-ᄂ다 vs -고 있어

Jgon

Senior Member
English - USA
What's the difference in use between the two? I know that -ᄂ다 is present narrative and -고 있어 is present progressive but -ᄂ다 was also described as saying an action as it's happening. Aren't the two kind of the same thing?
 
  • Environmentalist

    Member
    Korean-South Korea
    Wow, this is a very hard question to answer.
    I think I need Korean grammar experts, but I'll just give you a brief explanation.

    I'll jump to the conclusion first.
    The both expressions could sound very similar, but usually used in different contexts.

    As you mentioned in your question, '~하고 있어' is an exactly same expression as 'be ~ing'.
    You are telling someone that somebody is doing something.
    The thing is '-ㄴ 다' can be also used to describe something happening now.
    But it basically focuses more on what is a current or recent state of someone or something.
    You are just giving a narration or description. You are not describing the exact action going on.

    On a side note, there is a more frequently used pattern in a certain situation.
    Here are some sample cases. ( c.f. more frequently used > less frequently used )
    When it is snowing now: 지금 눈 온다 > 지금 눈 오고 있어 (But this is heard quite often as well)
    When a phone is rining: 전화 온다 > 전화 오고 있어
    When you are now working out for 3 hours: 나는 3시간 동안 운동하고 있어 > 나는 3시간 동안 운동한다 (Actually, this means you work out for 3 hours)

    I hope you can learn more things about this through Korean TV shows or movies to get yourself rubbed off.
    It is very hard for me to explain it to you from a grammatical perspective.
     

    yonh

    Member
    Korean
    Since you are a native speaker of English, it might be easier to think it from the perspective of your mother language.

    I run.
    I am running.

    I go to school.
    I am going to school.

    I eat an orange everyday.
    I am eating an orange everyday.​

    Sometimes they mean the same, sometimes not. Sometimes they are both sound natural, sometimes awkward. Unfortunately there's no ultimate rule. This is a rough approach but I hope you get the point.
     

    Jgon

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I run.
    I am running.

    I go to school.
    I am going to school.

    As I understand it, the top and bottom sentences have very different meanings. The top sentences suggest that I do these things regularly, like everyday; while the bottom ones suggest that I am doing these things right now.


    You are just giving a narration or description. You are not describing the exact action going on.

    I hope you can learn more things about this through Korean TV shows or movies to get yourself rubbed off.
    I'll keep these in mind :)
     

    Environmentalist

    Member
    Korean-South Korea
    Since you are a native speaker of English, it might be easier to think it from the perspective of your mother language.

    I run.
    I am running.

    I go to school.
    I am going to school.

    I eat an orange everyday.
    I am eating an orange everyday.​

    Sometimes they mean the same, sometimes not. Sometimes they are both sound natural, sometimes awkward. Unfortunately there's no ultimate rule. This is a rough approach but I hope you get the point.

    I'm afraid to say this, but what you said here is totally different from what I'm understanding about the English tense. I don't think they are same meanings.
    For example, if you eat an orange everyday, you don't say I'm eating an orange everyday.
    My understanding of the way we express what we do on a regular basis is just use the present tense, not present progressive.
    I'm sorry I hate to split hairs, but I just wanted to point out the striking difference.
    Anyway, it's obvious the tense is one of the vexing parts of a foreign language learning process.
     

    yonh

    Member
    Korean
    The pronoun "they" in my previous comment referred to "the simple aspect and the progressive aspect of English" in general terms, not merely my examples.
    Sometimes they mean the same, sometimes not. Sometimes they are both sound natural, sometimes awkward. Unfortunately there's no ultimate rule.
    I should have mentioned that clearly, not using a vague pronoun. Thanks for your feedback. :)
     

    Jgon

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Can you confirm these for me:

    "The car is moving" uses -ᄂ다
    but does "The person is driving" use -고 있어 ?

    But does "The person is moving" use -ᄂ다?
     

    Kross

    Senior Member
    Korean
    The ~고 있어 pattern works for all of your 3 examples in English.

    1. 그 차가 움직이고 있어.
    2. 그 사람이 운전하고 있어.
    3. 그 사람이 움직이고 있어.
     
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