Lesson 33: ~중 (하는 중), (~중에)

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Vocabulary
Introduction

Present Progressive: ~는 중
While …: 동안
Of/Among: 중
By Sometime: 중

 

Vocabulary

Click on the English word to see information and examples of that word in use. You might not be able to understand all of the grammar within the example sentences, but most of the grammar used will be introduced by the end of Unit 2. Use these sentences to give yourself a feel for how each word can be used, and maybe even to expose yourself to the grammar that you will be learning shortly.

A PDF file neatly presenting these words and extra information can be found here.

Nouns:
장면 = movie scene

Notes: This might not be the case for you, but when I was studying, I always confused this word with “화면” which translates to “screen.”

Common Usages:
장면을 찍다 = to shoot/film a scene
장면을 촬영하다 = to film a scene
전투장면 = battle scene
연애장면 = love scene

Examples:
우리는 그 감정적인 장면을 촬영하는 중이에요 = We are filming that emotional scene now
그 장면 촬영을 내일 중으로 끝낼 거예요 = We will finish the filming of that scene by sometime tomorrow
모든 사람들은 그 장면이 예쁘고 신기하다고 하는데 나한테 보통 영화일 뿐이야 = Everybody said that scene was beautiful and amazing, but to me it is just another movie

냄비 = pot, pan

Common Usages:
냄비를 불에 올려놓다 = to put a pot on a stove (over a fire)

Examples:
물을 냄비에 끓이세요 = Boil the water in a pot
저는 재료를 다 섞어서 냄비에 넣었어요 = I mixed all the ingredients and put them in a pot

모습 = one's figure, appearance

Common Usages:
뒷모습 = appearance from behind
겉모습 = outer appearance

Examples:
여자는 자기의 모습을 거울에서 봤어요 = The girl looked at herself in the mirror
사람을 겉모습으로 평가해선 안 돼요 = You shouldn’t judge somebody on their outer appearance

그 남자의 모습을 보는 동안 웃음을 참지 못했어요
= I couldn’t hold in my laughter when I was looking at that guy

나는 이제 3일 후에 영국으로 간다. 가서 좋은 추억 많이 쌓고 올 것이다. 기쁜 마음을 갖고 나는 잠에 들었다. 그리고 꿈에서 환하게 웃고 있는 내 모습을 보았다.
= Now, I am going to England in 3 days. I will go there, and then make of good memories and then return. I fell asleep with a happy mind. Then, I saw myself brightly smiling in my dreams.

수표 = cheque

Notes: Most Korean people don’t use cheques, so it wouldn’t be common to hear this word in Korea

Common Usages:
수표를 현금으로 바꾸다 = to cash a cheque
수표에 사인하다 = to sign (on) a cheque

Examples:
현금과 수표 중에 어떤 것이 나아요? = Which is better? Cash or cheque?
요즘에는 사람들이 수표를 안 써요 = These days, people don’t use cheques

= ruler

Common Usages:
줄의 길이를 자로 재다 = measure the length of a line with a ruler

Examples:
자를 잠깐 빌려 주세요 = Lend me your ruler for a second, please
저는 수학을 공부하는 동안 연필과 자와 지우개를 다 썼어요 = I used a pencil, eraser and a ruler while I was studying

지우개 = eraser

Examples:
저는 칠판을 지우개로 치웠어요 = I cleaned the chalkboard with an eraser

지리 = geography

Common Usages:
지리에 밝다 = to know one’s way around
지리에 어둡다 = to not know one’s way around

Examples:
수업 중에 지리 수업을 제일 좋아해요 = Of all classes, I like Geography the most
지리와 수학 중에 어떤 수업이 더 힘들어요? = Which is more difficult? Geography or Math class?
저는 한국 지리를 잘 몰라요 = I don’t know Korean geography very well

우리 학교에서는 학생들이 역사와 지리를 같이 배워요
= At our school, students learn history and geography together

그래서 나는 여행을 가기로 결심을 했다. 아일랜드와 지리적으로 매우 가깝지만 한 번 도 가지 않았던 영국에 가기로 결심했다
= So, I decided to go traveling. I decided to go to England, which, although geographically very close to Ireland, I had not been to once.

태극기 = the Korean flag

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “태극끼”

Common Usages:
태극기를 게양하다 = to hang up/put up the Korean flag

Examples:
태극기는 1948년에 대한민국 국기로 지정되었다 = Taegeuk-ki was designated as the Korean flag in 1948
캐나다 국기와 태극기 중에 어떤 국기가 더 예뻐요? = Which flag is prettier? The Canadian or Korean flag?

