지금/여태/이제 – Korean Words vs Words #17

3 Speed Only

With Explanation

What we do now decides what we can do tomorrow. Now is that important. We will see various words that mean now in Korean.

지금

Most common word for now is 지금. It can be used in all cases you want to mean present time.

나는 지금 막 도착했다.
I have just arrived here now.

그는 지금 공부를 하고 있다.
He is studying now.

지금 네가 하고 있는 행동이 옳다고 생각해?
Do you think your current action is right?

여태

여태 means 지금까지 or until now. It is used a lot in negative sense. It shows some frustration because something has not happened which has to be done already, or something bad happens continuously.

여태 그것밖에 못했니?
Why did you do only that until now?

그렇게 심한 더위는 여태 겪어보지 못했다.
I've never experienced the hot weather like that in my life.

그가 여태 결혼을 하지 않은 이유는 3년 전 죽은 그녀 때문인 것 같아.
It seems that the reason he has not married until now is the woman who died 3 years ago.

이제

이제 is another form of now. It gives the nuance that it will be changed from now on. There should be always small or big differences before and after 이제.

이제 다시 시작이다. 젊은 날의 꿈이여.
Now it starts again. The dreams of my youth.

  • It is the lyric from the song, 이등병의 편지. You can see the full lyric with translation here.

이제 더 이상 보고 있을 수가 없어.
I cannot watch it anymore!

저는 이제라도 공부하고 싶습니다.
I want to start studying even now.