Korean Linking Word – 그런데 (but, however)

Korean Linking Word – 그런데 (but, however)


This time, we will learn the Korean linking phrase meaning ‘but’ or ‘however’. 그런데 [geureonde] is used in a conversation when the second or responding sentence is opposed to or contrasting the first sentence.

You see this in action by adding ‘A’ and ‘B’ before and after 그런데, as follows:

👩 Speaker 1: A
🧔 Speaker 2: 그런데 B

or

🗣 Speaker: A 그런데 B

In these instances, ‘A’ in the first sentence was negated in the second sentence by 그런데, and then the information that ‘B’ shares.

The most common English translation of 그런데 is ‘by the way,’ but I think this translation isn’t perfect. In English, we would generally use ‘by the way’ to introduce a new topic which hasn’t been discussed yet.

Using 그런데, the speaker acknowledges the first situation, and indicates it’ll go in another direction. In other words, a prior situation is slightly negated, and the speaker will bring up other information to demonstrate why.

In colloquial speech, Koreans often use 근데 [geunde] as the short form of 그런데.

You should be ready enough, now. Let’s set down example sentences, one by one.

1️⃣ 아마존에서 바지를 샀어요. 그런데 너무 작아요.
[amajoneseo bajireul sasseoyo geureonde neomu jagayo]

I bought pants at Amazon. But they are too tight for me.

Word List   
아마존 [amajon]Amazon에서 [eseo]at, in (location marker)
바지 [baji]pants를 [reul](vowel +) object marker
사다 [sada]to buy너무 [neomu]too, very, so
작다 [jakda]small, tight

2️⃣ 우리 부모님은 키가 크세요. 그런데 저는 작아요.
[uri bumonimeun kiga keuseyo geureonde jeoneun jagayo]

My parents are tall. But I’m short.

The literal meaning of 우리 부모님 is “our parents”, which also can be translated into “my parents” though. Koreans tend to use 우리 (our) in the place of 나의 [naeui] (my). In brief, 우리 부모님 can indicate two meaning depending on the context – OUR parents or MY parents.

Word List   
우리 [uri]our부모님 [bumonim]parents
은 [eun](consonant +) topic marker키 [ki]height
가 [ga](vowel +) subject marker크다 [keuda]big, tall
저 [jeo]I (polite)는 [neun](vowel +) topic marker
작다 [jakda]small, short

3️⃣ 어제 늦게 잤어요. 그런데 별로 피곤하지 않아요.
[eoje neutge jasseoyo geureonde byeollo pigonhaji anayo]

I went to bed late last night. But I didn’t feel tired.

Word List   
어제 [eoje]yesterday늦게 [neutge]late
자다 [jada]to go bed, sleep별로 [byeollo]not really
피곤하다 [pigonhada]tired

4️⃣ 저는 매일 운동해요. 그런데 살이 안 빠져요.
[jeoneun meil undongheyo geureonde sari an bbajyeoyo]

I work out every day. But I don’t lose any weight.

The literal meaning of 살이 안 빠지다 [sari an bbajida] is “Body weight isn’t being lost”. If losing weight, we can use 살이 빠지다 [sari bbajida].

Word List   
저 [jeo]I (polite)는 [neun](vowel +) topic marker
매일 [meil]every day운동하다 [undonghada]to work out, exercise
살 [sal]flesh이 [i](consonant +) subject marker
안 [an]not빠지다 [bbajida]to be lost

5️⃣ 너무 졸려요. 그런데 오늘까지 해야 할 일이 많아요.
[neomu jollyeoyo geureonde oneulggaji heya hal iri manayo]

I feel so sleepy. But there are many things to do today.

Word List   
너무 [neomu]very, too, so졸리다 [jollida]sleepy
오늘 [oneul]today까지 [ggaji]by, until
해야 할 일 [heya hal il]things (for someone) to have to do많다 [manta]many, much, lots of

6️⃣ 어제 과음했어요. 그런데 지금은 괜찮아요.
[eoje gwa-eumhesseoyo geureonde jigeumeun gwenchanayo]

I drank way too much yesterday. But I’m okay now.

Word List   
어제 [eoje]yesterday과음하다 [gwa-eumhada]to drink much
지금 [jigeum]now은 [eun](consonant +) topic marker
괜찮다 [gwenchanta]to be okay