My Korean Grammar & Usage Note #4: -(으)니까 Because, since, so

We use -(으)니까 to express a reason for something; to talk about the result of something.

01 Present tense

Verb/ Adjective + (으)니까

If the verb/adjective stem ends with a vowel (no batchim), -니까 is added. If the verb/adjective stem ends with a consonant (with batchim), -으니까 is added. 받침 (batchim) is the consonant which added below a normal syllable.

오다 (to come) 오니까
운동하다 (to exercise) 운동하니까
크다 (to be big) 크니까
나쁘다 (to be bad) 나쁘니까
먹다 (to eat) 먹으니까
작다 (to be small) 작으니까

오늘은 바쁘니까 내일 만나요.
oneuleun bappeunikka naeil mannayo
I’m busy today, so meet tomorrow.

이 옷이 너무 작으니까 좀 큰 옷을 주세요.
i osi neomu jageunikka jom keun oseul juseyo
Since this shirt is too small, can I have a bigger one please?

02 Irregular Forms

Irregular form ‘ㄷ’

듣다 (to listen) 들으니까
걷다 (to walk) 걸으니까
묻다 (to ask) 물으니까
닫다 (to close) 닫으니까
받다 (to receive) 받으니까

Irregular form ‘ㅂ’

덥다 (to be hot) 더우니까
춥다 (to be cold) 추우니까

Irregular form ‘ㄹ’

알다 (to know) 아니까
멀다 (to be far) 머니까

03 Past Tense

Verb/ Adjective + 았/었으니까

Change the verb/adjective into the past tense first. Then drop 어요 and add 으니까.

자다 (to sleep) 잤으니까
먹다 (to eat) 먹었으니까
걸리다 (to take (time)) 걸렸으니까
끝나다 (to end) 끝났으니까
말하다 (to say) 말했으니까
덥다 (to be hot) 더웠으니까
듣다 (to listen) 들었으니까
알다 (to know) 알았으니까

그 동안 열심히 공부했으니까 잘 할 거예요.
geu dongan yeolsimi gongbuhaesseunikka jal hal geoyeyo
Since you have studied hard, you will do well.

선물은 제가 샀으니까 신경 쓰지 마세요.
seonmureun jega sasseunikka singyeong sseuji maseyo
Since I’ve already bought a present, you don’t need to worry about it.

04 We can join two sentences with -(으)니까

그러니까 (so, therefore) has the same meaning as -(으)니까.

비가 오니까 우산을 가지고 가세요.
= 비가와요. 그러니까 우산을 가지고 가세요.
It is raining. So, take an umbrella with you.

다른 약속이 있으니까 만날 수 없어요.
= 다른 약속이 있어요. 그러니까 만날 수 없어요.
I have another appointment. So, we can’t meet.

택시는 비싸니까 지하철을 탈까요?
= 택시는 비싸요. 그러니까 지하철을 탈까요?
Taxi fare is expensive. So, shall we take the subway?

05 We use -(이)니까 with a noun

Noun + (이)니까

If the noun stem ends with a vowel (no batchim), -니까 is added.
If the noun stem ends with a consonant (with batchim), -이니까 is added.

강남스타일은 유명한 한국 노래니까 배우고 싶어요.
gangnamseutaileun yumyeonghan hanguk noraenikka baeugo sipeoyo
Because ‘Gangnam style’ is a famous Korean song, I want to learn it.

오늘은 토요일이니까 일하고 싶지 않아요.
oneuleun toyoilinikka ilhago sipji anayo
Because today is a Saturday, I don’t feel like working.

저는 미국 사람이니까 영어를 잘 해요.
jeoneun miguk saraminikka yeongeoreul jal haeyo
My English is very good because I’m American.

06 -(으)니까 or -아/어서?

We use -(으)니까 when the result is an imperative or propositive.

When the sentence ends with

-(으)니까

-아/어서

-(으)세요

×

-(으)ㄹ 게요

×

-(으)ㅂ 시다

×

같이… -아/어요.

×

-(으)ㄹ 까요?

×

-는 게 어때요?

×

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