Are you someone who has been learning Korean for quite some time now? If yes, perhaps you have a relatively broad vocabulary and can easily make simple sentences. But let me ask you this… can you connect your thoughts and move from one sentence to another with naturality? Don’t worry! Ling has you covered.
Today, we will learn about Korean transition words and how they can help you to link your sentences smoothly and gracefully. Also, we’ll share a list of 15 Korean transition words, which will be very useful if you want to communicate with Korean people more fluently. Let’s begin!
What Are Transition Words?
Transition words are those simple expressions that can help link other phrases, words, and sentences to create cohesiveness. They help in ensuring that relationships are clear throughout the text. In English, transition words and conjunctions are classified differently. However, If you have looked at this topic before, You might have found that in most Korean learners’ resources, Korean transition words are also called Korean conjunctions.
In this article, we will use the term “Korean conjunction words” so you don’t get confused while learning about the subject. Don’t worry about technicalities; the most important is to understand how they work and when to use them. 시작합시다!
Korean Conjunctions List
1. 하지만 (hajiman)
하지만 means “but” or “however” and is used to indicate the contrast between elements in a sentence. You can use 하지만 when you want to connect two opposing ideas.
-오늘 파티가 있어요. 하지만 가고 싶지 않아. “There is a party today, but I don’t want to go.”
-나는 빵을 정말 좋아.하지만 매일 먹지는 않는다. “I really like bread. But I don’t eat it every day.”
If you are a K-drama fan, you probably know this word. 그리고 means “and” and is used to connect words or sentences.
-나는 공부한다. 그리고 음악을 듣습니다. “I study and listen to music.”
-나는 피자 그리고 파스타를 좋아한다. “I like pizza and pasta.”
3. 아니면 (animyeon)
아니면 works as the conjunction “or” in English. It is used to differentiate or indicate an alternative between two or more sentence elements.
-개 아니면 고양이. “Dog or cat.”
-오늘 오세요, 아니면 내일 오세요? “Are you coming today or tomorrow?”
4. (~기) 때문에 (~gi ttaemune)
기 때문에 is used to express the cause or reason for an event or situation. Translated to English ~기 때문에 means “because” or “therefore” while 때문에 means “because of.”
-코로나 때문에 나는 여행을 갈 수 없었습니다. “Because of Corona, I couldn’t travel.”
-발이 아프기 때문에 저는 뛰기 싫어요. I don’t want to run because my feet hurt.
그래서 is a Korean conjunction used to indicate a consequence. 그래서 states that “B” is the result or an outcome of “A.” It is the equivalent of “So” or “Therefore” in English.
오늘은 정말 덥습니다. 그래서 나는 찬물로 샤워를 할 것이다. “It’s really hot today, so I will take a cold shower.”
나는 배고프지 않다. 그래서 나는 먹지 않을 것이다. “I am not hungry. Therefore I will not eat.”
그러면 is a word used to express cause and effect. The statement “A” is a condition for the statement “B” to happen. It means “then” or “in that case.”
열쇠를 주세요. 그러면 제가 문을 열겠습니다. “Give me the key. Then I will open the door.”
그러면 is also used to ask for or offer an alternative. You might recognize the shortened form of this word: 그럼. You can use either; it does not affect the structure or meaning.
A: 영화보러 갈래? “Do you want to go to the movies?”
B: 아니요. “No”
A: 그럼 파스타 먹으러 갈래? “Then, would you like to go eat pasta?”
그러니까 means “that’s why” or “for that reason.” It can be used when you want to express that something happened, is going to happen, or needs to occur due to the actions indicated in the preceding sentence.
A: 나는 빨리 지친다. “I get tired quickly.”
B: 그러니까 운동을 해야 한다. “That’s why you have to exercise.”
왜냐하면 means “because” and is used to give a reason for something. When using this conjunction, you need to state the result first and then the reason. Unlike other Korean conjunctions with a similar meaning, where the order is the opposite. In other words, the grammatical order is (result) + (왜냐하면) + (reason).
지금 졸려요. 왜냐면 어제 잠을 잘 못자 거든요. “I’m sleepy now Because I didn’t sleep well last night.”
You can also use 왜냐하면 to answer the question “왜” → “why.”
A:왜 해변에 가고 싶지 않니? “Why don’t you want to go to the beach?”
B: 왜냐하면 덥기 때문이다. “Because it’s hot.”
그렇지만 is used to join two contrasting sentences. It also shows a disparity with something that has been said before. It means “but or “however.”
영화는 좋지 않다. 그렇지만 나는 그것이 좋다. “The movie is not good. However, I like it.”
아이스크림입니다. 그렇지만 짠맛입니다. “It’s Ice cream, but it is salty.
10. 그래도 (geuraedo)
그래도 means “still” or “regardless.” You can use it to state a contrast between two clauses.
등반은 어렵습니다. 그래도 재미있습니다. “Climbing is hard. Still, it’s fun.”
머리가 아파요. 그래도 일해야지. Still, I have to work.
11. 전혀 (jeonhyeo)
전혀 means “(not) at all” or “completely.” You can use it whenever you want to emphasize a word or a particular fact in a sentence.
춤을 전혀 못춰요. “I can’t dance at all.”
나는 그가 누구인지 전혀 모른다. “I have no idea who he is.”
12. 만약 (man-yag)
만약 means “if” or “in case.” It is used to express a supposition, the possibility that something may happen.
만약 오늘 비가 오면 나는 체육관에 가지 않는다. “If it rains today, I won’t go to the gym.”
만약 취직이 안되면 어쩌지? “What if I can’t get a job?”
아직 means “still” or “not yet.” It indicates that something is continuing or has not happened yet.
나는 아직 일하는 중이다. “I am still working.”
아직 일자리를 찾지 못했습니다. “Haven’t found a job yet.”
14. 어쨌든 (eojjaessdeun)
어쨌든 means “anyway,” and you can use it when you want to change the topic in a conversation.
어쨌든 나는 파티에 가지 않을 것이다. “Anyway, I won’t go to the party.”
어쨌든 내일 전화할게요. “Anyway, I will call you tomorrow.”
15. 마지막으로 (majimageuro)
마지막으로 means “for the last time,” “lastly,” and “at last.”
-동물원에 마지막으로 갔던 것이 10년 전이었습니다. “The last time I went to the zoo was ten years ago.”
-마지막으로나는 당신을 다시는 볼 수 없습니다. “Finally, I will never see you again.”
Are You Ready To Use Korean Conjunctions?
As we can see, Korean conjunctions allow us to establish a relationship between words, phrases, and ideas. When we use transition words or phrases, it improves not only our conversational skills but also the way we write. In both cases, our communication becomes more fluent because these connectors help maintain our speech’s natural flow.
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