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Lesson 83: Expressing Surprise or Admiration: ~네(요)

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Expressing Surprise or Admiration: ~네(요)




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.

서류 = documents, papers

Common Usages:
서류 작업 = paperwork
서류를 내다 = to submit a document
중요한 서류 = important document
서류를 작성하다 = to fill out a document

제가 서류를 정리해야 하니까 잠깐 기다려 주세요
= I need to organize my papers, so please wait a minute

서류를 준비해서 오후에 주도록 하겠습니다
= I will (be sure to) prepare the documents and give them to you in the afternoon

그 변호사가 진실이 쓰여 있는 서류를 가지고 있어요
= That lawyer has the document with the truth written on it

결혼비자를 받기 위해서는 작성해야 할 서류가 매우 많아서 복잡해요
= In order to get a marriage visa, there are really a lot of documents that have to be filled out, so it’s complicated

서류를 정해진 시간에 제출하지 않아서 체류기간을 연장하지 못했어요
= I didn’t submit the documents in the set time, so I wasn’t able to extend the period of my sojourn

원천징수영수증이란 번 돈에 대한 세금을 얼마나 냈는지를 증명해주는 서류이다
= A withholding tax receipt is a document that proves/shows how much tax one has paid on the money they earned

외과 = the medical field of surgery

Common Usages:
외과의사 = surgeon

외과의사가 되려면 대학교에서 10년 넘게 공부해야 돼요
= If you want to be a surgeon you need to study in University for over ten years

심각한 부상을 입으면 외과가 있는 대학병원으로 즉시 가야 해요
= If you have a serious injury, you need to go to a major (“University”) hospital that has a surgery ward

욕실 = bathroom

Notes: 화장실 is definitely the more common way to refer to a “bathroom” or “restroom,” but a 욕실 specifically refers to one that has a bath and/or shower.

Common Usages:
욕실화 = bath shoes

욕실 바닥을 솔로 솔질해서 깨끗하게 청소했어요
= I cleanly brushed/cleaned the bathroom floor with a brush

욕실에서 미끄러지지 않게 꼭 바닥에 미끄럼방지 매트를 깔아야 해요
= In order for it to not be slippery, you need to put down a non-slip matt in the bathroom

점검 = inspection, checkup

Common Usages:
보안점검 = a security check
정기점검 = regular check-up
가스점검 = gas check- up/inspection

한국에서는 매년 집집마다 가스점검을 받아요
= In Korea, every year each house gets a gas check-up

작년에도 자동차 정기점검을 받지 못해서 최대한 빨리 점검 가능한 날로 예약해 주세요
= Last year as well I didn’t get a regular check-up on my car, so please reserve an appointment for a check-up as early as possible

선배 = one’s senior

Common Usages:
대학 선배 = one’s college senior
학교 선배 = one’s school senior

선배들이랑 얘기하면 존댓말로 해야 돼요
= When you speak to your seniors, you should speak in “polite-speech”

한국에서는 자기보다 더 높은 학년에 있는 사람은 친구가 아니라 선배예요
= In Korea, people in higher grades than you (in school) are not “friends” but rather “seniors”

그 상황에서 어떻게 해야 되는지 몰랐는데 선배가 전에 해 준 조언이 떠올라서 도움이 됐어요
= I didn’t know what to do in that situation, but then I remembered the advice that my senior gave to me before and it helped

금액 = an amount of money

Common Usages:
투자금액 = amount invested
피해금액 = damage cost

공격적 투자를 위해 매년 주식 투자금액을 높이고 싶어요
= In order to do some aggressive investing, I want to increase the amount I invest in stocks each year

사기로 인한 피해금액이 생각보다 커서 부모님께 사실대로 말씀드렸어요
= The cost due to fraud was bigger than we thought, so I told my parents the truth

잔돈 = small change

Common Usages:
잔돈을 거슬러 받다 = to receive change
잔돈을 거슬러 주다 = to give change

저는 택시를 탈 때마다 잔돈은 받지 않고 내려요 = When I get out of a taxi, I don’t ask for change
슈퍼에서 잔돈을 잘못 거슬러 줘서 다시 슈퍼에 가야 해요 = I was given the wrong (amount of) small change at the supermarket so I have to go back again