국기 = flag

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “국끼”

Common Usages:
국기를 게양하다 = to hang up/put up a flag

Examples:
저는 모든 나라의 국기의 모양을 외웠어요 = I memorized the flags of all of the countries
태극기는 1948년에 대한민국 국기로 지정되었다 = Taegeuk-ki was designated as the Korean flag in 1948
캐나다 국기와 태극기 중에 어떤 국기가 더 예뻐요? = Which flag is prettier? The Canadian or Korean flag?
네팔 국기는 유일하게 직사각형이 아닌 국기예요 = Nepal’s flag is the only flag that isn’t rectangular

가구 = furniture

Common Usages:
집에 가구를 넣다 = to put furniture into a house
가구를 배치하다 = to furnish

Examples:
저는 저의 모든 가구를 다 보관 중이에요 = I’m storing all of my furniture
우리가 입주하기 전에 새로운 가구를 사야 돼요 = Before moving into our new house, we need to buy all new furniture

미팅 = a kind of group blind date

Notes: There are two types of blind dates in Korea. One is called “소개팅,” where two people are set up by family/friends and meet for the first time. Another type of blind date is called “미팅” where multiple people who don’t know each other all meet at the same time.

Examples:
오빠가 미팅을 하는 중이에요 = My brother is on a “meeting” (a group blind date)
우리는 미팅으로 만났어요 = We met on a “meeting” date

강의 = lecture

Common Usages:
강의를 듣다 = to take/attend a lecture/class
강의를 맡다 = to do (teach) a lecture/class

Examples:
그 선생님은 강의 중이에요 = That teacher is giving a lecture
그 교수가 서울대학교에서 강의를 해요 = That professor gives lectures at Seoul National University
교수님이 지금 강의를 시작할 거라서 빨리 앉아요 = Sit down quickly because the professor will start the lecture now

전원 = electricity, power

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “저눤”

Common Usages:
전원을 켜다 = to turn on the power
전원을 끄다 = to turn off the power

Examples:
컴퓨터 전원을 켜 주세요 = Please turn the power on for the computer
핸드폰에 전원이 꺼져 있는 동안 전화를 받지 못했어요 = While (the power on) my phone was off, I couldn’t answer my phone

프린터 = printer

Examples:
아저씨가 프린터를 복구하는 중이에요 = The man is restoring the printer
모든 프린터 중에 이것이 제일 싸요 = Among all the printers, this one is the cheapest
이 서류를 그 프린터로 인쇄해 주세요 = Please print this document with that printer

집값 = price of houses

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “집깝”

Common Usages:
집값이 오르다 = for housing prices to increase
집값이 떨어지다 = for housing prices to decrease

Examples:
집값은 비싸지고 있어 = House prices are getting expensive
그 동안 집값은 10배로 비싸졌어요 = During that time the price of housing went up 10 fold
한국 집값은 일본 집값보다 훨씬 높아요 = The price of houses in Korea is much higher than in Japan
서울로 이사하든지 부산으로 이사하든지 집값은 똑같아요 = It doesn’t matter if I move to Seoul or if I move to Busan, the cost of housing is the same

변명 = excuse

Common Usages:
변명을 늘어놓다 = to use an excuse/make excuses
변명의 여지가 없다 = to have no room for an excuse

Examples:
그것은 변명일 뿐이에요 = That is just an excuse
저는 그 일에 대한 변명의 여지가 없습니다 = I have no room for an excuse about that
숙제를 오늘까지 안 하는 것에 대한 변명이 뭐예요? = What is your excuse for not having your homework done for today?

규칙 = rule, regulation

Common Usages:
규칙을 위반하다/어기다 = to break/violate a rule
규칙을 정하다 = to set a rule
규칙을 지키다 = to follow a rule
규칙을 따르다 = to follow a rule

Examples:
규칙을 위반하지 마세요 = Please don’t break the rules
제가 아주 중요한 규칙을 설명하는 중이에요 = I am explaining a very important rule
그 규칙에 동의하든지 안 하든지 그 규칙을 따라야 돼요 = It doesn’t matter if you agree with the rule or not, you have to follow it

주름 = wrinkle

Notes: 주름 an also be used to refer to wrinkles in one’s clothes

Examples:
그 할아버지는 주름이 하나도 없어요 = That grandfather doesn’t even have one wrinkle
아줌마가 말을 하는 동안 저는 그 아줌마의 주름을 쳐다봤어요 = I was staring at the older lady’s wrinkles while she was talking

마늘 = garlic

Common Usages:
마늘 소스 = garlic sauce
마늘 치킨 = garlic chicken
마늘을 까다 = to peel garlic
생마늘 = fresh garlic
다진 마늘 = minced garlic

Examples:
피자에 마늘을 많이 놓아 주세요 = Please put lots of garlic on the pizza
한국 사람들은 삼겹살을 먹을 때 생마늘을 먹어요 = Korean people eat fresh garlic when they eat 삼겹살

