Today we’re going to connect you with Korean conjunctions! These useful tools will help you express your ideas when talking, writing, or texting in Korean.
We’ll show you the common Korean conjunctions and sentence connectors that Korean people use on a daily basis.
Let’s get to it!
Below is a free PDF guide that you can download and take with you:
You can go through this lesson on Korean conjunctions in order, or skip to the sections that interest you most. The terms are explained using both Hangeul (Korean Alphabet) and romanized English. We recommend learning Hangeul as soon as possible since it’ll accelerate the speed at which you can learn Korean. It also makes it simpler to use Korean slang or create a Korean name for yourself.
Here is a free resource to learn the Korean alphabet in less than an hour.
- 1 Simple Response in a Conversation
- 2 Korean Conjunctions
- 2.1 그리고 (geurigo) = and, and then
- 2.2 ~고 (~go) = and, and then
- 2.3 그래서 (geuraeseo) = So, so that, thus, and so, therefore
- 2.4 ~서 (seo) = Because
- 2.5 그러니까 (geureonikka) = Therefore
- 2.6 ~니까 (~ nikka) = Because of
- 2.7 그러면 (geureomyeon) = If it’s so, in that case
- 2.8 ~면 (~ myeon) = If, once
- 2.9 그래도 (geuraedo) = Nonetheless, even if, even so, but still, nevertheless
Simple Response in a Conversation
Here’s a simple response that you can use for basic conversations. It’s not really a Korean conjunction, but it’s usually used in conversations in Korea that you might encounter so we thought we’d add it in. It’s a very basic and useful Korean sentence. We’ve also added example sentences for each conjunction.
그래요 (geuraeyo) = OK, That’s right, Got it
This is a basic response in a conversation, in each level of politeness. We recommend using 그래요 (geuraeyo) since it’s considered polite but still good for everyday conversations.
그렇습니다 (geureoseumnida) is the formal version you might use at the office, or when giving a speech or during formal situations. You would use 그래 (geurae) with someone younger than you or someone with who you’re on close terms.
A: 우리 내일 5시에 만날까? (uri naeil daseot sie mannalkka?)
Shall we meet tomorrow at 5:00?
B: 그래! (geurae!)
Below are the common sentence conjunctions that you should learn first. These basic conjunctions are used to connect phrases, words, and sentences.
그렇지만 (geureochiman) = But, however
This Korean conjunction comes from the verb 그렇다(geureota), which translates as simply as “yes”. However, when you attach ~지만 (~ jiman) to its stem, you are forming a word that literally means “That’s correct, but…”, which you can then follow with the contradiction to what you are responding to. Let’s see how it’s used in the example below.
오늘 친구랑 영화보러 가고 싶어요. 그렇지만 내일 시험 있어서 공부해야 해요.
(oneul chingurang yeonghwaboreo gago sipeoyo. geureochiman naeil siheom isseoseo gongbuhaeya haeyo.)
I want to go see a movie with a friend today. However, I have an exam tomorrow so I have to study.
~지만 (~ jiman) = But, although
This is one of the Korean conjunctions that you should learn first. It is used to unify two sentences into one sentence.
오늘 친구랑 영화보러 가고 싶지만 내일 시험 있어서 공부해야 해요.
(oneul chingurang yeonghwaboreo gago sipchiman naeil siheom isseoseo gongbuhaeya haeyo.)
Although I want to see a movie with a friend today, I have to study for an exam I have tomorrow.
그런데 (geureonde) = But, however, by the way
This is one of the most common Korean conjunctions. It can also be used to form a contradiction, just like 그렇지만 (geureochiman). However, it is better used to relate the two clauses with each other. It’s the form often used among friends.
This conjunction can be used to change topics. The shortened form is 근데 (geunde), with the same meaning.
어제 하루종일 잤어요. 그런데 오늘 피곤해요.
(eoje harujongil jasseoyo. geureonde oneul pigonhaeyo.)
I slept all day yesterday. But today I am tired.
~ㄴ/는데 (~ㄴ/neunde) = But, however, though
Similarly to ~지만 (~ jiman), this Korean conjunction can be used to directly connect the two sentences into one.
어제 하루종일 잤는데 오늘 피곤해요. (eoje harujongil jatneunde oneul pigonhaeyo.)
Though I slept all day yesterday I’m tired today.
그러나 (geureona) = But, or
This Korean conjunction is similar in meaning with 그렇지만 (geureochiman) and 그런데 (geureonde). However, in comparison to the two, it is used in more formal situations. You’d most often see it used in literary or academic papers. Of all the Korean conjunctions on this list, this is the one you’ll most likely only see on paper.
~나 (~ na) = Or
With this conjunction, you can connect two nouns between which to choose. This is one of the most useful Korean conjunctions. It’s a great one for upgrading your basic Korean sentences.
오늘 뭘 먹을까? 고기나 치킨? (oneul mwol meogeulkka? gogina chikin?)
What shall we eat today? Meat or chicken?
