[Grammar] conjunctions 그런데, 하지만, 그러나

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. When you combine two sentences in one sentence, we use -(으)ㄴ데/는데. Please click here to learn more about -(으)ㄴ데/는데

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. When we combine two sentences in one sentence, we use -지만. Please click here to learn more about -지만.

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.

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