Level 2 Lesson 6 / but, however / 그렇지만, 그런데

In this TalkToMeInKorean lesson, we are introducing two more conjunctive words, 그렇지만 [geu-reo-chi-man] and 그런데 [geu-reon-de]. 그렇지만 and 그런데 both mean “but” but 그런데 has a wider range of meanings. Listen in to find out what these two words mean and how they are used!

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Talk To Me In Korean – Level 2 Lesson 6 by TalkToMeInKorean

Thank you as always for studying with us!!

You can download both the PDF lesson notes and the MP3 audio track for this lesson below, and if you want to learn with our various textbooks and workbooks, you can get them on our online bookstore at MyKoreanStore.com. If you have any questions about this lesson, please leave us comments below!

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Go to the Grammar Curriculum page to see all of our grammar lessons.

Level 2 Lesson 6 / but, however / 그렇지만, 그런데
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  • Allan James

    annyeong! 감사합니다 ㅎfor the new lesson.. ill have to study for this the whole night..

    • Wan

      제임씨, 안녕하세요. 네, 당신 하루들은 이거에 공부 할 거에요. 아자 아자 화이팅!!!

  • Mindy

    I like how you explained the sample sentences, it helps me a lot.
    Thanks! 🙂

  • Allan James

    annyeong! 감사합니다 현우 형이랑 경은 누나 and the other teachers for the new lesson.. ill have to study for this the whole night.. seriously! hehe
    just this afternoon, i was recapitulating all the lessons beginning from the very first,, i was stocked with questions when i reach the lesson about the ji-an-ta and about jeon-hwa-hae-sseo-yo. just wanna ask this.. how do i say negatively this sentence in Korean… I am not cleaning the office. which Korean translation is right?? 사무실은 종소 안해요, or 사무실은 종소하지 안아요. and also, is it right to use this sentence 저 사람 전 화해요! if you mean CALL THAT PERSON! (in cases like when someone forgot to pay in a store, and the seller told you call that person! (he has to pay!).. hehe.

    and lastly,, i constructed a Korean sentence, hope i would get necessary corrections for this, if there is any: 스울에서 이사하고 시포오, 그리고, 현우 형이랑 경은 누나하고같이 한국어를 공부해요. techers did i say it correctly??? what i want to mean is ‘i want to move to Seoul. and that, i want to study Korean together with Hyunwoo and Kyeongeun.’

    PS.. how about if i am going to say “I AM THINKING OF MOVING to Seoul. and that, i want to study Korean together with Hyunwoo and Kyeongeun.’

    thanks u in advance teachers..

    • PaulC

      Let’s see, one thing I’m not clear on is if it’s 에서 or 에 in this case. but let’s try it this way:

      저는 서울에 이사하고 싶어요. 그리고 현우 형이랑 경은 누나하고 같이 한국어를 공부하고 싶어요.

      to say I’m thinking about it, totally not sure about this, hopefully a teacher or more advanced student will correct me on this.

      저는 서울에 이사해서 생각 중이에요.

    • Allan James

      Thanks Paul C… i should have said kongbuhago sipeoyo, not kongbuhaeyo..
      in the last sentence.. (about moving to Seoul..) what is that “서” in the end part of “이사해서” mean or doing there?
      and in 생각 중이에요, i know that 생각 means ”thinking, think”, how about 중이에요???

      감사합니다 Paul 씨.

    • Wan

      Let me try, “저는 서울에 이사해는 생각해요. 그리고, 현우랑 경은하고 같이를 공부 하고 싶어요”. Is this clear?

    • Allan James

      Hmm… that’s a lot clearer to me.. PaulC did not answer anymore… Thanks you very much Wan.. by the way are you Korean??

    • Wan

      잔짜 아니요. ㅎㅎㅎ. 저는 한극사 람이 않아요 그런데 Malaysia 사람이 예요… 🙂
      Ofcourse no. hehehe. I’m not Korean but I’m Malaysian… 🙂

    • Wan

      잔짜 아니요. ㅎㅎㅎ. 저는 한극사 람이 않아요 그런데 Malaysia 사람이 예요… 그래서, 방갑워요… 🙂
      Ofcourse no. hehehe. I’m not Korean but I’m Malaysian… Anyway, nice to know you… 🙂

    • PaulC

      Sorry Allan, didn’t answer because I didn’t have a great answer and was hoping a teacher would jump in.

