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Lesson 81: Because (of): ~(으)니까 and ~(으)니

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Vocabulary
Introduction

Because of: ~(으)니까
~(으)니

 

 

Vocabulary

Click on the English word to see information and examples of that word in use. Use these sentences to give yourself a feel for how each word can be used, and maybe even to expose yourself to the grammar that you will be learning shortly.

A PDF file neatly presenting these words and extra information can be found here.

Nouns:
비율 = ratio, percentage

Common Usages:
신체비율 = body ratio
황금비율 = the golden ratio

Examples:
각 나라마다 사람들의 평균 신체비율이 달라요
= Each country has a different average body ratio

시험을 50 점 이상을 받는 학생의 비율이 아주 낮으니까 강사가 학생들이 시험을 다시 봐야 된다고 했어요
= The ratio/percentage of students who got a score of over 50 on the exam was very slow,
so the professor/teacher said that we would have to write the exam again

강사 = instructor, lecturer

Notes: You will see the suffix “사” attached to different words that indicate some sort of specialized job. For example: 의사 (doctor), 교사 (teacher), 강사 (instructor)

Common Usages:
학원강사 = Hagwon teacher
시간강사 = part-time instructor

Examples:
유명한 학원강사가 되면 일반 직장인보다 돈을 훨씬 더 많이 벌어요
= If you become a famous Hagwon teacher, you can make much more than a regular worker

대학교에서 일정 기간 동안 시간강사로 일하다 보면 교수가 될 수도 있어요
= You can become a professor at a university if you work as a part time professor for a certain period

총리 = prime minister

Common Usages:
부총리 = vice prime minister

Examples:
몇몇 나라는 총리 대신 대통령을 뽑아요
= Some countries nominate/pick presidents instead of prime ministers

총리를 보조하는 사람이 없으니까 두 명 정도 고용해야 될 것 같아요
= There are no people to help the prime minister, so we probably need to hire about two people

반도 = peninsula

Common Usages:
한반도 = The Korean Peninsula

Examples:
한국은 반도 국가로 삼면이 바다로 둘러 쌓여 있어요
= Korea is a peninsular nation surrounded by water on all three sides

한국과 북한의 땅을 통틀어 한반도라고 부르기도 해요
= South and North Korea combined make up what is called the Korean peninsula

반딧불이 = firefly

Common Usages:
반딧불 = the glow/light of a firefly

Examples:
아주 어두워서 반딧불이가 잘 보여요
= It is very dark so I can see the firefly very well

반딧불이가 지금 날고 있지 않으니까 빛깔이 안 나와요
= The firefly is not flying now, so the color/light isn’t coming out (not shining)

옆방 = the room next door

Examples:
옆방이 아주 시끄러우니까 저는 잠을 못 잤어요
= The room next to us is very loud, so I couldn’t sleep

집이 방음이 잘 안 돼서 옆방에서 무엇을 하는지 소리가 다 들려요
= The house isn’t well sound-proofed so whatever the person in the room next door does you can hear the sound well

고속버스 = bus that goes on the freeway

Examples:
요즘에는 고속버스를 타기 전에 꼭 온라인으로 좌석을 예매해야 돼요
= These days if you want to ride a freeway bus, you need to reserve a seat online

고속버스를 타고 고향에 갈 때마다 휴게소에 들려서 꼭 그 지역 특산물을 사요
= Whenever I ride the freeway bus and go to my hometown, the bus stops at a rest-stop and I must always purchase something special from that area

형제 = brothers

Common Usages:
형제자매 = brothers and sisters
이복형제 = half-brothers

Examples:
형제들이 다 죽었으니 저는 종교를 빼고 의지할 게 없어요
= Now that all of my brothers have died, I have nothing to lean on except religion

최초로 하늘을 나는 비행기구를 만든 사람들은 라이트형제예요
= The first people that made an airplane that flies in the sky were the Wright Brothers

치아 = teeth

Common Usages:
치아 건강 = tooth health

Examples:
치아 건강을 위해 꼭 치실을 써야 해요 = You must use floss for the health of your teeth
충치를 치료했으니 치아가 이제 안 아파요 = Now that I treated my cavity, my teeth don’t hurt

