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Lesson 91: ~거든(요): Because, Other meanings

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Vocabulary
Introduction

Because: ~거든(요)
Other meanings of: ~거든(요)

 

 

Vocabulary

Nouns:
후계자 = heir/successor

Common Usages:
후계자를 지명하다 = to nominate/designate a successor

Examples:
이제 직원들이 부장님을 아주 잘 하고 있어요. 부장님이 아직 자기 후계자를
지명하지 않았거든요.
= Everybody is being nice to the boss now. Because he hasn’t chosen/designated his successor yet.

내일 이 회사의 새로운 후계자가 처음으로 모습을 들어낼 예정이라 모두들 긴장했어요
= Tomorrow, this company’s new heir is scheduled to reveal himself, so everybody is nervous

영리 = profit

Common Usages:
비영리 = non-profit

Examples:
어렸을 때는 유니세프와 같은 비영리 단체에서 일하고 싶었어요
= When I was young, I wanted to work for a non-profit organization like Unicef

영리를 추구하는 기업들은 직원의 복지보다 회사의 이익을 늘리는 방안에 더 신경을 써요
= Companies that pursue profit care more about ways to increase profit than they do about their workers’ welfare

비영리 = non-profit

Common Usages:
비영리 단체 = non-profit organization
비영리 재단 = non-profit foundation

Examples:
우리는 비영리재단이라서 돈을 안 받아요
= We don’t accept money because we are a non-profit organization

비영리 단체라 해도 단체를 운영하는 데 비용이 들기 때문에 돈이 필요해요
= Even though it is a non-profit organization, it costs money to manage it so they need money

의료 = medical treatment

Common Usages:
의료기술 = medical treatment technology
의료사고 = medical accident

Examples:
한국의 의료기술은 몇몇 나라에 비해 매우 뛰어납니다
= Korea’s medical treatment technology is exceptional compared to many other countries

의료사고가 발생하더라도 의사의 실수를 입증하기 어렵기 때문에 보상을 받기 힘들어요
= Even if a medical accident occurs, it will be hard to prove that it was the doctor’s fault, so receiving compensation is difficult

재단 = foundation

Common Usages:
장학 재단 = scholarship foundation
비영리 재단 = non-profit foundation

Examples:
우리는 비영리재단이라서 돈을 안 받아요
= We don’t accept money because we are a non-profit organization

정부가 운영하는 장학 재단의 도움을 받아서 간신히 대학교에 입학 할 수 있었어요
= I was just barely able to attend university by receiving help from the scholarship foundation that the government manages

품질 = the quality of a product

Common Usages:
저품질 = low quality
고품질 = high quality
품질 검사 = quality check
품질을 높이다 = increase quality

Examples:
제가 이 제품의 품질을 보증합니다 = I guarantee the quality of this product
우리 회사 제품은 꼼꼼한 품질 검사를 통과한 고품질 상품입니다 = Our company’s product is a high quality product that has passed meticulous product quality checks

물속 = inside water

Examples:
물속에 들어가기 전에 준비 운동을 하는 것이 좋아요
= Before you enter the water it is good if you do some stretching

길을 가다가 물속에서 자꾸 무언가가 움직이는 것만 같아서 혹시 몰라 경찰에 신고했어요
= While walking down the street I kept seeing something move in the water so just in case I reported it to the police

얼룩 = stain/smear/smudge

Common Usages:
얼룩덜룩 = a messy stain
얼룩이 지다 = to get stained
얼룩을 지우다 = to get rid of a stain

Examples:
그 얼룩을 그 바지에 못 지울 것 같아요
= You probably won’t be able to get rid of that stain on those pants

커피를 쏟으면 얼룩이 지기 전에 물로 재빨리 빨아야 해요
= If you spill coffee, before it stains you should quickly wash it with water

국경 = border

Common Usages:
국경을 넘다 = to cross a border

Examples:
사람들은 살기 위해 위험을 무릎 쓰고 국경을 넘었어요
= In order to live, people risk the danger and cross the border

