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Beginner 2 > Lesson 16

Lesson 16. More usages of “-(으)ㄴ/는데”

Just like we learned in the previous lesson, (으)ㄴ데/는데 comes from 그런데, and it is placed between two clauses to mean ‘but’ or ‘however.’

In this lesson, we’re going to learn MORE USAGES of (으)ㄴ데/는데 other than ‘but’ or ‘however.’ There are many ways & situations you can use it. 

The same grammatical rules apply. Before we start today’s lesson, let’s briefly review the construction rules of -(으)ㄴ/는데.

Present Tense ConjugationRulesExample
Adjective/이다 + ㄴ데If there is no final consonant or the adjective ends with ㄹ consonant

배고프다 + ㄴ데 = 배고픈데

멀다 + ㄴ데 = 먼데

이다 + ㄴ데 = 인데

Adjective + 은데If there is a final consonant좋다 + 은데 = 좋은데
Verb+ 는데It doesn’t matter if the preceding verb stem ends with a consonant or vowel.

가다 + 는데 = 가는데

먹다 + 는데 = 먹는데


Past Tense ConjugationRulesExample
Both verbs and adjectivesWhen the vowel in a verb/adjective is ‘ㅏ’ or ‘ㅗ’, ‘았는데’ is used.가다 + 았는데 = 갔는데
 when there is vowel other than ‘ㅏ, ㅗ’ in a verb/adjective stem, ‘었는데’ is used.먹다 + 었는데 = 먹었는데
 When a verb/adjective ends in ‘하다’, use ‘했는데’공부하다 + 했는데 = 공부했는데


Future Tense ConjugationRulesExample
Adjective/이다 + ㄹ/을 텐데*

Adj (that ends in vowel) + ㄹ 텐데

Adj(that ends in consonant) + 을 텐데

이다 + ㄹ텐데

피곤하다 + ㄹ 텐데 = 피곤할텐데

작다 + 을 텐데 =작을 텐데

이다 + ㄹ 텐데 = 일 텐데

Verb+ ㄹ/을 건데

Verb (that ends in vowel) + ㄹ 건데

Verb (that ends in consonant) + 을 건데

이다 + ㄹ텐데

먹다 + 을 건데 = 먹을 건데

보다 + ㄹ 건데 =볼 건데

Irregular Adj/verb

ㄹ ending stem : nothing attached, just the stem

ㅂ ending stem : deleted ㅂ and put 울

멀다 + ㄹ 텐데 = 멀텐데

맵다 + 을 텐데 = 매 텐데

*we’ll learn more about the difference between -ㄹ/을 건데 and -ㄹ/을 텐데 in the next coming courses, and no need to worry much for now! :))


Now that we reviewed the grammatical constructions, let’s move straight into additional usages of -(으)ㄴ/는데!


1. When expressing different opinions, or claiming something’s not true

You can simply end the sentence with (으)ㄴ데/는데 in that case. Here are some examples:

유진: 나 안 사랑하지? Yujin: You don’t love me, do you?
인성: 사랑하는데! InSung: But I love you! (Saying what the other person said is not true)


유진: 같이 영화 보러 갈까? Yujin: You want to watch movie together?
인성: 싫은데… InSung: But I don’t want to… (Different opinion)


선생님: 네 이름이 지수니? Is your name Jisoo?
학생: 아닌데요. No. [아니다 + ㄴ데 + 요]


엄마: 너 숙제 다 안 했지? You didn’t finish your homework, did you?
아들: 다 했는데요. I finished it. (Unlike what you said, yes I did finish.)


엄마: 지수는 아마 집에 있을 거야. Jisoo might be at home.
나: 지수 지금 헬스장에서 운동하는데요. Jisoo is working out at the gym. (What you said is not true.)


2. Showing that you’re quite surprised by the results, because it turned out better or worse than you initially expected.

엄마: 피아노 레슨은 어땠어? How was your piano lesson?
유진: 생각보다 재밌는데요. It was more fun than I thought.

지수: 소금을 많이 안 넣어서 맛이 없을 거예요. I didn’t put much salt, so it won’t taste good.
지호: 맛있는데! But it’s good!


친구는 이 노래가 별로라고 했는데, 지금 들어보니까 좋은데요! My friend said this song isn’t that good, but as I’m listening to it right now, it is good!


A: 한국어 공부 잘 되고 있어요? How’s your Korean study going?
B: 생각보다 어려운데요. It’s more difficult than I thought. 


3. Setting the background for storytelling

You can start a story and give some background / setting by using (으)ㄴ데/는데. For example:

Background InfoStory
I went to a coffee shop yesterdayand coincidentally met my friend there!
어제 커피숍에 갔는데 우연히 친구를 만났어요!

What you really want to tell is ‘I coincidentally met my friend there,’ and ‘I went to a coffee shop yesterday’ is just a setting/background of that story. 

So you can put (으)ㄴ데/는데 to a background sentence, and then continue your story. 


More examples : 

팔이 아픈데 언제 나을지 몰라요. My arm is sore, and I don’t know when it will get better.

어제 생일 파티를 했는데 너무 재미있었어요. I had a birthday party yesterday, and it was so fun.


4. Giving background /  reason / context for suggestion, request, favor etc

You can also use (으)ㄴ데/는데 to give a background or context for what you’re suggesting, requesting or asking. 

제가 맛집을 아는데거기로 갈까요?
I know a famous restaurant, shall we go there?

 Let’s look at other examples on how to use (으)ㄴ데/는데 to form request or suggestions:

지금 저녁 먹으러 가는데 같이 갈래요? I am going to eat dinner, do you want to join?

오늘 좀 바쁜데 내일 만날까요? I am a little bit busy today, can we meet tomorrow?

지금 비가 많이 오는데 이따가 가세요. It is raining hard now, leave later.

요즘 한국어를 공부하는데 모르는 게 있으면 질문해도 돼요? I’m studying Korean these days, and can I ask you questions if I have something I don’t know?