      However, in the case of 중이에요, that means ‘in the middle of’

    • Allan James

      no worries PaulC.. I am, in fact, thanking you a lot for the help.. i understand.. we all are learners here.. now i know what does it mean.. thanks a lot PaulC. take care

    • When you talk about wanting to move to Seoul, it is more natural to say
      “서울로 이사하고 싶어요.” or “서울로 이사가고 싶어요.”
      When you are thinking about it, it will go with
      “서울로 이사할까 생각중이에요.”

      I don’t quite remember whether or not Hyunwoo and Kyeungeun have already covered this ‘로’ particle. Since I’m not such an expert explaining things as they are, I’ll just say it is a more natural way to describe this situation. But even If you say “서울에 이사하고 싶어요”, everyone would understand what you are saying and it doesn’t seem to be absolutely wrong.

  • Megumitch

    안녕하세요!오늘 하루 어땠어요?

    휴일예요 그런데 나 아직 일해요. 사무실에서 일해요. 집에 가고 싶어요 그렇지만 11 시까지 일해요 T.T

    지루 했어요 그런데 지금 행복해요.이 수업 재밌어요 ^.~ 경은씨 말했어요 ‘바보’그렇지만 아직 그녀 좋아해요 ᄏᄏᄏ

    감사합니다 TTMIK Team!

  • Jon

    언제나처럼 감사합니다! 모른 단어가 많이 있었어서 저에게 아주 쓸모 있는 레슨이예요. 예문도 재밌어요 🙂

    Actually I wanted to share a tip for learning new words/phrases with fellow listeners. I studied Japanese for 5 years and this software is quite popular amongst Japanese learners but I’ve not seen it mentioned here before so thought I’d put it out there:

    Anki – http://ichi2.net/anki

    It’s an intelligent flashcard system which calculates the interval between showing you the same card based on how easily you remembered it. Meaning an item (probably a word or phrase if you’re using it to learn a language) that you find difficult will be shown more often, increasing your exposure, while a an item you find easy will be shown less often, meaning you aren’t wasting time reviewing things you already know.

    While there are a few similar pieces of software out there, Anki (which incidentally means ‘memorisation’ in Japanese) is nice because you can import sound and images aswell if it helps you remember.

    I made a small example using some clips from this lesson. If you install Anki and then download and open this file – http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6555709/l2l6.zip – you should be able to easily understand how it works! Bear in mind I created these ‘cards’ for myself, so I didn’t add definitions for the words I already knew. The idea is that you customise everything so that you only review what you need to.

    Despite my salesman-like tone I’m not affiliated in any way with the creator of the program! I just hope somebody will find it useful.

    다음 레슨을 기다리겠어요 🙂

    • linn

      hi jon, anki is a great program! thanks for sharing!!

    • lin shin kwey

      thank you so much jon.. such a big help for everybody.. the site is great.. i know ill learn a lot..

  • i haven’t listened to the lesson yet.. i wish it’s raining here in the Philippines.. it’s summer here by the way..

    how do i say “i wish its raining here in my hometown?” in korean?

    kamsahamnida seonsaeng-nim! 🙂

  • 졸리어서 가고 싶어요. 그런데 데이 시험이어요
    I think this is what I heard though I’m not to sure about the 데이 part.
    The first part says “I’m tired and I want to go to sleep.”
    The second part may say “But I have a test (day?)”


  • Stephanie

    경미: “졸리어서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 내일 시험이에요.”
    Great lesson today.

    • Allan James

      Stephani 씨, just wanna ask why and how 졸리다 becomes 졸리어서. what does 어서 doing there at the end of the phrase?? and i think (just like what Julian is thinking) it would be better or make sense more if we use 시험있어요 instead of 시험이에요?? because tomorrow is not an exam, but tomorrow she “has” an exam.

      hoping for a reply.. 감사합니다!