캐나다와 미국의 국경은 운전을 해 차로 넘을 수도 있어요
= You can cross the border between Canada and The United States by driving a car

국경선 = border line

Examples:
이곳은 한국의 북한의 국경이 되는 국경선이 있는 곳이에요
= This place is the border line that forms the border between North Korea and South Korea

국경선을 함부로 넘게 되면 다른 나라의 영토 침입으로 간주돼 큰 일 날 수도 있어요
= If you end up crossing the border illegally, it will be considered trespassing on their territory and could result in big problems

이두근 = biceps

Examples:
근육 운동을 할 때 삼두근 운동과 이두근 운동을 병행하면 효과가 더 좋아요
= When you exercise, if you work out both your biceps and triceps together the effects are much better

어제 이두근 운동을 하고 스트레칭을 하지 않았더니 팔을 들 때마다 아파요
= After exercising my biceps yesterday and not stretching, my arm hurts every time I lift it

삼두근 = triceps

Examples:
삼두근 운동을 해서 근육이 생기면 옷을 입을 때 핏이 더 잘 살아요
= By doing tricep exercises and getting muscle (there), when I put clothes on, they fit better

근육 운동을 할 때 삼두근 운동과 이두근 운동을 병행하면 효과가 더 좋아요
= When you exercise, if you work out both your biceps and triceps together the effects are much better

실내화 = slippers/house shoes

Common Usages:
실내화를 신다 = to put on slippers

Examples:
발이 춥거든 실내화를 신으세요
= If your feet are cold, wear (indoor) shoes

바닥이 추워서 실내화를 신었어요
= I put on slippers (indoor shoes) because the floor is/was cold

냉방 = air conditioning

Notes: You will see 냉방중 written on signs indicating that the air conditioner is on, and because of that, the owner of the building (or whatever) wants you to close the door after you come in or leave.
Another place you will see these is written on a control console for the central heating/cooling in a building. Here, you would have the option of choosing heat “난방” or cooling “냉방”

Common Usages:
냉방 가동 = running an air conditioner
냉방 시설 = air conditioning facilities

Examples:
여름이 되기 전에 건물의 냉방 시설이 잘 가동되는지 확인해야 돼요
=Before summer, we have to check to make sure that the air conditioning facilities are up and running

냉방 중이라는 표시가 있으면 들어올 때 입구의 문을 잘 닫아야 해요
= If there is a sign that says “air conditioning running,” when you enter, you should close the door

Verbs:
숙이다 = to hang one’s body/head forward

Common Usages:
몸을 숙이다 = to bend one’s body
고개를 숙이다 = to lower one’s head (to bow)

Examples:
한국에서는 인사를 할 때 고개를 숙이고 인사를 해요
= In Korea, people greet each other by lowering their heads

들어가는 입구의 천장이 낮아서 몸을 숙이고 들어가야 해요
= The ceiling of the entrance to go in is low, so you need to bend over and enter

표시하다 = to express, show, indicate

The noun form of this word “표시” translates to “a mark”

Examples:
그것을 달력에 표시해야겠다
= I should mark that on my calendar

다 먹기 전에 열량 표시를 확인했었어야 해요
= I should have checked the calorie indicator before I ate it all

식당을 운영하면 모든 음식의 원산지를 표시해야 해요
= If one manages a restaurant, you must display the origin of all of the food

지도에 표시된 커다란 나무가 곧 보일 테니까 조금만 더 빨리 걷자
= We will soon be able to see the big tree that is marked on the map, so let’s walk just a bit faster

우리가 언제 할지 달력에 표시했거든요. 깜빡하지 말고 그 날에 꼭 와야 돼요
= I marked it on the calendar. Don’t forget, and make sure you come that day.

