If you can translate “just because” into Korean, you may already know this grammar usage. If not this post might be helpful for you.
You might have already learnt -다고 in the context of quotations. Following from this, there are two usages which is different from the standard textbook definition, but still very important. The first one is “just because”, and follows the construction -(ㄴ/는)다고 (해서/해도) for verbs and adjectives and -(이)라고 (해서/해도) for nouns. The 해서/해도 is often omitted, and this omission can result in some confusion early on. If 해서 is explicitly included it gives a nuance of “having said that” whilst if 해도 is explicitly included it gives a nuance of “even though”. Often this distinction is not made and neither 해서/해도 are explicitly said.
Some sample sentences. I have intentionally left off the 해서/해도.
- 네가 똑똑하다고 항상 맞는게 아냐! Just because you’re smart it doesn’t mean you’re always right
- 걔가 부자라고 돈을 함부로 써서는 안되지. Just because he’s a rich person it doesn’t mean he can just spend money thoughtlessly
- 눈이 온다고 아예 안 가면 안돼. Just because its snowing it doesn’t mean you can just completely not go
- 어린애라고 우습게보지 마라. Don’t underestimate him just because he’s a kid
- 가난하다고 저를 무시하지 마세요. Don’t look down on me just because I’m poor
- 물건이 비싸다고 꼭 좋은 것은 아니다. Just because an object is expensive it doesn’t mean its good
- 감기가 있다고 학교에 안 가? Just because you have a cold you’re not going to school?
- 저의 선배라고 일을 이리 저리 시키시면 안 됩니다. Just because you’re my senior it doesn’t mean you can just boss me around.