Level 3 Lesson 21 / linking verbs / -는데, 명사 + -인데, 형용사 + -ㄴ데

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안녕하세요! Now this is a lesson that a lot of you have requested! In this lesson we are looking at how “-는데” works in Korean. This is a verb ending that has a very wide variety of meanings, so this lesson is a little bit more lengthy than our other lessons. But we can promise you that if you listen through this lesson, you will learn a lot and your Korean sentences will become much more natural!


You can download a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here. And after you learn the basics, try writing your own Korean sentences and get corrections from native speakers through HaruKorean, our 1:1 correction service.

  • theredseA

    Could sample sentence 5 (어? 여기 있었는데) also imply “oh, so it was here” after finding the object you were looking for?

  • Katherine Traylor

    Ugh, I feel like this is going to be one of the ones we have to practice to really learn. 이것를 찰 배워러 연습 많이 해야 된데요… It’s kind of fun to figure out how these things we learn would translate, and I think for some of these there are sort of English substitutes, but there are a few different substitutes you’d have to use so it’s hard to memorize.

    In the PDF examples, 는데 seems to serve three purposes: 1) To gracefully introduce a subject that would otherwise seem to come out of the blue. 2) To add emphasis to a comment. 3) To introduce a contrasting statement.

    Just to be sure, would these slightly-adjusted translations also work?

    1. 내일 친구 생일인데, 선물을 아직 못 샀어요.
    Though/Although it’s my friend’s birthday tomorrow, I haven’t been able to buy a present.

    (Is there another way to translate “although”? I’m not sure it’s come up.)

    2. 이거 일본에서 샀는데, 선물이에요.
    So, I bought this in Japan. It’s a present for you.

    (From the way 는데 is described, it seems like it can be a sort of gentle topic opener in some cases. A lot of people now use “So…” to do that in English. Does it have the right conversational effect to be a translation for 는데?)

    3. 오늘 뉴스에서 봤는데, 그거 진짜예요?

    So, I saw it in the news today. Is it for real? (Ditto #3)

    4. 이거 좋은데요!

    Whoa, I like this! / Wow, this is good!

    (Several of the usages seemed to work the same way as English sentences starting with an exclamation. Unfortunately I don’t know enough about linguistics to know what to call it! You could also use “Man,” or (less politely) “Jeez,” or “Damn.” Does that sound right?)

    5. 어? 여기 있었는데.

    Huh? Dang, it was right here… (Ditto #4)

    6. 영화 재미있는데, 무서웠어요.

    Although the movie was interesting, it was scary. (Ditto #1)

    7. 영화 봤는데, 무서웠어요.
    So, I saw a movie, and it was scary. (Ditto #2-3)

    8. 저 지금 학생인데, 일도 하고 있어요.
    Although I am a student now, I’m working too. (Ditto #1, 6)

    Sorry to write a book, but this is really interesting. Thanks as always for the amazing lesson!

    • Seokjin Jin

      Great job! They are all correct!

  • http://ask.fm/HoneyCrunch321 Jham

    TTMIK 좋은데요!!! :D :D :D

    • Seokjin Jin

      Thanks! :)

  • http://ask.fm/HoneyCrunch321 Jham

    SHINee was mentioned! :)))))) LOL :)))))

  • https://twitter.com/miloudsaria miloud saria

    thank you I read about it in grammar book but I was confused about using it in other situations

  • behindtheblack

    I can think of two songs off the top of my head…

    GOT7 – A: “다 아는데” is said repeatedly.

    뜨래요 by 배치기 uses a lot of 는데. It’s pretty much the only part of the song I can remember.

    쏟아진 빗물 사이로 니 모습 보였는데
    내 손엔 잡히지 않아 눈에 눈물 고였는데
    너와나 사랑했다 믿었는데
    너에게로 다 잊기로 했었는데

  • 아직안갔네요집에 깜빡했네

    “내일은 목요일아닌데, 언제 또 만날까요?” 이게 할 수 있나?

  • xena p.

    난 남자가 없는데
    자꾸 이러면 안되는데

  • 마틴

    4Men – Here I Am

    Here I am, 여기, here I am
    Here I am, 네가 여기에
    여기 있는데

    Do they use -는데 here because the singer expects a reaction to the fact that he is there?

  • Mary Jane Gatchalian Castillo

    From I love you of Akdong Musician :)

  • b1gpotato

    wait shouldn’t it be 이는데 for 이다 ? when they spoke it sounded like 인데.

    미국사람이는데 영어를 못 잘 해요. 맞아요?

    • 애슐리

      no its 인데 and for 있다 its 있는데

    • 애슐리

      영어를 잘 못해요 is correct

  • 세실리아

    I am so confused with the 인 before ㄴ데on this sentences… I don’t understand where it come from…

    내일 친구 생일인데

    아직 9시인데 벌써 졸려요.
    Can anyone help?

    • 애슐리

      this 인 comes from the verb 이다 so 내일 친구 생일예요 -> 내일 친구 생일인데
      same for the second sentence