[Grammar] conjunctions 그런데, 하지만 and more

그런데, 하지만, 그러나 : but, however

These three conjunctions have the same meaning which is ‘however’ or ‘but’, however there are few differences.

그런데 also has another meaning which is ‘by the way‘ besides ‘but’.  We use this when we change topics.  Koreans often write it as ‘근데‘, but the correct form is 그런데.

우리 부모님은 키가 크세요. 그런데 저는 키가 작아요.  My parents are tall, but I am small.

오랜만이에요. 그런데 왜 혼자 왔어요?  Long time no see! By the way, why did you come alone?

가방이 참 예뻐요. 그런데 이거 얼마예요?  This bag is really pretty. By the way, how much is this?


하지만 also means ‘but’ or ‘however’.  It is a little bit more formal than 그런데.

우리 집에 피아노가 있어요. 하지만 저는 피아노를 칠 줄 몰라요.  There is a piano at my home, but I don’t know how to play.

어제 많이 아팠어요. 하지만 약을 먹지 않았어요. I was very sick yesterday, however I didn’t take a pill.


그러나 is very formal, only used for writing.

경찰은 한 달 동안 범인을 추적했다. 그러나 결국 잡지 못했다.  The police chased the criminal for a month, but they can’t catch him.

어제는 커피를 마시지 않았다. 그러나 나는 밤에 잠을 잘 수 없었다. I didn’t drink coffee yesterday, but I couldn’t sleep at night.


reason. 그래서 result.

means ‘therefore’ or ‘so’.  As you can see above, you should say a reason first and then say result with 그래서. For example,

오늘 비가 많이 왔어요. 그래서 날씨가 추워요. It rained a lot today, so it is cold.

오늘 아침을 안 먹었어요. 그래서 지금 정말 배가 고파요. I didn’t eat breakfast, so I am so hungry now.



result. 왜냐하면 reason.

왜냐하면 means ‘because’. As you can see above, you should say a result first and then say reason with 왜냐하면. For example,

날씨가 추워요. 왜냐하면 오늘 비가 많이 왔어요. It is cold because it rained a lot today.

지금 배가 정말 고파요. 왜냐하면 오늘 아침을 안 먹었어요. I am so hungry because I didn’t eat breakfast.

  • When it is used in one sentence, it is -(으)냐면.



reason. 그러니까 result.

그러니까 means ‘therefore’ or ‘so’ like 그래서, however there is a difference between 그래서 and 그러니까. 그래서 cannot has suggestion or command/request sentences in result while 그러니까 can.  For example,

비가 와요. 그래서 우산을 가지고 갈 거예요. It is raining, so I am going to take an umbrella.

비가 와요. 그러니까 우산을 가지고 가세요. It is raining, so please take an umbrella.
비가 와요. 그래서 우산을 가지고 가세요. (X)

Endings for command or request are -(으)세요, -(으)ㄹ까요?, -(으)ㅂ시다, -자, -(으)십시오 etc.

5 thoughts on “[Grammar] conjunctions 그런데, 하지만 and more

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