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Today we’ll see grammar patterns which are used to form time related sentences, with some example sentences.

1. V+ 기 전에 and N + 전에

의미 : ~ 기 전에 is used to express an action that is done or occurs before another action.

It has the same meaning as 'before' or 'before something happens'.

기 전에 is always attached directly to the end of a verb stem.

  1. 공부하다 - 공부하기 전에
  2. 운동하다 - 운동하기 전에
  3. 사용하다 - 사용하기 전에

We simply use 전에 after the nouns.

예문 : 

1) 저녁을 먹기 전에 숙제를하세요!

Please do your homework before eating dinner!

2) 한국에 오기 전에 무슨 일 했어요?

What did you do for a living before coming to Korea?

3) 수업을 시작하기 전에 제 소개를 할게요.

Let me introduce myself before starting class.

2. V+ (으)면서

의미 : This connective is used to express two actions which are simultaneously done by the same person. This pattern means 'while' in English.

This conjunctive ending is attached to the stem of the verb and indicates that two actions or conditions occur at the same time.

-면서 is used after verb stems ending in a vowel or the consonant - ㄹ and -으면서 is used after verb stems ending in all consonants except -ㄹ. 

  1. 먹다 - 먹으면서
  2. 만들다 - 만들면서
  3. 하다 - 하면서
  4. 쓰다 - 쓰면서
  5. 듣다 - 들으면서

For sentences describing events that took place in the past or or will take place in the future, tense markers should be added to the end of the sentence and can not precede this structure.

Subjects must be the same. With this grammar structure, the subjects of the preceding clause and the following clause must be the same.

Usually, this pattern is used with action verbs but you will often see it used with descriptive verbs as well.

예문 :

1) 돈을 주면서 심부름을 시켜요.

He gives the money whenever he sends someone on an errand.

2) 먼저 떠나면서 우리에게 나중에 오라고 했어요.

He left first and as he did he told us to come later.

3) 참외가 크면서 달라요.

The melon is big and sweet.

3. A/V + 아 / 어서

의미 : Can be Used to express doing one action then a second action. It signifies that the action in the following clause happened after, but in connection with the action of the preceding clause. It joins actions together that are very closely related, and without the action in the first clause, the action in the second clause cannot be done.

When the final vowel of the verb or adjective stem is 아 or 오, then -아서 is used. When the final vowel of the verb or adjective stem is other than 아 or 오, then -어서 is used.

When combined with the verbs or adjectives ending with 하다, it makes 해서.

예문 :

1) 집에 와서 잤어요.

I came home and slept.

2) 공원에 가서 책을 읽을 거예요.

l am going to go to the park and read a book. 

3) 친구를 만나서 밥을 먹었어요.

I met a friend and we ate together.

4) 친구를 만나서 밥을 먹을 거예요.

l am going to meet a friend and we will eat together.

4. (으)ㄴ지

의미 : Indicates how much time has passed since some situation or action has occurred.

Normally goes with this -(으)ㄴ지 ~되다, (으)ㄴ지 ~ 넘다 and (으)ㄴ지 ~안 되다.

예문 :

1) 한국에 온 지 얼마나 됐어요?

How long have you been in Korea?

2) 결혼 한 지 5 년 됐어.

I've been married for five years.

3) 약 먹은 지 5 시간 됐어요.

I took medicine 5 hours ago.

4) 그 이야기를들은 지 일 주일 되었어요.

It has been a week since I heard that story.

5. V + (으)ㄴ후에 & N + 후에

의미 : (으)ㄴ후에 is used with the action verb, indicating the end of the first clause and the subsequent result in the second clause. Like " After….. ing " and simply 후에 with Noun.

예문 :

1) 난 저녁 먹은 후에 숙제할 거야.

I’ll do my homework after supper.

2) 몇 분 후에 합류할게.

I’ll be alone in a few minutes. 

6. N + 동안 & V + 는 동안

의미 : Used with a noun to indicate duration, meaning "during the time" or "for a period of time.

"~는 동안 is used with verbs to mean "while verbing."

동안 is simply used with Noun.

예문 :

1) 방학 동안 여행을 많이하고 싶어요.

I want to travel a lot during the vacation.

2) 남자 친구가 컴퓨터 게임을하는 동안 나는 숙제를 했어요.

While my boyfriend played computer games I did my homework.

3) 우리는 일하는 동안 어린이들은 학교에서 공부 해요. 

While we work, children study at school. 

7. A/V + 어/아/여서

의미 : First clause is the reason for the second clause.

The verb is contracted from -이어서. When the final vowel of the verb or adjective stem is 아 or 오, 아서 is added after the verb stem. 

  • When the final vowel of the verb or adjective stem is other than 아 or 오 , 어서 is added after the verb stem.
  • When combined with the verbs or adjectives ending with 하다, it makes 해서.

예문 :

1) 가게를 시작한 지 얼마 안된 때려서

Because it was not long after they had started the store.

2) 기록 같은 것을 죄다 대신 하여 주기가 성가시기는 하였으나.

Although it was cumbersome to give all the records instead.

8. A / V + 는 중(에)

의미 :

A / V +는 중 (에) is used with A / V which means " in the middle / midst of doing something " in English.

중(에)is used with Noun which means " among, in the midst of~ " in English.

예문 :

1) 시험을 준비하는 중이 야.

l am in the midst of preparing for an exam.

2) 저녁 식사하시는 중에 죄송합니다.

l am sorry (to bother you) in the middle of your dinner.

3) 시험 중에 전화가왔다.

During the exam, a telephone rang.

9. V + ㄴ/은 다음에

의미 : ㄴ /은 다음에 is used to express doing another action after completing one action. It has the same meaning as 'after doing something ' or ' after something happens'.

