Intermediate Grammar #3: ~(으)ㄹ 텐데 “I would imagine…”

~(으)ㄹ 텐데:

  • Equivalent to “I would imagine…” or “…must be true…”
  • Expresses the expected/intended future state of things
  • Combination of ~(으)ㄹ 터이다 (gives intention) and ~(으)ㄴ/는데 (expresses background info)
  • 1st clause: Strong expectation (“I would imagine…”)
  • 2nd clause: Related or contrary statements (“so/but”)


  • Can finish a sentence ~(으)ㄹ 텐데요 = the speaker’s supposition/assumption
  • Difference: ~(으)ㄴ 데 = provide background info, or introduce the next topic
  • Difference: ~(으)ㄹ 텐데 = express supposition about a current or future situation



  • 과거: ~았/었은 텐데
  • 현재: ~(으)ㄹ 텐데


  • 과거: 였을/이었을 텐데
  • 현제: 일 텐데



  • V: 일찍 출발했을 텐데 왜 늦게 왔어요?
    (I would imagine that you left early. So then why were you late?)
  • V: 기말시험에서 높은 점수를 받았을 텐데 왜 B를 줬어요?
    (I thought I got a good score on the final test. So then why did you give me a B?)
  • N: 뭐? 택배를 못 받았어? 큰 박스안에 있었을 텐데 꼭 찾을 수 있을거야.
    (What? You didn’t get the package? It was in a big box, so you should definitely see it.)
  • A: 내 전자책을 다 썼을 텐데 이제 부터 디자인과 조판을 해야 합니다.
    (I guess I finished all the writing for the ebook, so now I should get to work designing and typesetting it.)
  • N: 왜 이렇게 돈을 많이 받았어? 야근 안 했을 텐데요.
    (Why did I receive so much money? I didn’t do any overtime work.)
  • A: 내 아이패드는 습기에 많이 노출됐을 텐데 괜찮아요.
    (My iPad was exposed to a lot of humidity, but it’s still OK.)


  • A: 밖이 습할 텐데 부채를 가지고 가요.
    (I imagine it’s pretty humid outside, so take a hand fan.)
  • V: 지금 팟캐스트를 다 준비할 텐데 꼭 다운로드 해주세요.
    (I think the podcast is all ready now, so you should download it.)
  • V: 조금씩 조금씩 한국어가 익숙해지고 있을 텐데 매일 공부하는 습관이 필요해요.
    (I think if you want to improve in Korean little by little, you need a daily study habit.)
  • A: 한국어 이력서를 완성할 텐데 네이버에서 검색하면 템프렛을 다운로드 받을 수 있죠.
    (I guess if you want to fill out a Korean resume, you could download a template via a Naver search.)
  • V: 내가 점심밥을 사 줄 텐데 항상 형님이 빨리 계산 해요.
    (I had intended to pay for lunch, but my older brother always beats me to the counter.)
  • N: 옛날 트렌스포머 장난감 일 텐데 아주 가치있어요.
    (Since it’s an old Transformer toy, I bet it’s really valuable now.)

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

How goes your study? Any more tips?