Downplaying Assertions In Korean With "긴 한데, 긴 하는데"

The expressions “긴 한데” and “긴 하는데” serve to emphasize a certain aspect of a situation or assertion in Korean, and then immediately temper or downplay it.

These structures resemble the colloquial “Yes, but…” in English, where the speaker acknowledges one thing while simultaneously introducing a counter or contrasting viewpoint.

“긴 한데” to Downplay Adjectives

The structure A + 긴 한데 can be employed with adjectives to confirm a certain state or condition, followed by introducing a contrasting element:

좀 힘들긴 한데...
It's a bit difficult but (maybe I can do it)...
친구가 부지런하긴 한데 가끔 건강을 챙기지 않고 일해요.
My friend is hardworking but sometimes he works and doesn't look after his health.
아이디어가 있긴 한데...
I have an idea, but (maybe it's not a very good one)...
저의 학생들이 아주 똑똑하긴 한데 자신감 많이 없어요.
My students are very smart but they don't have much confidence.
신선한 생선은 맛있긴 한데 요리할 때 나쁜 냄새가 나요.
Fresh fish is delicious but while it's cooking it smells bad.

“긴 하는데” to Downplay Verbs

The structure V + 긴 하는데 works similarly with verbs:

어렸을 때 프랑스어를 배우긴 했는데 학교를 다닌 후에 대부분을 잊어 버렸어요.
When I was young I learned French but since I left school I have forgotten most of it.
폴란드 음식을 먹긴 하는데 잘 못 먹어요.
I eat Polish food but I don't eat it well.
아침마다 아직 달리기를 하긴 하는데 나이를 더 먹으니까 요즘은 더 힘들어요.
I still run every morning but because I'm getting older it's more difficult these days.

These structures empower the speaker to provide depth to their statements, enriching the narrative with shades of contrast and qualification.

They form an integral part of conversational dynamics in Korean, emphasizing the multifaceted nature of scenarios or sentiments.

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