    • Stephanie

      okay, I admit that my spellings are a bit off now that I’ve listened to it and read everyone else’s comments. I’ve changed my mind: “졸려서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 내일이 시험이에요.”– Because I am sleepy, I want to go to sleep. But, tomorrow there is a test.

      If I am not mistaken, 졸려서 is sort if like if you were to add 졸리다+그래서 to shorten it into something which means the same thing: ‘because I am tired/sleepy’ or “I am sleepy/tired so…” The actual pattern for this is Adj/Verb+아/어/여+서 and is used to show that one clause is the reason for the other (conjunction) and is typically translated as “because”, “so”, or “and” (See Level 2 Lesson 3) I forgot that 이+어 in this case = 여…my bad.

      As for the 시험있어요 versus the 시험이에요…I think it’s a matter of saying “it is a test” (a test exists) or “there is a test”. I could be totally off on this, but they are both okay, it’s just grammatical preference. Someone correct me if I’m wrong~~ Hope this helps!

    • Allan James

      감사합니다! its now clear to me.. i am new to that.. contracting the 졸리다 and 그래서 to make 졸려서. its nice knowing this thing.. thanks you very very much

    • PaulC

      Stephanie is 100% correct about 졸려서. I’m sleepy/drowsy, so I want to go to bed. But tomorrow is a test.

      I do think she says 시험이에요. But I’m guessing, just a guess, but the particle she uses on 내일 is not 이, but 에. 내일에 시험이에요. She says it quite fast so it’s hard to tell distinctly which particle she uses.

  • Persio

    졸려서 자고싶어요, 그론데 네일 시험이에요.
    Im not sure about it ” I’m sleepy and want to go to sleep but tomorrow i have a test .”
    It was really hard to hear the first part , think i need too study more .

  • Julian

    현우 형이랑 경은 누나랑 석진 형, 안뇽하세요! 😀
    I really like that you explained the sample sentences, so I have more vocabulary! ^^
    그리고 석진 형 고맙습니당! ㅋㅋ
    저는 매일 운동을 할 거예요. 그런데 살이 빠지고 있어효 🙂
    And I could hear the quiz, it’s “졸려서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 내일이 시험이에요” right? but it doesn’t make sense to me >.< I feel bad for not understanding a simple sentence, wouldn't "졸려서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 내일에 시험이 있어요." make more sense? I'm so confused ㅠㅠ

    • Wan

      졸려서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 내일이 시험이에요 which mean “sleepy, i want to sleep. but tomorrow it is exam.” isn’t right???

    • walk2hell

      Both are right“졸려서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 내일이 시험이에요” ,”졸려서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 내일에 시험이 있어요.”

      “졸려서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 내일에 시험이 있어요.” in this sentence you can neglect “에” so you can say, ”졸려서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 내일 시험이 있어요.” in fact ”졸려서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 내일 시험이 있어요.” is more used in conversation

    • 완 씨! 잘 했어요!! ^^
      오늘 시험이 없어요. 내일도 없어요. 그래서 잘 자요… ㅋㅋㅋ
      내일 다시 한국어 공부할 거예요. 완 화이팅!!


    • Wan

      저도 지금 시험이 없어요 그래서 행복해요… 🙂
      그리고 한극어를 공부 많이하죠!!!

      그리고 한극어를 공부 많이하죠!!! or 그리고 한극어를 많이 공부하죠!!!. Which one is more likely? (confused~)

    • Cam

      Wow Wan, you’re one heck of a spammer, lol. And btw it’s 한국어 not 한극어 the 으 is only used in 한글.

    • 안녕하세요 완 씨!
      >> 고리고 한국어를 많이 공부해죠

    • Wan

      정말 감사합니다!!!

