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Lesson 77: More ~는데 (그런데) and ~는 데

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This Lesson is also available in Español

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Vocabulary
Introduction

The Meaning of 그런데
Finishing a Sentence with ~는데
~는 데 meaning: To Take an Amount of Time or Resources

 

 

Vocabulary

Nouns:
물품 = articles, goods

Common Usages:
물품가액 = the price of goods (usually seen on slips when entering a country and reporting at customs)
소지금지물품 = restricted items (items that you are not allowed to possess)

Examples:
그 물품이 영화에 나와서 인기를 얻었어요
= That product was in a movie, so it got popular

인터넷으로 동시에 수백 개의 물품을 사서는 안 돼요
= You shouldn’t buy hundreds of items from the internet at the same time

물품을 트럭에 쉽게 옮길 수 있게 아저씨가 트럭을 뒤로 움직였어요
= The man moved the truck back so that we could load the products/items easily

미국 통화가 요즘에 비싸지고 있어서 물품 값이 전반적으로 올라가고 있어요
= The price of goods in general (across the board) is increasing because the US dollar is increasing

무지개 = rainbow

Common Usages:
쌍무지개 = double rainbow
무지갯빛 = rainbow colors (iridescence)
무지갯빛 인생 = a happy life

Examples:
친구가 무지개가 예쁘다고 하는데 저는 무지개가 안 보여요
= My friend says the rainbow is beautiful, but I can’t see it

비가 와서 그치고 나서 햇빛이 나와야 무지개를 볼 수 있어요
= It needs to rain and then after it stops the sun needs to shine in order to see a rainbow

상업 = commerce, business

Common Usages:
상업화 = commercialization
상업화하다 = to commercialize

Examples:
지난 10년 동안 베트남의 상업은 많이 발달했어요
= Business in Vietnam developed a lot in the past ten years

밸런타인데이와 크리스마스 같은 휴일의 상업화 때문에 사람들이 돈을 많이 써요
= People spend a lot of money on holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas because of commercialization

걸레 = rag

Notes: 걸레 is a slur for a certain profession of people who sell their bodies.

Common Usages:
대걸레 = mop
마른걸레 = died rag
바닥을 걸레로 닦다 = to wipe a floor with a rag

Examples:
이 셔츠가 오래돼서 더 이상 안 입고 걸레로 쓸 거예요
= This shirt is old so I can’t wear it anymore, I’m going to use it as a rag

이 작은 걸레로 바닥을 다 닦는 데 시간이 많이 걸릴 거예요
= It will take a long time to wipe the floor with this small rag

빗자루 = broom

Common Usages:
빗자루로 쓸다 = to sweep with a broom

Examples:
빗자루만 있으면 깨진 유리를 치우는 게 쉬울 거예요
= If there were a broom, it would be easily to clean up the broken class

한국 사람들이 보통 빗자루를 안 쓰고 대부분 청소기를 돌려요
= Korean people usually don’t use brooms, most use (run) vacuum cleaners

자물쇠 = a lock

Common Usages:
자물쇠를 채우다 = to lock
자물쇠를 풀다 = to unlock

Examples:
자물쇠를 여는 데 시간이 왜 이렇게 오래 걸려요?
= Why is it taking so long to open the lock?

문에 자물쇠가 없어서 범죄자가 쉽게 그 집을 털었어요
= There was no lock on the door, so the criminal easily robbed that house

허리띠 = belt

Notes: The English loan word 벨트 is often used these days instead.

Common Usages:
허리띠를 매다 = to put on a belt
허리띠를 풀다 = to unbuckle a belt
허리띠를 졸라매다 = to tighten up spending

Examples:
허리띠가 없어서 바지가 자꾸 흘러 내려가요
= I don’t have a belt, so these pants keep falling down

그 바지를 입고 갈색 허리띠를 매면 잘 어울릴 것 같아요
= If you wear those pants with a brown belt they would probably go well together

경제가 갑자기 안 좋아져서 사람들이 허리띠를 졸라매기 시작했어요
= The market suddenly went poor, so people started tightening up their finances/spending

근로자 = ordinary workers

Notes: 근로자 refers to a person who does manual labor.

