Grammar Lesson 4 Korean

(ㄴ/은)데/는데 (explanation,but,surprise)

Now we look at a very common Korean grammar construct, (ㄴ/은)데/는데. This is used in a variety of situations to explain something, to join sentences, to express surprise, to expect an answer.

AV + 는데
DV + (ㄴ/은)데

1. Verbs lose the stem and append -는데, Descriptive verbs (adjectives) append ㄴ + 데 if the last character is a vowel or ㄹ, or 은데 if the last character is a consonant.

2. It is used when you are explaining the background or situation or result, as a way of joining sentences together.

내일 주말인데, 뭐 할 거예요? – It’s the weekend tomorrow, what are you going to do?

영화 봤는데, 무서웠어요. – I watched a movie, and it was scary.

3. It is used to join sentences together similar to how 근데/그런데 is used, with a ‘but/however’ meaning, but less strong then that of 지만. It can be used as an ending if the resulting meaning is obvious.

준비 많이 했는데, 잘 못해요. – I prepared a lot, but I am unable do it.

4. It is used to express surprise.

와 진짜 예쁜데요! – Wow that’s really pretty!

5. When used as a question ending, you are expecting some explanation from the listener.

뭐 하시는데요? – What are you doing? (expecting explanation)