~거나 (~ geona) = Or
This conjunction has the same meaning as the above, but it is used in connecting verbs.
수업이 끝나면 영화보거나 집에 갈 거예요.
(sueobi kkeunnamyeon yeonghwabogeona jibe gal geoyeyo.)
When the class ends I will either watch a movie or go home.
아니면 (animyeon) = Or, unless, if not
This is used like the Korean conjunctions ~나 (~ na) and ~거나 (~ geona). For example, you can use it instead of ~나 (~ na)or together with ~거나 (~ geona). You can also use it between two sentences to make them sound more natural.
고기를 먹을까요? 아니면 다른 거 먹을까요?
(gogireul meogeulkkayo? animyeon dareun geo meogeulkkayo?)
Shall we eat meat? Or shall we eat something else?
그리고 (geurigo) = and, and then
You’ve already learned a few different ways to say “and” in Korean from previous lessons. We’re going to show you another way. Use this Korean conjunction to connect two nouns. You can also use it as the beginning of another sentence that follows your first one.
슈퍼에서 우유를 사주세요. 그리고 계란도 사주세요.
(syupeoeseo uyureul sajuseyo. geurigo gyerando sajuseyo.)
Please buy milk from the supermarket. And please buy eggs as well.
~고 (~go) = and, and then
This is one of the basic Korean conjunctions. It has a nearly identical meaning to 그리고 (geurigo) and is often used to connect actions together, typically in the form of “First X, and then Y”.
저녁을 먹고 샤워할 거예요. (jeonyeogeul meokgo syawohal geoyeyo.)
I’ll eat dinner and then take a shower.
그래서 (geuraeseo) = So, so that, thus, and so, therefore
The ~서 (~ seo) ending expresses cause and effect in the verbs it is attached to.
오늘 하루종일 남자친구한테서 연락을 못 받았어요. 그래서 슬퍼요.
(oneul harujongil namjachinguhanteseo yeollageul mot badasseoyo. geuraeseo seulpeoyo.)
I didn’t receive any contact from my boyfriend all day today. Therefore I am sad.
~서 (seo) = Because
As mentioned above, this ending expresses cause and effect. It’s one of the most commonly used Korean conjunctions.
오늘 사탕을 많이 먹어서 배가 아파요. (oneul satangeul mani meogeoseo baega apayo.)
My stomach hurts because I ate a lot of candy today.
그러니까 (geureonikka) = Therefore
This conjunction is very similar to 그래서 (geuraeseo). More so than 그래서 (geuraeseo), it emphasizes an action made as an effect of the cause.
그 날 가족과 함께 모일 거예요. 그러니까 생일파티에 못가요.
(geu nal gajokgwa hamkke moil geoyeyo. geureonikka saengilpatie motgayo.)
I will do a get-together with my family that day. Therefore, I cannot go to the birthday party.
~니까 (~ nikka) = Because of
This is used in a similar fashion as ~서. You will see the Korean conjunctions ~니까 (~ nikka) and ~서 (~ seo) quite often. Like, 그러니까 (geureonikka), it focuses more on expressing the reason why something could not happen. It can be used in past tense.
하루종일 잤으니까 폰을 못 봤어요. (harujongil jasseunikka poneul mot bwasseoyo.)
I couldn’t look at my phone because I slept all day.
그러면 (geureomyeon) = If it’s so, in that case
You can use this conjunction to start a sentence that expands on information that’s been revealed to you previously in the conversation.
이번 일요일은 쉬는 날이에요? 그러면 그때 같이 밥을 먹어요.
(ibeon illyoireun swineun narieyo? geureomyeon geuttae gachi babeul meogeoyo.)
This Sunday is a resting day? In that case, let’s have a meal together then.
~면 (~ myeon) = If, once
Attaching this Korean conjunction to a verb, you can make a sentence saying you’ll do something if you first do X, or once you first do X.
집에 오면 연락할게요. (jibe omyeon yeollakalgeyo.)
I will contact you once I get home.
그래도 (geuraedo) = Nonetheless, even if, even so, but still, nevertheless
This Korean conjunction is used to say something will be done or something will be happening, regardless of what is said in the first sentence.
어제 머리가 많이 아팠어요. 그래도 친구랑 놀러 갔어요.
(eoje meoriga mani apasseoyo. geuraedo chingurang nolleo gasseoyo.)
My head hurt a lot yesterday. Even so, I went to play with a friend.
We hope you enjoyed learning about these Korean conjunctions and basic sentence connectors. Start with the simple conjunctions, and keep adding to them as you connect them with Korean words. They’re an important part of Korean grammar and are useful to advance your Korean language studies.
Once you learn Korean conjunctions, you’ll be surprised by how often you’ll hear them. They’re bound to come up in your favorite Korean movies, K-Dramas, and K-pop songs. This way, you’ll automatically be enjoying and learning at the same time.
Why not give them a try yourself? Write some example sentences using Korean conjunctions in the comments below!