Are you aware of the most common conjunctions in Korean? Do you think you know enough Korean conjunctions to form sentences efficiently and effectively? If that’s something you are interested in, let’s get started! We got you covered! In this blog, you will learn Korean conjunctions along with different examples so that you can use them effectively in real-life interactions.
Learning Korean Conjunctions
Learning common Korean conjunctions might seem a bit hard at first, but it will become easier once you start gaining the vocabulary and get accustomed to the language. Unlike in English, the conjunctions in Korean also seem complicated because each has a particular conjugation, which can often make it look like it has changed itself completely.
For instance, the word 그리고 (geuligo), which means “and” becomes 이구 (igu) and in that too 이 (i) is often skipped if followed by a vowel and thus leaving the conjugation with 구 (gu) only. You will learn such conjugations in detail in the succeeding parts of this post, so keep reading!
Conjunctions are the words or phrases which join a word or phrase with another word or phrase. These provide a connection between two things. For instance, in the sentence “I need a cup, and a glass,” there are two things (cup+glass) joined together with a word (and) which is the conjunction.
There are different Korean conjunctions to connect similar ideas and other ideas. These are also called basic sentence connectors. These are considered an essential part of Korean grammar because conjunctions play a big part in their sentences.
The coordinating conjunctions are those conjunctions that are used to connect phrases (two equally similar or equally opposite ones). There are seven coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so). These are all used to show a kind of comparison between the things.
For example, in the sentence “James and Thomas are students,” both James and Thomas are students and therefore have an almost equal rank, so coordinating conjunction (and) is used between them.
These coordinating conjunctions have different words and categories in the Korean language. These categories include honorifics (remember?), and thus, two words for one conjunction are often used. For example, 그렇지만 (geureochiman) and 그런데 (geureonde) can both be used for the Korean conjunctions “but.” More like but and however.
Here are these most common Korean conjunctions with more examples for you to learn and understand their usage.
와 (Wa)/ 과 (Gwa)
To connect two words in which the first one ends in a vowel 와 (wa) is used. For instance, 고양이와 개 (goyang-iwa gae) means cat and dog.
To connect two words which in which the first one ends in a consonant 과 (gwa) is used. For instance, 집과 개 (jibgwa gae) means house and dog.
You can see the examples below to get better at how to use different versions of and in Korean:
|English words||Korean Words||Romanized Hangul|
|Beer and cola||맥주와 콜라||maegjuwa kolla|
|Thought and idea||생각과 아이디어||saeng-gaggwa aidieo|
|Money and account||돈과 계좌||dongwa gyejwa|
|Sad and happy||슬프고 행복하다||seulpeugo haengboghada|
|TV and popular posts||텔레비전 및 인기 게시물||tellebijeon mich ingi gesimul|
|Beginning and end||시작과 끝||sijaggwa kkeut|
|Nouns and verbs||명사와 동사||myeongsawa dongsa|
|Verbs and adverbs||동사와 부사||dongsawa busa|
|Words and meaning||단어와 의미||dan-eowa uimi|
|Words and sentences||단어와 문장||dan-eowa munjang|
|Eat and drink||먹고 마시다||meoggo masida|
|Phrases and sentences||구문 및 문장||gumun mich munjang|
The conjunction 그리고 (geurigo) connects the first with the second. This is equivalent to the word “and” in English but has different conditions to use.
Unlike English, the word 그리고 (geurigo) does not come between the two sentences without a full stop. Instead, this word is used after finishing and ending the previous sentence.
For instance, the sentence 내 양치질. 그리고 자러 가십시오. (nae yangchijil. geuligo jaleo gasibsio.) means I brush my teeth. And I go to sleep. Did you notice how there was a pause/ end/ full stop between the first sentence and the second sentence?
~고 (~Go)/ ~이고 (~Igo)
~고 (~go) is a conjugation of 그리고 (geurigo) which is used to transform the two sentences into two clauses and connects them with a word and without a complete stop.
For example, in the sentence 나는 이를 닦고 잠에 든다 (naneun ileul dakkgo jam-e deunda), which means I brush my teeth and go to sleep.
Rule # 01
If the last alphabet of the word is a consonant, then ~이고 (~igo) is added to the word.
For example in the sentence 여기가 내 집이고 당신의 고양이입니다 (yeogiga nae jib-igo dangsin-ui goyang-iibnida), which means “This is my house, and that is your cat” the word house 집(jib) ends in a consonant. Thus, the Korean conjunction ~이고 (~igo) has been added instead of ~고 (~go) only.
Rule # 02
If the last alphabet of the word is a vowel then ~고 (~go) is added to the word.
For example in the sentence 이것은 내 고양이고 그것은 당신의 집입니다. (igeos-eun nae goyang-igo geugeos-eun dangsin-ui jib-ibnida.) the word cat 고양이 (goyang-i) ends in a vowel, and thus the Korean conjunction ~고 (~go) has been added to it instead of ~이고 (~igo).
~지만 (~ Jiman)
The Korean conjunction ~지만 (~ jiman) is added to a certain word to give an opposite meaning of the next one. There are different extended versions of this word which we will tell you about.
