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Grammar to use instead of 지만 & 는데 | How to say “but” in Korean

Are you guilty of overusing 하지만? Then this post is exactly for you! Or if you just want to learn something new.

-기는 하지만, -기는 -지만

Usage: A/V + 기는 하지만 is used by speakers to express different views on something. Even though it’s translated as “but”, there is a bit more to it than just that. In the first part of the sentence the speaker recognizes or acknowledges something, but in the second sentence expresses a different opinion.

A/V Present Tense - 기는 하지만

A/V Past Tense - 기는 했지만

A/V Future Tense - 기는 하겠지만

Noun Present Tense - (이)기는 하지만

Often used in its contracted form in conversation 기는 하지만 > 긴 하지만. The other form of this grammar -기는 -지만 uses the same adjective/verb twice in a row and can add more emphasis.


그 신발이 좋기는 좋지만 너무 비싸서 못 사요.

Those shoes ARE good, but I can’t buy them because they are too expensive.

어제 축구를 하기는 했지만 오래 하지 읺았어요.

I played soccer yesterday, but I didn't play it for long.

파티를 오긴 하겠지만 늦게 도착할 수도 있어요.

I'll come to the party, but I might arrive late.

지만 vs 가는 하지만

지만 - subjects can be different in each sentence

기는 하지만 - subjects of both sentences must be the same

지만 - used to make a simple contrast

기는 하지만 - used when emphasizing a contrast. the speaker states something that they acknowledge or know is try and then emphasize a contrasting fact or situation


Usage: This is mostly translated as “Even though, although, or despite”. It’s used to indicate that something that is opposite or unexpected occurs when compared to the information that is stated in the first sentence.

A/V Past Tense -았/었는데도

Adjectives Present Tense - (consonant)은데도 (vowel)ㄴ데도

Verbs Present Tense - 는데도

Nouns이다 Past Tense (vowel)였는데도 (consonant)이였는데도

Nouns이다 Present Tense 인데도


밖에 눈이 많이 오는데도 거리에 사람들이 많아요.

It's snowing a lot outside, but there are a lot of people on the street.

어제 잘 잤는데도 오늘 많이 피곤하네요

Despite sleeping well last night, I’m really tired today.

휴일인데도 도서관에서 공부를 해요.

Even though it’s a holiday, I study at the library.

(으)ㄴ/는 반면에

Usage: Translated as “but, while”. It also can be thought of as “on the other hand”. This grammar is used to express the fact that 2 things are opposite. Used to state both positive and negative things. The alternative form is A/V-(으)ㄴ/는 데 반해 = but, while.

Adjectives - (consonant) 은 반면에 or (vowel) ㄴ 반면에

Verbs in Present Tense - 는 반면에

Verbs in Past Tense - (consonant) 은 반면에 or (vowel) ㄴ 반면에


이 책은 얇은 반면에 내용이 어려워요.

This book is short, but it’s content is difficult.

저는 운동은 잘하는 반면에 공부는 못해요.

While I am good at sports, I’m not a good student.

아침에는 추운 반면 오후에는 더워요.

It’s cold in the morning, but it’s hot in the afternoon.

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