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그러니까, 그니까, (으)니까, 그러면, 그러므로, 따라서: Exploring ‘therefore,’ ‘so,’ ‘since,’ ‘then’ in Korean

learning korean Jul 21, 2023
그러니까, 그니까, (으)니까, 그러면, 그러므로, 따라서: Exploring ‘therefore,’ ‘so,’ ‘since,’ ‘then’ in Korean

- Author: Good Job Korean team 
- Editor: Good Job Korean team 

👍Contents (Click to navigate instantly)
-(으)니까 (because (of), since) 
그러니까 (therefore, so)
그러면 (if so/then/in that case)
그러므로 (therefore)
따라서 (therefore, thus, accordingly)

 Korean grammar has several words and phrases that help connect ideas and express cause-and-effect relationships. Each adverb has its usage patterns, allowing speakers to convey their thoughts and reasoning more effectively. We will explore in this post the meanings and sample sentences for therefore, since, so, and then in Korean.


-(으)니까 (because (of), since)

The -(으)니까 conjunction focuses on expressing the reasons or causes for something, creating the meaning of "because," "so," or "therefore." However, it reflects your opinion on the reason for something in the first clause, and normally an imperative clause, such as a suggestion or command, comes after the ‘니까’ ending clause. -(으)니까 can be shortened to -(으)니.


Important Note: You CANNOT use ‘아/어/여서’ which is derived from ‘그래서’ when the second clause is imperative.

Example sentences:

1. 우리 사장님이 고기를 좋아하니까 그 식당으로 갑시다.
Since our boss likes meat, let’s go to that restaurant. (suggestion)

*사장님: boss
*고기: meat
*좋아하다: to like
*식당: restaurant
*가다: to go


2. 지금 바쁘니까 나중에 얘기해요.
(Since) I am busy now, let’s talk later. (suggestion)

*지금: now
*바쁘다: to be busy
*나중에: later
*얘기하다: to talk


3. 날씨가 더우 물을 더 마시세요.
(Since) The weather is hot, please drink more water. (command)

*날씨: weather
*덥다: to be hot
*물: water
*마시다: to drink


 Besides connecting two clauses, -(으)니까 can be placed at the end of a sentence to answer a question, similar to English grammar where you start your reply with “Because.” Also, it reflects your opinion on the reason for something rather than reasoning with a neutral fact. However, be careful when using -(으)니까 to reply to a question, as it may sound impolite, as though you are talking back to someone, even if you attach -요 after -(으)니까.


Example sentences:

A: 왜 내 말을 못 믿어?
A: Why can’t you believe me?

B: 넌 항상 거짓말을 니까!
B: Because you always lie!

*왜: why
*말: word, phrase
*믿다: to believe
*항상: always
*거짓말 하다: to tell a lie


A: 왜 저를 도와줬어요?
A: Why did you help me?

B: 우리 친구니까요!
B: Because we are friends!

*도와주다: to help
*친구: friend


A: 꽃을 왜 이렇게 많이 샀어요?
A: Why did you buy so many flowers?

B: 꽃을 좋아하니까요.
B: Because I like flowers.

*꽃: flower
*많이: a lot, many (adverb)
*사다: to buy


그러니까 (therefore, so)

 그러니까 is a conjunction adverb derived from ‘-니까. It is a combination of ‘그렇다’ (to be like that) and ‘(니까)’. Therefore, it commonly has an imperative clause, such as a command or suggestion, coming after it. Its literal meaning is ‘It is like that, so…’. However, it can also carry the meanings of ‘that’s why’, ‘because of what I said’, or simply ‘so’. You may also sometimes hear 그니까, which is the short form of 그러니까.


 Important Note: You CANNOT use ‘그래서’ when the following sentence is imperative.


Example sentences:

1. 수업시간에 한국어를 해야 해요. 그러니까 더 열심히 연습하세요.
You have to speak Korean in class. So practice harder. (command)

*수업: class, lesson
*시간: time
*더: more
*열심히: hard, diligently
*연습하다: to practice



2. 이곳은 도서관이에요. 그러니까 조용히 해주세요.
Here is a library. So please be quiet. (command)

*이곳: this place, here
*도서관: library
*조용히: quietly
*하다: to do



3. 잘 안 들려요. 그러니까 더 크게 말해봐요.
I cannot hear you well. So speak louder. (command)

*들리다: to hear
*크다: to be bigger
*말하다: to talk, to speak


그러니까 is also used as an exclamatory expression when the speaker agrees with something someone else just said. It can be translated to ‘That’s right,’ ‘Of course,’ and ‘I think so, too.’


Example sentence:

Kun: 우리 학생들은 정말 똑똑해(요).
Our students are so clever!

Jin: 그러니까(요)!
I think so too!

