Another Use of 기 with 전에

I am getting pretty excited each day reading my Continuing Korean although i am beginning to think there are some wrong references probably due to some proofreading errors, I find the new lessons very enriching.

I have been using this word 전에 (chone) which I know means before but little did I realize it can be used with plain base in 기 form to mean before [someone] does or did or will do.  The format is absolute its plain base in 기 + 전에.  I said it’s absolute because the tenses are handled at the end of the sentence or the final verb.

Here are some examples:

  • 노래방에 가기 전에 수업을 공부했어요. (Noraebange kagi chone sueopeul kongbuhaesseoyo)  I studied my lesson before going to karaoke.
  • 노래방에 가기 전에 수업을 공부할 거에요. (Noraebange kagi chone sueopeul kongbuhal keoeyo).  I will probably study my lesson [first] before going to karaoke.
  • 조안이 자기 전에 우유를 마셔요. (Joan.i chagi chone uyureul masyeoyo) Joan drink you milk before sleeping.

Any Base of Verb + 기 때문에

A new phrase I learned today is still in relation to verb in -기 form.  This is, as the title of the post says, any base + 기 때문에 (ki ddaemune) would mean by reason of , or because one does/is or did/was or will do/will be.  

The Korean word 때문에 right before a noun means ‘because of the noun’.  As i previously learned 기 added to a verb base makes it ‘noun-like’.  So it’s just but logical that anybase of the verb followed by 기 and 때문에 would mean the same.  Here is an example: 

학교 때문에 못 갔어요. (Hakyo daemune mot kasseoyo). Because of school I was not able to go.  학교 is the noun which as we all know is school.

Here are examples using any base of the verb+ 기 때문에.  The 기 in the verb does it, so it technically means  because of ‘noun-like’:

  • 오늘 떠나기 때문에 파티에 못 가겠어요.  (Oneul ddonagi  ddaemune pati.e mot kakesseoyo). Because I am leaving today, I won’t be able to go to the party.
  • 비가 왔기 때문에 방학이 재미 없었어요. (Biga owattgi ddaemune banghaki chaemi opseosseoyo)  My vacation wasn’t fun because it rained.
  • 당신은 이것이 읽기 때문에 행복해요 (Dangsineun ikoshi  ikki ddaemune haengbokhaeyo).  I am happy because you are reading this.

Another Use of -기 Form

Another use of verb in -기 form is the pattern –> plain base+ 기 시작하-.  This means ‘begins to do’ or ‘begins doing’.  A plain base + 기 form with or without direct object particle 를 and the verb 시작해요 which means begins.  Here are some examples:

  • 비가 오기 시작해요 (Biga ogi shijakhaeyo) It’s beginning to rain.
  • 야재를 먹기 시작했어요 (Yachaereul mokki shijakhaesseoyo) I started to eat vegetables.
  • 한국말은 언제부터 배우기 시작하셨어요? (Hankukmareun onjebuteo baeugi shijakhasyeosseoyo?) [Since]  When did you start learning Korean?

This pattern is used only with processive verbs.   For adjectives or descriptive verbs,  there is another way to say it without using the verb in 기 form.  The formula is to use descriptive verb in infinitive form + auxiliary very  져요 (jyeoyo) which means begins to be.  This will be further discussed in suceeding lessons of the book so I am leaving this topic for now.

Uses of Verbs in -기 Form

Yesterday, I learned a new verb form with the use of -기 also known as verb in nominalizer form.  Such results into a nounlike words and in fact they behave like nouns do as follows:

  • followed by a particle
  • modifying a following noun
  • in adverbial position – in contruction where particle has been dropped

Nominalizer forms allows you take an entire sentence; convert it into one big noun and then use this noun into subject, object or some other part of the larger sentence. Here is an example of incorporation of -기 form into larger sentence:

영행을 하기를 좋아해요. (Yeonghaengeul hagireul choahaeyo) I love to travel.

In the sentence above there are two objects, the one within the -기 clause and one in the -기 clause it self.  One of the object particles can be dropped or both and th sentence would still mean the same as shown below:

  • [영행을 하기]를 좋아해요
  • [영행을 하기] 좋아해요
  • [영행 하기] 좋아해요

So this lesson is another discovery for me on how verbs can be made noun which my former language exchange partner has been telling me but could not articulate it very well.  These are some of the other expressions which make use of the nominalizer form:

  • 듣기 싫어요 (Deudgi sirheoyo) – I hate to listen or I don’t want to hear about it.  This expression also corresponds to ‘What an awful thing to hear’ or ‘Must you say such thing?’
  • 보기 싫어요 (Bogi sirheoyo) – I hate to see that. This expression on the other hand corresponds to ‘How disgusting to see’ or ‘that makes me sick’

Verbs in Nominalizer Form 기

Sometimes it pains to understand the terms used in the book to describe certain parts of speech as a result of adding certain particles or post-positioning.  Today is one of them as the lesson 17.5 of the book (Continuing Korean) is about verb in nominalizer form by adding -기 (ki).

First of all I have never heard of term nominalizer in my English subject but judging by the word it self taken from the root word nominal, it is an adjective that means ‘supposed’.  The explanation of nominalizer form in the lesson is that, it results to a noun-like word that means ‘the act of doing’ if added after a processive verb and ‘state of being’ if added after a descriptive verb.

How does it work?  -기 is added on plain, past or future bases form of verb just like -고 (-ko).  For -ㄹ extending verb like 살 (to live) and 팔 (sell), it is attached to the extended form so these verbs become 살기 (salki) and  팔기 (palki) respectively.

So when it is added on past form the meaning becomes ‘the act of having done’ or ‘state of having been’.  For example  놀다 (nolda) which means to play becomes 놀았기 (norattki), this now translates to having played.

Similarly when -기 is attached to future base form of the verb, the meaning becomes ‘the act of going to do’ or ‘the state of going to be’.  So in the case of our example above , play in future form becomes 놀겠기 – the act of going to play.

Here are more examples in various tenses of the where 기 is added on base form:

Plain Base Past Base
Future Base
마시기 (mashigi) 마셨기 (masyeottki) 마시겠기 (mashikettki)
가기 (kagi) 갔기 (kattki) 가겠기 (kakettki)
하기 (hagi) 했기 (haegi) 하겠기 (hakettki)
잘하기 (jalhagi) 잘했기 (jalhaetki) 잘하겠기 (jalhakettki)