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~(ㄴ/는)다만 and ~지만

이 가방은 디자인은 예쁘다만 너무 비싸다. 

이 가방은 디자인은 예쁘지만 너무 비싸다. 

What exactly is the difference between the two?

Mar 28, 2018 11:48 PM
Comments · 5
Both sound okay but the last one sounds better. 다만 sounds old korean
April 5, 2018
Both are OK, However, usually elders say to 다만 to younger. That's the difference :)
April 16, 2018
I see. Thank you!
April 16, 2018
나도 한국어를 배우고 싶어요
April 1, 2018
When used in a sub-clause, 다 at the end most commonly functions as a quoting suffix. 
This usage is sometimes extended to clauses which contain independent and objective ideas rather than just concerning the case at hand.  People might also adopt such a style for effect or out of habit, as in your example.

Very often, phrases containing such 다 translates to a "that ..." noun clause in English. 

So, we might translated your sentences like these (with a slight exaggeration).
1. 이 가방은 디자인은 예쁘다만 너무 비싸다 => While it's true that it's got cute design, this bag's too expensive.
2. 이 가방은 디자인은 예쁘지만 너무 비싸다 => While its design is cute, this bag is too expensive.

Without 다 (#2), the clause sounds tightly connected to the main clause without any extra nuance, while with 다(#1), it sounds like a statement or thesis in its own right.  So #2 is a no nonsense, to-the-point way of saying it, and #1 is a somewhat unnecessarily broad sounding way of saying the same thing.

Note that in cases involving a real quote, 다 cannot be omitted.
For example,
1. 싫다는 사람을 왜 억지로 데려와?  Why bring someone forcefully who says they don't want to come?
2. 싫은 사람을 왜 억지로 데려와? (meaning is unclear) 

Here, 다 makes the word a quoted phrase. 싫은 사람 without 다 sounds like "someone you don't like", which is completely different from "someone who says they don't want to ..." in #1. 

March 29, 2018
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Korean, Malay
Learning Language
French, Korean, Malay