데/대 – Korean Grammar vs Grammar #9

3 Speed Only

With Explanation

Do you know the difference between 어이 and 아이? It is used a lot in conversational Korean when they ask for the correct character. As ㅔ and ㅐ sound similar, Koreans break them into 2 letters ㅓ + ㅣ and ㅏ + ㅣ. So, when they are confused what to use between them, they usually ask, "그거 어이예요? 아이예요?" Similarly, ㅖ and ㅒ are called 여이 and 야이 in conversation.

Today's topic is about the difference between 데 and 대.

데 is used when you are talking about your personal experiences, and 대 is used when you are talking about what you have heard. Because of that, sentences like "그 집이 진짜 맛있데/대" can be ended with both ㅔ and ㅐ. If you visited the restaurant and talk about your experience, it should be ended with 데 like 그 집이 진짜 맛있데. However, if you heard someone talking about the restaurant and you are saying what you have heard, then it is like 그 집이 진짜 맛있대. The ending character is 대.

그 집이 진짜 맛있데 -> Your experience.
그 집이 진짜 맛있대 -> What you have heard.

Examples of 데

어제 봤는데 진짜 재미있데.
I watched it yesterday. It was really interesting.

오늘 스마트폰을 하나 새로 샀는데 정말 예쁘데.
I bought a smartphone today. It looks really pretty.

Although it is grammatically correct to use 데 to talk about your experience, it is a bit confusing because there is 대. Because of that, many people prefer to use 더라 to tell your experience. If you want to be polite, it should be 데요/었어요 or 었습니다.

어제 봤는데 진짜 재미있데요. / 어제 봤는데 진짜 재미있더라. /
어제 봤는데 진짜 재미있었어요. / 어제 봤는데 진짜 재미있었습니다.

Examples of 대

인나가 그러는데, 그 드라마 정말 재미있대.
인나 told me that the TV series is really interesting.

다 왔대. 조금만 더 기다리자.
He said he's going to be here soon. Let's wait a little bit more.

If you want to be polite, use 대요 or 라고 합니다.

인나가 그러는데, 그 드라마 정말 재미있대요. / 인나가 그러는데 그 드라마 정말 재미있다고 합니다.

대 to Ask

First of all, 대 is used when you ask. It usually means furious or complain about something. It is also used when you are surprised.

왜 자꾸 내 눈치를 보는 건대?
Why are you constantly looking at me and waiting for consent?

얘가 오늘 왜 이런대?
Why are you doing like this today?

누가 너더러 못 생겼대?
Did someone say that you look ugly?

ㄴ데 to Describe the Situation

As in the form of ㄴ데, it is used to explain the situation or some information about the context. I used it in two sentences as we talked about the topic.

어제 봤는데 진짜 재미있데.
인나가 그러는데, 그 드라마 정말 재미있대.

어제 봤는데(I watched it yesterday) and 인나가 그러는데(인나 told me that) explain what happened or said. It's additional information for the next sentence. It supports what you are trying to say now. In this case, it is 데 not 대.

데 to Admire

Finally, when you are admiring something, it should be 데.

여기 경치 정말 좋은데.
The scenery here is really awesome.

너희 아버지 요리 정말 잘하시는데.
Your father is really good at cooking.