Examples:
이 곳에서 근무하는 근로자의 수는 총 1,000명이에요
= The total number of workers employed here is 1000

하루 벌어 생활하는 근로자의 수가 점점 늘고 있어요
= The number of workers who do daily work/jobs is gradually increasing

창의 = originality

성 is often added to 창의. This is discussed in Lesson 135.

Common Usages:
창의적 = creative
창의성 = creativity

Examples:
창의성을 발달시키는 데 좋은 것 중 하나는 독서예요
= Reading is one of the ways to increase one’s creativity

점점 사회에서 창의성의 중요성이 커지고 있어요
= Gradually the importance of creativity is growing in society

최악 = the worst

Examples:
다른 사람들이 그 결과가 왜 최악이라고 해요?
= Why do other people say that the result is the worst?

제가 만났던 사람 중 최악은 매번 만날 때마다 거짓말을 하는 사람이었어요
= Of all people the worst were those who lied whenever I met them

실용적 = practical

Examples:
학교를 다닐 때 실용적인 기술을 많이 배우는 게 아주 중요해요
= It is important to learn practical skills when you attend school

우리 과학 수업에 학생들이 이해할 수 있게 항상 아주 간편하고 실용적인 내용만 해요
= During science classes, I try to always only do/teach simple and practical content so students can understand it well

창의적 = creative

Examples:
다음 달부터 모든 학생들이 창의적인 물품을 만들 거예요
= From next month, all students will make a creative product/good

창의적인 생각을 더 잘하기 위해서는 잘 쉬는 것도 중요해요
= In order to think more creatively, resting well is important as well

Verbs:
훈육하다 = to discipline

The noun form of this word (칭찬) translates to “discipline.”

Examples:
사람마다 자녀는 훈육하는 방식은 다르다
= Every person disciplines their child differently

아이들을 올바르게 훈육하는 것은 굉장히 중요해요
= It is very important to discipline children correctly

털다 = to dust off, to shake off

Common Usages:
옷을 털다 = to shake clothes (usually after doing laundry)
집을 털다 = to rob

Examples:
이불을 털었더니 먼지가 날렸어요 = I shook the blanket and dust went flying
빨래를 하고 나서 옷을 털고 나서 널어야 옷에 주름이 생기지 않아요 = After doing laundry and shaking the clothes, you need to hang them in order for wrinkles to not form

설득하다 = to convince, to persuade

The noun form of this word (설득) translates to “persuasion.”

Examples:
이런 것이 중요하다고 교장선생님을 어떻게 설득해요?
= How do we convince the principal that this type of thing is important?

오랫동안 같은 주장을 하다 보면 결국 다른 사람들을 설득할 수도 있어요
= If you keep arguing the same point for a long time eventually you can probably convince people

꽂다 = to stick into

Common Usages:
콘센트에 꽂다 = to put in the outlet
머리핀을 꽂다 = to put in a hair pin

Examples:
그 플러그를 여기에 꽂아 봐요 = Try plugging that plug in here
예쁜 머리핀을 꽂고 학교에 갔어요 = I put a pretty hairpin in my hair and went to school

짚다 = to put one’s hands on something

Common Usages:
맥을 짚다 = to check one’s pulse
지팡이를 짚다 = to hold a cane

Examples:
이마를 짚어 보니 열이 있는 게 확실했어요
= After putting my hand on your forehead it is certain you have a fever

나이가 드신 분들 중에 지팡이를 짚고 걷는 분들이 많아요
= Among older people, there are a lot that walk with a cane

한의원에서는 맥을 짚는 것은 환자의 상태를 알아볼 수 있는 중요한 방법이에요
= At a traditional Korean hospital, holding checking the patient’s pulse is an important way to check the patient’s condition

염려하다 = to worry

The noun form of this word (염려) translates to “worry” or “concern.”

Examples:
네가 아직 어려서 미래를 염려하지 않아도 돼
= You are still young, so you don’t need to worry about the future

사람들이 염려했던 것보다 피해의 규모가 작아서 다행이에요
= Thankfully the scale of the damage was smaller than what people had expected

맞이하다 = to welcome, to greet, to receive guests

The noun form of this word (맞이) translates to “reception” or “welcoming.”