It is always attached directly to the end of a verb stem.

  • -은 다음에 is used with verb stems ending in a consonant.
  • -ㄴ다음에 with verb stems ending in a vowel.
  1. 닫다 - 단은 다음에
  2. 끝나다 - 끝난 다음에
  3. 듣다 - 들은 다음에
  4. 놀다 - 논 다음에

예문 :

1) 영화 본 다음에 우리 커피 마셔요.

After watching the movie, let's drink coffee. 

2) 점심을 먹은 다음에, 도서관에 갔어요.

After having lunch, I went to the library.

10. N + 때 and V+ (으)ㄹ 때

의미 : This pattern is Used to express the time / occurrence of a particular action or state. It has the same meaning as 'when or while'. The function of ㄹ/을 때 is to connect two sentences like ' the time when '.

-ㄹ/을 때 is used with verbs, adjectives, and 있다 / 없다.

-을 때 is used with verb stems ending in a consonant.

ㄹ때 is used with verb stems ending in a vowel.

  1. 자다 - 잘 때
  2. 찾다 - 찾을 때
  3. 듣다 - 들을 때
  4. 살다 - 살 때
  5. 덥다 - 더울 때

When the action has been completed use 었 / 았 / 였을 때.

예문 :

1) 날씨가 좋을 때, 여행을 가겠습니다.

When the weather is good, I will take a trip.

2)  한국에 올 때마다 한국 음식을 먹어요.

Whenever I come to Korea, I eat Korean food.

3) 저는 돈을받을 때 행복 할 거에요.

When I receive (the) money, I will be happy.

11. V + 자마자

의미 : Used to indicate something happening immediately after another event. In other words, by using ~자마자, you can create the meaning of " as soon as ".

The second clause occurs " as soon as " the action in the first clause finishes.

You just need to attach ~자마자 directly to the end of a verb stem.

예문 :

1) 보자 마자 마음에 들었어요.

As soon as I saw it, I liked it.

2) 철수는 아침에 일어나 자마자 학교에 갔어.

As soon as Chul Su woke up, he went to school. 

3) 미국에 도착하자마자 전화 할게.

As soon as I arrive in America, I'll call you.

4) 졸업하자마자 일을 시작할 거예요.

I will start working as soon as I graduate.

5) 집에 도착하자마자 밥을 먹어 야 돼요.

As soon as I arrive at home, I need to eat.

6) 제가 가르치기 시작하자마자 학생들이 조용해 졌어요.

As soon as I started teaching, the students got quiet.

12. V + 어/아/여다가

의미 : After an action is done in the first part of the sentence, a following action takes place based on the first actions results.

예문 :

1) 은행에서 돈을 찾아 다가 영화를 봤어요.

I withdrew money from the bank, and then watched a movie.

2) 밥을 먹다가 졸 았어요.

I was eating, and then dozed off.

3) 자전거를 타다가 넘어져서 다 쳤어요.

I was riding the bike, and then fell and hurt my self.

13. V + 고 나서

의미 : Used when one action if followed after another. It is used with on verb stems.

Also when 가다, 오다 are used the subjects of the first and ending of the sentence are different.

예문 :

1. 아침을 먹고 나서 운동을하기로했다.

We decided to do exercise after eating breakfast.

2. 제임스 씨가오고 나서 그 예쁜 여자가왔다.

After James came, that beautiful woman came.

14. V + 고서

의미 : Used when the action shown or expressed in the first part of the sentence creates the result or situation in the second part of the sentence. So basically the reason B came to be was because of A

예문 :

1) 5 년 동안 기른 머리를 자르고 서 후회를했다.

I regret that I cut my hair that I had grown for 5 years.

2) 운동을 열심히 하고서 지금 아주 피곤 해요.

I worked out so hard that I am now very tired.

15. N + 만에

의미 : You can only use this pattern with a noun. It can be understood as " in.... sometime " in English.

예문 :

1) 크리스는 한 시간 만에 돌아왔다.

Chris came back after an hour.

2) 그 때 이후 삼 년 만이다.

It's been three years since the last time.

3) 오랜만이야! 반가워.

Long time, no see!

4) 우리는 10 년 만에 다시 만났어요.

We met again in 10 years.

16. A/V + 아/어/여 가지고

의미 : Use to express that something occurs “ because or since”  and can be used in the place of V + 아 / 어 / 여서.

예문 :

1) 바빠 가지고 지금 갈 수 없어요.

Because l am busy I can not go.

2) 불어를 공부해 가지고 프랑스에 살고 싶어요

 After studying French I want to live in France.

** The above information has been provided with the help of kGrammar app available on playstore for free to download. It’s a great app for grammar learning and I would recommend you to check it out. I am thankful to the creators for making it available for free use.

To understand TOPIK Test structure, application process, Levels and Passing scores etc. check these pages:

  1. TOPIK – The Complete Guide & 2. TOPIK Levels and Passing Marks. You can also Practice Online with TOPIK GUIDE Mock Tests.

If you are going to take the TOPIK Test for the first time, or if you want to give your score a boost so that you can pass a higher level, we would strongly advise you to get the Complete Guide to TOPIK – Self-Study Package. It is a digital study package that has everything you need to get a great score in the TOPIK test – all the past TOPIK papers with answer sheets, grammar and vocabulary study material, video tutorials explaining the test structure, strategies to solve them and much more. You can check out more details about this study package HERE.

Learning Korean can be tricky, especially when the goal of your learning is conversation. If you’ve ever attempted to speak Korean but were unable to, then hopefully you’ll find this post helpful.

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or suggestions. Comment down below.

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