Now let’s learn three different grammar structures dealing with timing actions.
We just learned about doing something at the same time.
Now, we can learn how to express the time we did something, doing an action and gradually transitioning, and after doing an action.
AV + (ㄹ/을)때
1. (ㄹ/을)때 is used when we want to say ‘at the time’ we did something or ‘whenever’ we do something. If the verb ends in a vowel, we append ㄹ, otherwise we append 을, then we add 때, which means time.
한국에 있을 때는 친구랑 놀았어요. – When I was in Korea, I hung out with my friends.
한국어를 공부할 때 졸려요. – I’m sleepy whenever I study Korean.
AV + (ㄹ/을)때마다
AV + (ㄹ/을)때면
2. (ㄹ/을)때마다 is used when we want to say ‘everytime’ we did something or ‘whenever’ we do something. If the verb ends in a vowel, we append ㄹ, otherwise we append 을, then we add 때, which means time.
한국어를 공부할 때마다 졸려요. – I’m sleepy every time I study Korean.
AV + 다가
3. 다가 is an ending we can use to show transition from one action to another. It usually means we did something, then another action interrupted it. Similar to ‘I was doing [verb1], then [verb2] happened’. This can also be used in past form.
밖에 있다가 들어왔어요. – I was outside but now I’m inside.
텔레비전을 보다가 잠이 들었어요. – I was watching TV then I fell asleep.
껐다가 다시 켜보면 어떨까요? – How about turning it off, then turning it back on?
AV + 고 나서
4. Finally, 고 나서 is used to show what happened after an action completed. This is different than 다가 because the action fully completed rather than being interrupted.
저녁을 먹고 나서 신문을 읽어요. – After I ate dinner, I read the newspaper.