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Episode 24: ~는데 Explained!


Last week I was asked what are the uses of ~는데 and I was terrified of the thought of trying to explain it because it's just such a brain killer. It's honestly not that difficult, however it does require a certain knowledge and familiarity of Korean language and is mostly based on context. As much as I was afraid of this topic, I decided to be brave and tackle it head on with you guys, so here's what I came up with:

~는데 and ~는 데 are VERY different and mean TOTALLY different things.

~는 데: In this case you add 는 to the verb and 데 serves as a noun, which means 'place/location' (Synonyms: 장소, 곳). 혹시 가고 싶은 데가 있어요?- Is there a place you want to go to? 돈이 없어서 갈 수 있는 데가 없어요- Because I have no money I have no place to go 우리가 처음에 만난 데에 갔어요- We went to the place where we first met

~는데: This is a very useful sentence connector, which unfortunately doesn't have a proper translation in English. The nicest definition I found was from and it has two parts to it: 1. ~는데 is a less strong version of 'even though' 2. It sets up the situation for the upcoming clause so the first clause leads to the second one

In some instances it has a similar meaning to ~지만

제가 고기를 안 좋아하지만 먹어볼 거예요 = 제가 고기를 안 좋아하는데 먹어볼 거예요 - Even though I don't like meat, I will try it* *Unfortunately it all depends on the context of the dialogue -__-'''

Two sentences: 제가 밥을 먹꼬 있어요. I am eating food. 하지만 밥을 별로 좋아하지 않아요. But I don't really like the food. These can be connected using ~는데: 제가 밥을 먹고 있는데 별로 좋아하지 않아요 The true meaning of this sentence lies somewhere in between 'I'm eating and I don't really like it' and 'I'm eating even though I don't really like it'

~는데 doesn't have to mean 'even though' at all: 저는 질문이 있어요. I have a question. 이 일을 언제까지 해야 되나요? When should this work be done? = 저는 질문이 있는데 이 일을 언제까지 해야 되 나요? I have a question; when should this work be done?

~는데 with adjectives: 싶다 & 이다 behave as adjectives when it comes to connecting ~는데 to them 그 여자가 예쁜데 네 스타일이 아니야 - This girl is pretty even though she's not my style 런던은 되게 큰 도시인데 진짜 할 것이 없어요- Even though London is a big city there's isn't that much to do 나는 그렇게 하고 싶은데 같이 할 수 있는 사람이 없어요- I want to do it this way but I don't have anyone to do it with

~는데 at the end of a sentence: Lastly you can use this particle in an incomplete sentence when you are expressing something that differs from what the person you're speaking to said.. or something like that... ^^ -빨리 가자! Let's go! -가기 싫은데... I don't really want to...

-야채를 먹어라! Eat your veggies! -맛없는데... It's tasteless though...

Phewwwww.... that was one heck of a long lesson! Hope it all made sense! Let me know if you have any questions :)

Much love,


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