Common Usages:
손님을 맞이하다 = to meet a guest
새해를 맞이하다 = to bring in the new year

Examples:
공항에서 손님을 맞이하러 나갔어요
= The teacher went out to meet/greet the guests at the airport

손님을 맞이하러 공항에 가는 데 2 시간이 걸렸어요
= It took two hours to go to the airport to meet the guest

새해를 맞이하려면 우선 새해 계획부터 짜야 해요
= If you want to bring in the new year, you need to first make plans for the new year

줍다 = to pick up

This word follows the ㅂ irregular.

Common Usages:
돈을 줍다 = to pick up money
쓰레기를 줍다 = to pick up garbage

Examples:
돈을 주워서 주머니에 넣었어요
= I found/picked up the money and quickly put it in my pocket

선생님이 오시기 전에 바닥에 있는 종이를 다 주워야 돼요
= Before the teacher comes, we need to pick up the papers on the floor

감다 = to wind, to coil, to wrap around

Common Usages:
붕대를 감다 = to wrap a bandage

Examples:
이 선을 여기에 감아 줘 = Wrap that line/cord around here, please
이곳저곳에 실이 많아서 한곳에 모아서 감아 놓았어요 = There were stings here and there (in all places) so I wrapped them all up together

선발하다 = to select, to pick out

The noun form of this word (선발) translates to “selection.”

Notes: 선발하다 is used when picking out a person – usually for a specific job. A common example is in when athletes come out of college/university to play in a professional league, they are “drafted.” 선발하다 is used for this meaning.

Common Usages:
선수를 선발하다 = to draft an athlete
사원을 선발하다 = to choose an employee
대표를 선발하다 = to choose a representative

Examples:
친구들은 그 학생을 반장으로 선발했어요 = The friends chose that student as the class leader
지난 주에 제가 경기를 잘해서 코치가 이번 경기에 저를 선발했어요 = I did well in the match last week, so the coach selected me for this game

검사하다 = to examine

The noun form of this word (검사) translates to “examination” or “inspection.”

Common Usages:
피검사 = blood examination
신체검사 = physical (check-up)
소변검사 = urine examination
정밀검사 = full/complete medical check-up/examination

Examples:
우리가 검사를 해서 문제가 있다는 것을 깨달았어요
= We did an inspection, and we realized that there are many problems

한국에서는 남자들이 군대에 가기 전에 꼭 신체검사를 받아야 해요
= In Korea, before men go to the army, they need to get a physical (check-up)

갑자기 시야가 흐려지기 시작하면 먼저 병원에 가서 눈 검사를 해야 돼요
= If your vision suddenly starts to get blurry, you must first go to the hospital and get an eye exam

인정하다 = to acknowledge, to admit, to concede

The noun form of this word (인정) translates to “acknowledgement.”

Notes: Just saying the word “인정” is a common way for one to indicate that they accept or agree with a comment or situation. I teach in a school where most students are ethnically Korean but not from Korea. Therefore, most of them speak English and Korean perfectly. For example, I might be going over a test with a student, and when I’m explaining why a student gets a certain score, I might jokingly ask “Do you 인정 this score?”

Common Usages:
사실을 인정하다 = to admit the truth
실수를 인정하다 = to admit mistakes

Examples:
범죄자는 그의 실수를 인정했어요 = The criminal acknowledged his mistakes
이 상황을 그대로 그냥 인정하세요 = Just accept the situation as it is
우리 회사에서 모든 근로자들이 경민이 제일 중요한 사람이라고 인정했어요 = All workers at our company agreed/admitted that Gyeong-min is the most important person

앓다 = to be in pain because of an illness

Common Usages:
병을 앓다 = to be sick with an illness
앓아 눕다 = to be sick in bed (lying down)
몸살을 앓다 = for one’s body to be in pain

Examples:
그 사람을 병을 앓다가 결국 세상을 떠났다
= That person was sick with an illness and eventually left the earth (passed away)

