Intermediate Grammar #41: ~거든 “if A is really true, then B”

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~게 되다:

  • ONLY conversational
  • Equivalent to “if A is actually true, then B…”


  • ONLY sounds natural if 2nd clause is imperative, propositive, or expressing the speaker’s opinion:
    • ~겠~
    • ~(으)ㄹ 것이다
    • ~(으)려고 하다
  • Difference: ~거든요 (end of the sentence) = expresses a REASON only the speaker knows
  • Difference: ~거든 (mid-sentence) = expresses a CONDITIONAL statement


  • A/V: ~거든
  • N이다: (이)거든

Real Life Examples:

  • 취직한 직업이 싫거든 그만두세요.
    If you really dislike your job, then quit.
  • 한국말 잘 하려거든 날마다 연습하고 배워야 해요.
    If you really want to speak Korean well, then you should practice and study everyday.
  • 미국에 나중에 다시 돌아가려거든 이제 부터 좋은 스펙을 만들어야 해요.
    If you really want to go back to America later, then you need to start increasing your qualifications.
  • 배에 왕자를 만들려거든 매일 운동을 하자.
    If you really want a six-pack, then let’s exercise everyday.
  • 한국말이 어렵거든 매일 쓰기랑 듣기랑 읽기랑 말하기를 해야 해요.
    If Korean is really difficult, then you need to write, listen, read, and speak in it everyday.
  • 긴 문장을 이해 못 하거든 더 쉽고 짧은 문장을 쓰세요.
    If it’s really difficult to understand long sentences, then write easier, shorter ones.
  • 자전거를 고치거든 이번 주말에 같이 한강옆에서 타자!
    If your bike is really fixed, then let’s take a ride along the Han River this weekend!
  • 그 CD를 빌렸거든 지금 다시 나한테 줘봐.
    If you really borrowed that CD, then give it back to me now.
  • 올해 칠월에 한국어능력시험을 보거든 열심히 공부하세요!~
    If you really want to take the TOPIK this July, then study hard!~

**These are notes from Korean Grammar in Use: Intermediate. For more in-depth explanations, buy the book.