Lesson 18. How to say, “so, therefore” #2 | 그래서 vs 그러니까
그래서 and 그러니까 both are sentence connectors that mean ‘so…’. They can also be translated as ‘because’ in some cases.
Both 그래서 and 그러니까 can be changed into Conjunctions, i.e. both can be attached to a verb in a previous sentence. This is done as follows-
- Reason sentence + 그래서 + Result sentence.
Ex. 친구의 생일이에요. 그래서 선물을 사고 싶어요 = It’s my friends birthday so I want to buy him a present.
- *Present Verb Stem+서 (=Verb+아/어서)
Ex. 많이 일해서 피곤해요 = I worked a lot so I am tired.
*Note that –서 is always used along with Present verb stem only, whether the sentence conveys actions done in the Past or Present Tenses!
- Reason sentence + 그러니까 + Result sentence.
Ex. 친구의 생일이에요. 그러니까 선물을 사고 싶어요 = It’s my friends birthday so I want to buy him a present.
- *Base Verb Stem+(으)니까
Ex. 많이 일하니까 피곤해요 = I worked a lot so I am tired.
DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN 서 AND 니까–
- General Reason.
When talking about a reason in general in a plain sentence, while explaining the cause and its result, it is more natural to use -아/어서 than –니까. However, it isn’t incorrect to interchange the two in a situation where the listener is already aware of what’s stated as a reason.
Ex. 네 여동생이 왜 안 왔어? = Why didn’t your sister come?
자서 못 와 = She was sleeping so she couldn’t. (Here the listener is unaware of the reason and so -아/어서 is used, and you cannot use -니까)
Ex. 남자친구가 일 때문에 늦었지? = Your boyfriend is late because of work, right?
응. 일해서 늦어. = Yes. He is working so he is late.
Or 응. 일하니까 늦어 = Yes. He is working so he is late. (Here the listener is unaware of the reason and so both 니까 and 서 can be interchangeably used)
- Reason for these Emotion Verbs → e.g. “고맙다, 감사하다, 죄송하다, 미안하다, 반갑다”.
When expressing these emotions towards the listener, using 서 over 니까 is more natural.
Ex. 만나서 반가워요! = Nice to meet you! (Literally = I have met you so I’m delighted)
Ex. 일찍 와주셔서 감사합니다 = Thank you for coming early. (Literally = Because you came early, I thank you)
- When the sentence is in Imperative mood i.e. Commands, Suggestions, Requests.
When the Resulting sentence is in Imperative mood, only 니까 can be used!
Ex. 밖에 비 오니까 우산을 가져가! = It is raining outside so take an umbrella!
Ex. 속상하니까 저한테 말 걸지 마세요 = I am upset so don’t speak to me.
- Emphasizing the Reason.
Here, 니까 is used more commonly over -아/어서.
Ex. 왜 울어? = Why are you crying?
배 고프니까 울죠! = I am crying because I am hungry, duh!