추운 날씨에 10시간 동안 밖에 일을 해서 감기에 걸려 일주일 동안 앓아 누웠다
= I worked outside for ten hours in the cold, caught a cold and then was sick in bed for a week

닦다 = to wipe

Common Usages:
칠판을 닦다 = to erase/wipe the blackboard
눈물을 닦다 = to wipe one’s tears
이빨을 닦다 = to brush (wipe) one’s teeth
수건으로 닦다 = to wipe with a towel
바닥을 (걸레로) 닦다 = to wipe a floor (with a rag)

Examples:
저는 수건으로 몸을 닦았어요 = I wiped my body with a towel

바닥에 물을 쏟아서 얼른 휴지로 닦았어요
= I spilled water on the ground, so I wiped it up with a paper towel quickly

이 작은 걸레로 바닥을 다 닦는 데 시간이 많이 걸릴 거예요
= It will take a long time to wipe the floor with this small rag

설거지를 하고 나서 싱크대를 한번 닦는 것이 중요해요
= It is important to wipe the sink once after you are finished washing the dishes

쓸다 = to sweep

Notes: In addition to the act of sweeping with a broom or brush, 쓸다 can be used to indicate that “something” sweeps through an area – like a contagious virus or some sort of natural disaster.

Common Usages:
쓸고 닦다 = to sweep and wipe (used to mean “to clean thoroughly”)

Examples:
이 교무실을 쓸어 주세요 = Sweep this (teacher’s) office for me please
집이 넓어 쓸고 닦는 것만으로도 하루가 다 간다 = The house is so big that just sweeping and wiping it alone takes a whole day

Adjectives:
섭섭하다 = to be upset

Common Usages:
시원섭섭하다 = to have mixed emotions of being happy and being upset

Examples:
이렇게 섭섭해 보여요? = Why do you look so sad?
이제 어쩔 수 없는 것이라서 그렇게 섭섭해하지 마세요 = Now it is inevitable, so don’t be so sad
제일 친한 친구가 내일부터 다른 학교에 다닐 거라서 아주 섭섭해요 = Starting from tomorrow, my best friend will be attending another school, so I am very upset

긴급하다 = to be very urgent

The noun form of this word (긴급) translates to “urgency.”

Common Usages:
긴급통화 = emergency phone call

Examples:
아주 긴급한 상황이라서 이해해 주세요 = This is a very urgent matter, so please understand
코로나가 전세계적으로 퍼지지 않게 하는 것은 아주 긴급한 문제예요 = Making sure that COVID-19 doesn’t spread around the world is a very urgent matter

간편하다 = to be simple, to be convenient

The noun form of this word (간편) translates to “simplicity.”

Common Usages:
간편식 = simple and convenient food

Examples:
이런 핸드폰을 쓰는 게 아주 간편해요
= Using this type of cellphone is very simple/convenient

그 서류를 작성하는 게 원래 복잡했지만 서류가 변해서 이제 아주 간편해요
= Filling out this document originally was complicated but it changed so now it is very simple

우리 과학 수업에 학생들이 이해할 수 있게 항상 아주 간편하고 실용적인 내용만 해요
= During science classes, I try to always only do/teach simple and practical content so students can understand it well

For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.

 

Introduction

In the previous lesson, you learned the meaning of 데 as a noun, and also learned how to apply ~는데 to sentences. In this lesson, you will continue to learn about ~는데, and will also learn about the meaning that is created if you put a space between ~는 and 데. Let’s get started!

 

The Meaning of 그런데

In the previous lesson, you learned that you can use ~는데 between two clauses. When used like this, “~는데” has a meaning that is slightly less strong than the expression “even though,” where the first clause will often prepare the scenario for the second clause.

In Lesson 23, you learned about the word “그렇다” and how many grammatical principles can combine with it. As you know, 그렇다 is an adjective. Therefore, ~ㄴ데 attaches to 그렇다 to create “그런데” (remember the ㅎ irregular, also introduced in Lesson 23). The most common English translation of 그런데 is “by the way.” In my opinion, this translation is not perfect.