진통제 = painkiller

Common Usages:
진통제를 맞다 = to be given a painkiller

아침에 강한 복통에 있어서 병원에 가서 진통제를 맞고 입원했어요
= I had strong abdominal pain in the morning so I went to the hospital, received painkiller and was admitted

오늘 사랑니를 뽑고 너무 아파서 병원에서 처방 받은 진통제를 먹었어요
= I got a molar pulled today and it is really sore so I took the painkiller prescribed by the hospital

계좌 = account

Common Usages:
계좌번호 = account number
차명계좌 = account under somebody else’s name

그 계좌에 돈이 아예 없어서 해지했어도 돼요 = There is no money in that account at all, so you could have closed it
많은 회사에서 수익을 감추기 위해 수백 개의 차명계좌로 돈을 보내요 = A lot of companies send money to accounts under the names of other people to cover up their income

수출하다 = to export

The noun form of this word (수출) translates to “exporting.”

Common Usages:
수출액 = the amount exported
수출국가 = exporting country
수출입하다 = to import and export

한국은 수출로 경제를 이끌어 가는 수출국가이다
= Korea is an export nation where exports pull the economy

작년 우리 회사의 수출액이 크게 늘어서 설날에 전 직원들이 보너스를 받을 예정이에요
= The amount that our company exported last year increased greatly, so for Seolnal all workers are expected to receive a bonus

수입하다 = to import

The noun form of this word (수입) translates to “importing.”

Common Usages:
수입차 = foreign (imported) car
수입품 = imported product
수입상품 = imported product
수출입하다 = to import and export

저의 와이프가 그 식품을 한국에 최초로 수입했어요
= My wife was the first person to import that (food) product to Korea

2014 년부터 그 제품을 수입해서 사업을 확대했어요 ¬
= Our business has expanded since 2014 because we imported that product

귀가하다 = to return home

The noun form of this word (귀가) translates to “returning from home.”

Notes: Seoul has a service that, when late at night, women can request that a bus stops not only at designated bus stops but other places along the route to make sure that they can get home safely. This is called 여성귀가안심.

Common Usages:
귀갓길 = on one’s way back home

모두들 수업 끝나고 바로 집으로 귀가하길 바랍니다.
= Please, when we finish class, everybody go home

밤 늦은 시간 귀갓길에 사고를 당하지 않도록 꼭 밝은 길로 다니세요
= When walking home late at night, to ensure that there is no accident, make sure you walk on a brightly lit road

갚다 = to pay back

말 한마디로 천 냥 빚도 갚는다 = The idea that words can be powerful and solve a lot of problems

Common Usages:
빚을 갚다 = to pay back a debt
대출금을 갚다 = to pay back a loan

드디어 친구에게 2년 전에 빌린 돈을 모두 갚았어요
= I finally paid back the money I borrowed from a friend two years ago

집 대출금을 다 갚기 위해서는 앞으로 10년 동안 일만 해야 돼요
= In order to pay back the loan for the house, for the next year I pretty much need to only work

분실하다  = to lose an object

The noun form of this word (분실) translates to “losing an object.”

Common Usages:
분실물 = a lost item
분실 신고 = reporting something that was lost
분실물 보관소 = lost and found

오늘 반장이 우리 반 급식비를 모아둔 봉투를 분실해서 난리가 났어요
= Today was a total mess as the class leader lost the envelope that had school-food-money that we had all gathered

지하철에서 지갑을 분실할 경우 타고 있는 칸의 번호를 꼭 기억해 주세요
= If you ever lose something on the subway, make sure you remember the car/train that you were riding

신고하다 = to report to the police, government, some body

The noun form of this word (신고) translates to “reporting.”