교환학생 = exchange student

Examples:
저는 캐나다에서 교환학생으로 1년 동안 공부를 했어요
= I studied in Canada for a year as an exchange student

그 대학교는 매년 교환학생 100명을 받아요
= That university receives 100 exchange students every year

한국에서 온 교환학생이 우리 집에서 1년 동안 머물렀어요
= A Korean exchange student stayed at our house for a year

상가  = a building with a bunch of stores in it

Notes: A lot of Korean stores are these buildings called “상가.” Typically, this is a building made out of marble and has signs plastered all over the outside of it. In one of these buildings, there may be dozens upon dozens of stores (or other things like restaurants and other places of business).  Stores in these buildings typically do not sell brand name products, although sometimes you will find a store in a 상가 that sells one specific brand name. The more popular brand names/stores would be on the ground floor of the building usually facing the street, while to get to other random stores you might have to go in and go up a few floors.

Common Usages:
상가임대 = Retail Space for Lease (most likely seen on a sign/advertisement)

Examples:
그 상가가 지금 공사 중이에요 = That building is under construction

계약 = contract

Common Usages:
계약 기간 = contact period
계약을 연장하다 = to extend/renew a contract
계약을 갱신하다 = to extend/renew a contract
계약을 깨다 = to break a contract
계약을 파기하다 = to break a contract

Examples:
이 두 계약 중에 이 계약이 나아요 = Between the two contracts, this one is better
내년에도 계약을 갱신할 수 있었으면 좋겠어요 = I wish/hope I can renew my contract next year too

계약을 연장하는 김에 퇴직금에 대해 얘기할까요?
= While I am renewing my contract, shall we also talk about my severance pay?

저는 원래 계약을 연장하기로 했는데 회사가 예산이 없다고 해서 연장을 못 했어요
= I originally wanted to renew my contract, but my company said that there is not budget, so I wasn’t able to renew it

웃음 = laughter, smile

Common Usages:
웃음을 짓다 = to smile
웃음을 참다 = to hold back a smile/laughter
웃음을 터뜨리다 = to burst into laughter

Examples:
제가 울다가도 가끔씩 웃음이 나요 = Even when I cry I laugh sometimes

그 남자의 모습을 보는 동안 웃음을 참지 못했어요
= I couldn’t hold in my laughter when I was looking at that guy

선생님이 조용히 하라고 하자 애들이 웃음을 멈추었어요
= When/as soon as the teacher said “be quiet,” the students stopped laughing

나는 최대한 내 기쁜 마음을 감추려고 노력했다. 하하하. 하지만 웃음을 멈출 수 없었다.
= I tried to conceal my very happy inner emotions. Hahaha. But, I couldn’t stop smiling.

학기 = semester

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “학끼”

Common Usages:
1학기 = 1st semester, 2학기 = 2nd semester, 3학기 = 3rd semester
학기 초에 = at the beginning of a semester
학기 말에 = at the end of a semester

Examples:
학생들은 2학기에 미국에 갈 거예요 = Students go to America in the 2nd semester
우리가 이 내용을 1학기에 이미 배웠어요 = We already learned this material in the first semester
학기 말에 학생들이 기말고사를 봐야 돼요 = Students have to write the final exam at the end of the semester

외모 = a person’s outside appearance

Common Usages:
외모를 가꾸다 = to fix oneself up
외모를 꾸미다 = to fix oneself up

Examples:
그는 자기(의) 외모를 좋아해요 = He likes his appearance
제가 소개팅을 하기 전에 외모를 가꿔야 돼요 = Before I go on a blind date, I need to fix myself up
다른 사람을 외모로만 판단하지 마세요 = Don’t judge other people just by their looks

제한 = limit, restriction

Common Usages:
무제한 = unlimited (something without limit)
속도제한 = speed limit
나이제한 = age limit

Examples: 이 영화는 나이제한이 없어서 아무나 볼 수 있어요
= There is no age limit on this movie, so anybody can watch it

이 놀이기구를 타고 싶은데 키 제한이 있어서 저는 못 탔어요
= I wanted to go on that ride, but because there was a height restriction, I couldn’t ride it

무제한 = something without limit

Notes: “무제한” looks like an adjective (who’s dictionary form would be “무제하다”) but it is actually a combination of the word “제한” preceded by the Hanja “무” (無) meaning “without”. Despite being a noun, it is common to see it before a noun describing it as if it were an adjective.

Examples: 그 식당은 무제한 떡볶이를 제공한다 = That restaurant provides unlimited 떡볶이

현금 = cash

Common Usages:
현금인출기 = ATM
현금으로 내다 = to pay using cash
현금영수증 = a “cash receipt.” The Korean government tries to track cash transactions, so it allows people to ask for a “현금영수증” when making purchases with cash. If you do this, you get tax benefits at the end of the year.

