Time for some quick grammar! The Korean present participle ‘~질’ can be attached at the end of a word and attaches the meaning of ‘act of using/doing’.


Korean Present Participle; Suffix ~질

What is a Korean Present Participle?

A present particle is basically a suffix that turns a word into a current action, much like the English suffix ‘~ing’! The specifics in the linguistics can go pretty in-depth and might be a bit confusing but depending on the word and the context it’s in adding ‘~ing’ can change a verb to act like a noun, or adjective, or change the verb tense.

Now not every word uses or needs the suffix ‘~질’ in Korean; using ‘~고 있어요’ is the main way to turn a sentence into the present progressive tense. Such as with ‘먹다’ (to eat) becoming ‘먹고 있어요’. And likewise; not every word with the ‘~질’ suffix needs to be followed up by ‘~고 있어요’; though it can be.


Let’s get into some example words with some quick sentences to show it off!

부채질: Fanning
부채: Fan
바느질: Sewing
바늘: Needle
도둑질: Stealing
도둑: Theft
손가락질: Point finger
손가락: Finger

다이아몬드를 도둑질고 있어요!: They’re stealing diamonds!
할머니는 바느질 좋아해: Grandma likes sewing


브러쉬질: Brushing
브러쉬: Brush (English loan word)
빗질: Brushing
: Brush (Korean word)
양치질: Brushing teeth

강아지에게 브러쉬질을 하고 있어요: He’s brushing his dog
점심시간에 양치질 하시나요?: Do you brush your teeth at lunch?


Korean Present Participle; Suffix ~질

젓가락질: Using chopsticks
젓가락: Chopsticks
군것질: Snacking/grazing
군것: Unnecessary thing (So snacking is unnecessary eating haha)

나는 라면을 젓가락질먹고 싶어요: I want to eat ramen with chopsticks
요즘에 군것질을 좋아한다: I like snacking these days/recently


못질: Nailing
: Nail
톱질: Sawing
: Saw
망치질: Hammering
망치: Hammer
칼질: Cutting
: Knife

그녀는 나무를 톱질하고 있어요: She’s sawing a tree
저쪽에서 망치질을 있어요: There’s hammering going on over there


걸레질: Mopping
걸레: Rag/mop
다림질: Ironing
다림: Iron


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