    • Лена

      그런데 내일이 시험이에요 i think the literal meaning of this sentence is “tomorrow is examinational day”. not “tomorrow will be a test’ so 내일이 – subject of the sentence and 시험이에요 is a noun + [to be]

    • Lena

      그런데 내일이 시험이에요 – i think the literal meaning is “tomorrow is examinational day”. not “tomorrow will be a test’ so 내일이 – subject of the sentence and 시험이에요 is a noun + [to be]

  • 마팅가

    와! 이 수업은 어려웠어요 그런데 정말 재미 많이 했어요. And I love the fact that the examples had so much meat on them. I actually had to take notes today. Thanx for the challenge!!!

  • A.D.

    Oh boy…

    “졸려서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 내일이 시험 이에요.” = “Since I’m sleepy, I want to go to sleep, but there’s a test tomorrow.”

    “-서” appears to be a new particle. This isn’t the same as 그래서, is it?

  • 이거, 그거, 저거 좋아해요 그런데 이거 싫어해요… ㅋㅋㅋ

    • PaulC

      ㅋㅋ 그렇지만 이거 좋아하다고 말 했어요? 어떻게 좋아하기 싫어하기도 있어요?

    • ㅋㅋㅋ… maybe i should place 이거는/이건 rather then 이거 to give contrast view. 미안해요. 잘 못했어요… ㅜㅜ

      두유랑 두부랑 빵 정말 좋아해요. 그런데 우유 싫어해요.
      만나고 싶어요. 그런데 중요한 약속이 있었어요. 나중에 만나죠
      한국어 조금 할 수 있어요. 그러지만 연습 많이 필요해요.


    • Wan

      저는 우유리 너무 좋아요. 그런데, 우유리 왜를 싫어요?

    • PaulC

      kk nothing to apologize for, it’s good practice. I was trying to point out that you like this thing in front of you, but you also hated it.

      Wan, I don’t think you can make 왜 the object of a sentence. I think the correct way to state that would be 왜 [카에르 씨가] 우유를 싫어해요?

    • 왜 싫어해요…. 음… 그냥… ^^
      완 씨 왜 우유 좋아해요?

    • Wan

      우유가 정말 맛있어요. 그런데, 너는 우유를 왜 싫어요?

  • ingrid


    I dont know if is ok but here is

    졸리어사하고싶어요. 그런데 이리시험에요.

    here is my example

    저 는 애인 은없어 요. 그 런데 진구 마 니는 하 요

    This is my first try with my korean board .)

    • 안녕하세요 Ingrid! ^^

      “저 는 애인 은없어 요. 그 런데 진구 마 니는 하 요”
      >> 저는 애인이 없어요. 그런데 친구 많이 있어요.
      (i don’t have gf/bf, but i have many friends)

      잘 했어요! 화이팅!! ^^

    • Wan

      졸리어사하고싶어요. 그런데 이리시험에요. What do u mean by this sentence?
      카에르씨, between “그런데 친구 많이가 있어요” and “그런데 친구가 많이 있어요”, which one is more likely?

    • PaulC

      In this case, 친구 많이 있어요, There are a lot of friends. What’s the subject of the sentence? What exists? Friends exist and there are many of them. So 친구가 is the correct choice.

    • Wan

      네, 맞아요…

    • INGRID

      감사합니다!!!!!!!!!!!! khairshapiee시


  • mei-chiung

    너무 감사합니다

    • Wan

      메치웅씨. 아녕하세요. 제 일음은 완입니다. 저도 이TTMIK에게 너무 감사합니다… 🙂

  • cherry

    hello newbie here. i live in Seoul for 1 year. but still i find it hard to speak Korean language. thanks to your website i can now learn more Korean language.

  • Megumitch

    안녕하세요 cherry씨! Welcome to the site 🙂

  • Allan James

    안녕하세요 현우 형이랑 경은 누나. just wanna ask if i can interchange the order of the sentence without changing the meaning of it? take, for example, the first sentence in the pdf which was 피곤해요. 그런데 영화 보고 싶어요. can i say 피곤해요. 영화 보고 싶어요그런데 ?


    • Wan

      제임씨, 안녕. 🙂
      As for me, I would say 피곤해요. 그런데 영화 보고 싶어요. It is because you are contrasting between the sentence…

    • Allan James

      감사합니다 again Wan 씨. You are really a great help for all of us.. thanks a lot.!