In English, we would use “by the way” introduce a new topic that wasn’t previous being discussed. I picture “by the way” being used in the following scenario:

Imagine you are talking with a friend about learning Korean. A few minutes go by, and you both eventually run out of things to say about that topic. Things start getting a little awkward, and then you remember that you bumped into your friend’s mother yesterday. You might say:

“Oh, by the way, I bumped into your mother the other day.”

That is not really how 그런데 is used in Korean.

In order understand its meaning, we need to remember the purpose of 그렇다. 그렇다 is used to refer to a situation. Grammatical principles are often attached to 그렇다 to add their respective meanings to 그렇다.

A simple example of this is when ~아/어서 (Lesson 37) is added to 그렇다.

When some situation is being talked about, you can refer to that situation using 그렇다, and then attach ~아/어서 to it to indicate “because of that situation…” For example:

Person 1: 비가 왔어요? = Did it rain?
Person 2: 응, 그래서 나가기 싫어요 = Yeah, that’s why/therefore I don’t want to go out

When we use 그렇다, we are referring to a situation that was previously known or discussed.

When we use 그런데, the speaker acknowledges the situation (through 그렇다) and the use of ~는데 sets up the next clause by indicating it will go in another direction. 그런데 is therefore used in sentences where a prior situation is slightly negated, and the speaker will bring up other information.

It is difficult to give a simple English definition because we do not have the same type of thing. Let’s look at some examples to help you grasp its usage. 그런데 would typically be used in response to some previously stated sentence. Therefore, in the examples below, I have included a sentence before “그런데” to give the usage some context.

Person 1: 집을 다 청소했어요 = I cleaned the whole house
Person 2: 그런데 바닥을 언제 닦았어요? = (But….) when did you wipe the floors?

Person 1: 지금 엄마를 보러 가려고 집에 가고 있어요 = I am going home to see mom now
Person 2: 그런데 제가 집에 갔을 때 엄마가 없었어요 = (But…) when I went home, mom wasn’t there

You will often hear the word “근데” being used instead of 그런데. 근데 is a contraction of 그런데, and therefore has the same usage. I specifically presented the meaning of “그런데” first because I wanted to show you how it is created – and then now I can introduce you to “근데” which is an evolved contraction. However, I feel that “근데” is much more common in speech. Below are many examples. You could replace 근데 with 그런데 in all cases, but I prefer to use 근데.

Person 1: 좋은 결과가 드디어 나왔어요
= Finally, we got a good result (a good result came out)
Person 2: 근데 다른 사람들이 결과가 왜 최악이라고 해요?
= (But…) then why do other people say that the result is the worst?

Person 1: 우리가 검사를 해서 문제가 있다는 것을 깨달았어요
= We did an inspection, and we realized that there are many problems
Person 2: 근데 검사를 언제 했어요?
= (But…) when did you do the inspection?

Person 1: 다음 달부터 모든 학생들이 창의적인 물품을 만들 거예요
= From next month, all students will make a creative product/good
Person 2: 근데 이런 것이 중요하다고 교장선생님을 어떻게 설득해요?
= (But…) how do we convince the principal that this type of thing is important?

Person 1: 지난 주에 제가 경기를 잘해서 코치가 이번 경기에 저를 선발했어요
= I did well in the match last week, so the coach selected me for this game
Person 2: 근데 왜 이렇게 섭섭해 보여요?
= (But…) then why do you look so sad?

Person 1: 우리 회사에서 모든 근로자들이 경민이 제일 중요한 사람이라고 인정했어요
= All workers at our company agreed/admitted that Gyeong-min is the most important person
Person 2: 근데 그녀를 왜 아무도 안 좋아해요?
= (But…) then why does nobody like her?

Person 1: 우리 과학 수업에 학생들이 이해할 수 있게 항상 아주 간편하고 실용적인 내용만 해요
= During science classes, I try to always only do/teach simple and practical content so students can understand it well
Person 2: 근데 학생들이 과학을 왜 싫어해요?
= (But…) then why do students not like science?

Before we move on to another grammatical principle, I would like to discuss another way that ~는데 is commonly used.

