Easy Conjunctions In Korean: 11+ Unique Rules

Conjunctions In Korean

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’ve 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 (geurigo), 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!

What Are Basic Korean Conjunctions?

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.

Korean Coordinating Conjunctions

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. Conjunctions in Korean can be so complex yet so simple!

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 (geureojiman) 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.

Conjunctions in Korean wa gwa

1) 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 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 WordsKorean WordsRomanized Hangeul
Beer and cola맥주와 콜라maegjuwa kolla
Thought and idea생각과 아이디어saeng-gaggwa aidieo
Money and account돈과 계좌dongwa gyejwa
Sad and happy슬프고 행복하다seulpeugo haengboghada
TV and popular posts텔레비전 및 인기 게시물tellebijeon mich ingi gesimul
Beginning and end시작과 끝sijaggwa kkeut
Nouns and verbs명사와 동사myeongsawa dongsa
Verbs and adverbs동사와 부사dongsawa busa
Words and meaning단어와 의미daneowa uimi
Words and sentences단어와 문장daneowa munjang
Eat and drink먹고 마시다meoggo masida
Phrases and sentences구문 및 문장gumun mich munjang

2) 그리고 (Geurigo)

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. Geurigo jareo gasipsio.) 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?

3) ~ (~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 jame deunda), which means I brush my teeth and go to sleep.

Rule #1

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 jibigo dangsinui goyangiimnida), 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 #2

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. (Igeoseun nae goyangigo geugeos-eun dangsinui jibimnida.) the word cat 고양이 (Goyangi) ends in a vowel, and thus the Korean conjunction ~고 (~go) has been added to it instead of ~이고 (~igo).

Conjunctions in Korean Jiman

4) ~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 igeoseul 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 (geureojiman) and 하지만 (hajiman) are the two extended versions of ~지만 (~jiman) having similar meaning.

5) 하지만 (Hajiman)

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 geoseul johahanda. Hajiman nae bali buleojyeossseubnida.) means “I like to dance. But my foot is broken.”

6) 그렇지만 (Geureojiman)

그렇지만 (geureojiman) 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 words 그렇지 (geureochi) and 지만 (jiman). The first word means “yes” in Korean.

The word 그렇지 (geureoji) is used for affirmation in the Korean language. For example, if someone asks you 그녀가 연설을 하고 있었나요? (Geunyeoga yeonseoleul hago isseossnayo?) which means “Was she giving a speech?” you can say 할렘에서 연설하는 것 그렇지 그녀는 있었다 (Hallemeseo yeonseolhaneun geos geureochi geunyeoneun isseossda) which means “She was giving a speech in Harlem. Yes exactly”

So 그렇지만 (geureojiman) can be roughly translated to “yes, but.”

For example, in the sentence 좋아해요. 그렇지만 적어도 나는 사랑을 구걸하지 않습니다 (Johahaeyo. Geureojiman jeogeodo naneun sarangeul gugeolhaji anhseumnida) 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 (geureojiman) is the best option. Don’t forget to use the honorifics while using 그렇지만 (geureojiman).

Conjunctions in Korean Geuronde

7) 그런데 (Geureonde)

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 eotteokhajyo) means “But what to do.” Korean people use this a lot when they are stuck in a bad situation. While having a conversation with the native speakers or watching TV, you will mostly hear 그런데 어떡하죠 (geuleonde eotteokhajyo) while they are speaking.

8) 근데 (Geunde)

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 bali buleojyeossseumnida.) meaning “but my foot is broken”.

Conjunctions in Korean Geuraeseo

9) 그래서 (Geuraeseo) 

그래서 (geuraeseo) means “so or 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 bissokeseo chumeul chugo isseossda. Geuraeseo doggame geollyeossda.) Which translates to “I was dancing in the rain. So I caught flue”.

10) ~서 (~Seo)

You can also use a root word of 그래서 (geuraeseo) which is ~서(~seo), and attach it 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 lamyeoneul meogseumnida.) meaning “I am always hungry so I eat ramen”.

11) 그러니까 (Geureonikka) 

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!).

12) 그러면 (Geureomyeon)

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.

