Spanish word of the week: alegría

la alegría NOUN happiness, joy

Alegría is a great quality to have, and is the noun deriving from the adjective alegre – happy – which you probably already know.

Es un motivo grande de alegría. It’s a great cause for happiness.

Alegría is sometimes translated as joy, as in Beethoven’s famous ‘Ode to Joy’, that in Spanish is el Himno a la Alegría.

It’s worth bearing in mind that you often can’t translate alegría literally as happiness. For instance, in the common phrase ¡Qué alegría + infinitive:

¡Qué alegría verte por aquí! How wonderful to see you here!

And the phrase con alegría is translated in various ways – often not with a noun at all!

Comprobó con alegría que no la habían visto. She was pleased to discover that she hadn’t been seen.

Festejan hoy con alegría la boda de la princesa. Today they are happily celebrating the princess’s wedding.

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