Finishing a Sentence with ~는데

“~는데” is often added to the end of a sentence. The meaning isn’t entirely different than what has already been described in the previous lesson and in this lesson with 그런데 but its usage is slightly different so I am presenting separately.

We have seen how other grammatical principles can be added to the end of sentences. For example, in Lesson 37 you saw how ~아/어서 can be used at the end of a sentence in the following dialogue:

Person 1: 한국에 왜 가고 싶어?
Person 2: 너무 좋아서

In that example, “~아서” ends the sentence, but only because the remainder of the sentence can be assumed from context. Similar to how “Because I like it” is not really a perfect sentence in English “너무 좋아서” is not really a perfect sentence in Korean.

In that same way, ~는데 can end a sentence – where the remainder of the sentence can be assumed. Imagine this dialogue between two people:

Person 1: 내가 너무 더워서 창문을 열 거야 = I’m going to open the window because I’m so hot
Person 2: 나는 추운데…. = … But… I’m cold

This usage of ~는데 (when used at the end of a clause followed by nothing) creates a similar meaning to “But….”. For example:

가기 싫은데… = But I don’t want to go…
맛없는데… = But it’s not delicious…

Using “But…” to translate these constructions into English works in a pinch (pun intended), but it doesn’t fully describe how and when these types of constructions would be used. These types of constructions are most commonly used when you are disagreeing with what somebody says – and your response is indicating your feelings towards what was said (directly or indirectly). For example, you can see in the example “나는 추운데,” Person 2 wasn’t directly telling Person 1 “Hey, don’t open the window, I’m cold!” Instead, Person 2 was trying to point out that he/she is cold – and therefore, doesn’t want Person 1 to open the window.

The same could be said for the other two examples above. For example:

Person 1: 빨리 가자! = Let’s go!
Person 2: 가기 싫은데… = (But…) I don’t want to go…

Person 1: 야채를 다 먹어라 = Eat all your vegetables
Person 2: 맛없는데… = (But…) it’s not delicious…

I should point out, if you haven’t already guessed, that responding this way might be a little bit rude. Responding this way feels like you are talking back to the listener – as if you are thrusting your opinion towards him/her. However, this would depend on the context and the tone in which it is said. It is possible to make ~는데 formal at the end of a sentence by attaching ~요.

Let’s look at many examples:

Person 1: 그 플러그를 여기에 꽂아 봐요 = Try plugging that plug in here
Person 2: 너무 큰데 = (But…) it’s too big

Person 1: 빨리 와요! 우리 지금 바로 해야 돼요! = Come quick! We need to do it right away!
Person 2: 그렇게 긴급하지 않은데 = (But…) it’s not that urgent

Person 1: 와! 저 무지개를 봐 봐요! = Wow! Look at that rainbow!
Person 2: 별로 안 예쁜데 = (But…) it’s not that pretty

Person 1: 이 선을 여기에 감아 줘 = Wrap that line/cord around here, please
Person 2: 귀찮은데 = (But…) it’s annoying/I don’t want to

Person 1: 이 교무실을 쓸어 주세요 = Sweep this (teacher’s) office for me please
Person 2: 빗자루가 없는데요 = (But…) there is no broom

Person 1: 담요에 왜 이렇게 먼지가 많아요? = Why is there so much dust on the blanket?
Person 2: 아까 털었는데 = (But…) I shook it off earlier

Person 1: 그 선생님이랑 지금 바로 얘기해야 돼요
= I need to talk with that teacher right now
Person 2: 공항에서 손님을 맞이하러 나갔는데요
= (But…) the teacher went out to meet/greet the guests at the airport

Person 1: 저는 미래에 아직 무슨 일을 할지 몰라요
= I still don’t know what (job) I will do in the future
Person 2: 네가 아직 어려서 미래를 염려하지 않아도 되는데
= (But…) you are still young, so you don’t need to worry about the future

Person 1: 선생님이 오시기 전에 바닥에 있는 종이를 다 주워야 돼요
= Before the teacher comes, we need to pick up the papers on the floor
Person 2: 시간이 없을 것 같은데
= (But…) there probably won’t be enough time…

Different regions in Korea have different accents and dialects. My wife’s family all comes from the province “전라남도,” which is in the southern part of the Korean peninsula. People from this region usually pronounce the “데” in ~는데 as “디.” This is not specific to just using ~는데 at the end of a sentence as you just learned, but also in the middle of a sentence (separating two clauses) as you learned in the previous lesson.