Notes: One of the funniest text-messages I have ever sent in Korean included the word “신고” and I still remember it to this day. My wife sent me a message to tell me she had finally finished filing her taxes. At this time, we were about to get married, and she only had a few days of work left before she quit. Also, I call her a “bear” because she is cute like a bear. When she sent me the message telling me she finished her taxes, she simply said “세금신고 완료!” (tax reporting – finished!). I hilariously responded with:
세금신고 완료, 근무 완료, 미혼 완료, 베어 상태 유지
It is hard to translate this directly into English, but it would be something like:
Tax reporting – finished, Work – finished, Being single – finished, Being a bear – still ongoing

Common Usages:
혼인신고 = marriage application
분실 신고 = reporting something that was lost
전역 신고 = reporting that one leaves the army
세금 신고 = reporting taxes
경찰 신고 = reporting to the police
불법 신고 = reporting something illegal

누군가가 자꾸 저희 집안을 들여다봐서 경찰에 신고했어요
= Somebody keeps looking into our house, so I reported it to the police

길을 가다가 우연히 본 남자가 수상해서 경찰에 신고했어요
While walking down the street, a man I happened to see was suspicious, so I reported him to the police

오늘 아침에 비닐봉지에 싸여 있는 돈을 발견해서 경찰에 신고했어요
= In the morning I found money (wrapped) in a plastic bag and reported it to the police

이 사람이 어제 9 시경 실종되어서 혹시라도 비슷한 사람을 보면 경찰에 신고하세요
= This person went missing yesterday around 9:00, so if you happen to see a similar person, report it to the police

돌보다 = to take care of

Common Usages:
아이를 돌보다 = to look after a child

이웃사람의 애기를 아르바이트로 돌봐요
= I look after my neighbor’s baby as a part-time job

우리는 번갈아 한 시간씩 애기를 돌봐요
= We take turns looking after the baby one hour at a time

불친절하다 = to not be kind

회사에 한 직원이 너무 불친절해서 민원이 많이 들어와요
= We get a lot of complaints at our company because there is one worker who is not kind

어제는 하루 종일 너무 바빠서 쉴 시간도 없어도 저도 모르게 불친절하게 사람들을 응대했어요
= I was really busy all day yesterday and didn’t have even a second to rest, I didn’t even realize it but I wasn’t treating people very nicely

비다 = to be empty

Notes: The adverb 텅 is often used to indicate that something is completely empty. I discuss how these words are used in Lesson 152.

휴게실에 냉장고가 텅 비어서 오늘 장을 보고 채워 놓아야 해요
= The fridge in the break-room is completely empty, so today I better do the groceries and fill it up

2 주 동안 출장 때문에 제 자리가 비여 있으므로 메시지를 남기면 제가 나중에 연락을 드릴게요
= For the next two weeks I won’t be in the office (my space will be empty) because of a business trip, so if you leave me a message I will contact you later

심각하다 = to be serious, to be critical

지구 온난화는 전세계적으로 심각한 문제예요
= Global warming is a serious problem for the whole world

이번 홍수로 인해 한국에 심각한 금전적인 피해가 있었어요
= There was serious financial damage in Korea due to this flood

안전띠를 하지 않고 사고가 나는 바람에 운전자는 심각하게 다쳤다
= The driver didn’t wear a seatbelt and got into an accident, so he got seriously hurt

Adverbs and Other Words:
한동안 = for a while, for some time

엄마는 한동안 아무 말도 안하고 내 두 눈을 쳐다봤다
= Mom didn’t say anything for a while, and starred at my two eyes

한동안 비가 내려서 맑은 날을 보기 힘들었는데 오늘 드디어 날이 좋아서 기분이 좋아요
= It had rained for a while so it was hard to see a clear day, but today finally the weather is nice so I’m happy

수시로 = frequently

수시로 따뜻한 물을 마시고 스트레칭을 하면 더욱더 건강해질 수 있어요
= If you drink warm water and stretch frequently, you can become healthier

학교에서 수시로 시험을 보기 때문에 항상 집에 가서 그날 배운 내용을 복습해야 돼요
= We take exams frequently at school so always when I walk home I always go-over the content we learned that day in my head

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



In this lesson, you will learn the meaning of adding “~네(요)” to sentences. This grammatical form has a very similar meaning and usage to ~구나/군/군요, which you learned in the previous lesson. Let’s get started.