Examples:
현금과 수표 중에 어떤 것이 나아요? = Which is better? Cash or cheque?
현금을 내일 주겠다고 약속했다 = I promised to give you (the) cash tomorrow
버스 카드가 없어서 현금으로 낼 게요 = I don’t have my bus card, so I will pay with cash
도매시장에서 카드뿐만 아니라 제품을 현금으로도 살 수 있어요 = At the whole sale market, you can buy products using not only your card but cash as well

물고기 = fish

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “물꼬기”

Notes: The word “물고기” (literally water meat) is used to refer to the animals themselves. “생선” is used to refer to the fish that we eat.

Common Usages:
물고기를 잡다 = to catch a fish
물고기를 키우다 = to raise/have a pet fish

Examples: 그 물고기에 살이 없어요 = There is no meat on that fish

캐나다에서는 생선을 먹을 때 살밖에 없는데 한국에서는 생선을 먹을 때 접시에 진짜 물고기가 있어요
= In Canada, when we eat fish, there is nothing but flesh (the meaty part of the fish). However, in Korean, when you eat fish, there is an actual fish on the plate.

Verbs:
상담하다 = to consult

Common Usages:
상담실 = consultation room
학부모와 상담하다 = to consult with parents of a student
선생님과 상담하다 = to consult with a teacher
의사와 상담하다 = to consult with a doctor

Examples:
의사가 환자랑 상담 중이에요 = The doctor is have a consultation with a patient
세금 문제를 해결하려고 회계사와 상담했어요 = I consulted with an accountant to resolve the tax problem

높이다 = to heighten, to increase

This is the active form of the adjective 높다 (high)

Notes: The difference between 올리다 and 높이다 is often confusing for learners. 높이다 is generally used to “heighten” or “increase” something that already exists, but at a “lower” state. 올리다 is generally about taking something that is low, and placing it higher. I drew a picture to illustrate the image that I have in my head about the meanings of these words:

UpCommon Usages:
온도를 높이다 = to increase the temperature
인지도를 높이다 = to increase awareness
자신감을 높이다 = to increase confidence
명성을 높이다 = increase one’s fame
품질을 높이다 = increase quality
성적을 높이다 = increase one’s grades

Examples:
우리는 그 장애물의 높이를 2배로 높여야 돼요
= We need to increase the height of this barrier twofold (double the height of this barrier)

우리 회사는 다음 1년 동안 수익성을 높이려고 하고 있어요
= Our company is trying to increase its profits over the next year

연예인은 그 영화로 자기 명성을 많이 높였어요
= That celebrity increased her fame a lot through that movie

경기를 이기려면 자신감을 높여야 돼요
= If you want to win the match, you need to increase your confidence

올리다 = to raise, to lift, to increase

Notes: 올리다 is also used when “uploading” something to the internet.
The difference between 올리다 and 높이다 is often confusing for learners. 높이다 is generally used to “heighten” or “increase” something that already exists, but at a “lower” state. 올리다 is generally about taking something that is low, and placing it higher. I drew a picture to illustrate the image that I have in my head about the meanings of these words:

UpCommon Usages:
올려 놓다 = to place on top of something
올려다보다 = to look up
게시판에 글을 올리다 = to upload a comment to an online forum
인터넷에 사진을 올리다 = to upload a picture to the internet
가격을 올리다 = to raise a price
속도를 올리다 = to increase speed

Examples:
짐을 선반 위에 올렸어요 = I put my suitcase above the shelf
이 식당은 지난 달부터 가격을 다 올렸어요 = This restaurant raised all their prices from last month
어제 찍은 사직을 페이스북에 올릴 거예요 = I’m going to upload the pictures that I took yesterday to Facebook

편집하다 = to edit

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “편지파다”

Common Usages:
장면을 편집하다 = to edit a scene
영화를 편집하다 = to edit a movie
책을 편집하다 = to edit a book

Examples:
저는 그 동영상을 지금 편집하는 중이에요 = I am editing that video now
제가 그 동영상을 지금 다 편집하도록 하겠습니다 = I will finish editing the video right now
우리가 편집을 원래 내일 중으로 다 하고 싶었어요 = We originally wanted to do all of the editing by sometime tomorrow

촬영하다 = to film

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “촤령하다”

Common Usages:
영화를 촬영하다 = to film a movie
장면을 촬영하다 = to film a scene
CCTV 촬영 중 = commonly seen on a sign to indicate that a security camera is filming

Examples:
우리는 그 감정적인 장면을 촬영하는 중이에요 = We are filming that emotional scene now
그 장면 촬영을 내일 중으로 끝낼 거예요 = We will finish the filming of that scene by sometime tomorrow
우리 둘 다 해리포터 좋아하니까, 해리포터 촬영 장소도 꼭 가보자! = We both like Harry Potter, so let’s also go to the place where the movie was filmed!

