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How To Use 는데? - All The Different Usages




USAGES:

> presenting background circumstances (middle of the sentence)

> presenting background circumstances (end of the sentence)

> requesting information

> requesting agreement or compliance

> expressing disagreement, corrections or discontent

> expressing counter-expectation or exclamation


MOST COMMON USAGE :

presenting background circumstances (middle of the sentence)

when it is used in the middle of a sentence to connect 2 clauses, -는데 provides some background information for the message to be delivered in the next clause/sentence.


[ Clause A ]는데 [ Clause B ]

[ Background ]는데 [ Message ]


Example:

오늘은 바쁜데 내일 만나도 괜찮을까?

I’m busy today, can we meet tomorrow?

In the first clause, the speaker says that they are busy today and this provides the background for the message (that they would like to meet tomorrow instead). There are many reasons why speakers need to provide background information. In the example above, it explains why meeting today would be inconvenient.


presenting background circumstances (end of the sentence)

when using -는데(요) at the end of a sentence, It's also used to introduce the background for a new topic for the listener. In this case, the second clause/sentence is left out. It's used often in news reports.


More examples:

모니터 캐이블 사러 왔는데요.

I’ve come here to buy a monitor cable.


부탁 하나 있는데요.

I have a favour to ask.


requesting information

는데(요) is often used to request more information from the listener. In this instance, the speaker is saying they need to know the situation and are trying to elicit elaboration, clarification or confirmation from the listener.


Example:

일본 언제 가는데?

When are you leaving for Japan?


Here the speaker is requesting more details about the background circumstances than what was provided. -는데 signals the listener to elaborate more on the situation.


This instance of 는데 is sometimes used sarcastically or to ‘play cool’.


Example:

뭔데?

What’s that?


Here the speaker shows disinterest and requests the listener to provide a suitable answer. It can sometimes be like saying ‘Tell me why I should care’.


requesting agreement or compliance

는데(요) is sometimes used to request agreement from the listener. In this instance, the speaker is prompting the listener to see their situation.


Example:

날씨가 추운데.

The weather's pretty cold, isn’t it?


Here the speaker is making an observational statement about the weather conditions. 는데 signals the listener to see the speaker’s situation and be in agreement about it.


Similar to how requesting agreements prompts the listener to see another person's situation, 는데(요) can be used to request compliance.


Examples:

나 지금 공부하고 있는데.

I’m studying right now.


Here the speaker is making an indirect request from the listener. By asking them to read between the lines, the listener can infer which action to take. For example, if someone else is playing loud music, the person who's studying may say the sentence above.


expressing disagreement, corrections or discontent

는데(요) is sometimes used to express disagreement with the listener. In this instance, the speaker is saying that’s not the situation and are expressing their views on the matter. This ending makes the sentence a bit softer, when expressing "negative" feelings or simply correcting what someone else said.

Example:

사투리가 아닌데요.

It’s not a dialect.


Here the speaker is expressing disagreement over some information. 는데 expresses the state of affairs as being different from the listener’s perspective. This prompts the listener to take whatever corrective measures necessary.


Note that speakers are sometimes confrontational or show their discontent when saying that’s not the situation.


Examples:

철수 is confronting 영희

A: Do you have anything to apologise for?

B: 없는데.

B: No (and why would I).

나도 쿠키 좋아하는데.

I too like cookies (how come I didn’t get one?)!


expressing counter-expectation or exclamation

는데(요) is sometimes used to express surprise or exclamation. In this instance, the speaker is saying that’s not the situation I was expecting and is expressing their sudden realisation.


Example:

와, 우리 딸 노래 잘한데.

Wow, our daughter really sings well.


Here the speaker states their surprise realisation over the discovery. -는데 expresses the state of affairs as being different from what they were expecting.



EXAMPLE SENTENCES BELOW:

⚠️I used this website to help me make this post: ultimatekorean. Also this may not be "all" usages but these are the ones I could find and are used frequently.


USAGE 1: (more examples)

한국사람인데 중국에서 살고 있어요.

I’m Korean and living in China (if you can’t tell, I’m Korean).


구두를 사려고 하는데 추천 좀 해주세요.

I’d like to buy shoes, so please recommend some.


8시가 됐는데 학교 빨리 가.

It’s 8 o’clock. Get to school.


더운데 에어콘 켜볼까?

It’s hot; should we turn on the aircon?


USAGE 2:

제가 좋은 식당을 아는데요. 같이 갈래요?

I know a good restaurant. How about going together?


USAGE 3: (extra notes)

This instance of 는데 is sometimes used sarcastically or to ‘play cool’.

Example:

뭔데?

What’s that?

Here the speaker shows disinterest and requests the listener to provide a suitable answer. It can sometimes be like saying ‘Tell me why I should care’.


USAGE 5:

오늘 날씨가 별로 안 추워요.

(It's not really cold today)

- 그래요. 저는 추운데요.

(Well, I feel cold.)


한국 사람이에요?

- 아이요. 한국 사람 아닌데요.

Are you a Korean?

- No, I am not a Korean.


USAGE 6:

비가 점점 많이 오는데!

The rain is getting heavier (we had better change our plans).


평소에 그렇지도 않던데.

You’re not normally like this (what has gotten into you?).


여자 친구가 정말 예쁜데요.

Your girlfriend is really pretty!

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