충치 = tooth decay, cavity

Common Usages:
충치 치료 = cavity treatment
충치가 생기다 = to have a cavity

Examples:
충치를 치료했으니 치아가 이제 안 아파요 = Now that I treated my cavity, my teeth don’t hurt
충치를 예방하는 가장 좋은 방법은 식후 양치질을 하는 거예요 = The best method for preventing cavities is brushing your teeth after you eat

빛깔 = color

Examples:
반딧불이가 지금 날고 있지 않으니까 빛깔이 안 나와요
= The firefly is not flying now, so the color/light isn’t coming out (not shining)

고운 빛깔로 지은 한복을 찾기 위해 전통 시장에 방문했어요
= If you want to find a Hanbok made out of beautiful colors you need to visit a traditional market

매듭 = knot

Common Usages:
매듭을 묶다 = to tie a knot
매듭을 짓다 = to tie a knot, to finish a task
매듭을 풀다 = to untie knot
매듭이 풀리다 = for a knot to get untied

Examples:
운동화끈 매듭이 잘 풀리지 않아서 선생님께 풀어달라고 했어요
= The knot on my running shoe laces isn’t coming apart easily, so I asked the teacher to untie it for me

그 일을 오늘까지 매듭을 짓지 않으면 당장 새로운 사업을 시작할 수 없어요
= If you don’t finish that task by today, you won’t be able to start a new company/business right away

Verbs:
보조하다 = to help, to aid

The noun form of this word (보조) translates to “help” or “assistance.”

Common Usages:
보조교사 = teacher aid
보조동사 = helper verb (like 보다 in ~아/어 보다 or 주다 in ~아/어 주다)

Examples:
새로 생긴 유치원에서 급하게 보조교사를 구하고 있어요
= The newly formed kindergarten is hiring a teacher aid

총리를 보조하는 사람이 없으니까 두 명 정도 고용해야 될 것 같아요
= There are no people to help the prime minister, so we probably need to hire about two people

꺾다 = to break something in half

Common Usages:
왼쪽으로 꺾다 = to turn left
오른쪽으로 꺾다 = to turn right

Examples:
좌측으로 꺾어서 직진하세요
= Turn left and then go straight

경기에서 진 것이 저의 자신감을 꺾어서 저는 더 이상 경기하고 싶지 않아요
= Losing in the game broke my confidence, so I don’t want to play (do it) anymore

의지하다 = to lean on, to rely on

The noun form of this word (의지) translates to “dependence.”

Common Usages:
종교에 의지하다 = to rely on religion
친구에게 의지하다 = to rely on a friend
부모님에게 의지하다 = to rely on one’s parents
맹목적으로 의지하다 = to blindly rely on

Examples:
형제들이 다 죽었으니 저는 종교를 빼고 의지할 게 없어요
= Now that all of my brothers have died, I have nothing to lean on except religion

요즘 사람들은 핸드폰에 맹목적으로 의지해서 전화번호를 더 이상 외우지 않아요
= People these days are so blindly reliant on their phones that they don’t memorize phone numbers anymore

내기하다 = to bet

The noun form of this word (내기) translates to “a bet” or “a wager”

Common Usages:
내기할래? = Do you want to bet?

Examples:
누가 더 잘하는지 내기를 했으니까 저는 이번에 집중해야 돼요
= We made a bet of who is better, so I need to concentrate this time

오늘 누가 경기에서 이길지 내기 할래? 진 사람이 맛있는 거 쏘기!
= Shall we bet on who will win the game tonight? The loser will have to buy something delicious!

수다를 떨다 = to chat

떨다 follows the ㄹ irregular.