I live in Seoul and on numerous occasions I have been able to correctly identify that the person I am talking to is from 전라남도 just from hearing this different pronunciation. A foreigner speaking Korean is usually shocking enough to Korean people, but imagine how they might feel if you can identify their accent!

Sometimes I like to use “~는디” when I speak in Korean as well. “는디” comes out of my mouth naturally sometimes because I have been exposed to it for so long.

Pronouncing ~는데 as “는디” in Seoul as a foreigner would be the equivalent to a Korean person living in America learning English, but randomly busting out a thick British Cockney accent. It will definitely make people laugh if you do it sometimes. For example, the next time your Korean friend tells you to do something, you can say something like:

이미 했는디 = But, I’ve already done it, or
하기 싫은디 = But, I don’t want to do it

In the previous lesson, you learned about “데” as a noun meaning “place.” Also in the previous lesson, and continuing to this lesson, you learned the meaning that ~는데 can create if it used to connect clauses, used at the end of a sentence, or used with 그렇다. For the remainder of this lesson, I would like to introduce you to a similar looking (and sounding) grammatical principle.

 

 

 

~는 데: To Take an Amount of Time or Resources

So far, you have learned the meanings that ~는데 can have. Notice that there is no space between “는” and “데.” You also learned that ~는 (or any other ~는 것 derivative) can describe “데” to refer to a place.

When described by a previous clause using ~는, “데” can have another meaning. When describing “데” this way, the speaker can indicate that it takes a certain amount of time (or resources) to complete an action. The action that is being done is placed before ~는 데, and the time (or resources) it requires is placed after ~는 데. Let’s look at a simple example:

밥을 다 먹는 데 한 시간 걸렸어요

Here, the speaker is indicating how long it took to “eat all of the food” (밥을 다 먹는다). This is placed before “~는 데” and the indication of how much time – one hour (한 시간) describes how long it took. The translation for this sentence would be:

밥을 다 먹는 데 한 시간 걸렸어요 = It took an hour to eat all the food

The clause describing “데” always describes it using ~는, and not any other derivative of ~는 것. Below are many more examples:

여기까지 오는 데 시간이 많이 걸렸어요
= It took a long time for me to come here

자물쇠를 여는 데 시간이 왜 이렇게 오래 걸려요?
= Why is it taking so long to open the lock?

제가 우리 집에서 친구의 집까지 가는 데 5분 걸렸어요
= It took 5 minutes for me to get from my house to my friend’s house

이 작은 걸레로 바닥을 다 닦는 데 시간이 많이 걸릴 거예요
= It will take a long time to wipe the floor with this small rag

Notice that the verb 걸리다 is often used when indicating that an action takes a certain amount of time. You can also use this same style of sentence to indicate that doing an action takes a certain amount of money, energy, or some other resource. For example:

그렇게 큰 박스를 드는 데 사람 두 명이 필요해요
= You need two people to lift that kind of a big box

집을 짓는 데 돈이 많이 들었어요
= It cost a lot to have this house built (literally: I put a lot of money into making this house)

Alright! I think that is enough about ~는데 and ~는 데.

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The usages and meanings of ~는데 are very confusing at first. To make the problem more complex, ~는 데 sounds identical to ~는데 in speech. This often makes it very confusing for Korean learners – who not only have a hard time understanding the subtle nuance of ~는데, but also have to distinguish between ~는데 and ~는 데 – both of which have more than one meaning.

The context can always help distinguish these sentences for you, but this will only become easy if you expose yourself to Korean as much as possible (and of course, use Korean as much as possible). ~는데 and ~는 데 are two grammatical principles that take a lot of practice (using and hearing) to fully understand. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start practicing!

That’s it for this lesson!

Click here for a Workbook to go along with this lesson.
Click here for Korean Short Stories specifically tailored to learners at this level.

Okay, I got it! Take me to the next lesson!