Conjunctions - But [는데/데]

는데/데 is frequently used in casual spoken Korean. 는데/데 means "but"

For example,

  • 그리스어는 할 줄 아는데 이태리어는 할 줄 몰라 = I know how to do(speak/write/read) Greek but I don't know how to do(speak/write/read) Italian.
  • 밥은 먹는데, 반찬은 안 먹어. = I eat 밥 (cooked rice) but I don't eat side dishes.
  • 방은 넓은데, 화장실은 좁아 = The room is spacious but the bathroom is cramped(small).

Rules

1. Take 다 off a plain form of verbs and attach 는데 to it.
  • 하다 → 하는데 = do but
  • 가다 → 가는데 = go but
  • 오다 → 오는데 = come but
  • 먹다 → 먹는데 = eat but
  • 마시다 → 마시는데 = drink but
  • 사다 → 사는데 = buy but
  • 팔다 → 파는데 = sell but
  • 걷다 → 걷는데 = walk but

    Note: Take a final consonant, ㄹ, off a plain form of verbs and then attach 는데.
    • 알다 → 아는데 (know)
    • 팔다 → 파는데 (sell)

    2. Add 데 to Adjectives - Descriptive form of adjectives.
    • 크다 → 큰데 = big / large but
    • 작다 → 작은데 = small but
    • 가깝다 → 가까운데 = close but (in distance)
    • 멀다 → 먼데 = far but (in distance)
    • 많다 → 많은데 = a lot / many but
    • 적다 → 적은데 = few / little but
    • 뜨겁다 → 뜨거운데 = hot but (temperature)
    • 차갑다 → 차가운데 = cold but (temperature)

    Example sentences (spoken form)

    • 오늘은 학교 가는데, 내일은 학교 안가요. = I go to school today but I don't go to school tomorrow.
    • 영화를 보러 갔는데, 보고 싶은 영화가 없었어 = I went to see a movie but there was no movie that I wanted to watch.
    • 예전에는 키가 작았는데, 지금은 키 커. = (I/He/She) was small (height) before but (I/He/She) am/is tall now.
    • 이 음식 보기에는 맛있어 보이는데, 먹어보니까 맛이 없어. = This meal looks delicious but it's not delicious (at all) after I've tried it.

      25 comments:

      1. I love your explanations on the Korean grammar. They are really helpful! Thanks!

        ReplyDelete
      2. I am loving your blog/website!
        I am thankful that I landed here, because I always have been willing to learn the Korean language and how to write as well!

        I do hope to learn a lot from your webiste! Thank you! ^_^

        -Hanna

        ReplyDelete
      3. cute..
        but can u also tell us how to use would, should and something like that thanks... :) please respond..

        ReplyDelete
      4. so thanks im hoping for more ? eheh

        ReplyDelete
      5. I've seen a lot of 는데. Why there is no 은데 ? All of the final consonants and final vowels are attached by 는데. Is this a special case? I thought 먹는데 should becomes 먹은데 ?

        ReplyDelete
      6. Hi Lezz

        For verbs, only 는데 is used while 데 is used for adjectives.

        I will correct the title. There's no 은데 for verbs. Only occasionally, 은데 form may be seen in adjectives because 데 is attached to adjectives whose descriptive form might end in 은.

        ReplyDelete
      7. Hello! I'm a student who trying to speak Korean and learning Korean also . I have a question that I heard some people end their speaking with 는데.
        thank for anyways.

        ReplyDelete
      8. Hi Anonymous,

        Yes, 는데 can often be used at the end of a sentence.

        는데 can be used to give a nuance of "you know".

        For example,

        나는 매운 음식 잘 못 먹는데,
        = I can't eat spicy food well, you know.

        어떡하지? 나는 못 가는데,
        = What shall I do? I can't go, you know.

        Usually, 는데 is attached to 'cannot' phrase.

        examples,

        못 하는데 = I can't do it, you know.
        못 가는데 = I can't go, you know.
        못 먹는데 = I can't eat it, you know

        ReplyDelete
      9. hi thanks for your blog but i have a question..
        i can see some sentences ending in after verbs
        e.g 아기 보고 싶은데 but the translation is "I want to see the baby".. i don't know why

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Hi Anonymous,

          The literal translation of 아기 보고 싶은데 would mean "I want to see the baby, but..."