Examples:
수다를 떨 만한 장소가 많아요
= There are many places worth chatting

학생은 열심히 공부하다가 친구가 놀러 와서 친구랑 수다를 떨었어요
= While the student was studying hard, his friend came (to play) so (he stopped studying
and) they started chatting

오랜만에 친구와 수다를 떠니 잠시 있고 있었던 옛 날 생각이 많이 났다
= (Because) I am chatting with an old friend for the first time in a long time, a lot of thoughts of the
old days have come up

Adjectives:
연하다 = to be tender, to be soft, to be light

Common Usages:
커피가 연하다 = for coffee to be weak

Examples:
저는 진한 커피보다 연한 커피를 더 선호해요
= I prefer weak coffee to strong coffee

거실의 벽을 지금 칠한 색보다 좀 더 연한 색으로 다시 칠하고 싶어요
= I want to paint the walls in the living room a color that is a little bit of a lighter color than the current color that is painted

느슨하다 = to be loose, to be slack

Common Usages:
고무줄이 느슨하다 = for a band to be too loose (this could also be said when referring to the band in one’s pants, or a hair band)

Examples:
오래 입은 바지의 고무줄이 느슨해져서 자꾸 바지가 내려가요
= The band in the pants that I wore for a long time is loose so my pants keep falling down

시험이 끝나자 학생들이 느슨해져 더 이상 공부를 열심히 하지 않아요
= After exams, students get loose and don’t study hard anymore

억울하다 = to be unfair

Notes: It’s hard to translate 억울하다. It is generally used to describe a feeling that one has as a result of witnessing or participating in an unfair or unjust situation. For example, if you get punished for stealing something but actually didn’t do it, you would feel “억울하다.”

Examples:
억울하게 누명을 쓴 사람이 드디어 누명을 벗었어요
= The person who was wrongfully accused has finally been proven innocent

동생이 집을 어지른 건데 엄마가 제가 그런 줄 알고 혼내서 억울했어요
= It was my brother who messed up the house, but my mom got mad at me for it, so I feel that it is unfair

Adverbs and Other Words:
일회용 = one time use (disposable)

Common Usages:
일회용품 = one-time use product
일회용봉투 = disposable (one-time use) bag
일회용장갑 = disposable (one-time use) gloves

Examples:
맨날 일회용 물병을 사서 물을 마시니까 방에 병이 많이 쌓여 있어요
= I buy disposable water bottles (and drink water through them every day), so there are a
lot of bottles piled up in my room

이제는 법으로 일회용봉투를 공짜로 주는 게 불법이라 돈을 내고 사야 해요
= Now it is illegal to give one-time use bags away for free, so (if you want one), you need to pay for it

맨날 = every day

Examples:
새로 산 집이 너무 좁아서 맨날 답답해요
= I feel stuffy/cramped every day at my new house because it is so small

우리 부장님은 맨날 협박하는 말투로 말을 해요
= Our boss always speaks in a threatening voice

금메달을 따기 위해 맨날 죽도록 운동했어요
= In order to win the gold medal, I exercised every day to the point that I would die

저는 안경을 쓰는 것이 불편해서 맨날 렌즈를 끼고 다녀요
= Wearing glasses is uncomfortable for me, so I go around every day wearing contacts. To me,
glasses are uncomfortable, so I stick in contacts and get around each day

진짜? 그럼 우리 스파게티랑 피자 먹자. 나 요즘에 맨날 한식만 먹었는데, 친구 만났으니 이탈리안 음식 먹자! 너도 피자 좋아하지?
= Really? Then, let’s eat spaghetti and pizza. These days, I only eat Korean food every day, so now

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

 

Introduction

In this lesson, you will learn how to use ~(으)니까 and ~(으)니 between two clauses to create a meaning that is similar to ~아/어서. Of course, just like every other grammatical principle, there are some subtle nuances that you should know about. Let’s get started.

 

 

Because of: ~()니까

In Lesson 37 you learned that you can place ~아/어서 between two clauses to create the meaning of “because,” “so” or “therefore.” For example:

제가 배가 안 고파서 더 먹기 싫어요 = I don’t want to eat anymore because I am full
시험을 못 봐서 울고 싶어요 = I want to cry because I did poorly on the exam

You can also place ~(으)니까 between clauses to create a very similar meaning. For example:

제가 배가 안 고프니까 더 먹기 싫어요 = I don’t want to eat anymore because I am full

The subtle difference between these two grammatical principles is that ~(으)니까 is commonly used when the first clause is an excuse as to why the second clause occurs (usually an excuse as to why something can’t be done). As such, sometimes there is the slight feeling that the speaker is annoyed at the cause for something not happening. For example:

