Korean TOPIK exam prep II – 니까 / 어서 / 테니까 Three ways of explaining your reasons and intentions. Because / since in Korean.


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안녕하세요 여러분!  Hello Everyone!

오늘의 수업 이유 주기 때문에 있어요.  Today’s lesson is about giving reasons.

There are two main ways of offering reasons for things, basically saying ‘because’ as an equivalent in English.  There are actually lots of different ways of doing this but we will cover just two essential ways in today’s lesson.

1) 으니까

Use this example as an ending that fits onto the end of the verb.  Unlike English the word order should be as follows:  Because I am busy, I cannot go.  바쁘니까 못 가요.

It is incorrect to end the second statement with 으니까 such as: I am not going because I am busy.  못 가요 바쁘니까

Usage: With a verb/adjective (Take off the -다 first!)  Ends in a vowel? = 니까       Ends in a consonant? = 으니까

With a noun   Ends in a vowel? = 니까    Ends in a consonant? = 이니까


가니까 – Because / since (I’m) going

목으니까 – B’cos / since (I’m) eating

책이니까 – B’cos / since (it’s) a book

피자니까 – B’cos / since (it’s) a pizza

Just remember those basic rules that I outlined in Korean beforehand.  As verbs DO NOT conjugate like their European counterparts 가요 could literally mean I’m/you’re/he’s/she’s/we’re/they’re going etc.

Here are some example sentences.  Please note that the ‘because/since’ comes only in the first sentence.

새 책을 사니까 공부합시다! – Since I have bought a new book, let’s study!

핸드폰을 가지고 있니까 택시를 전화할께요. – Since I’ve brought my Mobile/Cellphone, I will call for a taxi.

고향에 돌아가니까 부모님을 만나겄어요. – As I’m going back to my hometown I will see/meet my parents.

There is another perfectly acceptable way of saying because/since which is 아/어서 added onto the conjugated stem.  However this doesn’t allow you to say an imperative (instruction) or a suggestion.

Therefore this is possible: 도서관에 가서 택시을 타요. – B’cos/since I am going to the library I am going by taxi.

And this is not: 도서관에 같이 가서 택시을 탑시다! – As/b’cos/since we are going to the library together, let’s take a taxi.

Try these for yourself (answers on next post):

e.g. 개 > 개니까 = Because it’s a dog.

1) 냉장고 (fridge)

2) 병 (bottle)

3) 오다 (to come)

4) 자리 (seat)

5) 읽다 (to read)

6) 구경하다 (to sight-see/look around)

7) 여행하다 (to travel)


2) This next way translates best as ‘As/because/since I intend to’ with the idea being of an intention in the future that follows.

e.g. 표를 살테니까 음악회에 운전할시겄어요? -Since I will/ I intend to buy the tickets, would you (like to) drive to the concert?

Formation: Does it end in a vowel? = ㄹ테니까   A consonant? = 을테니까

Nouns? You can’t use this construction with nouns.

Rules: This one only works when the sentence of intention is first, like 니까 above.

e.g. Acceptable = 학교에 다음주 갈테니까 제 차에서 같이 갈까요? – Because I intend / will go back to school next week, shall we go together in my car?

Not acceptable = 제 차에서 같이 갈까요 학교에 다음주 갈테니까?

Try these (Answers in next post):

e.g. 가다 > 갈테니까

1) 말하다 (to speak) =

2) 배우다 (to learn) =

3) 가르치다 (to teach) =

4) 버리다 (to throw away / dump / do completely) =

5) 노래하다 (to sing) =

6) 마시다 (to drink) =

7) 축하하다 (to celebrate) =

I hope that helped and good luck with the questions!  Answers shortly…

금방 만납시다!

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