I’m Working in Korean

Hi everyone, it’s your Korean teacher Jun. Are you a student or do you work? If you have a job right now, then this tutorial would be amazing! Especially when you get a text message or a phone call while you’re working. Or it can be also good when someone keeps bothering you and you want to say something to him in an angry tone lol. Today we are going to learn how to say I’m working in Korean.

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How To Say I’m Working in Korean

일하고 있어요

[ilhago isseoyo]
I’m working


Basic form : 일하다
반말(informal non-honorific) form : 일하고 있어
Negative form with 해요 speech style : 일 안하고 있어요


To say ‘be working’, Use ‘일하다’ which means ‘to work’ and ‘고 있다’ conjugation which means ‘be v+ing’ (present progressive). -고 있다 is conjugated to a verb to makes a meaning of ongoing action like ‘I’m studying’, ‘I’m working’.


일 can mean soooo many things. With this phrase, 일 literally means ‘work or labor’. if you say ‘일 + 하다(do)’, it means only ’do a labor / chores’

Using The Present Tense

You can also use the present tense instead of the present progressive tense since Korean grammar uses the present tense to describe ongoing actions. It’s more casual and very often used in a casual conversation.


I work / I’m working

How To Use

A: 일하고 있어요
I’m working
B: 그럼 나중에 문자할게요
Then I’ll text you later


A: 지금 뭐해요? 바빠요?
What are you doing? Are you busy?
B: 지금 일하고 있어요
I’m working now


A: 아 일하기 싫어요
Ahh I don’t want to work
B: 사장님 머리를 드럼처럼 두드리세요
Beat your boss’ head like a drum
A: 왜요?
B: 짤리면 일 안해도 되잖아요 ㅋㅋㅋ
if you get fired, you won’t need to work lol

일 Meaning in Korean

일 is a very important and unique vocabulary in Korean language. It has so many things and you must translate it differently based on the context. 일 can mean ‘Task / work / job / happening / day / something you have to do / plan’.


무슨 일 있어요?
What kind of happening do you have?
= What happened?


일 있어서 먼저 가볼게요
I have a plan / thing to do, so I should go now


일 구했어요
I got a job

Vocabulary Note

그럼 [geureom] : then
나중에 [najung-e] : later
문자하다 [munjahada] : to text
지금 [jigeum] : now
바쁘다 [babbeuda] : to be busy
사장님 [sajangnim] : owner of a company or a store
머리 [meori] : head / hair
드럼 [drum] : drum
두드리다 [dudeurida] : knock / beat
짤리다 [jjalida] : get fired