Expressing Surprise or Admiration: ~()

In the previous lesson, you learned how to add ~구나/군/군요 to the end of a sentence. You learned that a speaker can use this grammatical principle to indicate that one is surprised about a certain fact. For example:

이 상황이 아주 심각하구나
= Ah, I didn’t realize that this situation is very serious

그 사람이 조금 불친절하구나
= Ah, I didn’t realize that person is a little bit unkind

한국어를 배우는 최선의 방법이 이 웹사이트로 배우는 것이구나
= Ah, I didn’t realize that the best way/method to learn Korean is through this website

Just like with ~구나/군/군요, a speaker can use “~네(요)” to express surprise to the information he/she just received. The question all Korean learners have then, is: What is the difference between “~구나/군/군요” and “~네(요)”?

The difference is so slight and in almost every situation, they do not need to be distinguished. Nowhere on any test will you ever see a question asking you to differentiate the two – and nobody would ever ask you to differentiate between the two. However, that is not what this website is about – and I pride myself on being able to distinguish things that have no business being distinguished.

Before we get to distinguishing seemingly identical things, let’s look at some examples of “~네(요)” in use first. ~네(요) is added directly to the stems of verbs, adjectives and 이다 when the speaker expresses surprise about an event in the present tense. For example:

아들이 귀엽네요 = Oh, I didn’t realize that your son is so cute
욕실이 아주 깨끗하네요 = Wow, the bathroom is so clean
이 음식점은 음식이 정말 맛있네요 = Wow, this restaurant’s food is really delicious
선생님! 영어를 너무 잘하시네요! = Teacher! I didn’t know you were so good at English

Now, how can we distinguish “~구나/군/군요” with “~네(요)?”

Remember what I said about “~구나/군/군요” in the previous lesson – that most of the feeling within this grammatical principle is “self-speech.”

While “~네(요)” could also be seen as a form of “self-speech,” I feel that it is less so compared to “~구나/군/군요.” That is, when you say “~네(요),” although part of the feeling of the sentence is spoken to oneself (about 60%), a lot of it (about, 40%) is directed at the other person in the conversation. Compare this with the 90% to 10% ratio that I estimated with “~구나/~군/~군요” in the previous lesson.

I’d like to share with you a dialogue that brought me to these ridiculous estimations.

One of my students in my (Korean) school came into my office, where one of my (Korean) coworkers was speaking to me in English. The student immediately said to the teacher:

선생님! 영어를 너무 잘하시네요!” = Teacher! I didn’t know you were so good at English!

The teacher, in response, said “아니야~ 너무 못해!” = No! I’m so bad!

Notice here that the teacher responded to the student, which emphasizes that what the student said was not only directed to himself, but also towards the teacher.

If, however, the student came into the room and said:

선생님! 영어를 너무 잘 하시군요 = Teacher! I didn’t know you were so good at English!

The chance of the teacher responding would be less, because most of the sentence was directed at the person speaking and not to the other person.

In addition to this, while “~구나/군/군요” and “~네(요)” could be mutually exchangeable in essentially any situation, “~네(요)” would be more likely to be used when the speaker is impressed from a fact that he/she just realized. On the other hand, “~구나/군/군요” would be more likely to be used when the speaker simply realizes some mundane fact that he/she didn’t know before. Again I specifically say “would be more likely” because neither of those are set in stone, and you could technically use “~구나/군/군요” or “~네(요)” in either situation.

In the Korean novel I am reading right now, a father asks his daughter what the last thing she said to her mother was (the mother is in a coma). The daughter thinks the last thing she said was:

엄마 어린이 집 다녀왔습니다 = Mom! I’m home/came back from pre-school

However, the father thinks the last thing she said was:

엄마 학교 다녀왔습니다 = Mom! I’m home/came back from school

The daughter eventually convinces the father that she is right. At which point, the father says:

그랬어? 그랬구나. 어린이집이었구나. 아빠가 깜빡했네.
= Was it like that? Oh, I didn’t realize it was like that. I didn’t realize it was a daycare. I guess/I didn’t realize that I forgot

In this example, within the same sentence the father uses both “네(요)” and  “~구나/군/군요” to signify that he just realized that new fact.

