[Korean grammar] -고 해서 Expressing Reasons


가: 피곤한데 택시 안 타요?
You’re tired, so why don’t you take a taxi?
나: 네, 길도 복잡하고 해서 지하철을 타는 게 좋겠어요.
Well, there’s a lot of traffic and all, so I think taking the subway will be better.

가: 저녁 같이 드실래요?
Would you like to have dinner together?
나: 점심도 늦게 먹고 해서 저녁은 안 먹으려고요.
I had a late lunch, and that’s (one of the reasons) why I’m planning to skip dinner.

This expression means that the reason given in the preceding clause is just one of a number of reasons for the behavior described in the following clause. The speaker uses this phrase to state the primary reason for doing the action in the following clause while also indicating that there are other reasons. In this way, the speaker only hints at the other reasons and does not explicitly state them.

• 피곤하고 해서 약속을 취소했습니다.
I was tired (among other things), so I canceled the appointment

• 돈도 없고 해서 오늘은 집에 있으려고 합니다.
1 don’t have any money, for one thing, so I plan to stay home today.

• 월급도 타고 해서 친구들에게 한턱냈어요.
I got paid, and that’s (one of the reasons) why I treated my friends to a meal.

1. This expression can also be used in the forms N도 V-고 해서 and A/V-기도 하고 해서.
• 밥을 먹고 해서 산책을 했어요.
= 밥고 해서 산책을 했어요.
= 밥을 먹기도 하고 해서 산책을 했어요.

• 날씨가 춥고 해서 집에 일찍 돌아갔어요.
= 날씨고 해서 집에 일찍 돌아갔어요.
= 날씨가 춥기도 하고 해서 집에 일찍 돌아갔어요.

2. When used in the form N도 A/V -고 N도 A/V-고 해서 or A/V -기도 하고 A/V~기도 해서, this expression indicates two representative reasons among many for the action in the following clause.
머리도 아프고 잠깐 쉬고 싶기도 해서 공부하다가 텔레비전을 봤어요.
• 머리가 아프기도 하고 잠깐 쉬고 싶기도 해서 공부하다가 텔레비전을 봤어요.
There were various reasons why the speaker watched TV, but the speaker is only stating two representative ones.

>> You can click on the title of each grammar below to learn the other grammar that also expresses ‘Reasons’:
01. -거든요
02. -잖아요
03. -느라고
04. -는 바람에
05. -(으)ㄴ/는 탓에
06. -고 해서 
07. -(으)ㄹ까 봐

>> Full of Intermediate grammar: Click here


  1. Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. I'm starting KIIP 3 this month and I'm studying in advance. Can't wait for the whole book explained like what you did with the old one.


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