          But! 아기 보고 싶은데 would be more appropriately translated as "I want to see the baby, but (is there anything that stops me from seeing the baby?)"

          은데 is used when you're not sure whether you'll receive what you want.

          You could also translate it as "(Though) I want to see the baby.."

          More examples,

          가고 싶은데 = "I want to go, but (is there anything that stops me from going?)"
          = Though I want to go..

          먹고 싶은데 = Though I want to eat
          케잌 먹고 싶은데 알레르기가 있어서 못 먹어 = Though I want to eat the cake, I can't eat as I have allergy (to cakes).

          Delete
      10. Hello Luke!! Thank you so much for this blog. I was just wondering if 싶은데 made sense. I have heard 싶은데 in songs and my Korean friends say 싶은데, not 싶는데, but it says above that you drop 다 and add 는데, so is it sort of like if the verb ends in a consonant add 은데 but if it ends in a vowel add 는데 (and with ㄹ drop it and add 는데)?

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Yes, 은데 is used when there's a final consonant to the verb ending.

          And yes, 살다 becomes 사는데 as above.

          Cheers.

          Delete
      11. 영화를 보고 싶은데 지금 돈이 없어서 못 가요.다음에 같이 할게요.어때요?~~:D

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Almost perfect!

          just, 다음에 같이 "갈께요" = I will go together (with you) next time!

          잘 하셨어요! :-)
          Well done!

          Delete
      12. Hi, I really like your explanations about Korean grammar. But I have one question, is there a difference in the usage of -는데 and -지만? thanks :) or they're basically the same?

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Hi,

          는데 and 지만 are quite similar in their usage.

          However, 는데 is used in spoken Korean more often than 지만, whereas 지만 can be used quite often in written Korean.

          So, you're talking to someone in Korean, you'd hear 는데 a lot more often than 지만. You'd also use 는데 rather than 지만, as 는데 sounds more natural.

          You'd also hear 는데 in Korean dramas, TV shows, more than 지만.

          Hope this explanation helps!

          Delete
      13. Hi, Luke ... !
        I never boring to read your posts
        Many things I can get - thank you !

        ReplyDelete
      14. 문희씨는같이고싶는데.요즘그녀은하늑에설어요.

        다음에일하는데,진짜배고바요.
        I may have spelled something wrong but Im working on it :)
        Thank You for the lesson.
        God Bless!

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. All the best!

          문희씨는 같이 있고 싶은데. 요즘 그녀는 하늑(?)에 살아요.

          다음에 일하는데, 진짜 배고파요.

          Delete
      15. Hi. In your example, shouldn't it be 밥을 먹는데 반찬을 안 먹어? Object particle 을 rather than 은? Thanks. I learned a lot from your site=) - CJ

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Hi CJ,
          은 was used in this case, because 은 means "as for" here.

          So 밥은 먹는데 means "as for rice, I eat it"

          hope this clarifies your confusion,

          cheers :)

          Delete
      16. Hi, I'm writing an spanish blog about korean language, is very difficult to find lessons for korean in spanish so I decided to share my notes through wordpress with those whom can't read in english. But as you can see, I'm still learning and I have some doubts maybe Could you help me please?

        In this dialogue, how I can translate this "나돈데"?
        지훈: 민서야, 어디 가?
        민서: 도서관.
        지훈: 아, 그래? 나돈데. 같이 가자. 민서: 그래, 그럼.

        ReplyDelete
      17. Hi, I'm writing an spanish blog about korean language, is very difficult to find lessons for korean in spanish so I decided to share my notes through wordpress with those whom can't read in english. But as you can see, I'm still learning and I have some doubts maybe Could you help me please?

        In this dialogue, how I can translate this "나돈데"?
        지훈: 민서야, 어디 가?
        민서: 도서관.
        지훈: 아, 그래? 나돈데. 같이 가자. 민서: 그래, 그럼.
        http://kimchiconlimonysal.wordpress.com

        ReplyDelete
      18. 나돈데 means "me, too"

        지훈: 민서야, 어디 가? Min-seo, where are you going?
        민서: 도서관. Library
        지훈: 아, 그래? 나돈데. 같이 가자. Ah, really? Me, too. Let's go together.
        민서: 그래, 그럼. Yes, sure.

        ReplyDelete
      19. I love your way of teaching...I am now learning language in Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and the most interesting thing is that your way of teaching resembles with my school,,:)

        ReplyDelete

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