Time is an important part of life. Our lives and deaths are dictated by its relentless march. So it will come to no surprise that time takes an important role in our conversations and thus plenty of grammar deals with how you can put things in relation to when.

Like all languages, Korean has a lot of ways to talk about time. In Korean grammar, you have an onslaught of different forms you will have to learn if you want to be as precise or as vague as possible in Korean. There are is a lot of nuance in Korean grammar when it comes to time. Furthermore, you cannot neglect the difference between the formal and informal level as certain forms are more suitable than others.

Depending on the situation you will need different forms to properly express time in Korean. You have expressions to say when something is happening, like the particle -에 or 전에. You have other forms to indicate actions or event are in progress such as the Korean progressive tense, -고 있다 and 중. And, other forms still will indicate the completion of actions like -았/었던 and -아/어 버리다. Every specific point in time has its own group of forms you can use.

15 articles

-(으)ㄴ 지

The Korean time expression -(으)ㄴ 지 you use to express how much time has passed since an event or action. 되다 and 넘다 often appear following the first clause.


The Korean verb ending -(으)면서 allows you to easily say two actions performed by the same subject happened simultaneously. It is similar to 동안.


-고 is the easy way to list two or more facts, states, actions, etc. together, creating one sentence. It can also form a sequence of actions.

-고 나서

The Korean time expression -고 나서 is a simple form that lets you express you perform an action after you finished the first action. You can shorten it to -고.


The particle -까지 is a handy particle that indicates the destination or the end time of an activity. It is often paired with -에서 (location) or -부터 (time).


-마다 is a simple particle that allows you to indicate the time interval. Or, you can use it to state facts about something that is true for all of something.


The particle -부터 gives the starting time of an event or action. It is therefore often paired with the particle -까지, which then indicates the ending time.


The form -아/어서 is the basic way to express the reason or cause of something in Korean. You can also use it to express the sequence between two actions.


The particle -에 is an important Korean particle. You use it to indicate where an action or event takes place or indicate the time when something happens.


The Korean time expression -자마자 indicates that an action or event takes place immediately after the end of a previous action or event.