Lesson 45 (Beginner 3A Lesson 5): Wasn't I writing this post?

We started the lesson with going through the different responses that we had to do for the homework, which was giving advice based on one of 4 scenarios. Turns out that I was overthinking because the other students submitted pretty short answers. Mine wasn't very long either, but had a few more sentences.

Then we revised the vocab for Chapter 12. The teacher had a Zoom virtual background today, and though she was at the school (she turned off the background later when we did the revision with the physical cards), she only used 1 computer to connect to the meeting.

We also covered the first 2 grammar points in the handout for Chapter 12, and in the textbook. The only breakout session was to complete 4 questions in the handout that had to do with the second grammar point. 2 of the students couldn't make it, so it was just 4 students, all from the previous class. (It's the 2 newer students that were unable to join today.)


1. A/V-지요, N(이)지요

This is used when a speaker wants to confirm something that they already know. In English, you would translate it as "right", or "isn't it", etc. (I just cannot help but think of the German oder.)

For example:

  • It's raining, right? = 비가 오지요?
  • The food was good, wasn't it? = 음식이 맛있었지요?
  • You will go to school tomorrow, right? = 내일 학교에 갈 거지요?

In spoken Korean, when it's said fast, you usually will not hear [지요], but [죠].

From the examples, you can see that all that is needed is to add the basic form of the adjective or the verb in the present tense.

For the past or future tense, you conjugate the verb as per normal, but instead of 어요 (past) or 예요 (future), you replace it with 지요.

Note that this 지요 can only be used in the question, similar to (으)ㄹ 까요? If someone asked, you have to reply with with the indicative form:

  • 가: 비가 오지요?
  • 나: 네, 비가 와요.

Now, what happens if you had already ended the sentence? Say you wanted to ask for a confirmation of opinion about the food, but instead of 음식이 맛있지요? you had already said 음식이 맛있어요.

How do you then turn it into a question? You add 그렇지요? behind. When spoken, you may simply hear 그쵸? (As we saw last lesson, ㅎ + ㅈ will make a ㅊ sound.)

By the way, it intially confused me at first, but I thought whatever is said by the original speaker asking had to be true. That is, the answer can only be 네. But it's possible for it to be 아니요 and then the listener provides a correction.

So far the examples were for adjectives and verbs, so what about nouns? It's essentially the same, but here you have to look out for the batchim (which didn't matter for the adjectives and verbs).

If the noun ends in a syllable with batchim, you need to add 이 before 지요. Otherwise, you do not.

  • 나나 씨는 중국사람이지요? (Isn't Nana Chinese?)
  • 줄이앙 씨는 가수지요? (Julian is a singer, right?)

Similarly, if it's in the past tense:

  • 마리코 씨는 학생이었지요? (Mariko was a student, wasn't she?)
  • 샤오밍 씨는 운동선수였지요? (Wasn't Xiao Ming an athlete?)

This follows from the past tense form of 이에요/예요. I've not covered it in a lesson post, but it's described in this post which included stuff I learnt/discovered before the last test.

The teacher did summarise it in class today. What was interesting is that for 이에요, she highlighted that the 이어 (minus the last stroke in 에) is present in 이었어요, while for 예요, the same 2 (horizontal) lines are in 였어요.

2. V-고 있어요

This is the present progressive form, basically the to be + -ing form in English, such as "I am eating".

A sentence like 저는 밥을 먹어요 can have 3 meanings:

  1. I eat rice. (a general statement)
  2. I am eating rice. (something I am doing right now)
  3. I am going to eat rice. (something I am going to do in the near future)

So this form is used when you want to emphasise an action you are in the midst of doing. It can only be used for the second meaning above.

This is where I think English is just weird, after having learnt other languages. The point is that for the present tense form and progressive form, most languages do not actually differentiate between the 2 as much as English does. Or more precisely, usually in other languages the regular, present tense form is used much more frequently.

This is something that was mentioned in both my French and German classes. It's along the lines of (for French) je mange is used for both "I eat" and "I am eating". Similarly for German, with ich esse. (And yes, they also can indicate an action in the near future. Definitely for German, for French I'd probably use aller + V - the futur proche - but I think it's also valid to use the present tense form...)

French does also have a form for emphasising that you are in the midst of doing an action that I recall, which is the en train de faire + V.

The point isn't that other languages apart from English do not have the distinction, but my sense now is even for Korean, you only use this form to differentiate when you are trying to emphasise, and so it's not as commonly used. But for English the -ing form is much more common, which makes it the exception.

There really is nothing to this, after seeing so many conjugations. You just have to put the basic form of the verb.


  • 저는 먹고 있어요. (I am eating.)
  • 제인 씨는 공부하고 있어요. (Jane is studying.)

What's more interesting, but not all that surprising, is how you can make the past tense and honorific forms.


  • 저는 먹고 있었어요. (I was eating.)
  • 선생님은 버스를 기다리고 계세요. (The teacher is waiting for the bus.)
  • 할머니는 라디오를 듣고 계셨어요. (Grandmother was listening to the radio.)

Basically, it's just conjugating 이다, which we have seen before. See Lesson 36 for grammar for the honorific form.


Not many new words today.

Korean English Notes
연습하다 to practise
마다 every You use 내 (내일, 내주...) for single syllable. You use 마다 for words with more than one syllable: 주말마다, 토요일마다.
그치다 to stop 비가 그쳤어요. = It stopped raining.
바닷가 beach 바다 (ocean/sea) + 가 (side)
고치다 to fix Kind of coincidental that it's similar to 그치다, this came up because I said I was fixing flashcards since we learnt the progressive form today (second grammar point). 그치다 came up because it was raining and the teacher was asking if it indeed was raining (the first grammar point).


It's based on the grammar points again. Maybe when I re-read all these posts in the future I will laugh at the titles I made up.

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