(I found that) - ~던데

던데 is used when you found that something was contrary to my previous opinion/expectation or opinions/expectations of others.

For example,

  • 이미 하던데 = (I found that they) were already doing it

Replace 다 of verbs/adjectives with 던데

  • 하던데 = (I found that he/she/they) was/were doing it
  • 가던데 = (I found that he/she/they) was/were going (somewhere)
  • 오던데 = (I found that he/she/they) was/were coming (here)
  • 먹던데 = (I found that he/she/they) was/were eating
  • 마시던데 = (I found that he/she/they) was/were drinking 
  • 살던데 = (I found that he/she/they) was/were living (somewhere) 

  • 많던데 =  (I found that there) were many
  • 적던데 = (I found that they) were small (in quantity)
  • 빠르던데 = (I found that he/she/they) was/were fast
  • 느리던데 = (I found that he/she/they) was/were slow

Examples sentences

  • 미술관에 사람들 적을 줄 알았는데, 사람들 많던데 = I thought/figured that there won't be many people in the art gallery, but there were many people.

  • 짐 집에 있어? = Is Jim at home?
  • 아니, 아까 어디 가던데 = No, a while ago (I saw him) going somewhere.

  • 크리스마스라 시티에 사람들 많지? = There are many people in the city as it's Christmas, aren't there?
  • 아니, 생각보다 사람들 안 많던데 = No, there weren't as many people as I thought.

You can also use 던데 when you saw someone/something somewhere doing something but now no longer quite sure what happened to them next, i.e. where they are or what they are doing now.

  • 지니 어디 있어? = Where's Jinnie?
  • 아까 샾에서 일하던데 = A while ago, (I saw her) working at the shop. (Though I'm not quite sure where she is or what she's doing now)

  • 정수 어디 갔어요? = Has Jeong-su gone somewhere?
  • 응, 친구 만나러 나가던데 = Yes, (I saw him) going out to meet his friend (I don't know about the details of where he is or what he's doing though.)


  1. Luke, I have a question but maybe not related with this post.

    I've been trying to translate a song and I got a confusing sentence:
    날 사랑할수 있나요 그대에게 부족한 나인데

    I'm a bit confused about particle 은데/인데/는데 in that sentence
    Normally, the pattern of sentence that used 은데/인데/는데 is like below
    sentence 1 + 은데/인데/는데 + sentence 2
    But, in that song the pattern is
    sentence 1 + sentence 2 + 은데/인데/는데

    Does the second patter have the same meaning with the first? Or, maybe sentence 1 and sentence 2 are not related at all so 은데/인데/는데 is not used as conjunction but only as final ending?

    PS: Sorry, my English is bad.

  2. Hi Millati Indah,

    (1) 날 사랑할 수 있나요 그대에게 부족한 나인데 is essentially the same sentence as,
    (2) 그대에게 부족한 나인데 날 사랑할 수 있나요

    (1) "Can you love me? I'm insufficient for you."

    (2) "I'm insufficient for you. Can you love me?"

    The sentences have been switched around for a more dramatic effect in songs.

    은데/인데/는데 can be used as a conjunction in both written and spoken Korean, and as a final ending usually in spoken Korean.

    1. I see. Thank you for the explanation.

      I have one more question. Does the sentence
      그대에게 부족한 나인데
      have the same condition? I mean, were the words in that sentence also switched? Does it have the same meaning with
      난 그대에게 부족하는데?

      I'm still confused whether translate 그대에게 부족한 나인데 as "I'm insufficient for you" or "I -- who is insufficient for you". The word 부족한 is just like a modifier noun which explain 나.

    2. Hi Millati Indah,

      Yes, 그대에게 부족한 나인데 is more precisely translated to "I who is insufficient for you." You're quite right, sorry for any confusion that's been caused!

    3. Oke. Thanks a lot for your explanation :)
      I hope you won't get bored of my questions :)

    4. You're welcome.
      Not at all, Milo!

  3. 여행가셨던데 ㅜㅜ부럽 can anyone translate this all the translation apps are bad and it is a rather short sentence


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