For example, 나는 이것을 하고 싶지만 할 수 없다. (naneun igeos-eul hago sipjiman hal su eobsda.) means I want to do this, but I cannot. In this sentence, the Korean conjunction ~지만 (~ jiman) is added to the verb 싶 (sip) which means want.
그렇지만 (geureochiman) and 하지만 (hajiman) are the two extended versions of ~지만 (~ jiman) having similar meaning.
The word 하지만 (hajiman) can be used between sentences to show their difference. It cannot connect two clauses rather than the entire sentences and has a full stop between them.
For example the sentence 나는 춤추는 것을 좋아한다. 하지만 내 발이 부러졌습니다. (naneun chumchuneun geos-eul joh-ahanda. hajiman nae bal-i buleojyeossseubnida.) means “I like to dance. But my foot is broken.”
그렇지만 (geureochiman) can be used instead of 하지만 (hajiman) and serves the same purpose. It is an extension of ~지만 (~ jiman). It is made up of two root word 그렇지 (geuleohji) and 지만 (jiman). The firs word means “yes” in Korean.
The word 그렇지 (geuleohji) is used for affirmation in the Korean language. For example, if someone asks you 그녀가 연설을 하고 있었나요? (geunyeoga yeonseol-eul hago iss-eossnayo?) which means “Was she giving a speech?” you can say 할렘에서 연설하는 것 그렇지 그녀는 있었다 (hallem-eseo yeonseolhaneun geos geuleohji geunyeoneun iss-eossda) which means “She was giving a speech in Harlem. Yes exactly”
So 그렇지만 (geureochiman) can be roughly translated to “yes, but”.
For example, in the sentence 좋아해요. 그렇지만 적어도 나는 사랑을 구걸하지 않습니다 (joh-ahaeyo. geureochiman jeog-eodo naneun salang-eul gugeolhaji anhseubnida) Which means “Yes I love you, but at least, I don’t beg for your love”.
While talking to someone with whom you need to be a bit formal, using 그렇지만 (geureochiman) is the best option. Don’t forget to use the honorifics while using 그렇지만 (geureochiman).
그런데 (geureonde) is another Korean conjunction connecting one sentence with another. Even though it can join the first sentence with the second sentence, it is mainly used for the clauses.
It is less formal as compared to 그렇지만 (geureochiman). It can be casually used with friends and people younger than you. It is widely used since it serves as a junction between formal and informal speech.
For instance, 그런데 어떡하죠 (geuleonde eotteoghajyo) means “But what to do.” Korean people use this a lot when they are stuck in a bad sitaution. While having a conversation with the native speakers or watching TV you will mostly hear 그런데 어떡하죠 (geuleonde eotteoghajyo) while they are speaking.
Another word for “but” in Korean is 근데 (geunde). This cannot be used in written documents and should generally be used while speaking Korean only. This term has been derived from the Korean conjunction 그런데 (geureonde). In the colloquial speech, people often use 근데 (geunde) instead of 그런데 (geureonde).
For example; 근데 내 발이 부러졌습니다. (geunde nae bal-i buleojyeossseubnida.) meaning “but my foot is broken”.
그래서 (geuraeseo) means “so/ so that in English”. This conjunction is used to reach a conclusion after giving a proper explanation.
For instance, 나는 빗속에서 춤을 추고 있었다. 그래서 독감에 걸렸다. (naneun bis-sog-eseo chum-eul chugo iss-eossda. geulaeseo doggam-e geollyeossda.) which translates to “I was dancing in the rain. So I caught flue”.
You can also use a root word of 그래서 (geuraeseo) which is ~서(~seo), and attach with a word to tell about its results. In this situation, this root word is conjugated with a certain noun or verb instead of being written after a full stop.
저는 항상 배가 고파서 라면을 먹습니다. (jeoneun hangsang baega gopaseo lamyeon-eul meogseubnida.) meaning “I am always hungry so I eat ramen”.
Another conjunction for so is 그러니까 (geureonikka). A more perfect translation of this one will be “therefore” since this conjunction has a formal nuance to it. This conjunction is used to connect a cause with an effect.
For instance, you can ask someone ‘Do you want to win the competition?’ 대회에서 우승하고 싶으세요? (daehweeso useunghago sipeuseyo?) and if they say yes then you can say ‘Then practice harder!’ 그러니까 열심히 연습하세요! (Geureonikka yolssimhi yonseupaseyo!).
그러면 (geureomyeon) is used to give a condition between two situations. For example; If you do this, then I’ll give you that. It can be translated to “if so then-“
For instance, 그러면 안돼 (geuleomyeon andwae) meaning “If so, then no”. Many Korean people use it to express their lack of interest in something. This can also be used to express refusal.