보관하다 = to store

Common Usages:
보관료 = storage fees
보관소 = storage center
분실물 보관소 = lost and found

Examples:
저는 모든 저의 가구를 다 보관 중이에요 = I’m storing all of my furniture
우리가 1년 동안 캐나다에 있을 때 우리 물건을 어디 보관할 거예요? = Where are we going to store our stuff when we are in Canada for a year?

복구하다 = to restore, recover

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “복꾸하다”
The noun form of this word (“복구”) translates to “restoration”

Common Usages:
시스템을 복구하다 = to restore a system
원상 복구하다 = to restore something to its original state

Examples:
아저씨가 프린터를 복구하는 중이에요 = The man is restoring the printer
시민들이 홍수로 인해 피해를 입은 길을 복구하고 있다 = The citizens are restoring the street that was damaged by the flood

보증하다 = to guarantee

The noun form of this word (“보증”) translates to “a guarantee” or “a warranty”

Common Usages:
보증서 = warranty certificate/paper
보증 기간 = warranty period
빚보증을 서다 = to guarantee (co-sign) somebody’s debts

Examples:
제가 이 제품의 품질을 보증합니다 = I guarantee the quality of this product
보증 기간은 다음 달 중으로 끝날 거예요 = The warranty period will finish by sometime next month
종업원이 보증 기간에 대해 설명을 하는 동안 저는 그 종업원의 말을 듣고 있지 않았어요 = I wasn’t listening when the worker was explaining about the warranty

Adjectives:
민감하다 = to be sensitive

Common Usages:
피부가 민감하다 = for one’s skin to be sensitive

Examples:
사람의 몸에 그 부분이 아주 민감해요 = That area is very sensitive on people’s bodies
남자와 여자 중에 여자들이 감정에 더 민감해요 = Between boys and girls, girls are more emotional

상하다 = to be hurt, to be damaged

Common Usages:
기분이 상하다 = for one’s feelings to be hurt
과일이 상하다 = for fruit to be spoiled/damaged/bruised
고기가 상하다 = for meet to be spoiled/to have gone bad

Examples:
고기가 다 상할 텐데 = All the meat will probably go bad
그 말을 들었더니 기분이 상했어요 = My feelings were hurt after hearing that
어제 사과를 샀는데 이미 다 상했어요 = I bought apples yesterday, but they already all went bad

옳다 = to be right, to be proper, to be correct

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “올타”

Notes: “right” could mean many things in English. In Korean, 옳다 is used to indicate that something is “right” as it refers to the “proper thing to do.” For example:
제 삶에서 옳은 길을 찾는 중이에요 = I’m looking for the right path in my life
이렇게 행동하는 것이 옳은지 모르겠어요 = I don’t know if this is the right thing to do

It is also used to indicate that something is “correct” as it refers to the opposite of something “wrong:”
네가 말하는 것은 옳아요 = What you are saying is correct

감정적이다 = to be emotional

Examples:
지금은 감정적인 시간이에요 = This is a very emotional time
우리는 그 감정적인 장면을 촬영하는 중이에요 = We are filming that emotional scene now
그 여자가 남자 친구랑 헤어진 후에 그녀는 아주 감정적으로 행동하고 있어요 = After/since breaking up with her boyfriend, that girl has been acting very emotionally

Adverbs and Other Words:
오랫동안 = for a long time

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “오래똥안” or “오랟똥안”

Notes: Notice that this word is simply “오래” (a long time) and 동안 (for). The purpose of adding ㅅ is discussed in Lesson 103.

Common Usages:
오랫동안 안 만나다 = to not meet for a long time

Examples:
텔레비전을 오랫동안 보지 마세요! = Don’t watch TV for a long time!

우리가 너무 일찍 와 가지고 오랫동안 기다렸어요
= Because we came so early, we had to wait for a long time

오랫동안 라면을 먹지 않아서 제가 먹고 싶은 것은 라면뿐이에요
= The only thing I want to eat is Ramen because I haven’t eaten it in such a long time

제가 한국에서 있었을 때 오랫동안 만나지 못한 친구를 만났어요
= When I was in Korea, I met a friend that I haven’t been able to meet for a long time

그중 = of those things

Notes: Often times the choices/options are given in a previous sentence/clause and they are being referred to in a later sentence/clause. When this is the case, you can use “그중” to mean “among those things previously mentioned.”

Examples:
바나나와 사과를 샀어요. 그 중에 어떤 것을 먹고 싶어요? = I bought bananas and apples. Among those two, which one do you want to eat?