중독되다 = to be addicted

The noun form of this word “중독” translates to “addiction”

Common Usages:
마약중독 = drug addiction
약물중독 = (pharmaceutical) drug addiction
담배에 중독되다 = to be addicted to cigarettes

Examples:
담배를 피워 보지 마세요. 한번만 해 보면 바로 중독될 것이거든요
= Don’t try cigarettes (smoking). If you try it just once, you’ll get addicted

수면제에 의존해서 잠을 자다 보면 어느샌가 저도 모르게 수면제에 중독되어 있어요
= After being dependent on sleeping pills to sleep, I realized that I unwittingly got addicted to sleeping pills

Adjectives:
끊임없다 = to be constant

Common Usages:
끊임없이 = constantly

Examples:
성공에 대한 끊임없는 노력 끝에 드디어 결실을 맺었어요
= At the end of my constant efforts for success was the long awaited fruits of my labor

사업이 대박이나 셀 수 없을 정도로 돈이 끊임없이 들어왔다
= The business constantly has a crazy, uncountable amount of money coming in

겸손하다 = to be modest

Examples:
지식이 많은 사람일수록 겸손해요
= The more knowledge a person has, the more modest they are

그 사람을 더욱 빛나게 하는 것은 위대한 업적뿐만 아니라 그 사람의 겸손한 자세이다
= What makes that person more likable is not just his great achievements but also his modest nature

화창하다 = for weather to be bright, clear, nice

Common Usages:
날씨가 화창하다 = for weather to be bright, clear and nice

Examples:
오늘은 날씨가 화창해서 이불 빨래하기 좋은 날이에요
= The weather is clear today so it is a good day to wash the blankets

화창한 날씨 덕분에 야외 행사를 무사히 끝낼 수 있었어요
= Thanks to the clear weather, we were able to safely finish the outdoor event

Adverbs and Other Words:
끊임없이 = constantly

Examples:
훌륭한 건축가가 되기 위해서는 끊임없이 설계도를 많이 그려 봐야 해요
= In order to become a good architect, you have to constantly try to draw a lot of blueprints

이 화창한 날씨를 보니 기분이 아주 좋아요. 2 주일 동안 비가 끊임없이 왔거든요.
= I’m so happy to see this clear weather. Because it rained constantly for two weeks.

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

 

Introduction

In this lesson, you will learn how to add ~거든(요) to the end of a sentence or to connect two clauses. Like many grammatical principles in Korean, the meaning of ~거든 depends on the situation and context of when it is used. In this lesson, I will break down all the possible meanings of ~거든(요) and explain their usages. Let’s get started.

 

 

Teaching the listener what he or she doesn’t know ~거든()

In Lesson 37 you first learned how a speaker can indicate a reason using ~아/어서. ~아/어서 usually connects two clauses to have the meaning “so/therefore/because.” For example:

저는 밥을 먹고 있어서 지금 가고 싶지 않아요
= I don’t want to go now because I am eating

바닥이 추워서 실내화를 신었어요
= I put on slippers (indoor shoes) because the floor is/was cold

우리는 비영리재단이라서 돈을 안 받아요
= We don’t accept money because we are a non-profit organization

Assuming the appropriate context, it would be possible to eliminate the clause after ~아/어서. These sentences would normally be used in response to a question asking “why” something is or is not occurring. For example:

Why don’t you want to go now?
저는 밥을 먹고 있어서… = Because I am eating…

Why are you wearing slippers?
바닥이 추워서…= … Because the floor is cold…

Why don’t you accept money?
우리는 비영리재단이라서… = Because we are a non-profit organization…

The examples above aren’t really full sentences in English or Korean, but you will commonly hear them uttered given the correct context leading up to them.