    • Wan

      Not a problem james. 잘 하루 되세요… 😉 Have a nice day…

  • Darius

    Hi, I am learning Korean and looking up this site a reference and revision and this is really a good and interesting site.
    But I have a simple question which is not really related to this topic. I saw this at the sample sentence so just wanted to clear it up.
    My teacher said the past tense is 이였어요 but the sample sentence used 이었어요.
    So “it was sunday” should it be 일요일이었어요 or 일요일이였어요?


    • I think your teacher might have been confused between ‘이었어요’ and ‘였어요’. 였어요 is an abbreviated form from 이었어요. It the word before ‘이었어요’ doesn’t carry 받침, you should abbreviate it.

      일요일 + 이었어요. = 일요일 ends with 받침, so you don’t abbreviate 이었어요.
      => 일요일이었어요.

      어제 + 이었어요 = 어제 ends without 받침, so you should abbreviate 이었어요.
      => 어제였어요.

      I hope this helps!

  • 안녕 ~~~~~
    어제 영화 봤어요, 그런데, 오늘도 영화 봘거예요!
    is this sentence ok ? it’s because we have a documentary festival going on in Toronto now, so i’m seeing a lot of movies…
    this lesson is great! i love all of the sample sentences. 그렇지만 and 그런데 seem clearer to me now… but where does 근데 figure in? is it just a shorter version of 그런데? but, we don’t use 근데 in the same way?
    and hyunwoo ~ that was such an interesting idea about trying to say “but” often, so that you would give yourself more opportunity to share your opinions and make more sentences. i think sometimes in conversations we agree easily when we have a chance to share more about our experiences and opinions. i really like this idea, and i’m going to pass it along!

    졸렸어 자고싶어요, 그런데, 내일 시험이에요.

    ps. in English, this sentence would be
    I’m so tired and I want to sleep, but tomorrow I have an exam.
    or in other words
    I won’t be sleeping tonight.

    • PaulC

      Correct, 근데 is just a shortened form of 그런데

  • 제임스

    저는 지금 피곤해요. 내일아침에 일해야 돼요. 그런데 지금 한국어 공부하고 싶어요.

  • Thanks so much for this lesson! I always wondered what was the difference and now it makes sense. The sample sentences were also really helpful.

  • Jacqueline (자클린)

    저는 한국 드라마를 보고 싶어요. 그렇지만 한국어 말 못 해요.

  • kimberly

    안녕하세요 선생님들!

    형우오빠, 걱정하지 마세요. 저는 팬이에요!^^

  • Taey

    Quiz Sample Sentence

    줄여서촐고싶어요.그런데내일이시흠이에요. (I hope this is more than half-way correct). Last night I wanted to sleep, but I had a test the next day.

    I really like the sound of “줄여서,” it sounds a little melodious (I’m a music person). I first heard it in another podcast and said it about 20x because it sounds so nice. Can “줄여서” also imply “I’m tired?”
    I had a hard time recognizing “내일”; it seemed to “stream-line with the particle, I’m assuming, “이.” That’s really cool. I wonder if this happens in English, too. Is the purpose of the particle to imply “tomorrow IS the day I have a test?”

  • Martin

    Great site – you guys work really hard and should be proud of what you have created!

    One thing surprised me with this lesson……

    어제 학교에 갔어요. 그렇지만 일요일이었어요

    Is 이었어요 the past tense form of 이에요 (the verb 이다)?

    I thought the past tense form for this verb was 였어요……

    Can you use either? (they sound the same when you say them fast!!!)

    • 아틸라

      안녕 말딘 씨! 🙂

      Youngbin 씨 explained this a bit above… before her explanation I was also confused a little! 고마워요 Youngbin 씨! (Is 영빈 written correctly if I would try to spell her name in Korean?)

  • claudine

    the quiz says..

    절요서 자고샆어요 그런데 내일 시험해요..

    im sleepy, i want to sleep but i have exam tomorrow..

    이고 멎아요?is this right? ^^

  • 아틸라

    안녕하세요!!! 🙂

    TTMIK는 정말 재미이에요!
    I am always looking forward to come here and study! I think it was a brilliant idea to have the sample sentences told by your friends!!! And the quizzzz, very good idea too!

