Is doing… using 고 있어요

This is another way of expressing actions.  The simple phrase ‘먹어요’ (meokeoyo) in a conversation can mean:

  • I am eating
  • is eating
  • let’s eat or
  • simply eat

Instead of the plain phrase above it can be stated this way — 먹고 있어요 (moekko isseoyo) with a subject or an object this phrase can mean is eating or still eating.   This verb endig can only be used in pair with a processive verb and it denotes an action in progress.  So it’s the base form of the processive verb +고 있어요 as cited in the example above, 먹, which is the base of the word 먹다 (meoktta- to eat). Other examples are as follows:

  • 가고 있어요 (kago isseoyo – is going)
  • 자고 있어요 (jago isseoyo – is sleeping or still sleeping)

Please note that this verb ending when attached to -ㄹ extending verb keeps the ㄹ instead of dropping it.  So for the word 살다 (saltta), which means to live, becomes 살고 있어요 (salko isseoyo).  Note how this verb ending behaves, it is  just like -고 싶어요 (-ko shipoyo) which has been discussed in my previous post.

To make the verb ending honorific, just change 있어요 with 계세요 (kyeseyo).  As we know 있다 (itta – dictionary form) or 있어 (isseo – infinitive form) means to exist or to stay this is the plain verb,  the honorific one is 계 (kye).   Reminds you of 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi kyeseyo) use to say goodbye to someone who is ‘staying’.

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