Recently I'd been watching a korean tv soap and I saw this line: "끝날때까지 끝난 게 아니다."

Is this a mistake? Since 끝나다 is a verb, I'd expected to see something like:

끝날때까지 끝나는 게 아니다.

Am I wrong?


2 Answers 2


-(으)ㄴ attached to a verb is one of two:

  1. 앞말이 관형어 구실을 하게 하고, 사건이나 행위가 과거 또는 말하는 이가 상정한 기준 시점보다 과거에 일어남을 나타내는 어미. A verb ending which lets the verb act as a noun modifier, and indicates that the action or event happen in the past, or before a certain point the speaker has set.

    • 어제 떠난 사람
  2. 앞말이 관형어 구실을 하게 하고 사건이나 행위가 완료되어 그 상태가 유지되고 있음을 나타내는 어미.A verb ending which lets the verb act as a noun modifier, and indicates that the action or event has completed and the completed state is maintained until now.

    • 모자를 쓴 사람

The first one is similar to the simple past tense in English. The second definition, which is the one we're interested, is roughly "has -ed and still is -ing", sort of like present complete plus present continuous in English combined.

For example, 모자를 쓴 사람(쓰다 is a verb) means "a person who has put on a hat, and is still wearing it", or simply, "a person who is wearing a hat". (The action of "putting on" a hat is complete.)

Similarly, 끝난 영화 would mean "a movie which has ended". In contrast, 끝나는 영화 would mean "a movie which ends".

끝날 때까지 끝나는 게 아니다 would also make sense. But the concept of "ending" is more emphasized with a completed sense, I think. An ending is not really the end when it's still in the process of ending, is it? It truly ends when the process of ending finishes. That's why they chose the perfect -(으)ㄴ verb ending here.

  • 1
    I think the last bit is exactly right. In English too, "Till it ends, it's not a done thing" would sound better than "Till it ends, it does not end."
    – Catomic
    Feb 9, 2017 at 16:03
  • 아! 이제 이해해요! 자세하게 설명해 주셔서 정말 감사합니다!
    – LexRomah
    Feb 9, 2017 at 17:49
  • 1
    자세히 설명해 주셔서....
    – user17915
    Feb 9, 2017 at 19:05
  • @user17915 Both are correct.
    – MujjinGun
    Feb 9, 2017 at 19:26

하는 것이

is that which is being done while

한 것이

is that which is already done...so in that vein

끝난 게 아니다 = it didn't end this


끝나는 게 아니다 = it isn't ending this

  • 1
    I think you need to delete the idea of the one being a contraction of the other because it is not true and you yourself deny it immediately afterwards.
    – Catomic
    Feb 9, 2017 at 15:52
  • Just to be clear, I didn't downvote it.
    – Catomic
    Feb 9, 2017 at 15:57
  • 1
    My first thought is that it was a contraction too but @Catomic's response cleared it up.
    – Amacelia
    Feb 9, 2017 at 18:37

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