It is also possible to place ~거든(요) after a clause to provide reason. For example, the three examples from above could be written as:

Why don’t you want to go now?
저는 밥을 먹고 있거든요 = Because I am eating

Why are you wearing slippers?
바닥이 춥거든 = … Because the floor is cold

Why don’t you accept money?
우리는 비영리재단이거든 = Because we are a non-profit organization

Here’s an example from my own life. I was at hotel enjoying their breakfast buffet one morning, and I noticed that my wife took about 10 macadamia nuts from the buffet. I asked her “마카다미아를 왜 이렇게 많이 가져왔어?” (Why did you take so many macadamia nuts?) To which she responded:

마카다미아를 좋아하거든!
= Because I like macadamia (nuts)

Notice that those technically are not full sentences in English even though they could be naturally spoken. Again, you would use sentences like this is when somebody is asking a question, and you only need to provide a reason. In other words, the speaker is providing information (or teaching) that the listener doesn’t know. The context for giving the reason doesn’t have to come from another person asking a question. It is also possible for the speaker to provide his or her own context to later provide a reason for. For example:

저는 요즘에 너무 늦게 자요. 일이 많거든요
= These days I am going to bed too late. Because I have so much work.

In both situations, you can see that ~거든(요) is used to provide information to the listener that the listener doesn’t know yet. In a sense, this is the opposite function of ~잖아(요), which was discussed in the previous lesson.

~거든(요) is very easy to attach to verbs, adjectives and 이다 because no irregulars occur when ~ㄱ is added to any stem. Below are many examples:

In the example sentences below, I made it so the speaker provides the prior context that warrants him/her to say a sentence with ~거든(요). Again, it’s also possible that this information could be provided by another person. This was done just for simplicity, and so that you can specifically see that ~거든(요) is used to provide some sort of new information that wasn’t previously known to the listener.

문을 닫았어요. 이제 냉방 주이거든요.
= I closed the door. Because the air conditioner is running.

셔츠를 입어야 될 것 같아요. 이두근이 너무 크거든요.
= Looks like I’d better put on a shirt. Because my biceps are too big.

이 제품이 인기가 많아요. 품질이 아주 좋거든요.
= This product is popular. Because the quality (of it) is very good.

컴퓨터를 쓸 때 고개를 그렇게 숙이지 마. 목이 아프거든
= When you use a computer, don’t bend your head forward like that. Your neck will be sore(Korean people commonly use “

아프다” in the present tense to suggest that one does not do something because he or she will get/be hurt. For example, if you were going to pick up a heavy box, I could say “하지 마! 허리 아파!

오늘 우리가 밖에 나가야 돼요. 날씨가 아주 화창하거든요
= We need to go outside today. The weather is very bright and clear.

트럼프 대통령이 미국과 멕시코 국경에 벽을 못 세워요. 국경이 너무 길거든요.
= Trump can’t build a wall on the border between America and Mexico. The border is too big.

All of the examples so far have shown ~거든(요) attached to a word in the present tense. You can also give the listener information about something that occurred in the past by attaching it to ~았/었. For example:

물속에 안 들어갔어. 너무 무서웠거든.
= I didn’t go into the water. Because it was too scary

그 셔츠를 벗었어요. 얼룩이 셔츠에 생겼거든요.
= I took that shirt off. Because the shirt got stained (a stain came up)

내가 멕시코 경찰에 잡혔어. 국경선을 넘었거든.
= I was caught by the Mexican police. Because I crossed the border

이 화창한 날씨를 보니 기분이 아주 좋아요. 2주일 동안 비가 끊임없이 왔거든요.
= I’m so happy to see this clear weather. Because it rained constantly for two weeks.

이제 직원들이 부장님을 아주 잘 하고 있어요. 부장님이 아직 자기 후계자를 지명하지 않았거든요.
= Everybody is being nice to the boss now. Because he hasn’t chosen/designated his successor yet.

It is also possible to give the listener information about something that will occur in the future by attaching ~거든(요) to ~ㄹ/을 것이다. For example:

내일 못 가겠어. 친구를 만나러 서울에 갈 거거든
= Tomorrow I won’t be able to go. Because I’m meeting a friend in Seoul

건강보험을 들어야 돼요. 거기서 의료를 못 받을 것이거든요
= We need to get insurance. Because we won’t be able to get medical treatment there.

