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Lesson 95: 뿐: Just, Only (~ㄹ/을 뿐이다, ~ㄹ/을 뿐만 아니라)

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Attaching 뿐 to a noun
Describing 뿐 with a verb, adjective or 이다
Using 뿐 in the middle of a sentence
Not only, but also: ~ㄹ/을 뿐만 아니라




술자리 = drinking party
무늬 = pattern/design
줄무늬 = stripes
체크무늬 = plaid
얼룩무늬 = camouflage
꿈속 = in a dream
신혼여행 = honeymoon
노예 = slave
후유증 = aftereffects, aftermath
부작용 = side effect
짝퉁 = a knock off item
곰팡이 = mold
생리 = menstruation
현상 = phenomenon
나무뿌리 = root of a tree
숙소 = lodging/accommodations
원주민 = aboriginal/native
= exterior
벌레 = bugs, insects

물다 = to bite
뜯다 = to pick at, to pluck
물어뜯다 = to bite and pull on
도망가다 = to run away, to leave quickly
괴롭히다 = to harass, to torment
파내다 = to dig out, pick out
패하다 = to be defeated, to lose

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




In this lesson, you will learn how to use 뿐 in a variety of situations. First, you will learn how to use 뿐 after a noun. Then, you will learn how to use 뿐 after a verb/adjective – both at the end of a sentence and in the middle of a sentence. Finally, you will learn how to use ~뿐만 아니라 to have the meaning of “not only A, but B.” Let’s get started.


Attaching 뿐 to a noun

뿐 can be attached directly to a noun to indicate that there is nothing other than the noun it is attached to. For example:

이제 걱정할 것은 부작용뿐이다 = There is nothing other than the side effects to worry about now

You could also translate 뿐 simply to “only” or “just.” For example:

이제 걱정할 것은 부작용뿐이다 = The only thing to worry about now is the side effects

Below are many more examples:

내가 원하는 유일한 것은 너뿐이야
= The only thing I want is you

그 창고에 있는 것은 짝퉁뿐이에요
= The only thing in that warehouse is fakes

그 지역에서 살아 남은 사람들은 원주민뿐이에요
= The only people left in that area are the natives

사람들이 나무뿌리를 다 파내서 여기 있는 게 풀뿐이야
= People dug up all of the roots of trees, so the only thing left here is grass

제가 하고 싶은 것은 와이프랑 신혼여행을 가는 것뿐이에요
= The only thing I want to do is go on a honeymoon with my wife

It is common to attach ~만 to 뿐 followed by 아니라 to indicate that there is some other noun involved to. For example:

너뿐만 아니라 나도 경기에서 패했어

This usually translates to “not only… but…” For example:

너뿐만 아니라 나도 경기에서 패했어= Not only you, but I also lost the match

Below are many more examples:

커피뿐만 아니라 간식도 샀어요
= Not only did I buy coffee, but I also bought snacks

곰팡이뿐만 아니라 벌레도 있어요
= Not only is there mold, but there are bugs as well

가족뿐만 아니라 친구들도 사랑해야 돼요
= Not only family, but you also need to love your friends too

그 셔츠에 무늬가 너무 신기해요. 줄무늬뿐만 아니라 얼룩무늬도 있네요
= That shirt’s pattern is cool. Not only is there striped, but there is camouflage pattern as well

So far you have only seen 뿐 attached to nouns. In this usage, 뿐 is a particle and is not a word on its own.

It is also possible to describe 뿐 with verbs, adjectives and 이다, making it a pseudo-noun like 수, 적, 데 and others. Let’s look at that next.


