Happy and lucky . The meanings of these adjectives are covered by one word in some languages, but they mean different things in English. Learn how we use them here and find out what to say when you want to wish people good luck. Also learn the meaning of the expression happy go lucky.

Click here to learn more about being unlucky with our funny video on Friday the thirteenth
Click here to see more vocabulary videos.

Happy Lucky video script

What are you watching?
The Blue Detective.
Oh I love this movie. It has a happy ending.
Don’t tell me!

In some languages being lucky and being happy is covered by the same word, but not in English.

You’re very happy today.
Yes, the Phillies won last night.
It’s his favourite baseball team.

Happiness is a positive emotion. If we’re happy, we feel or show pleasure.

Carter. Carter’s a very happy dog.
How do you know? Well, look at his tail wagging.

Happiness can come with luck, but not always, because luck is something different. If we’re lucky, we have good fortune. Gamblers need good luck.

We didn’t win the lottery.
I don’t know why you spend money on those tickets.
One day we’re gonna be lucky.

I want a pay raise.
We all do.
And I want a company car.
We all do.
And I want more vacation time.
Jay, you’re lucky to have a job. Get back to work.

So we can be lucky without being happy, and happy without being lucky.

Do you think we’ll get the contract.
I think so. My fingers are crossed.
Well, crossing your fingers is good luck.
No, I mean why do you think we’ll get the contract?
Because we’re the best.

A superstition is a belief that something will bring good or bad luck.
So people might cross their fingers. They might have numbers they think are lucky or unlucky.
And they might have objects and things that they believe are lucky. It’s grammar time.

A toast to the bride. Happiness!

These are the adjectives and these are the nouns. They’re both uncountable nouns.
When we’re talking about happiness in general, we don’t use an article so this is wrong.
And because it’s an uncountable noun, we might talk about a bit of luck, or a stroke of luck, or not having much luck.

I’m trying to open this jar but I’m not having much luck.
Let me.
Thank you.

OK. Let’s look at some more uses. ‘Happy’ is a versatile word because you can use it in lots of contexts.
We use it to say how satisfied we are with something, or not.

So what do you think of my report?
I’m very happy with the beginning, but not so happy with the conclusion.
What’s wrong with it?

We use it to say we’re willing to do something.

Do you need a hand?
Yes, can you set the table?
I’d be happy to.
Thank you.

We can use the word ‘happy’ to congratulate people when nice things happen.

OK, bye.
I got the job.
Oh, fantastic!
I’m so happy for you.

And of course we use ‘happy’ to wish people happinesss on special days and holidays.
Now we can also wish people luck as well when we hope they’ll be successful.

What time is your job interview.
Two o’clock. I think I’ll put on a tie.
Yes, good luck.
Good luck!

Ah, hard luck!

In British English we say ‘Hard luck’ or ‘Tough luck’ when someone is unsuccessful. It expresses sympathy.

That was lucky!
Oh that wasn’t luck.
That was skill.
Yeah, right.

OK, one last expression before we stop. We all know people who are happy and people who are lucky.
But do you know anyone who is happy-go-lucky. It means cheerful, optimistic, carefree.
So it depends on your point of view. If we say someone’s happy-go-lucky we can mean they’re pleasant to be around.
Or we can mean they annoy the heck out of us because they are so damned happy.
And that’s it. Here’s wishing you all good health, good luck and lots of happiness.

Click here to learn more about being unlucky with our funny video on Friday the thirteenth
Click here to see more vocabulary videos.


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