원래 = originally

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “월래”

Examples:
원래 대학교에 갈 계획이 있었지만 수능을 잘 못 봐서 대학교에 갈 수 없었어요
= I had plans to go to university, but I couldn’t get in because I did bad on the SAT test

우리는 이 일을 원래 해야 되는데 너무 복잡해서 하기 싫어요
= Even though we are/were supposed to do this (work), I don’t want to do it because it is too complicated

원래 한국에 여행하러 가고 싶었지만 돈이 없어서 못 갔어요
= Originally I wanted to go to Korea to travel, but because I didn’t have any money, I couldn’t go

우리가 편집을 원래 내일 중으로 다 하고 싶었어요
= We originally wanted to do all of the editing by sometime tomorrow

저는 원래 캐나다에서 왔는데 이제 한국에서 산 지 5년 됐어요
= I’m originally from Canada, but I’ve been living in Korea for 5 years now

짜리 = the one worth...

Notes: There is no good translation of this word to English.
짜리 is placed after some indication of value to distinguish how much that object is worth (which usually distinguishes it from another object of another value) For example:

저는 천 원 짜리 아이스크림을 샀어요 = I bought the/an ice cream worth 전원

Common Usages:
백 원 짜리 = a 100 won coin
오백 원 짜리 = a 500 won coin
천 원 짜리 = a 1,000 won bill
만 원 짜리 = a 10,000 won bill

Examples:
천 원 짜리가 있어요? = Do you have any 1,000 won bills?
죄송해요. 5만 원 짜리밖에 없어요= I’m sorry, I don’t have anything but 50,000 won bills

천만 원짜리 차와 천오백만 원짜리 차 중에 어떤 것을 더 좋아했어요?
= Between the 15,000,000 won car and 10,000,000 won cars, which one did you like more?

일부러 = on purpose

Examples:
저는 일부러 그렇게 했어요 = I did it like that on purpose
저는 전화를 일부러 안 받았어요 = I purposely didn’t answer the phone
저는 남자 친구랑 그 날에 일부러 헤어졌어요 = I purposely broke up with my boyfriend on that day

For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.

 

Introduction

In this lesson, you will learn how to use 중, which is a very important word in Korean. By itself, it has the meaning of “middle” but it is never really used on its own. Combined with other words or grammatical principles, this one word can have a lot of meanings – most of them similar to the meaning “middle.” The Chinese (Hanja) character for this word is one of the easiest to know and recognize, as it is one of the few characters where the character actually represents the meaning of the word:  (the strike down the “middle.”). Let’s look at how we can use 중 in Korean.

 

 

Present Progressive: ~

중 is a noun, which means it can replace 것 in the ~는 것 principle. When this is done, it gives the sentence the meaning of “I am …ing… (I am in the middle of).” For example:

나는 먹는 중
나는 공부하는 중

Notice however, that 중 is a noun – and you can’t just end a sentence with a noun like that. Therefore, if you want to make those sentences perfect, you need to conjugate the noun using 이다.

For example:

나는 먹는 중이야 = I am eating
나는 공부하는 중이야 = I am studying

Notice that these sentences would have the same meaning if ~고 있다 (which you learned in Lesson 18) was used instead. For example:

나는 먹고 있어 = I am eating
나는 공부하고 있어 = I am studying

Below are many more examples:

우리는 그 감정적인 장면을 촬영하는 중이에요 = We are filming that emotional scene now
아저씨가 프린터를 복구하는 중이에요 = The man is restoring the printer
제 모습을 거울에서 보는 중이에요 = I’m looking at myself (my appearance) in the mirror
오빠가 미팅을 하는 중이에요 = My brother is on a “meeting” (a group blind date)
저는 그 비디오를 지금 편집하는 중이에요 = I am editing that video now
제 삶에서 옳은 길을 찾는 중이에요 = I’m looking for the right path in my life
제가 아주 중요한 규칙을 설명하는 중이에요 = I am explaining a very important rule

Sometimes you will see “중” being used immediately after the noun form of a verb without the use of ~는 것. The nouns used in these situations are usually ~하다 nouns (that is, verbs that we can remove ~하다 from to form nouns). For example:

나는 공부 중이야 = I am studying
저는 생각 중이에요 = I am thinking

Many more examples:

그 상가가 지금 공사 중이에요 = That building is under construction
모든 선생님들은 회의 중이에요 = All the teachers are in a meeting
그 선생님은 강의 중이에요 = That teacher is giving a lecture
의사가 환자랑 상담 중이에요 = The doctor is have a consultation with a patient
저는 가구를 다 보관 중이에요 = I’m storing all of my furniture

It is common to see this usage of “중” on signs that inform people what is happening in a certain place.

For example, outside of a construction site, you might see a sign that says:
공사 중 = Under construction

Outside of a classroom in a University, you might see a sign that says:
강의 중 = Class in progress, or
수업 중 = Class in progress

Outside of a doctor’s office or some other business office where people need “consulting” you might see a sign that says:
상담 중 = Consultation in progress

Outside of an office meeting room, you might see a sign that says:
회의 중 = Meeting in progress

Outside a set for a TV show or movie, you might see a sign that says:
촬영 중 = Filming in progress

Before you learn more about how to use 중, let’s first look at how you can use ~하는 동안.

