Koean: How to tell if 고 is '그러고 나서' or '그리고'?


The word 고 is often used to connect sentences, and it has the meaning of 'and' and 'after'. I have also written an article 'Korean: Use 고, 서 to connect sentences' to explain its usage. How can you tell if it means 'and' or 'after'? In this article, we will explain how to do so.

If you are using Chrome or an Android phone, you can listen to the pronunciation by clicking on the Korean in the table or the Korean in the example sentences in the article!

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

The word 고 is often used to connect sentences, and it has the meaning of "and" and "after". I have also written an article Korean: Use 고, 서 to connect sentences to explain its usage. How can you tell if it means "and" or "after"? In this article, we will explain how to do so.

그리고 = and

그리고 means "and". For more details, please refer to the article Use 그리고, 그레서 to connect sentences.
그리고 can also be abbreviated to .

Sentences

공연 중 저는 노래를 담당했습니다. 그리고 그는 피아노를 연주합니다.

During the performance, I was in charge of singing. And he plays the piano.

When you replace 그리고 with 고, the two sentences become one sentence. The meaning is the same, both of them express the relationship of parallelism and equivalence.

공연 중에 저는 노래를 담당했고 그는 피아노를 연주했습니다.

During the performance, I was in charge of singing. And he plays the piano.

그러고 나서 = after

그러고 나서 means "after".
You can omit the first 그러 and use the verb followed by 고 나서.
You can also use it with just 고.

Sentences

The following three sentences all mean "I watched the movie after work yesterday".

나는 어제 퇴근했어. 그러고 나서 영화를 봤어.
나는 어제 퇴근하고 나서 영화를 보러 갔다.
나는 어제 퇴근하고 영화를 보러 갔다.

고's meaning

Both "그리고" and "그러고 나서" can be replaced by "고", so "고" can mean either "and" or "after".
To make a correct distinction, you can guess from the meaning of the preceding and following text, or you can judge from the tense of verb that follows 고.

past tense

했다 + 그리고 = 했고
했다 + 그러고 나서 = 하고

present tense

하다 + 그리고 = 하고
하다 + 그러고 나서 = 하고

future tense

할 것이다 + 그리고 = 할고
할 것이다 + 그러고 나서 = 하고

Have you noticed that when "그러고 나서" becomes "고", the tense of the verb that goes with "고" is present tense?

After you understand, let's try to see which meaning of 고 belongs to.

그는 아침을 먹고 일하러 갔다.

갔다 is in the past tense, but 먹고 is in the present tense, so the word 고 here means after.
The whole sentence means "He had breakfast and went to work.".

어제 영화를 봤고 오늘은 음악을 들었어요.

봤고 is in the past tense, so the word 고 here means "and".
The whole sentence means "I watched the movie yesterday and listened to the music today".

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