Monday, June 25, 2007

이유 원인 표현

The Korean Culture and Conversation Course or what we called as the Post Advanced Course ended last Saturday after 10 weeks. In the last lesson we were taught the grammar of giving reason. Our teacher, Ms Chi, has identified that people tend to explain a lot in daily life. For example, you need to give reason or cause for why you are late, why you never do homework or why you did not attend class, etc. She thought it was important for us to master the grammars behind it so that we could express our thought correctly. She compiled all the grammars that are related to giving reason or cause and explained the correct usage of each.

1. <동사> 아/어서


* No 았, 었, 했 to be attached in front of "아/어서". The tense is expressed only at the sentence ending.

* Cannot be used for question and exclamation.

A. 시간순서-時間順序. Indicate the order of time. In other words, the second action done by a subject will start after the first action has completed.

나는 날씨가 좋으면 밖에 나가서 농구를 합니다
When the weather is good I go out and play basketball.

친구를 만나서 영화를 보았습니다
After I met my friend I watched movie.

B. 원인-理由/原因. Give reason for one's action.

옷이 작아서 입을 수가 없어요.
Because the cloth is small, I cannot wear it.

머리가 아파서 회사에 안 나갔어요.
Because I am sick, I cannot go to my company.

C. 인사말. Used when the sentence ends with "반갑다, 고맙다, 미안하다, 감사하다" etc.

늦어서 미안해요.
Because I am late so I am sorry.

만나서 반가워요.
Because I meet you so I am glad.

2. <동사> (으)니까


* Command (e.g. sentence ending with ~하십시요 or ~하라) and Request (e.g. sentence ending with ~합시다 or ~하자) sentence can only used (으)니까.

A. 이유-理由. Give reason

이 영화는 봤으니까 다른 영화를 봅시다.
Because I have watched this movie, let's watch other movie.

오늘은 피곤하니까 내일 이야기합니다.
I guess today is quite tiring, let's talk tomorrow.

B. 판단의 근거-判斷的根據. Provide basis for one's judgment. To be able to judge, one may have to guess the most likely reason or cause for what one sees, hears or feels.

네 전공이 성악이니까 노래를 잘 부르겠구나
I guess because your major is vocal music that is why you sing so well.

3. <동사> 기 때문에/기 때문이다, <명사> 때문에/때문이다

"때문에" is used to provide the cause (원인-原因) for something. The tone is very strong when "때문에" is used. In other words, you are quite convinced of the cause for something when you use "때문에". The cause, when "때문에" is used, is normally viewed negatively by the speaker.

A. <동사> 기 때문에/기 때문이다

나는 외국인이기 때문에 한국말을 잘 못합니다.
Because I am a foreigner my Korean language is not good.

그 사람이 아침에 일어나지 못하는 이유는 어제 술을 많이 마셨기 때문이에요.
The reason why that person cannot wake up in the morning is because he drank too much yesterday.

B. <명사> 때문에/때문이다

장마 때문에 홍수가 났다.
Because of the monsoon, flood was formed.

내가 지각을 한 이유는 너 때문이다.
One reason why I am late is because of you.

4. <동사> 아/어 가지고

"아/어 가지고" can also be written as "아/어 갖고 (contracted form). "아/어 가지고" is used to express the relationship between something that happens at an earlier time and something that happens at a later time.

A. Preceding action is the method or means for the following circumstance.

돈을 모아 가지고 예쁜 자동차를 살 거예요.
After I raise the money, I will buy beautiful car.

한국어를 공부해 가지고 한국 회사에 취직하고 싶어요.
After I study Korean, I want to find job in a Korean company

B. Maintaining the result of the preceding action while a later action is being carried out.

커피를 뽑아 가지고 교실에 들어갈 거예요.
After I take out the coffee, I will proceed to the classroom

야채를 씻어 가지고 냉장고에 넣어 두세요.
After you wash the vegetables, please put them in the refrigerator.

C. Give reason or cause. "아/어 가지고" can be used interchangeably with "아/어 서". However, our teacher added that "아/어 가지고" is normally used by Korean women during conversation while Korean men prefer to use "아/어 서".

주말에 바빠 가지고 연락을 못했어요.
Because I was busy during the weekend I could not contact you.

아침을 많이 먹어 가지고 아직도 배가 불러요.
Because I eat a lot for breakfast, my stomach is still full.

5. <동작동사> 느라(고)


* When "느라(고)" is used, the subject for the preceding action and the following action or condition must be the same.

* "느라(고)" cannot be used for Command (e.g. sentence ending with ~하십시요 or ~하라) or Request (e.g. sentence ending with ~합시다 or ~하자) sentence.

* "았", "겠" cannot be attached in front of "느라(고)

A. Give an excuse or reason when something cannot be done or when there is a negative consequence. Indicate that when one thing is done another thing cannot happen. In other word, the two events indicate in a sentence must happen over the same period of time.

시험공부를 하느라고 두 시간밖에 못 잤어요.
Because I had to study for exam, I could not sleep for more than 2 hours.