A subordinating conjunction is a conjunction that introduces a subordinating clause. Some examples of subordinating conjunctions are although, because, in order to, etc. Here is a Korean conjunctions list for you to remember and use whenever you want to make sentences.
|English Subordinating Conjunctions||Korean Subordinating Conjunctions||Romanized Hangul|
|after||~ 후에||~ hue|
|as long as||하는 한||haneun han|
|in order to||~하기 위해||~hagi wihae|
|even though||~ 일지라도||~ iljilado|
|as much as||만큼||mankeum|
|by the time||시간까지||sigankkaji|
|in order that||그러려면||geuleolyeomyeon|
|now that||이제 그||ije geu|
|if when||만약 언제||man-yag eonje|
|if only||을 텐데||eul tende|
|as soon as||하자마자||hajamaja|
|in as much as||만큼||mankeum|
|as far as||한||han|
|lest||…하지 않도록||…haji anhdolog|
|now when||지금 언제||jigeum eonje|
|before||~ 전에||~ jeon-e|
|unless||~하지 않는 한||~haji anhneun han|
|wherever||대체 어디에||daeche eodie|
|or not||아니면 안||animyeon an|
Here are some example sentences for mostly used subordinating conjunctions with the Korean conjunctions list.
|Korean Conjunctions||English Sentences||Korean Sentences||Romanized hangul|
|니까 (nikka)||Do you love me or do you not love me?||당신은 나를 사랑합니까, 아니면 사랑하지 않습니까?||dangsin-eun naleul salanghabnikka, animyeon salanghaji anhseubnikka?|
|동안||He ate well while we worked.|
그는 우리가 일하는 동안 잘 먹었다.
|geuneun uliga ilhaneun dong-an jal meog-eossda.|
|언제||I want this. When do you get this?||나는 이것을 원한다. 이거 언제 받나요?||naneun igeos-eul wonhanda. igeo eonje badnayo?|
|언제||Please help whenever possible.||가능하면 언제든지 도와주세요.||ganeunghamyeon eonjedeunji dowajuseyo.|
|지 않으면 (ji anhneu-meon)||I can’t go unless I buy good clothes.||나는 좋은 옷을 사지 않으면 갈 수 없다.||naneun joh-eun os-eul saji anh-eumyeon gal su eobsda.|
|하지 않는 한 (haji anhneun han)||I buy good clothes. You can’t go unless you||나는 좋은 옷을 사. 하지 않는 한 갈 수 없다.||naneun joh-eun os-eul sa. haji anh-an gal su eobsda.|
|후에 (hue)||We can go after you do your homework.”|
당신이 숙제를 한 후에 우리가 갈 수 있습니다.
|dangsin-i sugjeleul han hue uliga gal su issseubnida.|
|하는 한 (haneun han)||I’m happy as long as you are here||네가 여기 있는 한 나는 행복해||nega yeogi issneun han naneun haengboghae|
Are you overwhelmed with all the rules above? Learn using KPOP! Here are some commonly used conjunctions present in songs that you listen to every day. Once you memorize these conjunctions, you will have more fun listening to the songs as compared to last time. So let’s dive into the world of k-pop. Focus on learning and using each conjunction to master learning Korean while enjoying it as well.
A most common Korean conjunctions list is made from digging into Korean songs.
|Korean Conjunctions||Korean Sentences||Romanized Hangul||English Translation||Artist||Song|
|이렇게||이렇게 말하니까 더 보고 싶다||ileohge malhanikka deo bogo sipda||Saying this makes me want to see more||BTS||Spring Day|
|이제||이제 얼굴 한 번 보는 것조차 힘들어진 우리가||ije eolgul han beon boneun geosjocha himdeul-eojin uliga||Now it’s hard for us even to see each other’s faces||BTS||Spring Day|
|-면||날리는 눈이 나라면||nallineun nun-i nalamyeon||If the snow is flying||BTS||Spring Day|
|될까||널 보게 될까||neol boge doelkka||Until I see you||BTS||Spring Day|
|될까||만나게 될까||mannage doelkka||Until I meet you||BTS||Spring Day|
|않고||아무 말도 건네주지 않고||amu maldo geonnejuji anhgo||G-Idle||Señorita|
|때||너를 처음 봤을 때||neoleul cheoeum bwass-eul ttae||When I first saw you||Shinee||Lucifer|
|ajigkkajido||꽉 쥔 채 놓지 않는 것 처럼 (아직까지도)||kkwag jwin chae nohji anhneun geos cheoleom (ajigkkajido)||As if holding tight and not letting go (still)||Shinee||Lucifer|
|언제||언제부턴가 조금씩||eonjebuteonga jogeumssig||Since before||Shinee||Lucifer|
|이렇게||어디 안 가 이렇게 난 너만 바라보고||eodi an ga ileohge nan neoman balabogo||I’m not going anywhere, and I’m only looking at you like this||Shinee||Lucifer|
|다가도||누가 진짜 너였는지, 알다가도 헷갈리게 만든다||nuga jinjja neoyeossneunji, aldagado hesgallige mandeunda||I got confused even though I knew it was really you.||Shinee||Lucifer|
I hope this blog provided lessons making learning Korean conjunctions easy. For more Korean lessons, feel free to check out other blogs on Ling App by Simya Solutions. We also have blogs on Korean pronouns and directions in Korean. You can learn a lot about different languages by downloading the application and checking the website. Ling App can help you sharpen your Korean skills to speak Korean like a native speaker.