~고 있다

Taman

Senior Member
Polish - Poland
It is often said that this structure is an equal to the English present continuous tense. So can it be used like this:


1. 차를 마시고 계십니까? - The speaker asks if the person is drinking tea only in that particular moment?



2. 그 책을 읽고 있나요? - The speaker asks if the person is reading the book only in the moment of asking? Or if the person is reading this book during, let's say, a month?
 
  • pcy0308

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Hello Taman,

    Yes. "차를 마시고 계십니까", at first glance and most intuitively, is definitely asking if the person is drinking tea at this very moment. However, as is always the case, it really depends on the context. The above sentence can definitely be used to inquire about what the person does regularly, hence "are you drinking tea (these days)". It really depends on the context.

    The same goes for "그 책을 읽고 있나요". Just as one can interpret "are you reading this book" differently in English, in Korean too, the sentence can be understood as either "are you reading this book right now" or "are you reading this book these days". Additional clarification using adverbs or indicators of time, such as "지금", "요즘" will definitely allow others to comprehend what the speaker is saying clearly and leave less room for other erroneous interpretations.

    Hope this helps.
     
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