← Previous

Beginner 2 > Lesson 15

Lesson 15. “But” (하지만, 근데, -지만, -(으)ㄴ/는데)

‘But’ part starts from01:06:22 in the video above.

1. 그렇지만/하지만 (but) as a Conjunction 01:06:22 
2. 그런데/근데
01:27:28 그런데/근데’s Conjunction
01:29:14 Conjunction to Present Adjective
01:34:42 Conjunction to Present Verb

01:41:28 more examples
01:51:30 Conjunction to Verbs.Adjectives in Past & Future Tense
02:11:18 근데 when it means “by the way”
3.그러나 02:15:40 그러나


There are various ways of saying ‘But’ in Korean:


  1. 그렇지만/하지만 = But

Ex. 저는 한국어를 잘해요. 하지만 영어는 못해요 = I am good at Korean. But not at English.

Ex. 엄마는 차를 마셔요. 그렇지만 아빠는 안 마셔요 = Mom drinks tea. But dad does not drink tea.


그렇지만/하지만 can be turned into a conjunction as well.
Conjunction is a sentence connectors’s abbreviated form, and it’s attached after a verb. Conjunctions make two sentences into one sentence.


그렇지만/하지만 as Conjunctions:

  • PRESENT TENSE: Base stem + 지만.

Ex. 지수는 예쁘지만 저는 안 예뻐요 = Jisoo is pretty but I am not.

Ex. 떡볶이는 맛있지만 매워요 = Tteokbokki is delicious but spicy.

Ex. 한국어는 재미있지만 어려워요 = Korean is fun but difficult.


  • PAST TENSE: Past stem + 지만.

Ex. 제프는 지수를 사랑했지만 용기가 없었어요 = Jeff loved Jisoo but he had no courage.

Ex. 점심은 먹었지만 저녁은 안 먹었어요 = I ate lunch but didn’t eat dinner.

Ex. 한국은 예전에 가난했지만 지금은 많이 발전했어요 = Previously Korea was poor but recently it has progressed a lot.


  • FUTURE TENSE: Future stem + 지만.

Ex. 저는 지수를 만날 거지만 지금은 아니에요 = I will meet Jisoo but not now.

Ex. 제프는 안 거지만 괜찮아요 = Jeff will not come but it’s okay.



  1. 그런데/근데 = But

Ex. 걔는 예뻐. 근데 성격이 안 좋아 = She is pretty. But her personality is not good.

Ex. 걔는 공부를 안 해. 그런데 똑똑해 = He doesn’t study. But he is smart.


그런데/근데 can be turned into conjunctions as well.

그런데/근데as Conjunctions:


A. When combined with an Adjective:

  • PRESENT TENSE: Base stem + -ㄴ/은데.

Ex. 저는 집에 가고 싶은데 아직 세시예요 = I want to go home but it’s still 3 o’clock.

Ex. 저는 배고픈데 집에 음식이 없어요 = I am hungry but there is no food at home.

Ex. 저는 한국어가 좋은데 어려워요 = I like Korean but it’s difficult.


  • PAST TENSE: Past stem + 는 + 데.

Ex. 영화는 좋았는데 끝까지 안 봤어요 = The movie was good but I didn’t watch it till the end.

Ex. 어렸을 때 언니가 키가 작았는데 지금은 키가 커요 = My sister was short when she was young but now she’s tall.

Ex. 어제는 따뜻했는데 오늘은 쌀쌀해요 = It was warm yesterday but it’s chilly today.


  • FUTURE TENSE: Future stem + -ㄴ + 데. (alternatively, 텐데 is used more often and sounds more natural. – We’ll learn more about 텐데 grammar in Intermediate 1 Course.)

Ex. 성적은 좋을 건데(=좋은 텐데) 제가 공부를 해야 돼요 = The grades will be good but I must study.

Ex. 일이 많이 힘들 텐데 지수는 열심히 하고 있어요 = Work must be tiring but Jisoo is working hard.

Ex. 내일은 바쁠 건데(=바쁠 텐데) 오늘은 만날까요? = I will be busy tomorrow but can we meet today?


B. When combined with a Verb (& Adjectives containing 있다/없다 verbs*):

  • PRESENT TENSE: Base stem + 는 + 데.

Ex. 저는 한국어를 공부하는데 아직 잘 못해요 = I am studying Korean but I’m not good at it yet.

Ex. 영화를 보는데 언니가 방해해요 = I am watching a movie but my sister is interrupting me.

Ex. 이 영화는 재미있는데* 너무 길어요 = This movie is interesting but too long.

Ex. 스테이크는 맛있는데* 너무 비싸요 = Steak is tasty but too expensive.


  • PAST TENSE: Past stem + 는 + 데.

Ex. 제프는 예전에 성격이 좋았는데 요즘에는 별로예요 = Previously Jeff had a good personality but recently not so much.

Ex. 어제 사람이 많았는데 오늘은 적네요 = Yesterday there were a lot of people but today there are less.

Ex. 열심히 공부했는데 시험을 망쳤어요 = I studied hard but messed up my exam.


  • FUTURE TENSE: Future stem + -ㄴ + 데. 

Ex. 저는 안 건데 엄마는 갈 거예요 = I won’t go but mom will go.

Ex. 저는 지금 공부를 건데 나중에 TV를 볼 거예요 = I will study now but watch TV later.

Ex. 엄마가 차를 마실 건데 저는 커피를 마실 거예요 = Mom will drink tea but I will drink coffee.


  1. 근데 = By the way.

근데 also has a meaning of ‘By the way’ when used at the starting of a sentence. It is used when saying something out of the blue or to break silence.

Ex. 근데 저 부탁 하나 해도 돼요? = By the way, can I ask you a favour?

Ex. 근데 나 핸드폰 좀 빌려줄 수 있어? = By the way, could I borrow your phone?

Ex. 근데 여기 진짜 예쁘다! = By the way, it’s really beautiful here!


  1. 그러나 = But (very formal; usually used in writing)

Conjunction of 그러나:

  • Base stem + 나

Ex. 소는 초식 동물이나 호랑이는 육식동물이다 = Cow is a herbivorous animal but tiger is a carnivorous animal.

  • Past stem + 으나

Ex. 문 대통령은 최선을 다했으나 계약이 성사되지 못했다 = President Moon did his best but the contract could not be accomplished.