 

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.


While: ~하는 동안

You learned in Lesson 11 that you can place 동안 after a unit of time to describe the duration of that time. The usual translation for that usage is “for.” For example:

저는 10분 동안 걸었어요 = I walked for 10 minutes
저는 30분 동안 공부했어요 = I studied for 30 minutes

You can also place 동안 as the noun in ~는 것, similar to how you use 중 in this situation. When used like this, the second action occurs “during” the duration of the first action. This usually translates to “while …” For example:

저는 집에 가는 동안 친구랑 얘기했어요 = I talked with a friend while I walked home

You typically won’t see verbs that happen instantly (and don’t continue) used before ~는 동안. For example, when you study, that action continues for a long time, and other actions could happen “while” you are studying. However, you wouldn’t usually see something like this:

내가 일어나는 동안… = While I was standing up…

The action of “standing up” occurs almost instantly and it is rare for other actions to occur while “standing up” occurs.

Below are many more examples:

저는 수학을 공부하는 동안 연필과 자와 지우개를 다 썼어요
= I used a pencil, eraser and a ruler while I was studying

아줌마가 말을 하는 동안 저는 그 아줌마의 주름을 쳐다봤어요
= I was starring at the older lady’s wrinkles while she was talking

종업원이 보증 기간에 대해 설명을 하는 동안 저는 그 종업원의 말을 듣고 있지 않았어요
= I wasn’t listening when the worker was explaining about the warranty

핸드폰에 전원이 꺼져 있는 동안 전화를 받지 못했어요
= While (the power on) my phone was dead, I couldn’t answer my phone

그 남자의 모습을 보는 동안 웃음을 참지 못했어요
= I couldn’t hold in my laughter when I was looking at that guy (that man’s appearance)

내가 밥을 먹는 동안 열쇠를 잊어버린 것을 깨달았어
= While I was eating I realized that I forgot my keys

영화를 보는 동안 다른 사람들이 너무 시끄러웠어요
= While I was watching the movie, the other people were really loud

Pretty simple grammatical principle that can be used in a lot of applications. Now that you know that, let’s move on to learn more about 중.

 

 

 

Of all…: ~

In this usage, 중 is placed after a list of two or more things. For example:

밥과 빵 중에

It could also be placed after one noun that represents two or more nouns. For example:

나의 남동생 세 명 중에… 
나의 친구들 중에

Placing 중에 after some representation of two or more things, you can create the meaning of “of (those things)” or “among (those things).” For example:

밥과 빵 중에 = Among rice and bread…
나의 남동생 세 명 중에… = Among/of my three younger brothers
나의 친구들 중에… = Among/of my friends

Notice the meaning of these constructions. The examples above are not complete, but you can fill in the latter part of the sentences as you please. The latter part of the sentence usually describes something about one of those things. For example:

밥과 빵 중에 밥이 더 맛있어요 = Among rice and bread, rice is more delicious
나의 남동생 세 명 중에 그는 가장 똑똑해  = Of all my younger brothers, he is the smartest
나의 친구들 중에 나는 슬기를 가장 좋아해 = Of all my friends, I like Seulgi the most

It is slightly easier to grasp the meaning of this concept if you remember the meaning of “중” is “middle.” Essentially, by making these sentences, you are saying “in the middle of all my friends.” Heh, not sure if that helps you, but it helped me understand it.

Many more examples:

수업 중에 지리 수업을 제일 좋아해요 = Of all classes, I like Geography the most
남자와 여자 중에 여자들이 감정에 더 민감해요 = Between boys and girls, girls are more sensitive
이 두 계약 중에 이 계약이 나아요 = Between these two contracts, this one is better
모든 프린터 중에 이것이 제일 싸요 = Among all the printers, this one is the cheapest
우리 중에 누가 제일 잘생겼어요? = Who is the most handsome among us?
부산과 서울 중에 어디 가고 싶어요? = Where do you want to go between Seoul and Busan?
제가 받은 요청 중에 그 요청이 제일 이상해요 = Of all the requests that I’ve received, that one is the strangest

(Notice in the first example that the noun “수업” is singular. When followed by “중에,” it can be assumed that you are talking about more than one thing because of “중에” always refers to more than one thing.)

