sido una niña muy alegre, or “she has always been a happy (cheerful) little girl.” You are saying this is her permanent way of being, and so you use ser in the present perfect, ha sido, or “she has been.”
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    Conjugate estar based on the time you are referring to and who you are talking about. Decide on how you need to conjugate the verb you are using in order to convey the correct meaning. Conjugating verbs can be complex in Spanish, and there are many different conjugations depending on the subject and tense you are using. Follow the in-line citations to see all of the ways to conjugate estar, which is the most common verb that you will use with happy. [2] If you are speaking in the present form of estar to say you or someone else is happy, use the following conjugations:
    • I am happy- Estoy feliz
    • You are happy- Estás feliz
    • She/he or you formal is/are happy- Está feliz
    • We are happy- Estamos feliz
    • They are happy formal- Estáis feliz
    • They are happy- Están feliz
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    Consider reflexive verbs. For example, if you would like to say Me siento feliz, or “I feel happy,” remember that the verb sentirse is reflexive. Reflexive verbs are shown in the example, Me llamo Juan. Me llamo Juan translates directly to “I call myself Juan.” In English, we don’t have reflexive verbs. However, in Spanish you add the me in front of the present I form of the verb for llamar, or to call to make the reflexive form Me llamo.
    • Me (myself) siento feliz
    • Te (yourself) sientes feliz
    • Se (himself, herself, yourself) siente feliz
    • Nos (ourselves) sentimos feliz
    • Os (yourselves) sentís feliz
    • Se (themselves, yourselves) sienten feliz
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    Make feliz or contento plural if the subject is plural. If you are saying we, you all, or they are happy, for example, use the plural forms felices and contentos.
    • For example, if you say, Estamos felices de estar aquí, or “we are happy to be here,” you say estamos felices because “we are happy” is plural.
    • For another example, El grupo de las niñas están contentos con sus venta de las galletas, or “the group of girls are happy with their cookie sales.” Here there is more than one girl selling cookies, and so because it’s plural, contenta becomes contentos.

Part 2
Considering Different Terms For Happy

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    Use contento(a) to talk about being pleased. In Spanish feliz and contento can be used pretty much interchangeably. But contento, like its cognate in English, content, is more closely translated to saying someone or something is pleased. [3]
    • For example, you might ask, ¿Tú estás contento con tus calificaciones?, or “are you happy (pleased) with your grades?” [4]
    • To be happy (pleased) with something, you would say, Estoy contento(a) con mi nuevo vestido, or “I am happy with my new dress.”
    • Contentar is also a verb that means to please or satisfy. [5]
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    Say feliz to express contentment. Feliz is typically used to express a state of being that is not permanent. For example, you might say, Aquí hemos sido muy felices, or “we have been very happy here.” [6]
    • You could also tell someone that they have made you happy. For example, you might say, Me haces feliz, or “you make me happy.”
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    Try using alegre to talk about being cheerful or glad. You could talk about someone’s disposition being cheerful. For example, you could say, Creo que soy una persona bastante alegre, por lo general, or “I think that I am a pretty happy (cheerful) person, in general.” Because you are saying that you are a cheerful person as a permanent state of being, you use the ser form of I am, soy.
    • You can also say that something someone has done has made you happy. For example, you could say, Me alegro que llegaste temprano, or “I’m glad that you came early.” In this case, alegrar is a reflexive verb that means to cheer up or rejoice. Directly translated it would mean, “it makes me glad that you came early.” But in English we do not use reflexive verbs in the same way, so it makes more sense as “I’m glad.”[7]
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    Congratulate or wish someone a Happy Birthday/happy holiday. The word for happiness is felicidad, a feminine noun. The plural of this word is used to say congratulations: ¡felicidades!
    • To wish someone a Happy Birthday, say ¡feliz cumpleaños!
    • To wish someone a Merry Christmas, say ¡feliz Navidad!
    • To wish someone a Happy New Year, say ¡feliz Año Nuevo!
  5. Image titled Say Happy in Spanish Step 10
    Say con mucho gusto to say you are happy to help. Here happy means that you are willing to help. For example, if you want to show your willingness to do something, you might say to someone, Con mucho gusto se lo comprobaré, or “I would be happy to check it for you.”
    • Se is used here to refer to used.
  6. Image titled Say Happy in Spanish Step 11
    Express that you enjoyed something with gusto or placer. Placer is also a verb that means “to be pleased.” For example, you could say nos place que te quedas aqui which means “it pleases us to have you stay here.” [8]If you have had a good experience, something was to your liking, or you want to say that you enjoyed something, you can use either word. For example:
    • Me da mucho gusto que... (It gives me much pleasure that...)
    • Es un placer. (It is a pleasure.)
    • Fue un placer. (It was a pleasure.)
    • El gusto es mío. (The pleasure is mine.)

Part 3
Practicing Pronunciation

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    Practice your pronunciation saying Estoy contenta. For a correct pronunciation, say Es-toy con-ten-ta. With an emphasis on “toy” and “tenta.” Remember that depending on whether you are speaking to a guy or a girl, you will say contento or contenta. [9]
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    Pronounce all of the letter sounds in Spanish. Spanish is a great language for learning correct pronunciation because unlike English, there are no silent letters. You pronounce every letter in a word.
    • The one exception to this rule is that you do not pronounce the h at the beginning of words.
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    Pronounce your vowels with shorter sounds. Saying shorter vowel sounds will help you sound more native. Vowels in Spanish are easier to learn to pronounce than in English because there are only 5 sounds as opposed to 12.[10] Notice that i and e in Spanish have different sounds than in English. The Spanish i vowel sound is more similar to the ee sound in English. The e vowel sound is more similar to the eh sound. [11]
    • a - ah
    • e- eh
    • i- ee
    • o- oh
    • u- oo
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    Change the stress on your words. In English, typically the stress goes on the first syllable in the word. This is the opposite in Spanish. If you have a word with 2-3 syllables, you will most likely put the stress on the second or third syllable. Look at the following words that are the same in English and Spanish, and you can see how the stress is changed. The stress in the English words are on the left, and the emphasis for the Spanish words are on the right.
    • LEgal = leGAL
    • ANimal = aniMAL
    • HOSpital = hospiTAL
    • POSsible = posIBle
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    Practice with a written and recorded Spanish. Look for dialogue in Spanish that has a recording that goes along with it. First practice saying the dialogue aloud and then listening and speaking along with the recording to hear how your pronunciation should be. Repeat this process several times. [12]
    • You can watch a movie in Spanish with subtitles. First mute the movie and read the subtitles aloud, then replay the same part and read the subtitles aloud with the audio to hear the difference.

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Categories: Spanish