담배를 피워 보지 마세요. 한번만 해 보면 바로 중독될 것이거든요
= Don’t try cigarettes (smoking). If you try it just once, you’ll get addicted.

Remember that can be shortened to , in which case “” in 이다 can be omitted. In the example above, it looks like “~거든요” is attached directly to “거.” In effect this is true, but this is a contraction of “갈 것이거든요.”

——————–

The examples so far have all ended with ~거든(요). As the addition of ~거든(요) inherently implies that the listener isn’t aware of the information before it, it is common for a sentence ending in ~거든(요) to set up for an upcoming sentence. In other words, the sentence spoken after ~거든(요) is usually something that now makes sense because the listener heard the new information attached to ~거든(요). Let’s look at an example:

Imagine I just said this sentence:

제가 프랑스어도 할 수 있어요
= I can speak French as well

If you were to just say this sentence, the listener wouldn’t know how you are able to speak French. However, by prefacing this with a sentence ending in ~거든(요), you can provide information as to how/why you are able to speak French. For example:

제가 캐나다 사람이거든요. 그래서 프랑스어도 할 수 있어요
= I’m Canadian. So, I can speak French as well.

In a way, the first sentence (the one ending in ~거든요) provides new information to the listener that he/she can use to make sense of some upcoming information. Below are more examples:

일을 아직 안 했거든요. 그래서 오늘 회사에 가서 해야 될 것 같아요
I haven’t done that work yet. So, I’ll probably have to go to the office and do it.

어제 일을 다 했거든요. 그래서 오늘 할 일이 없어요
= I finished all of my work yesterday. Therefore, I have nothing to do today.

오늘 친구를 만나러 서울 갈 거거든요. 혹시 같이 갈래요?
= I’m going to Seoul to meet a friend tonight. Would you like to go together?

우리가 언제 할지 달력에 표시했거든요. 깜빡하지 말고 그 날에 꼭 와야 돼요
= I marked it on the calendar. Don’t forget, and make sure you come that day.

It looks weird sometimes when you translate these sentences into English simply because there is no perfect definition for certain grammatical principles. The meaning of “providing information for the upcoming sentence while implying a slight meaning of ‘because’” is the best I can do in this case.

————–

In addition to this meaning, ~거든 can be placed between two clauses to have the meaning of “if” or “when” similar to ~(으)면 or ~ㄴ/는다면 that you learned about in Lesson 43. The difference is that ~거든 is more usually used when the second clause ends with an imperative conjugation (when somebody tells somebody to do something) or some other form of suggestive ending.

However, this usage is not very common, but it does come up every once and a while. For example:

바지가 너무 크면 교환해! = If the pants are too big, change them!
바지가 너무 크거든 교환해! = If the pants are too big, change them!

숙제를 다 하면 알려 줘! = Let me know when you are done your homework!
숙제를 다 하거든 알려줘! = Let me know when you are done your homework!

If you are studying for the intermediate TOPIK test, be prepared to answer a question like the following:

Choose the grammatical principle that can replace the underlined section in the following sentence:

길이 미끄러우면 버스를 타!

a) 미끄러운데
b) 미끄럽잖아
c) 미끄럽다가
d) 미끄럽거든

————–

Finally, it’s quite common for people to attach ~거든(요) to 아니다 to express their disagreement with some fact. This is often done by the younger generation and usually used when they are trying to thrust their disagreement into the conversation. For example:

Person 1: 그 남자가 너무 잘생겼어 = That man is so handsome
Person 2: 아니거든! = No! (He’s not!)

Person 1: 그 사람이 아주 겸손했어 = That person is so modest
Person 2: 아니거든! = No! (He’s not!)

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.

All good with what you have learned in Lessons 84 – 91? Why not take our Mini-Test where you can test yourself on what you learned in those lessons!

If you think you are ready, you can go directly to the next lesson (Lesson 92).