The structure of sentences where “중에” is placed after a simple noun (as shown in the examples above) is very easy. However, “중에” can also be placed after nouns that have been created through the use of ~는 것. For example:

모든 영화 중에.. would mean “of all the movies…”

But if you wanted to specifically say “of all the movies (that) I have seen,” you need to use the ~는 것 principle to describe 영화. For example:

내가 본 영화 = The movie I saw/The movies I have seen
내가 본 영화 중에… of all the movies I have seen

With people, as was described earlier, you use a simple noun, like this:

나의 친구들 중에 = Of all my friends…

You could also use the ~는 것 principle to express “Of all my friends (that) I have…”

In these cases, you shouldn’t use 있다 to talk about people – because you can’t really “possess” friends. When you want to express “Of all my friends (that) I have…” you should use 만나다 to change the meaning to “Of all the friends (that) I have met…”

내가 있는 친구들 중에 – incorrect
내가 만난 친구들 중에 = Of all the friends I have met (of all the friends I have)
내가 만난 친구들 중에 너는 내가 가장 좋아하는 친구야  = Of all of my friends (that I have met), you are my favorite

When talking about places you have gone, or things you have eaten or tried, ~아/어 보다 (which you learned about in Lesson 32) is usually attached to the verb before 중에.

For example:

내가 먹어 본 음식 중에… = Of all the food I have eaten…
내가 가 본 곳 중에… = Of all the places I have been…

Below are many examples:

내가 가지고 있는 펜 중에 이것은 가장 좋아  = Of all the pens I have, I like this one most
내가 가 본 곳 중에 미국은 가장 무서웠어 = Of all the places I’ve been, the US was the scariest
내가 한국에서 먹어 본 것 중에 제일 맛있는 것은 떡볶이였어 = Of all the things that I have (tried) eating in in Korea, the most delicious thing was 떡볶이

Often times the choices/options are given in a previous sentence and they are being referred to in a different sentence or clause. When this is the case, you can use “그 중에” to mean “among those things previously mentioned.” For example:

바나나와 사과를 샀어요. 그 중에 어떤 것을 먹고 싶어요?
= I bought bananas and apples. Among those two, which one do you want to eat?

In Lesson 22 you learned how to ask questions using 어떤 and 어느. Specifically, you learned that these words are often used when the listener has a list of options to choose from when answering. For example:

어떤 치마를 샀어요? = Which skirt did you buy?
어느 치마를 샀어요? = Which skirt did you buy?

어떤 것을 먹고 싶어요? = Which (thing) do you want to eat?
어느 것을 먹고 싶어요? = Which (thing) do you want to eat?

In the examples above, the options that the listener has would have to be assumed from context. However, we can use 중에 to give the listener options. For example:

이 치마와 저 치마 중에 어떤 치마를 샀어요?
이 치마와 저 치마 중에 어느 치마를 샀어요?
= Between this skirt and that skirt, which one did you buy?

빵과 밥 중에 어떤 것을 먹고 싶어요?
빵과 밥 중에 어느 것을 먹고 싶어요?
= Between bread and rice, which one do you want to eat?

Other examples:

캐나다 국기와 태극기 중에 어떤 국기가 더 예뻐요?
캐나다 국기와 태극기 중에 어느 국기가 더 예뻐요?
= Between the Canadian flag and the Korean flag, which flag is more pretty?
(Which one is prettier? The Canadian or Korean flag?)

지리와 수학 중에 어떤 수업이 더 힘들어요?
지리와 수학 중에 어느 수업이 더 힘들어요?
= Between Geography and Math, which class is more difficult?
(Which is more difficult? Geography or Math class?)

현금과 수표 중에 어떤 것이 나아요?
현금과 수표 중에 어느 것이 나아요?
Between cash and a cheque, which one is better?
(Which is better? Cash or cheque?)

천만 원짜리 차와 천오백만 원짜리 차 중에 어떤 것을 더 좋아했어요?
천만 원짜리 차와 천오백만 원짜리 차 중에 어느 것을 더 좋아했어요?
= Between the 15,000,000 won car and 10,000,000 won cars, which one did you like more?

(Which did you like more? The 15,000,000 won car or the 10,000,000 won car?)

 

 

 

 

By sometime:

중 can also be used to indicate a limit of time for when some action will be done by. This is probably the most advanced usages of 중, but it is still good to know at this point. It is typically placed after an indication of time with “으로” attached to 중. For example:

저는 그것을 내일 중으로 다 할 거예요 = I will do all of it by tomorrow

When used like this, the exact time that the action will be done is ambiguous, so it is common to use the word “sometime” in the translation:

저는 그것을 내일 중으로 다 할 거예요 = I will do all of it by sometime tomorrow

Other examples:

그 장면 촬영을 내일 중으로 끝낼 거예요 = We will finish the filming of that scene by sometime tomorrow
보증 기간은 다음 달 중으로 끝날 거예요 = The warranty period will finish by sometime next month
우리가 편집을 원래 내일 중으로 다 하고 싶었어요 = We originally wanted to do all of the editing by sometime tomorrow

 

 

That’s it!

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