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Because, So, Since in Korean - 아/어서 Lesson

안녕하세요 여러분, I'm Koreanstudyjunkie. In this lesson, I'll explain to you how -아/어서 works. It has 2 usages actually, but today we'll only look at one of them!

V + 아/어/해서

Usage: This grammar actually has 2 differentusages, but we’ll learn only 1 in this lesson.

Let’s start with the most well know meaning - because (of) and so (that).. Before looking at the rules we need to know, let’s look at how it’s conjugated.

How To Conjugate :

> A/V ending with vowel ㅏ and ㅗ + 아서:

좁다 -- 좁아서

> A/V ending with the other vowels + 어서:

있다 -- 있어서 ; *춥다 -- 추워서

> A/V-하다 → A/V-해서:

청소하다 -- 청소해서



The tense of the sentence will be expressed in the very LAST verb. Meaning, the verb before 아/어서 will not be changed.

For example, If I wanted to say, “I was busy, so I could not go”.

제가 바빠서 갈 수 없었어요. (CORRECT)

제가 바빴어서 갈 수 없었어요. (INCORRECT)

extra notes:

This grammar can be used withAdjectives and Verbs. Nouns have a separate form that we’ll learn later

You CAN NOT use 아/어서 when you want to make commands (으세요, 아/어 주세요), requests, suggestions (ㄹ까요?) or “let’s do” (지, ㅂ시다!) kinds of sentences.

오늘 약속이 있어서 내일 만날까요? (wrong) → 오늘 약속이 있으니까 내일만날까요? (right)

I have an appointment today, so shall we meet tomorrow?

Notice in the second sentence, the grammar had to be swapped for another grammar that also means “because”. If you don’t know 으니까, don’t worry about it for now. We’ll either learn it later on or you can take the time to study it on your own.



만나서 반갑습니다.

Nice to meet you.

늦어서 죄송합니다.

I am sorry for arriving late.

밥을 많이 먹어서 배가아파요.

I ate a lot so that my stomach hurts.

그 여자가 너무 예뻐서 저는 그녀를 만나고 싶어요.

= That girl is very pretty, soI want to meet her

(because that girl is very pretty, I want to meet her)


가: 이번 주말에 시간이 있어요?

A: Do you have time this weekend?

나: 고향에 돌아가서 시간이 없어요.

B: I’m going back to my hometown so I don't have time.

저는 심심해서 공원에 가고 싶어요.

I’m bored, therefore, I want to go to the park.

점심을 안 먹어서 지금 먹고 있어.

Because I didn’t eat lunch, I’m eating now.

공부하지 않아서 시험을 못 봤습니다.

I didn’t study, so I didn’t do well on the exam.

그 남자를 만나고 싶어서 따라가고 있어요.

I want to meet that guy, so I’m following him.


철수: 그거 살 거예요?

Cheolsu: Are you going to buy it?

준호: 아니요. 비싸서 안 살 거예요.

Junho: No. It’s expensive, so I’m

not going to buy it.


Noun Form : N + -이어서, -(이)라서

NOUNS + 이어서, 이라서 = because Noun

~어서 is always added to 이다 and never ~아서 because the last vowel of the stem of 이다

will always be “이.”

So, for example:

일요일이어서 = It's Sunday, so..

공원이어서 - It's the park, so..

의사이어서 = I'm a doctor, so..

남자이어서 = He's a man, so..

When the word 이다 is attached to ends in a vowel (like in 의사, 여자 and 남자) 이 and 어 can merge to form 여.

For example:

의사여서 = She's a doctor, so..

여자여서 = Because I'm a woman,..

남자여서 = Because he's a man,..

There is a difference simply because of ease of pronunciation. If you were to say “일요일여서” it is hard to pronounce because your tongue has to move from the ㄹ sound to the 여 sound right away.

Adding ~이라(서) or ~라(서) has the exact same meaning of ~이어서 and ~여서. That is, you can add ~이라(서) to nouns ending in a consonant and 라(서) to nouns ending in a vowel.

Both are possible, but I find that ~(이)라(서) is used more often in speech (not to say that it is not

used in writing – but when speaking, ~(이)라서 is more common than ~이어서 or ~여서).


이 학교는 초등학교라서 이 동네에 어린이들이 많아요.

= This school is an elementary school, so there are a lot of children in the neighborhood.

이번 주말이 연휴라서 우리 엄마 집에 갈 거예요.

= This weekend is a long weekend, so I will go to our mom’s house.

이 방은 원룸이라서 너무 작아요.

= This is a studio apartment, so it is too small

최신 핸드폰이 아니라서 앱이 아주 느려요.

최신 핸드폰이 아니어서 앱이 아주 느려요.

= This isn’t the latest cell phone, so the app is really slow.


That's all for this lesson! There are actually many many ways to say "because, since, so" in Korean and If you'd like to know the difference between them I did make a lesson.


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