-기에 ~ “because of X, I am doing Y”

What it means:

Something you may have noticed if you’ve read through a few of my song translations/vocabulary lessons is that there are many ways to say “because” in Korean. There are 1 or 2 that carry an extra nuance of some kind, and there are 1 or 2 that only get used in certain situations, and there are 1 or 2 that are just straightforward, with no added nuance.

This grammatical principle is one of the ones that only gets used in certain situations. It is used to say, “because of X, I am doing Y” or “because of X, she did Y”. In other words, it is used to provide a reason why someone is intentionally doing something (or not doing something) because of an observation or judgment that they made.

If you wanted to say, “The grass is wet because it rained.” you would not use -기에. But if you wanted to say, “I stayed inside all day because it was raining.” you would use -기에. You made an observation – that it was raining – and as a result you made the intentional decision to stay inside.


How to attach it:

-기에 attaches directly to the root of a verb or adjective. Remember, all verbs and adjectives in Korean end in 다. Remove 다 and you have the root.

When attaching this particle to a noun, add -기에 if the noun ends in a vowel, and -이기에 if it ends in a consonant.


Examples:

We are Bulletproof: the Eternal
다신 멈추지 않을래. 여기 우리가 함께이기에. ~ “We’re not going to stop again. Because we’re together here.”
Original noun: 함께 – being together

So What
답은 하나밖에 없기에 그냥 믿고 달려보자고. ~ “Since there’s only one answer let’s just trust it and run.”
Original verb: 없다 – to not be found, not exist

Ma City
자랑할 게 없기에 자랑스러워 질 수밖에 안 그래? ~ “Since there’s nothing to boast about, I can’t do anything but boast, am I right?”
Original verb: 없다 – to not be found, not exist

P.O.P. (Piece of Peace) by j-hope
나 도울래 그들 같은 나였기에 ~ “I want to help, because I used to be like them.”
Literal translation: “….because I was a me who was like them.”
Original noun: 나 – me + 였 – past tense of “to be” + 기에

Base Line by j-hope
누구보다 열심히 했기에 데뷔해. ~ “I debuted because I worked harder than anyone.”
Original verb: 하다 – to do

Brand New Day
나 두려워도 그냥 달렸어. 나는 날 믿었기에. – “Even though I was scared, I just ran. Because I believed in myself.”
Original verb: 믿다 – to believe in, to trust

Come Back Home
난 더 많은것을 원해. 아직 우린 젊기에 괜찮은 미래가 있기에. – “I want more. Because we’re still young. Because we still have a decent future.”
Original verbs: 젊다 – to be young & 있다 – to exist, to be found


기에 grammar Korean