Alright, that is enough splitting hairs for one lesson. Let’s look at many examples. Try not to pay attention to the English translations because it is hard to translate “impressions” or “realizations” directly:

First, in the present tense:

아! 잔돈이 없네 = Oh, I didn’t realize that I don’t have any change
선배가 춤을 잘 추네요 = Oh, I didn’t realize that our senior dances really well
금액이 많이 나오네요 = Oh, I didn’t realize that the amount of money is a lot (it’s expensive)
계좌가 완전히 비어 있네 = Oh, I didn’t realize that my account is completely empty
이 진통제가 진짜 잘 드네 = Wow, this painkiller really works
너의 남편이 애기를 잘 돌보네 = Wow, your husband looks after the baby well
그 회사가 그 제품도 수입하네 = Oh, that company also imports that product
외과 의사가 되는 것이 제일 어렵네요 = Wow, becoming a surgeon is really the most difficult

In the past tense, ~네(요) can attach directly to ~았/었. For example:

밥을 빨리 먹었네 = Oh, you ate really fast
점검을 벌써 받았네 = Oh, I you already got the inspection
분실한 돈을 찾았네 = Oh, you found the money that you lost
서류를 빨리 정리했네 = Oh, you organized the papers quickly
우리 계좌로 돈을 이미 보냈네 = Oh, you already sent the money to our account
아! 그래서 그 제품을 수출을 못 했네 = Oh, so that’s why you couldn’t export that product


In Lesson 35, you learned about adding ~겠다 to express possibility. In that lesson, I described that this is commonly used when the speaker sees something or hears some fact, and is stating that something “must be the case” based on that evidence. It is common to attach ~네(요) to ~겠다 in these cases to express one’s realization (and/or impression) of this evidence. For example:

아프겠네 = Oh, that must hurt
힘들겠네! = Oh, that must be so hard!
돈이 부족하겠네 = Oh, we probably won’t have enough money
빚을 빨리 갚아야 되겠네 = Oh, I should probably pay off this debt quickly
오늘 일찍 귀가해야 되겠네 = Oh, I should probably go home early today
안전 점검을 수시로 해야 되겠네 = Oh, I should probably do a safety check frequently
이것을 정부에 신고를 안 해도 되겠네 = Oh, I probably don’t have to report this to the government


In the previous lesson, you learned how “~구나/군/군요” can be added to 그렇다. It is also common to attach ~네(요) to 그렇다.

“그렇네(요)” is commonly used when another person states a fact for the first time (usually something that the listener didn’t know or recognize up to that point). As the fact is being stated, the listener is witnessing the fact for the first time. For example, look how I describe the following exchange:

Person 1: 비가 많이 와요! = It’s raining really hard!
Person 1 could have known this fact all along, he or she doesn’t necessarily need to witness that it is raining hard for the first time. He/she is just telling this fact to another person who probably doesn’t know that it is raining hard.

Person 2: 그렇네! = Oh, it’s like that! (Oh! It really is raining hard!)
Person 2 probably didn’t know or recognize that it is raining hard, and he is probably witnessing the heavy rainfall for the first time today. As he witnesses the heavy rainfall, Person 1 tells him “It’s really raining hard!” At this point, Person 2 can express his surprise by saying “그렇네!”

Here’s another example:

Person 1: 오늘 점심은 피자야! = Today’s lunch is pizza
Person 2: 그렇네! = Oh, it’s like that! (Oh! It really is Pizza for lunch today)
Person 2 probably didn’t know that the lunch today is pizza, and he is probably looking at the menu for the first time. As he looks at the menu, Person 1 tells him “Today’s lunch is pizza.” At this point, Person 2 can express his surprise by saying “그렇네!”

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.

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