Time Expression: 중
It is time for some time expressions. As you know time is an important reference point in any conversation. One way in Korean to express time is 중. This expression is rather easy to understand and has a meaning very similar to the Korean progressive tense. Let’s take a look.
When you use 중 in the context of time it means as much as “in the process of”, “in the middle of”, etc. in English. So it expresses that whatever is said, is the process of happening. So in many ways it creates the same message as when you use the Korean progressive tense -고 있다.
Example: 숙제 중이에요.
Translation: I’m doing my homework.
However, unlike the progressive tense, you cannot use 중 to express a natural phenomena such as rain or snow. So the following sentence is incorrect:
Incorrect: 눈이 오는 중이에요.
Correct: 눈이 오고 있어요.
How To Use
Using the time expression 중 is not so hard. The first thing you need to know is that you will generally use the copulative verb 이다 with this expression. You can use this time expression both with nouns and verbs, but not with adjectives. When you use it with a noun you needn’t worry about anything, you can simply write 중 after it. Furthermore when you use it with verbs that use 하다 you drop the entire 하다 part and just use its noun.
For verbs other than 하다, however, you’ll need to turn them into a noun modifier. You can only use its present tense variant with this time expression -는. So to use it you simply need to take the verb stem and attach -는 to it. Please keep the ㄹ irregular verbs in mind when doing this. Once you’ve done that you can put 중 after it.
This is a rather straightforward time expression, isn’t it?