Korean TOPIK Prep VII “Have been/Since” Explaining a continuous state.

Have been doing/since

한국 연습 <ㄴ지 되다/지나다>


When you want to say sentences to show what you have been doing over a period of time, or to say that you have been doing something since a certain period of time, then this is your construction!


How to form this construction:


Take the verb stem, take away 다 and add:

For vowels – ㄴ지…되다/지나다

For consonants – 은지…되다/지나다

Some example verbs


하다 > 한지 have been doing

보다 > 본지 have been watching

배우다 > 배운지 have been learning

먹다 > 먹은지 have been eating

넣다 > 넣은지 have been putting


Some example sentences


저는 한국어를 배운지 오년 됐어요 = I have been learning Korean for 5 years

마리아가 피아노를 연습을 한지 사년 됐어요 = Maria has been practicing piano for 4 years

형이 운전 한지 10년 지났어요 = Older brother has been driving for over 10 years

누나가 이가게에 일 한지 6달 지났어요 = Older sister has been working in this shop for over 6 months

제 진구가 한국어 수업우로 간지 3주 됐어요 = My friend has been going to Korean class for 3 weeks

그 사람이 이 책을 읽은지 삼일 됐어요 = She has been reading this book for 3 days

저는 저 대학교에서 다닌지 이년 지났어요 = I have been attending/going to that University for over 2 years


Points of interest


Notice how I have translated 지나다 as ‘over’. This is when the time is surplus and not exact which is when you should use 되다.




Use 얼마나 to form a question asking how long something has been going on for:


중국어를 배운지 얼마나 됐어요? – How long have you been learning Chinese / Since when have you been learning Chinese?

중국어를 배운지 십년 됐어요 – I have been learning Chinese for 10 years / Since 10 years




Sometimes it seems more correct to translate it as ‘since’

한국에 일하러 온지 일년 됐어요 = It has been one year since I came to Korea to work

미국우로 공부하러 간지 6달 지났어요 = It has been 6 months since (he) went to America to study

마리오가 비올라를 배운지 작녁 됐어요 = Mario has been learning (to play) the viola since last year



Some restrictions


You can’t use it for things in a short time reference that you are currently doing.


🙂 Learning the piano is still ongoing, however you haven’t been physically sat at the piano for 3 years solid so that’s fine.

😦 Eating food for 10 minutes isn’t possible as it’s still on going right as you speak.


😦 이 음식을 먹은지 20분 댔어요 = This isn’t possible!

🙂 이 음식을 20분 동안 먹고 있어요 = I have been eating this food for 20 mins.


Therefore use the construction: Subject + Object + time + 동안 + verb without 다 ending + ~고 있어요

e.g. 디나가 그 샌드위치를 삼십분 동안 먹고 있어요 = Dina has been eating that sandwich for 30mins.


Further examples:


저는 이 비디오 개임을 3시간 동안 하고 있어요 – I have been playing this video game for 3 hours (and I’m still playing right now)

아빠가 이 국이 반시간 동안 먹고 있어요 – Dad has been eating this soup for half an hour (and is still eating it right now)

안겔라가 그 그림을 이시간 동안 그리고 있어요 – Angela has been drawing this picture for 2 hours (and still hasn’t finished)


잘 이해했어요?

Did you understand this?



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