학교에 가야 되니까 지금 못 만나요
= I need to go to school, so I won’t be able to meet

옆방이 아주 시끄러우니까 저는 잠을 못 잤어요
= The room next to us is very loud, so I couldn’t sleep

그 셔츠를 사고 싶은데 돈이 없으니까 살 수 없어요
= Although I want to buy that, I have no money, so I cannot

Unlike ~ 아/어서, the clause preceding ~(으)니까 can be conjugated into the past tense. For example:

어제 너무 바빴으니까 못 갔어요
= I couldn’t go yesterday because I was so busy

너를 좋아하지 않았으니까 헤어졌어
= I broke up with you because I didn’t like you

경기에서 진 것이 저의 자신감을 꺾었으니까 저는 더 이상 경기하고 싶지 않아요
= Losing in the game broke my confidence, so I don’t want to play (do it) anymore

It is also common to end a sentence with ~(으)니까. This is similar to ending a sentence with “~아/어서,” in that the speaker is actually creating an incomplete sentence where the end of the sentence can be assumed from context. In practice, this is typically used to answer a question, where the answer starts with “because…” For example:

Person 1: 지금 만날 수 있어요? = Can you meet now?
Person 2: 아니요~ 못 만나요. 학교에 가야 되니까요 = No, because I have to go to school

Person 1: 그것을 살 거야? = Are you going to buy that?
Person 2: 아니요~ 못 사요. 돈이 없으니까요 = … No, because I have no money

Person 1: 나랑 왜 헤어졌어? = Why did you break up with me?
Person 2: 너를 좋아하지 않았으니까 = … Because I didn’t like you

Person 1: 신발이 왜 벗겨졌어요? = Why did your shoe come off?
Person 2: 매듭이 너무 느슨하니까 = … Because the knot was too loose

Notice here that you can add “~요” to end of “~(으)니까.” Similar to when ~는데 is used at the end of a sentence (as you learned in Lesson 77), using ~(으)니까 like this can be seen as a little bit rude – even if you attach ~요 to the end of it. Like ~는데, there is the feeling that the person is talking back. Of course, this all depends on the situation and the atmosphere of the conversation.

I said earlier that “~(으)니까” is commonly used instead of using “~아/어서” when the first clause is an excuse to why the second clause can’t happen. I feel that this is true most of the time, although it doesn’t always have to be an excuse. For example:

제가 숙제를 다 했으니까 이제 영화를 볼 수 있어요
= I am finished my homework, therefore, I can see a movie now

반딧불이 지금 날고 있지 않으니까 빛깔이 안 나와요
= The firefly is not flying now, so the color/light isn’t coming out (not shining)

누가 더 잘하는지 내기를 했으니까 저는 이번에 집중해야 돼요
= We made a bet of who is better, so I need to concentrate this time

총리를 보조하는 사람이 없으니까 두 명 정도 고용해야 될 것 같아요
= There are no people to help the prime minister, so we probably need to hire about two people

맨날 일회용 물병을 사서 물을 마시니까 방에 병이 많이 쌓여 있어요
= I buy disposable water bottles (and drink water through them every day), so there are a lot of bottles piled up in my room

시험을 50점 이상을 받는 학생의 비율이 아주 낮으니까 강사가 학생들이 시험을 다시 봐야 된다고 했어요
= The ratio/percentage of students who got a score of over 50 on the exam was very slow, so the professor/teacher said that we would have to write the exam again

It is also common to use ~(으)니까 when one is making a suggestion. The same translation of “because” can still be used in these sentences as well. For example:

버스가 복잡하니까 택시를 타자! = Let’s take a taxi because the bus is so crowded!
너무 더우니까 시원한 것을 먹을래요? = Let’s eat something cool because it is so hot
밥이 없으니까 라면 먹자! = Let’s eat Ramen because there is no rice

—————-

You can see in some of the example sentences that adding ~(으)니까 causes irregular words to change. In Lesson 7, you learned how irregular words change as a result of adding different additions. This is the first time you have been introduced to adding ~(으)니까. Let’s look at how irregulars change as a result of adding this grammatical principle.