*학생: student
*정말: very, really,
*똑똑하다: to be clever


 It is not the case that ‘그러니까’ or ‘-니까’ always have an imperative sentence coming after them. However, when they are followed by a simple statement rather than an imperative, the preceding reason should be based on an opinion rather than a neutral fact to sound natural. As a result, both 그러니까 and ‘-니까’ emphasize the reason with an opinionated nuance.


1, 의진 씨는 BTS를 좋아해요. 그러니까 콘서트를 갔죠.
Euijin likes BTS. That’s why he went to the concert!

('Euijin likes BTS' is the speaker's opinion as a reason for the result that he went to the concert.)

*콘서트: concert


2. 잠을 안 자니까 배도 아픈 거 같아요
I think I even have a stomach ache because I don’t sleep.

('I don't sleep' is the speaker's opinion as a reason for the result that they have a stomachache.)

*잠(을) 자다: to sleep
*배: stomach
*아프다: to hurt


3. 요즘 사무실로 출근하지 않으니까 일 안 하고 싶어요.
I don’t want to work because I don’t go to the office these days.

('I don't go to the office these days' is the speaker's opinion as a reason for the result that they don't want to work.)

*요즘: these days
*사무실: office
*출근하다: to go to work
*일하다: to work


그러면 (if so / then / in that case)

 면 is translated to mean if or when, so 그러면 is used to express a conditional statement or to make the first sentence a suggestion. Secondly, 그러면 expresses an acceptance of a condition, similar to if that is the case, then, or if that is so. As 그러면 connects two sentences, it is always at the start of the second sentence.


You may also often notice 그러면 being shortened to “그럼” in K-dramas. 그럼 carries the meaning of if so, in that case, or then, besides to end a conversation.


Example sentences:

1. 파파고를 사용해여 문장을 번역할 수 있어요. 그러면 더 잘 이해할 수 있을 거예요.

You may use Papago to translate the sentence. Then you can understand better.

*사용하다: to use
*문장: sentence
*번역하다: to translate
*이해하다: to understand



2. 운동할 준비가 되었나요? 그러면 밖에서 기다릴게요.
Are you ready to exercise? Then, I’ll wait for you outside.

*운동하다: to exercise
*준비되다: to be ready
*밖: the outside
*기다리다: to wait



3. 우리 이제 집에 가야 해요. 그럼 내일 봐요.
We have to go home now. See you tomorrow, then.

*이제: now
*집: home
*내일: tomorrow
*보다: to see


그러므로 (therefore)

그러므로 is a conjunction adverb to mean therefore or thus when the first statement is the reason or condition for the second statement. 그러므로 is often used in literature but rarely in spoken language.


Example sentences:

1. 경제가 안 좋아요. 그러므로 사람들은 고통받고 있어요.
The economy is bad. Therefore, people are suffering.

*경제: economy
*사람들: people
*고통 받다: to be suffering



2. 시간이 제한되어 있습니다. 그러므로 시간을 현명하게 사용하세요.
Time is limited. Therefore, use your time wisely.

*제한되다: to be limited
*현명하다: to be sensible, to be wise



3. 우리는 규칙을 어겼습니다. 그러므로 사과드립니다.
We broke the rules. Therefore, we apologize.

*규칙: rule, regulation
*어기다: to break, to violate, to disobey
*사과: apology


따라서 (therefore, thus, accordingly)

 따라서 is formed from the verb 따르다 meaning to follow, combined with -아서. As 따라서 sounds formal, it is not common in spoken language.


 Similar to 그러므로, 따라서 a conjunction adverb for when the first part of the statement is the basis for the following phrase. It introduces a fact or situation for something happening and helps to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between two connected ideas.


Example sentences:

1. 저는 열심히 공부했고 시험에서 좋은 점수를 받았습니다. 따라서 대학에 들어갈 수 있습니다.
I studied hard and got good grades in my exams. Therefore, I can enter the university.

*공부하다: to study
*시험: exam, test
*점수: grade, score
*받다: to receive
*대학: university, college
*들어가다: to get in, to enter



2. 우리 대표님은 외아들입니다. 따라서 대표님은 회사를 물려받을 것입니다.
Our CEO is the only son. Therefore, he will inherit the company.

*대표: CEO, representative
*외아들: only son
*회사: company, business, corporation
*물려받다: to inherit



3. 우리 회사는 그 조건에 동의할 수 없습니다. 따라서 변경 부탁드립니다.
Our company cannot agree to the terms. Therefore, please change it.

*그: that
*조건: terms, conditions
*변경: change, amendment
*부탁 드리다: to ask for the request (formal)


 In conclusion, the adverbs above are suitable to link phrases to express cause-and-effect relationships. By understanding the usages of these words, you will be able to convey your thoughts, present logical reasoning and make arguments more persuasive.

- Author: Good Job Korean team 
- Editor: Good Job Korean team