Not only… but also… -거니와

Welcome to another grammar post! I enjoy writing these, and I hope you guys get something out of reading them also. Today, let’s look at the grammar -거니와.


-거니와 has two meanings, the first and most common of the two being to add in the following clause information that goes along with the information presented in antecedent (preceding) clause. Simply put, we can get meanings, depending on how you choose to translate them, along the lines of “Not only… but also…” and “In addition to…”.

Similar meanings can be expressed more simply with the grammar forms “-(을) 뿐만 아니라” (for the “Not only… but also” meaning) and “-(으)ㄴ/는데다가” or “N-에다가” (for the “In addition to…” meaning).

The second meaning is to emphasize information that is being repeated. Let’s check them out.


The first meaning of this grammar can be used with action verbs, descriptive verbs, and nouns in the past, present, and future tenses. You must make sure that your preceding and following clauses line up with each other in terms of positivity and negativity— that is, if your preceding clause’s content is positive, the following clause’s content must also be positive, and if the preceding clause’s content is negative, the content of the following clause must also be negative. With the second, emphasis-adding usage, the present tense form is used with action verbs.

  • Action verbs:
    • PAST: -았/었거니와 — 대학교 때 민지 씨는 공부도 열심히 했거니와 다양한 봉사 활동에 적극적으로 참여했어요. (When she was in univeristy, Minji not only studied hard but also actively participated in various volunteer activities.)
    • PRESENT: -거니와 — 요한 씨는 밥을 먹을 때 거의 기름진 것밖에 안 먹거니와 엄청 빨리 먹으니까 배탈이 자주 나요. (When Yohan eats, he not only eats almost nothing but greasy foods but also eats very quickly, so he often gets stomachaches.)
    • FUTURE: -겠거니와 — 벚꽃 축제 때면 여의나루 공원은 커플로 북적거리겠거니와 너무 시끄러워서 거기에 가는 것보다 차라리 다른 곳에 가서 벚꽃 구경을 하는 게 나아요. (Around the time of the cherry blossom festival, Yeouido Park will be crowded with couples and too noisy, so rather than going there, it’s better to go somewhere else to see the cherry blossoms.)
  • Descriptive verbs:
    • PAST: -았/었거니와 — 매우 피곤했거니와 집중도 잘 안 돼서 공부를 포기하고 TV를 봤어요. (In addition to being really tired I couldn’t concentrate, so I gave up on studying and watched TV.)
    • PRESENT: -거니와 — 교통도 복잡하거니와 사람들이 운전을 너무 위험하게 해서 전 서울에서 운전을 절대로 안 해요. (In addition to traffic being congested, people drive too dangerously, so I never drive in Seoul.)
    • FUTURE: -겠거니와 — 저 아이가 어른이 되면 예쁘겠거니와 매력이 넘치는 여자가 될 것 같아요. (When that child becomes an adult, she will be a beautiful and charming lady.)
  • Nouns:
    • PAST: -이었/였거니와 — 저 할아버지는 명예로운 군이이었거니와 유명한 화가였어요. (In addition to being an honorable soldier, that old man was also a famous painter.)
    • PRESENT: -(이)거니와 — 그 영화는 영상미도 영상미이거니와 배우의 연기력도 뛰어나요. (Not only the visuals but also the acting in that movie are spectacular.)
    • FUTURE: -(이)겠거니와 — 외국에서 살게 되면 가족도 가족이겠거니와  문화도 그리워질 것 같아요.(If I end up living in another country, I think I’ll miss the culture in addition to my family.)
  • 다시 한 번 말하거니와 보고서를 내일 오후 3시까지 제출해야 합니다. (Again, you must submit your report by 3 PM tomorrow.)
  • 거듭 강조하거니와 수능은 대학 입학에 중요한 시험이니만큼 공부를 열심히 해야 돼요. (To stress it again, to the extent that the KSAT is important to university admission, you must study hard.)


As always, happy studying~