46. Korean Conjunctions

In this lesson, you will learn how to understand Korean conjunctions and how it works.

Korean Conjunctions img

Korean Conjunctions

Korean conjunctions have 2 types. One is conjunctive conjugations, another is conjunctive adverbs. So technically, Korean grammar doesn’t have ‘conjunctions’ in a same way as English does.


In today lesson, we will focus on the way how to understand Korean conjunctions since it’s too different than English conjunctions. But don’t be afraid. It would be fun and interesting if you focus on differences between Korean and your language.

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Adverbs vs Conjugations

They basically mean same things but adverbs can be written alone and conjugations have to be used with another verbs just like you conjugated tense form to a verb in previous lessons. However, they have some differences.


산책하 뭐 좀 먹어요.
Take a walk and then eat something.
= Conjugation and then


산책해요 그리고 뭐 좀 먹어요.
Take a walk. And then eat something.
= Adverb


Korean conjunctive adverbs are almost same to English conjunctions and there is nothing like Korean conjunctive conjugations in English grammar. However, conjunctive conjugations are more common.

Q) I learned Conjunctive Adverbs Always Comes After a Period(.)

A) Native Koreans don’t use a period mark much when they text with friends because Korean grammar has an ending so you know where is the end of a sentence without any mark. Korean Magic!

Conjunctive Conjugations

Conjunctive conjugations have to be placed between 2 phrases or clauses. You can’t use it to start a sentence or link 2 nouns. It connects 2 different phrases into a sentence.


고 산책해요 뭐 좀 먹어요 (wrong)
Take a walk and then eat something (wrong)
= Can’t be used to start a sentence


사과고 오렌지. (wrong)
An apple and an orange. (wrong)
= Can’t be used to link 2 nouns


산책하 뭐 좀 먹어요.
Take a walk and then eat something.
= Conjugation and then


밥 먹었는데 배고파요.
I had a meal but I’m hungry.
= Conjugation but


영화가 슬퍼 울었어요.
Movie was sad so I cried.
= Conjugation so / because

Conjunctive Adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs are exact opposite to conjunctive conjugations. It’s suitable to open a sentence by being placed at the beginning. if you use it at the middle of a sentence, it seems like a new sentence starts without a period.


But, using a conjunctive adverb at the middle of a sentence isn’t much natural. Normally students are taught that they can use it at middle. I’m telling you that’s not common or natural at all.


산책해요 그리고 뭐 좀 먹어요.
Take a walk. And then eat something.
= Adverb


그리고 뭐 좀 먹어요.
And eat something.
= Adverb (Natural)


그런데 이건 안예뻐요.
But this is not looking good.
= Adverb (Natural)


Conjunctive adverbs are also very natural to link 2 nouns or phrases made of gerund. But it sounds very formal or poetic.


사과 그리고 사자.
An apple and a lion.
= Noun + Noun


산책하는 것 그리고 먹는 것.
Taking a walk and eating something.
= Phrase with gerund

Conjunctive Conjugations 2

Unlike conjunctive adverbs, conjunctive conjugations can’t be placed at the first of a sentence. But You can end a sentence with conjunctive conjugations. It’s same to English sentences starting with a conjunction when it’s translated.


It’s formed by conjunctive conjugation + ending (speech style). You just need to add -요 after a conjunction when you speak in 해요 speech style.


점심 먼저 먹고요.
After I finish my lunch first.
= Conjunction ending : 고 + 요


저게 보기 안좋아서요.
Because it doesn’t look okay.
= Conjunction ending : 서 + 요


이건 아닌거 같은데요.
But this doesn’t seem right.
= Conjunction ending : 은데 + 요


This is also very important. You can see it’s making other conjugations by being combined with other conjugations. I keep telling you Korean grammar has tooooooooooo many conjugations, like thousands, so maybe it’s not good to memorize them separately (you don’t even know how many years it would take you with that way).


Sadly, that’s normally the way other Korean textbooks or teachers use. Please, understand how Korean grammar works first instead of memorizing them, I promise it’ll save your time and energy and money.

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With Tenses & Modal Verbs<

When more than 2 sentences or phrases or clauses are combined, the sentence often takes only the last tense. For example, English uses past tense for all verbs in a sentence ‘I worked out and then showered’ but Korean uses only one tense or modal verb that is placed at the end : 운동하고 샤워했어요 (I work out and then showered).


I take a walk and then slept.
= I took a walk and then slept.
= 했다(did) is dropped in 산책했다 (took a walk)


영화가 슬퍼 울었어요.
The movie is sad so I cried.
= The movie was sad so I cried.
= Conjugation so / because


Some Korean conjunctions need a tense for each verb especially 2 sentences describe opposite things.


먹었는데 배고파요.
I had a meal but I’m hungry.


= 먹었다 (ate) + 는데. You can see 는데 is conjugated to a tense conjugation. You must remember conjugations aren’t always dropped.


Conjunctive adverbs start a new sentence so you don’t need to drop tense or modal verb.


직장 상사를 때렸어요. 그래서 잘렸어요!
I punched my boss. So I got fired!