Conjunctions - While

Conjunctions - While [~며/~(으)면서]

~며 form is more frequently used in written Korean while ~면서 is more frequently used in spoken Korean.


1. Take 다 off a plain form of verbs with no final consonant and add 며/면서 to it.

  • 하다 → 하며/하면서 = while doing
  • 가다 → 가며/가면서 = while going
  • 주다 → 주며/주면서 = while giving
  • 사다 → 사며/사면서 = while buying
  • 보다 → 보며/보면서 = while watching
  • 말하다 → 말하며/말하면서 = while speaking
  • 마시다 → 마시며/마시면서 = while drinking
  • 자다 → 자며/자면서 = while sleeping
2. Take 다 off a plain form of verbs with a final consonant and add 으며/으면서 to it.
  • 먹다 → 먹으며/먹으면서 = while eating
  • 받다 → 받으며/받으면서 = while receiving
  • 찾다 → 찾으며/찾으면서 = while looking for
  • 읽다 → 읽으며/읽으면서 = while reading
  • 걷다 → 걸으며/걸으면서 = while walking
  • 듣다 → 들으며/들으면서 = while listening

Example sentences

Written Korean
  • 나는 운동을 하며/하면서 매트릭스를 봤다. = While doing exercise, I watched Matrix.
  • 나는 노래를 들으며/들으면서 지리 공부를 했다. = While listening to music, I studied geography.
  • 호머는 자며/자면서 코를 골았다. = While sleeping, Homer snored.
  • 민지는 스타벅스에서 잡지를 읽으며/읽으면서 커피를 마셨다. = At Starbucks, while reading a magazine, Minji drank coffee.
  • 준호는 차를 타고 회사를 가며/가면서 라디오를 들었다.  = While going to work by car, Junho listened to radio.

Spoken Korean
  • 운동 하면서 매트릭스 봤어. = While doing exercise, I watched Matrix
  • 노래 들으면서 지리 공부 했어. = While listening to music, I studied geography.
  • (호머는) 자면서 코 골았어. = While sleeping, Homer snored.
  • (민지는) 스타벅스에서 잡지 읽으면서 커피 마셨어. = At Starbucks, while reading a magazine, Minji drank coffee.
  • (준호는) 차 타고 회사 가면서 라디오 들었어. = While going to work by car, Junho listened to radio.
매트릭스 = Matrix (The movie)
노래 = music, song
지리 = geography
호머 = Homer (a male name as in Simpsons)
민지 = Minji (a female name)
스타벅스 = Starbucks
잡지 = magazine
커피 = coffee
회사 = work, company
라디오 = radio
준호 = Junho (a male name)


The spoken Korean usually omits a subject because it is usually understood by the speakers as to who they are talking about. For example, if I were talking about myself, I wouldn't need to use 나는 to say something about me because it is assumed that I am talking about me.

Likewise, the third person subjects like 호머는 and 민지는 can also be omitted when a person being talked about is already known by people having a conversation.

The object particle, 를/을, is omitted in spoken Korean.


  1. Thanks for the post! This is exactly what I wanted to learn!

  2. 너무 감사합니다~
    i hope there will be more lesson being updated

  3. actually i have been waiting for the new lesson since last december

  4. Wow, I have a big fan of my blog. You're welcome, Sally.:>

  5. Sorry to leave another comment again T__T. I understand that you're probably busy so whenever you can get around to answering this would be great.

    But there are times when I'll ~면서 incorporated a little differently. For example, would would "사랑한다면서" mean? In the rules above you stated, when adding 면서 to a verb, you're supposed to drop the 다 ending, but in the example I listed they kept they the 다, so I'm assuming this is a slightly different construction.

    Again thank you for any help that you can offer at this time ^__^

  6. Hey jaawshh

    To answer your question, ~다면서 is used in situations where a speaker says to other person that he/she doesn't do what he/she said he/she would do.

    For example,
    사랑한다면서 왜 나를 떠나는 건데?
    = (Having told me that) you love me, why are you leaving me?

    집에 간다면서 아직 안 갔어?
    = (Having told me that) you'd go home, you haven't departed yet?

    잔다면서 아직 안 자고 있어?
    = (Having told me that) you'd go to sleep, you're still not asleep?

    I hope this helps!

  7. Hi~ this is my first time on your blog. I just wanted to thank you for writing this entry. I'm still a beginner and the way you explained this is great. I especially like that you gave examples for both written AND spoken Korean, as those small differences tend to confuse beginners like me sometimes. ^^;

  8. hi this is my 2nd time around and i had found out that your blog is very helpful hope you for more thanks anyway God bless

  9. Hello! I'm a fellow believer studying the Korean language and I just wanted to say that I love your blog! It's one of the most helpful Korean language resources I have come across and I hope that you continue updating


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