15. Complex Conjugations

In this lesson, you will learn how Korean conjugations work with deeper understanding and what complex conjugations are.

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Conjugation + Conjugation

If you have ever learned any language which uses conjugations in its grammar such as Spanish, you will be quite surprised Korean conjugations is on another level. Korean conjugations can be combined with another conjugation to make a new meaning. It seems like English tenses such as ‘be + going to’ but Korean grammar uses only conjugations instead of verbs. Maybe it’s simpler than Spanish because you just need to learn the rule how it works, not memorizing everything!

Progressive Conjugations

You’ve learned the most basic form is Korean present tense with me in a previous lesson. Now you must keep the reason Korean present tense is the most basic form in your mind. They are combined with another conjugations to make a new meaning.


다 + + 다 + 어요
Do + And + Be + Ending(Speech style)
하고 있어요
= Present progressive conjugation


나는 게임 하고 있어요
I’m playing a video game


I want to call them complex conjugations. Not sure if that is the term though. Well… there is not any correct term for Korean language in English. So yeah why not? lol


More Complex Conjugations

But tense is always decided before ‘어요’ at the end. So if you make another complex conjugations, tense is decided always at the end. BTW, complex conjugation oh yeah I’m feeling it. I like this name.


다 + + 다 + + 어요
Do + And + Be + Past + Ending (Speech style)


하고 있다 + + 어요
Progressive + Past + Ending


하고 있어요
Past progressive conjugation


샤워 하고 있어요
I was taking a shower

Tense Position

The first conjugation loses the tense when 2 conjugations are combined. Tense is decided ALWAYS at the end before ending such as 다, 요! I taught you this so many times in previous lessons. It’s that important. Knowing this can save you a lot of time to learn Korean language successfully.


샤워하고 있어요
I was taking a shower

Don’t Memorize Conjugations Now

I will teach you about those complex progressive conjugations for next 3 lessons in details. You don’t need to try to memorize them right now. This lesson is only helping you to understand how it works and that’s what’s really important in my opinion. A lot of people fail to learn Korean no matter how long they spend for learning Korean. But, if you understand how it works, you won’t.



Jun Hamm

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