친구와 노느라고 숙제를 못했다.
Because I played with my friend, I could not do my homework.

B. Indicate the objective for an action. The action carried out to achieve the objective usually conveys an impression of troublesome or sacrifice. Can use interchangeably with "기 위해서" in this instance.

점심시간에 돈을 찾느라고 은행에 다녀왔어요.
Because I had to withdraw money during lunchtime, I had to go to the bank.

영업을 하느라고 여기저기 뛰어다닌다.
Because of doing business, I have to rush from place to place.

C. Indicate that as a result of the preceding action, a following condition arises. It should be noted that the following condition happens while the preceding action is being performed and not after the action has completed.

그는 텔레비전을 보느라고 정신이 없었다.
He had no energy as a result of watching television,

학생들이 시험 문제를 푸느라고 고생했다
The student suffered as a result of solving the test problems.

"느라(고)" cannot be used when the following condition does not arise over the same period as the preceding action. For example,

The sentence 너무 많이 먹느라고 배가 아프다 is wrong because the following condition, which is "배가 아프다", cannot possibly happen over the same period when the preceding action, which is "너무 많이 먹다", is being carried out.

Since "배가 아프다" usually happens after eating is completed, the correct sentence should be "너무 많이 먹어 서 배가 아프다."

6. <동자동사> 는 바람에


* "는 바람에" cannot be used when the consequences are positive unless the consequences are unexpected.

* Even when an action has happened, it will always be "action verb" + "는 바람에". For example, the sentence "버스를 잘 못 바람에 학교에 늦었습니다." is grammatically wrong. The correct sentence is "버스를 잘 못 타는 바람에 학교에 늦었습니다."

"는 바람에" connotes something which happens within a short time and in an unexpected manner. The consequences are always negative.

A. Used when the preceding condition has a negative influence over the following action.

차가 갑자기 멈추는 바람에 이마를 다쳤어요.
Because the car suddenly stopped, I injured my forehead.

버스를 잘 못 타는 바람에 학교에 늦었습니다.
Because I missed taking the bus, I was late for school.

B. Used when the consequence is quite different from one's motive. Unexpected result.

그가 백화점에 가지고 조르는 바람에 같이 갔어요.
Because he insisted that we go shopping mall so we went there together.

앞서 달리던 선수가 넘어지는 바람에 제가 우승을 했습니다.
Because the runner whom was running in front of me fell down, I won (the race).

Explaining grammar is much harder than I thought. Nevertheless it was a good exercise to test my understanding. Before I wrote this posting, I thought I understand all the grammars. However, the truth is that my understanding is not complete or I would not have found it difficult to explain. I was once told by my university lecturer that you cannot say you understand something until you are able to make a layman in the street understand your explanation. So if you don't understand what I am trying to say above, it is because I have not understood the grammars well enough myself. It's my fault not yours.


  1. 여기서 많이 배웠어요. 고마워요 :)

  2. It's my pleasure to share. As I still have problem reading grammar explanation in Korean, I hope I have not explained any grammar wrongly.

  3. Good consolidation attempt !
    For (1), it is only used in sentences, never questions or exclamations.

    For (3), the nuance is that the reason is negative.

  4. It's all my teacher's effort. I just translate the study notes.
    BTW I have included your comments into my post. 고마워요.

  5. Hi equinox, I really appreciated your efforts in compiling these notes. I'm currently learning korean now and I still have difficulties using 가지고. I'd only learned use 가지고 for (A) and (B) but didn't know we could use it as a reason too. This really helped me a lot! That said, I think your posts are really interesting! Please post more!

  6. 안녕하세요? 이름이 어떻게 되세요?
    제 블로그에 놀러오고 comment를 남겨서 고마워요 :)

    Its my teacher who compiled the notes and all credits should go to her. All I did was to translate them. I guess your level of Korean should be quite good because 가지고 is usually found in intermediate level textbook. Contrary to you, I only know the use of 가지고 for (C) until my teacher taught me the other two uses.

  7. 안녕하세요? 제 이름이 butterfly 예요. 전 중급학생아니고 초보학생이에요. 근데 한국에서 기초 한국말을 배워 가지고 싱가폴에 비해서 많이 배웠어요. ("가지고" 이렇게 써도 돼요? ㅋㅋㅋ)equinox씨의 블로그가 정말 좋아요.

    I really have enjoyed reading your blog, especially with all your insights on Korea and its culture. Sometimes it feels like you're still living in Korea. Thanks for updating it regularly! 고마워요*^^*

    PS: 전 도 회사가기 싫어요. 근데 노래를 듣기 후에 아직도 회사에 가기 싫어요. 전아마 이 노래의 뜻을 무슨인지 모르거든요. 한국말 진짜 잘 못해요~~

  8. 나비씨 안녕하세요? 한국말을 잘 아는 것 같네요! 한국에서 얼마동안 한국말을 배웠어요? 전에 다녔던 학원 어디에 있나요? 궁금합니다~ 시간이 있으면 제 블로그에 자꾸 놀어오세요 :)