Conjunctions - When

Conjunctions - When [~을 때] 


First, take 다 off a plain form of verbs(Verbs - Present/Past) then:

1. Add ~을 때 to verbs with a final consonant

  • 먹다 → 먹을 때 = when I eat
  • 앉다 → 앉을 때 = when I sit
  • 믿다 → 믿을 때 = when I believe
  • 죽다 → 죽을 때 = when I die
2. Add ~ㄹ 때 to verbs without a final consonant.
  • 가다 → 갈 때 = when I go
  • 오다 → 올 때 = when I come
  • 자다 → 잘 때 = when I sleep
  • 사다 → 살 때 = when I buy
3. Add ~때 to verbs with ㄹ as a final consonant
  • 팔다 → 팔 때 = when I sell
  • 살다 → 살 때 = when I live
  • 놀다 → 놀 때 = when I play (muck around)
  • 저녁 먹을 때 비가 왔다. = When we were eating dinner, the rain came.
  • 의자에 앉을 때 조심하세요. = When you sit on the chair, be careful.
  • 병사는 죽을 때 한 마디를 남겼다. = When the soldier was dying, he left a message.
  • 학교 갈 때 차로 간다. = When I go to school, I go by car.
  • 집에 올 때 친구 집에 들린다. = When I come home, I visit my friend's house.
  • 우리는 잘 때 꿈을 꾼다. = When we sleep, we dream.
  • 사람들은 먹을 것을 살 때 슈퍼마켓으로 간다= When people buy food, they go to a supermarket.
  Take 다 off and add ~을 때 to the past tense of verbs 
  • 먹었다 → 먹었을 때 = when I ate
  • 앉았다 → 앉았을 때 = when I sat
  • 믿었다 → 믿었을 때 = when I believed
  • 죽었다 → 죽었을 때 = when I died
  • 팔았다 → 팔았을 때 = when I sold
  • 살았다 → 살았을 때 = when I lived
  • 놀았다 → 놀았을 때 = when I played (mucked around)
  • 시카고에 살았을 때 영어를 배웠다. = When I lived in Chicago, I learned English.
  • 밖에서 놀았을 때, 날씨가 좋았다 = When we played outside, the weather was good.
  • 저녁 먹을 때 비가 왔다. = When we were eating dinner, the rain came.
  • 저녁 먹었을 때 비가 왔다. = When we were eating dinner, the rain came.
Both 먹을 때 or 먹었을 때 can be used and they mean the same thing. This is because the final verb, 왔다, determines the tense of a sentence. The former is a more casual form than the latter. 


  1. Thanks a lot for your blog. I'm trying to learn Korean and your blog really helps. Can you tell me what does 떈mean, i think it relates to 떄 but i don't know how to use it though!
    Thanks a bunch !!

  2. Hi Quynh,

    Simply put, when you use 땐 (which is a contracted form of 때는), it is used in a sense that something is "usual." For example, "저는 학교 갈때는 항상 자전거를 타고 가요."
    = I usually ride a bike when I go to school.

    In speeches, "학교 갈땐 자전거 타고 가요."

    Also, "한국에 있을 때는 외식을 많이 했지만, 일본에서는 집에서 자주 밥을 만들어 먹어요." = I used to eat out frequently in Korea but in Japan, I usually make my own meal at home."

    때는 (or 땐) is used to mean something that is done "usually", or in a past tense, it means "I used to do something."

  3. thanks a lot!! Your posts and replies are awesome :)!!

  4. Hey... when i'm cold... how do i say that in korean? i noticed this part only concerns verbs.. so... yeah... how do i say when.... + (not a verb) ? thank you so much

  5. you can just say 추워요...that means cold, but koreans dont use the "i am"(나는) when it's obvious that they are talking about themselves...

    배고파 - hungry
    졸려 - sleepy don't have to say 나는.

  6. hi,

    for the following words, it will change to:
    1. 듣다 --> 들을때
    2. 걷다 --> 걸을때
    is that right?

    and can we put the "when" clause at the end of the sentence to make a sentence like this: "my sister came when we were eating"?

    1. Hi ms,

      Yes, 들을 때 and 걸을 때 are both right.

      If you want to write "my sister came when we were eating," it would be like "우리가 먹고 있을 때, 내 여동생이 왔다."

      The "when" clause can be attached at the end of a sentence in English but not in Korean.

      The "when" clause comes at the beginning of a sentence as in, "'우리가 먹고 있을 때,' 내 여동생이 왔다."

    2. Thank you it helped me understand how to use it... Do you have a link I can use to watch your videos in YouTube kindly.

  7. How should i say this in korea?
    " I'm falling in love when the first time i know you"


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