  • The ㅅ irregular, ㄷ irregular and ㅂ irregular all follow the same rules that were introduced in Lesson 7. The addition of the vowel causes a change (or elimination) of the last letter of the stem.
  • The ㅡ and 르 irregular are not affected by this addition. The final letter in both types of stems is a vowel, so “니” is added instead of “으니까.”
  • Adding ~(으)니까 causes a change to stems ending in ㄹ. The ㄹ is removed, and ~니까 is added to the remaining portion of the stem.
    • For example: 떨다 + ~(으)니까 = 떠니까
  • Adding ~(으)니까 causes a change to ㅎ irregular words. The ㅎ is removed, and ~니까 is added to the remaining portion of the stem. For this addition, the ㅎ irregular and ㄹ irregular follow the same rule. Anytime you have the option of adding ~(으) as part of a grammatical addition, the ㅎ will be removed from the stem and the grammatical addition without “으” will be added to the remainder of the stem.
    • For example:그렇다 + ~(으)니까 = 그러니까
      I talk about the meaning of 그러니까 as a common thing to say in conversation. You can see this discussion in Lesson 101.

Below is a table showing the changes that result from adding ~(으)니까 to a word.

Irregular Word + ~(으)니까
ㅅ Irregular 짓다 (to build) 지으니까
ㄷ Irregular 걷다 (to walk) 걸으니까
ㅂ Irregular 돕다 (to help) 도우니까
ㅡ Irregular 잠그다 (to lock) 잠그니까
르 Irregular 자르다 (to cut) 자르니까
ㄹ Irregular 살다 (to live) 사니까
ㅎ Irregular 그렇다 (to be like that) 그러니까

You will see these same changes to irregulars anytime you add something that begins in ~(으)ㄴ…. For example:

~(으)니 (later in this lesson)

—————

You can actually drop the “~까” from “~(으)니까” to create ~(으)니. We need to talk about this in a separate section.

 

Because or Giving Background Information: ~()

Remember first that you have already learned about adding “~니” to words in Lesson 21. In that Lesson, you learned many ways that you can change your Korean sentences to ask questions; one of which was by adding “~니” to the end of a sentence. For example:

몇 살이야? = How old are you?
몇 살이니? = How old are you?

집에 도착했어? = Have you arrived at home?
집에 도착했니? = Have you arrived at home?

In addition to this meaning, “~(으)니” can have the same meaning of “~(으)니까” as described earlier in this lesson. That is; to create the meaning of “because” or “therefore” just like the many other grammatical forms that have the same function. Although ~(으)니 typically isn’t used at the end of a sentence, it can be used instead of “~(으)니까” in all the other cases, for example:

밥이 없으니 라면 먹자! = Let’s eat Ramen because there is no rice
어제 너무 바빴으니 못 갔어요 = I couldn’t go yesterday because I was so busy
학교에 가야 되니 지금 못 만나요 = I need to go to school, so I won’t be able to meet
너를 좋아하지 않았으니 헤어졌어 = I broke up with you because I didn’t like you
제가 배가 안 고프니 더 먹기 싫어요 = I don’t want to eat anymore because I am full
벌써 5시이니 우리가 빨리 가야 돼요 = We have to go quickly because it is already 5:00

그 셔츠를 사고 싶은데 돈이 없으니 살 수 없어요
= Although I want to buy that, I have no money, so I cannot

제가 숙제를 다 했으니 이제 영화를 볼 수 있어요
= I am finished my homework, therefore, I can see a movie now

There is no need to distinguish the meanings of ~(으)니 and ~(으)니까. Officially, ~(으)니까 is simply a stressed/emphasized version of ~(으)니. What we can do, however, is distinguish their usages – as I feel that (although their usages overlap), there are some situations that are more likely to use ~(으)니 and vice-versa.

First, I feel that ~(으)니 is used much more frequently in writing, whereas ~(으)니까 is much more common in speech.

“~(으)니” is also commonly used to provide information for the upcoming clause. This is similar to the function of ~는데 that I introduced in Lesson 76 and Lesson 77. In those lessons, I explained that ~는데 has a function of setting up a scenario for an upcoming clause. The meaning within this sentence also has a slight meaning of “even though.”

I would say that “~(으)니” has this same function, except for that there is a slight meaning of “because” instead of “even though.” I know that sounds confusing, let’s put an example sentence with two clauses and separate them with ~는데 or ~(으)니 to compare them.

