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How to say “Because” in Korean

Updated: Aug 4, 2023


안녕하세요 여러분! I made a post before about 기 때문에 vs 으니까 vs 아/어서 If you'd like to learn about the difference between these 3, but today I'll cover even more ways to say "because" in Korean.


INTRO:

You’ve most likely seen, heard, or learned about one or all of these three: -기 때문에, (으)니까, 아/어해서. However, these aren’t the only ways to say “because”. There are quite a few more and I’m going to cover a few more “intermediate” ways to say because. There are even more than this believe it or not haha, but here are a few that are fairly common next to the other top 3.



-느라고 = Because, Due to


Usage: In the 1st half of sentence you give a reason for something bad or negative happening in the 2nd half off the sentence. ONLY use 느라고 with negative outcomes. You must keep the subject the same for both sentences. The verb before 느라고 will always be in the present tense. You may see 느라고 shortened to -느라.



RULES:

There are a couple more important restrictions to be mindful of when using this grammar.


1 ~ You cannot use verbs that are out of the subject’s control. It has to be something that the subject of the sentence is doing or has done. Only the will of the subject, a force of energy, or verbs indicating a lot of time was spent can come before -느라고. This also means no adjectives.

비가 오느라고 등산을 못 했어요. → this is incorrect, because the subject can not purposefully make it rain.


2 ~ You can not use the propositive (saying let’s do… or shall we..?) or imperative form (making commands or requests)



Example Sentences:


어제 숙제를 하느라고 잠을 못 잤어요.

→ Yesterday I couldn’t sleep because I was doing my homework.


밤길에 운전하느라고 길을 건너는 고양이를 보지 못했어요.

→ I didn’t see the cat crossing the street because I was driving at night.


청소하느라 전화 소리를 못 들었어요.

→ I couldn’t hear the phone ringing because I was cleaning.


친구하고 술을 마시느라 집에 늦게 들어 갔어요.

-> I was drinking with my friends, so I went home late.


느라고 can be used with 고생하다 and 수고하다:

야근하느라고 수고하셨어요. → Thank you for working overtime



-는 바람에 = Because, As the result


Usage: Similarly to -느라고, this grammar is used for negative results and consequences as well. However, the difference is that in the 1st half of sentence you’ll give a reason for an unexpected or unintended reason that negatively impacts the 2nd half of the sentence.



RULES:

Only verbs can be used before 는 바람에 and your sentence must end in the past tense. The verb before 는 바람에 will always be in the present tense.


If you want to use an adjective before 는 바람에, then you need to turn it into a verb using 아/어 하다 or 아/어 지다.


Just like 느라고, you can not use this grammar to make requests, commands, suggestions, or let’s do.. kind of sentences.



Example Sentences:


날씨가 갑자기 추워진 바람에 감기가 걸렸어요. (not 추운 바람에).

→ The weather suddenly got cold, so I caught a cold. (as a result)


비가 오는 바람에 소풍을 못 가게 됐어요.

→ We ended up nit being able to go on a picnic, because it was raining (unexpectedly)


컴퓨터가 고장나서 그 안에 있는 모든 파일들이 사라졌어요.

→ The computer broke down, and I lost the files in the computer altogether (as a result).


길이 많이 막히는 바람에 늦었어요.

→ There was a lot of traffic, so I was late (as a result).


그 남자는 차가 건널목에서 멈추지 않는 바람에 사망했어요.

→ The man was killed when the car did not stop at the cross walk.


Adj.-(으)ㄴ 탓에/ V-는 탓에 = Due to, Because


Usage: In the 1st part of the sentence, you’ll present the reason or cause for the negative result in the 2nd half of the sentence. 탓 actually means the reason why something bad is happening.


Forms:

Present Tense Adjective + ㄴ/은 탓에

Past Tens Adjective + 였던 탓에


Present Tense Verb + 는 탓에

Past Tense Verb + ㄴ/은 탓에


Present Tense Noun + 인 탓에

Past Tense Noun + 였던 탓에



Example Sentences:


날씨가 갑자기 추워진 탓에 감기에 걸렸어요.

→ The weather suddenly got cold, so I caught a cold.


그 식당은 서비스가 좋고 값도 싸지만 맛이 없는 탓에 손님이별로 없어요.

→ The restaurant has good service and cheap price, but there are not many customers because it doesn't taste good.


그는 외투를 입은 탓에 움직이기가 힘들었어요.

→ His overcoat encumbered his movement.


아버지는 회사 일로 바쁜 에 아이들의 생일도 챙겨 주지 못했어요.

→ My father couldn't even take care of his children's birthdays because he was busy at work.



PRACTICE SECTION:

translate each sentence


1.) My stomach was hurting really bad, because I ate too much.


2.) I was playing games with my friends, so I couldn't finish my homework.


3.) It suddenly started snowing on my birthday, so I had to cancel my birthday party.


 

That's it for this lesson! If you'd like me to cover ALL of the ways to say because you can leave a like on this post or comment below.

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you so much for this info!

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