KoreanJun
16. Present Progressive Tense

16. Present Progressive Tense

In this lesson, you will learn the most basic uses of Korean present progressive tense.

Present Progressive Tense img

Present Progressive Tense

Korean present progressive tense describes a thing that is happening right now like I’m teaching you Korean. Korean present progressive tense is very similar to English somehow. It uses ‘be’ and a modified form of ‘verb’. To make present progressive tense, combine 고 있다 after ‘하’ in Korean present tense. It sounds a bit confusing but don’t worry! You will get it.

 

다 + + 있다
verb + modifier + be
= 하고 있다
= be + (verb)ing

Difference

Korean present progressive tense is not much different than English present progressive tense except for one thing. It doesn’t have any meaning for future. It explains only the situation that is happening right now.

With 하다 verb (Do / Be + Adjective)

Korean progressive tense uses postposition ‘고’ as a modifier of verb. Postposition 고 makes a meaning ‘and’ after a verb. In this case, it doesn’t have some specific meaning but only a function to make progressive tense.

 

Don’t spend your too much time if you have a trouble to understand how it works. You don’t need to perfectly understand the system right now but to know that each word can be combined with each other to make a new function.

 

하다 style해요 colloquial style
After a nounAfter a root
다 + 다 → 하고 있다 + + + 어요
= 하고 있어요
root + + + 어요
= Root + 고 있어요
Basic form : 하다
Basic form : 있다
verb + and + be + endingverb + and + be + ending
Be v+ing
Be being + Adjective
Be v+ing
Be being + Adjective
Be v+ing
Be being + Adjective

 

저는 친구랑 이야기하고 있어요
I’m talking to my friend
= After a noun

 

준은 요리하고 있어요
Jun is cooking
= After a noun

 

저는 쉬고 있어요
I’m taking a break (rest)
= After a root

 

저는 영화 보고 있어요
I’m watching a movie
= After a root

With 하다 / 다 adjective

You can’t use 고 있다 progressive tense with an adjective. Well… You can make it but it doesn’t sounds correct. It’s used only when Koreans make a joke. English can do it but Korean can’t. Technically, Korean grammar has a way to say ‘I’m being + adjective’ but it’s not exactly same to English phrases.

 

저는 이쁘고 있어요 (WRONG)
I’m being pretty (WRONG)

 

나는 이쁘 하고 있어요
I’m doing pretty / I’m being pretty
= This is the right one. You need to know how to make adverbs first.

With 이다

Also 이다 adjective and be can’t be used with 고 있다 progressive tense. ‘Be + ing’ doesn’t make any sense in Korean. If you need to say ‘I’m being something’ in Korean, then you have to use other verbs like ‘행동하다 (act, behave, conduct)’ or ‘하다’.

 

However, 이다 verb with 고 있다 progressive tense sounds perfectly okay. Only verbs can be used with Korean progressive tenses.

 

하다 style

해요 colloquial style

After a noun / root

다 + 다 → 이고 있다다 + + + 어요
= 이고 있어요
Basic form : 이다

Basic form : 있다

verb + and + be + ending
Be v+ing
Be being + Noun
Be being + Adjective
Be being + Location
Be v+ing
Be being + Noun
Be being + Adjective
Be being + Location

 

저는 한국인이고 있어요 (SUPER WRONG)
I’m being Korean (WRONG)

 

저는 윤리적이고 있어요 (SERIOUSLY WRONG)
I’m being ethical (WRONG)

 

저는 닭에게 모이를 먹이고 있어요
I’m feeding chickens
= After a root (verb : 먹이다)

 

나는 윤리적으로 하고 있어요
I’m doing ethically
= Using verb ‘하다’ for 이다 adjective

With 있다

Also can’t be used with 고 있다 progressive tense. 있다 + 있다 doesn’t make any sense in Korean. Who would say this anyway? I’m being at a cafe? Yep, actually Koreans say that but with other progressive tenses 하는 중이다. You will learn those in Basic Course.

 

저는 카페에 있고 있어요 (CAN’T BE MORE WRONG)
I’m being at a cafe (WRONG)

 

저는 카페에 있는 중이에요
I’m being at a cafe
= I’m at a cafe right now