제가 고기를 안 좋아하는데 먹어볼 거예요 = Even though I don’t like meat, I will try some
(Where the meaning of “even though” is very slight, and the first clause “I don’t like meat” is setting up the second clause).

제가 고기를 안 좋아하니 안 먹을 거예요 = Because I don’t like meat, I’m not going to eat it
(Where the meaning of “because” is very slight, and the first clause “I don’t like meat” is setting up the second clause).

The confusing thing here is that I have presented you with two meanings of “~(으)니” in this lesson:

  • To express the meaning of “because” or “therefore” like “~(으)니까, and
  • The provide information for an upcoming clause, with a slight meaning of “because”

The question I am sure you want to ask is: How can I tell the two usages apart if they almost have the same meaning (one meaning “because,” the other one “slightly meaning because”)?

My answer: Does it really matter?

In real conversations with people, you don’t dissect sentences like this. In both situations, the second clause happens after the first clause. If a direct causal link between the two clauses can be assumed, then assume that the meaning of “~(으)니” is “because.” However, if that causal link is less obvious, assume that the clause before “~(으)니” is simply providing information for the upcoming clause.

When specifically used in the past tense, it is often more convenient to change the translation of “~았/었으니” to “now that one has…” For example:

밥이 다 됐으니 많이 드세요! = Now that the rice is ready, eat a lot!
빨래를 다 했으니 지금 자도 돼요 = Now that I have finished the laundry, I can go to bed
충치를 치료했으니 치아가 이제 안 아파요 = Now that I treated my cavity, my teeth don’t hurt
연한 고기를 다 먹었으니 이제 기분이 좋아요 = Now that I ate soft meat, I feel great (happy)

제가 숙제를 다 했으니 이제 영화를 볼 수 있어요
= Now that I am finished my homework, I can see a movie

형제들이 다 죽었으니 저는 종교를 빼고 의지할 게 없어요
= Now that all of my brothers have died, I have nothing to lean on except religion

나는 요즘에 맨날 한식만 먹었는데, 친구를 만났으니 이탈리안 음식 먹자!
= These days, I only eat Korean food every day, so now that I have met a friend (you), let’s eat Italian food!

Our website offers Short Stories for intermediate learners to practice their Korean reading. ~(으)니 shows up a lot in those short stories, so I can provide a bunch of examples:

어제부터 오랜만에 쉴 생각을 하니 설레었다
= I am excited because, from now on, I realized that I can rest

오랜만에 친구와 수다를 떠니 잠시 있고 있었던 옛 날 생각이 많이 났다
= (Because) I am chatting with an old friend, a lot of thoughts of the old days have come up

하지만 펭귄이 있는 곳은 동물원 입구에서 멀다고 하니 아빠와 나는 우선 다른 동물들을 먼저 봤다
= But (because) the place the penguins are was said to be far from the zoo entrance, so Dad and I saw other animals first.

내일은 또 다시 바쁜 하루가 시작되겠지만 오늘 하루 열심히 충전을 했으니 내일이 두렵지 않다
= Tomorrow, another busy day will start, however, now that I have recharged for a day, I am not afraid of tomorrow!

직장도 집에서 멀고 새로운 사람들이랑 새로운 직업으로 다시 일을 하려고 하니 적응이 잘 안 된다
= (Because) I am trying to work with new people, and my workplace is far from my house, I am not adapting well

처음에는 서른 살이 되면 나이가 많은 거라고 생각했는데 제가 서른 살이 되었으니 그렇게 생각하지 않아요
= At first I thought thirty years old was old, but (because) I am now thirty, I don’t think that way

You will find this grammatical principle in the TOPIK tests as well. I glanced at the 27th Intermediate Test for a second and I found this sentence:

어려운 일을 끝내고 나니 기분이 매우 좋았다
= Now that I am finished the difficult work, I am/was very happy

The question was asking which sentence (amongst the sentence above and three others) was incorrect. The sentence above was one of the sentences that was correct.

That’s it for this lesson! Hopefully that’s enough examples to get you accustomed to “~(으)니.”

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, got it! Take me to the next lesson!