든 vs 던 – Korean Grammar vs Grammar #1

3 Speed Only

With Explanation

Almost every language has its own confusing grammar rules. Korean is not an exception. In Grammar vs Grammar Series, I will tell you how to discern these confusing grammars one by one. We will start this episode with 든 vs 던. As they sound similar, even native speakers of Korean sometimes use them wrong.

-던

던 is used when something happened in the past. Actually, it came from the expression, -더, which is used when you are trying to say something in the past. The variation of the 던 like 던지 or 던가 has the same usage. 던가 is used when you want to ask something happened in the past. 던지 is used when you want to describe something happened in the past.

어찌나 크게 말을 하던지. 귀가 멍멍하더라.
She talked really loud. My ears were sore.

빠르기는 또 얼마나 빠르던지. 남들은 3시간은 걸리는 것을 30분만에 끝냈어.
How fast he was! He finished it in 30 minutes which usually takes 3 hours for many people.

예전에 한 번 왔던 곳인 것 같은데?
It seems that I went here once before.

내가 내 이름을 이야기해 주었던가?
Didn't I tell you my name?

-든

든 is used when you want to talk about the choices. It is used when you want to list the choices. As it has a lot of things to do with choices, -든 is translated as whether or whatever, wherever, etc.

먹든지 마시든지 무엇을 하든지 모든 일을 하나님의 영광을 위하여 하라.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

너는 화장을 하든 안 하든 다 예뻐.
Whether you make up or not, you are pretty.

먹든가 말든가 선택은 네 자유야.
It is up to you whether you eat this or not.

네가 가는 곳이라면 어디든 갈 거야.
No matter where you go, I will be there, too.