10

Both mean happy. 嬉しい is an i-adjective, and 幸せ is a na-adjective. If I want to say, "The happy boy studied at the library", which one should I use? The boy in the sentence is feeling happy at the moment.

嬉しい男の子が図書館で勉強しました。

or

幸せな男の子が図書館で勉強しました。

  • 4
    Neither of your sentences sounds right... Do you mean (you think/the boy thought/the boy felt) he was (happy/lucky/in good circumstance) (because/irrelevant to) that he could study there? – broccoli forest Jan 27 '16 at 21:10
11

嬉しい nowadays is mostly used to express your happiness during a certain moment or time, and it's usually brief periods of joy and related to a close event(either by speech or by time). For example, if you just got a package you waited for, you'll be 嬉しい. If you passed your test, you're going to be 嬉しい.

幸せ(な) is used to express long-term joy, or put more simply, happiness. For example, if you're describing a happy family, you can say 幸せな家族. It has the general meaning of happiness while 嬉しい is for the immediate meaning of joy derived from a certain moment or event.

  • うちは幸せな結婚生活ですよ。
  • それは嬉しいことですね。

His marriage is filled with しあわせ, and he's うれしい about it.

  • 2
    「**私**は幸せな結婚生活ですよ。」 does not sound very natural. 「うち」 would be a far more common word choice here. – l'électeur Jan 28 '16 at 1:09
2

I think 嬉しい男の子 is unnatural. 嬉しい is mainly used in oneself like 私は友達ができて 嬉しい and isn't used in modifying nouns.

幸せな男の子が図書館で勉強しました is natural.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.