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’.