Present Tense Usage – Korean Tenses #1

From today, we'll learn tense in Korean.

For those who don't know the meaning of tense, tense means "a set of verb forms to indicate time". In English, did, do, will do in the sentences "I did", "I do", "I will do" are past, present, future tense form of the verb, do.

We'll learn those tenses in Korean. Also, we'll learn how Korean tenses are different from English. Then, let's start with Korean present tense.

In this episode, we'll learn when we can use present tense. In the next episode, we'll learn how to conjugate verbs to express present tense.

What you are doing now

When something is happening now, you can use present tense.

A: 지금 뭐 해?
B: 책 읽어. / 밥 먹어. / 한국어 공부해.

A: What are you doing now?
B: Reading books. / Having a meal. / Studying Korean.

A: 여기서 뭐 하세요?
B: 신제품 홍보해요. / 신문 기사 하나 읽어요. / 방 청소해요.

A: What are you doing now?
B: Promoting the new product. / Reading a news article. / Cleaning the room.

It's a bit different from the begining. In Korean, you can use present tense to tell what you are doing now. In English, you should usually use present progressive(be ~ing) tense.

Describe current situation

You can also use present tense to describe current situation.

A: 어디 살아?
B: 인천.

A: Where do you live?
B: 인천.

영희는 구글에서 일한다.
영희 works for Google.

책상 위에 책이 한 권 있다.
There is a book on the desk.


When something is habitual, you should use present tense.

나는 매일 아침 비타민제를 한 알씩 먹는다.
I eat a pill of vitamin every morning.

그는 매주 금요일 헬스장에 간다.
He goes to gym every Friday.

Near Future

Finally, you can use present tense to speak something that will be happened in the near future.

그는 촬영을 위해 내일 러시아에 간다.
He will go to Russia for the film.

모레 친구를 만난다.
I will meet the friend the day after tomorrow.

다음 주에 뭐 해?
What are you going to do next week?

Usually, near future means less than a week. If it's further away than a week, you should use future tense.