Korean Subordinating Conjunctions

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 ConjunctionsKorean Subordinating ConjunctionsRomanized Hangeul
after~ 후에~ hue
as long as하는 한haneun han
as though마치machi
in order to~하기 위해~hagi wihae
even though~ 일지라도~ iljilado
as much as만큼mankeum
by the time시간까지sigankkaji
in order that그러려면geuleolyeomyeon
now that이제 그ije geu
even if설사seolsa
provide that제공jegong
if when만약 언제man-yag eonje
if then그렇다면geuleohdamyeon
if only을 텐데eul tende
as soon as하자마자hajamaja
in as much as만큼mankeum
in case경우에gyeong-ue
now since지금부터jigeumbuteo
as if마치machi
as far ashan
lest…하지 않도록…haji anhdolog
now when지금 언제jigeum eonje
before~ 전에~ jeon-e
just as그냥geunyang
unless~하지 않는 한~haji anhneun han
wherever대체 어디에daeche eodie
where if어디서eodiseo
so that~하도록하다~hadologhada
or not아니면 안animyeon an
if possible가능하면ganeunghamyeon
Like this이렇게ireoke
Maybe/ Until될까doelkka

Here are some example sentences for mostly used subordinating conjunctions with the Korean conjunctions list.

Korean ConjunctionsEnglish SentencesKorean SentencesRomanized Hangeul
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?
동안He ate well while we worked.
그는 우리가 일하는 동안 잘 먹었다.
geuneun uliga ilhaneun dong-an jal meog-eossda.
언제I want this. When do you get this?나는 이것을 원한다. 이거 언제 받나요?naneun igeos-eul wonhanda. igeo eonje badnayo?
언제Please 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 you나는 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 here네가 여기 있는 한 나는 행복해nega yeogi issneun han naneun haengboghae
Learn Conjunctions in Korean Kpop Corner

Learn Conjunctions In Korean: K-Pop Corner

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 ConjunctionsKorean SentencesRomanized HangeulEnglish TranslationArtistSong
이렇게이렇게 말하니까 더 보고 싶다ileohge malhanikka deo bogo sipdaSaying this makes me want to see moreBTSSpring Day
이제이제 얼굴 한 번 보는 것조차 힘들어진 우리가ije eolgul han beon boneun geosjocha himdeul-eojin uligaNow it’s hard for us even to see each other’s facesBTSSpring Day
-면날리는 눈이 나라면nallineun nun-i nalamyeonIf the snow is flyingBTSSpring Day
될까널 보게 될까neol boge doelkkaUntil I see youBTSSpring Day
될까만나게 될까mannage doelkkaUntil I meet youBTSSpring Day
않고아무 말도 건네주지 않고amu maldo geonnejuji anhgo G-IdleSeñorita
너를 처음 봤을 때neoleul cheoeum bwass-eul ttaeWhen I first saw youShineeLucifer
ajigkkajido꽉 쥔 채 놓지 않는 것 처럼 (아직까지도)kkwag jwin chae nohji anhneun geos cheoleom (ajigkkajido)As if holding tight and not letting go (still)ShineeLucifer
언제언제부턴가 조금씩eonjebuteonga jogeumssigSince beforeShineeLucifer
이렇게어디 안 가 이렇게 난 너만 바라보고eodi an ga ileohge nan neoman balabogoI’m not going anywhere, and I’m only looking at you like thisShineeLucifer
다가도누가 진짜 너였는지, 알다가도 헷갈리게 만든다nuga jinjja neoyeossneunji, aldagado hesgallige mandeundaI got confused even though I knew it was really you.ShineeLucifer

Wrapping Up

I hope this blog will provide lessons that make learning Korean conjunctions easy. For more Korean lessons, feel free to check out other blogs on the Ling app. We also have blogs on Korean pronouns and directions in Korean.

You can learn a lot about different languages by downloading the app on the Play Store or App Store and checking the website. The Ling app can help you sharpen your Korean skills to speak Korean like a native speaker. Should you learn tomorrow? No! Start mastering the Korean language today with the Ling app.

Updated by: Gwyn

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