Describing with a verb, adjective or 이다

By attaching ~ㄹ/을 to a verb, adjective or 이다, you can describe 뿐. Its translation is often similar to a situation you could have created in the previous section. I would like to illustrate this for you by providing you the ends of two possible sentences:

… 라면뿐이에요
… 라면일 뿐이에요

The ends of those sentences might both translate to “just ramen” or “only ramen.” However, the context given before each one would likely be different. When you use the first one, you are indicating (as I described in the previous section) that there is literally nothing but ramen remaining. So, for example, we could create the beginning of the sentence to be:

집에 있는 음식을 다 먹어서 이제 먹을 수 있는 게 라면뿐이에요
= I ate everything in the house, so the only thing left is just ramen

The second one has a different meaning and purpose. When you use the second one, you are indicating that there is nothing particular or special about the thing describing 뿐. So, for example, we could create the beginning of the sentence to be:

물을 조금 넣었다고 화를 이렇게 많이 내? 그냥 라면일 뿐이야.
= I just put a little bit of water in it, why are you so mad? It’s just ramen.

Here, there is nothing special about ramen. It’s just ramen. The listener should relax and realize that there is nothing particularly special about this, and therefore shouldn’t be so upset.

This can be confusing because both sentences essentially end with “just ramen.” It is important to recognize that 뿐 attached to a noun and 뿐 being described by a verb/adjective/이다 create a different meaning and nuance. Here are more examples of 뿐 being described by something:

그냥 돈일 뿐이에요 = It’s nothing… it’s just/only money
그것은 농담일 뿐이에요 = It’s just a joke
사고의 후유증일 뿐이에요 = It’s just the after effects of the accident
제가 배우가 되는 것은 꿈일 뿐이에요 = Becoming an actor is just a dream
그것을 사는 것은 돈 낭비일 뿐이에요 = Buying that is just a waste of money

꿈속에서 생기는 일은 그냥 꿈일 뿐이에요
= Things that happen in one’s dream are just dreams

저는 그냥 모든 일에 최선을 다 할 뿐이에요
= I just do my best in everything I do

청소를 그렇게 하면 겉에만 깨끗해질 뿐이야
= If you clean it like that, it’s just the outside that will be clean

생리를 하는 것은 그냥 자연 현상일 뿐이에요
= Menstruating is just a natural phenomenon

그 친구를 술자리에 초대하고 싶지 않을 뿐이에요
= That friend just won’t want to invite you to the drinking party

네가 여기서 있는 것은 이 문제를 더욱 어렵게 할 뿐이야
= You being here just makes the problem worse


~ㄹ/을 것 gets added even if the action is in the past tense. In these cases the ~ㄹ/을 뿐 gets attached to 았/었. For example:

저는 하늘을 봤을 뿐이에요 = I was just looking at the sky
네가 시키는 대로 했을 뿐이야 = I was just doing as you ordered

In this sense, it is possible to use 뿐 not just at the end of a sentence, but in the middle of a sentence. If you do this, 뿐 does not get conjugated in any way, and the whole construction is used to describe a state in which something is done.

그녀는 저를 쳐다봤을 뿐 그냥 앉아 있었어요
= She just sat there staring at me

강아지가 저를 쳐다봤을 뿐 도망가지 않았어요
= The dog just sat there staring at me, not running away

그 노예가 창문 밖을 봤을 뿐 아무 말도 하지 않았어요
= That slave just looked outside and didn’t say anything

그 남자는 손톱을 물어뜯을 뿐 전화를 받지 않았어요
= The man didn’t answer his phone, and was just biting his fingernails


Not only …, but B: ~ㄹ/을 뿐만 아니라

Earlier we saw that ~뿐 can be attached to nouns and followed by ~만 아니라 to say “Not only a noun but another noun.” By using ~ㄹ/을 뿐만 아니라, you can create this same meaning, but applied to verbs or adjectives. For example:

그는 가난할 뿐만 아니라 못생겼어요
= He is not only poor, but ugly

Below are more examples;

그 학생이 친구를 괴롭힐 뿐만 아니라 돈도 뺏어요
= That student doesn’t just harass his friend, but he also takes his money

이 회사는 집을 제공할 뿐만 아니라 차도 제공해요
= Not only does this company provide housing, but it also provides a car

음식이 없을 뿐만 아니라 음식을 살 수 있는 돈도 없어요
= Not only do we not have any food, but we also don’t have any money to buy food either

That’s it for this lesson!

Click here for a Workbook to go along with this lesson.
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