    I had trouble understanding it, but I only have to study more to understand…
    “줄려서 자고 싶어요. 그런데 대일이 시험이에요.” (I listened to this sentence many many times, but I can head 대일이 and not 내일이 as the other people here wrote.)

    PS: everyone, what online dictionaries do you use?

  • popo

    I think she said she wants to sleep but she has a test tomorrow?

    Anyway, thanks TTMIK for all provinding us with all the great lessons! You are the BEST!!!!!!!!!

  • Dylan

    수업 용 감사합니다!

    – 후추(고추??)가 먹다 좋아해요. 그런데, 진짜 매운 이에요.

    • 안녕하세요 Dylan,
      음…. 좀 어색해요.

      수업 용 감사합니다.
      > 수업 감사합니다.

      후추는 black pepper 그리고 고추는 chili pepper 예요.
      매운 것은 고추, 그러니까 이렇게 써야 돼요.

      >고추 먹는 거 좋아해요. 그런데, 진짜 매워요.
      I like to eat chili peppers, but it tastes really hot.

  • myra

    I don’t know if i had noticed it right.
    The geu-reo-chi-man is used for negative sentences or when the speaker expresses disappointment.
    The geu-reon-de is used when the speaker implies that thew situation is just okay for him/her or saying that no big deal at all.

    • 그렇지만 [geu-reo-chi-man] is similar to “but, though, however, nevertheless” in English, so it can be used when the meaning of latter sentence is different from the former sentence.

      The speaker can also use this when he/she says opposite opinion to the other person’s opinion while you agree some part of it.

      나는 그녀를 좋아한다. 그렇지만 그녀는 나를 좋아하지 않는다.

      네 말이 맞다. 그렇지만 난 이번 지하철을 타지 않을 거야.

      나는 과일을 사러 갈 거야. 그렇지만, 돈은 내지 않을 거야.

      그런데[geu-reon-de] I can say the meaning is really similar to 그렇지만.

      When the speaker says some different oppinion, which si related to what they are saying, from the other’s oppnion, “그런데” can be used.

      너 오늘 일찍 온다고 했잖아, 그런데 왜 또 늦었어?

      아 그렇군요. 그런데 왜 그때는 말씀을 안 하셨습니까?

      동생은 벌써 숙제를 하고 나갔어요. 그런데 저는 아직도 숙제가 많이 남아서 놀 수가 없어요.

  • myra

    I don’t know if i had noticed it right.
    The GEU-REO-CHI-MAN is used for negative sentences or when the speaker expresses disappointment.
    The GEU-REON-DE is used when the speaker implies that the situation is just okay for him/her or saying that there’s no big deal at all.

  • Amanda

    Hello everyone!

    It’s my first time posting and I’m very confused with the object marking particles. In this lesson, one of the sample sentences stated 미경: 저는 매일 운동을 해요. 그런데 살이 빠지지 않아요. Why is 을 added to 운동. Also in this case is 을 acting as an object marking particle or something else?

  • kara

    출려서 차고싶어요 그런데 내일이 시험이에요, am i right ?

    • 출려서 차고 싶어요. -이거 아니에요. ㅠ..ㅠ

      졸려서 자고 싶어요.

      그런데 내일이 시험이에요. – 이건 맞아요. ^^

  • Jon

    Thanks for the lesson! I’m curious on how and when to use the word 하지만? I’ve seen this word many times in song lyrics and some tv-shows. And now i hear that there are two more ways of saying but/however. 🙂

    So, i really want to know when or not to use 하지만.


    • Jon 씨.
      하지만 means but or however.
      what do you mean? ?

    • jon

      Yes, I know what it means. ^^

      I just want to know when to use it instead of the two words presented in this lesson.

      In the PDF you can find this sample sentence:

      피곤해요. 그렇지만 영화 보고 싶어요

      Does this have the same meaning?

      피곤해요. 하지만 영화 보고 싶어요

      Is there a rule to follow? Are any of them more or less polite?