What does mean 는 when it comes after a verb and how do you use it in sentences? I know it comes after nouns but what does it mean when 는 comes AFTER verbs and how do you use it? Can you provide example sentences (like as many as you can, seriously?)

I see this 있는 thing being used all the time but it is so damn confusing. Can you provide many example sentences with 있는? Is it still a verb/adverb?

3 Answers 3


The 은/는 that comes after a noun is a completely different ending than the 는 (and 은) that come after verbs. Consider them as homonyms, like English can (I can do it / tin can).

After a verb, 는 is a present present participle ending, like the -ing in an English phrase like 'the dripping faucet' - basically, it allows us to use the verb as a modifier (just like an adjective before a noun). So it's still a verb (동사), but it's used as a modifier before a noun.

English makes limited use of participles before nouns, but Korean uses them a lot - in fact, for all relative clauses, Korean uses participles; either the present participle -는, the past participles -ㄴ/-은 and -던, and the future participle -ㄹ/-을.

For example, in English we can use a relative clause to say "The person who is watching a movie" - in Korean, we just use a participle before person:

영화를 보는 사람. The person who is watching a movie

We could easily change the tense:

영화를 본 사람 (The person who saw the movie)
영화를 보던 사람 (The person who was watching a/the movie)
영화를 볼 사람 (The person who will watch a/the movie)

So 있는 is the present participle of 있다, and can be used in various ways:

돈 있는 사람 (a person with money ("person who has money")
밥 먹고 있는 사람 (a person who eats rice / a person who is eating rice)
자전거를 탈 수 있는 사람 (a person who can ride a bicycle)

Note: Adjectives / Adjective verbs / Descriptive verbs or whatever you want to call them (형용사 in Korean) are a little different; for these words, like 춥다 (cold) you cannot use the -는 ending, but -ㄴ/은 can be used to make a present tense modifier form:

날씨가 춥다 (the weather is cold - here 춥다 is a predicate, not a modifier) 추운 날씨 (cold weather - here 추운 is the modifier form of the adjective.

  • i don't get it at all. can you please add way more example sentences with는 after verb and how to use it? like what does it mean and why is it used? why can't 있다 be used like 있어요 instead? also when i see 는 after verb, how exactly is my brain supposed to read it as and why is it useful?
    – Shah Jacob
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 20:27

Fwiw these are some examples I made

사랑하는 사람 => the person I love

  • 사랑하는 사람에게 편지를 보냈다. => I sent a mail to the person I love.

아끼는 장난감 => my favorite toy

  • 아끼는 장난감을 잃어 버렸다. => I lost my favorite toy.

맛있는 요리 => food that tastes good => nice dish

  • 맛있는 요리였다. => That was a nice dish.

있는 => existing/being

집에 있는 사람 => the person existing in the house => someone at home

  • 집에 있는 사람이 나 대신 일을 해 줬으면 좋겠어. => I want someone at home to do the work for me.

사무실에 있는 서류 => documents existing in the office => documents in the office

  • 사무실에 있는 서류 좀 가지고 올 게. -> I'll go get my documents in the office.

벽에 있는 벌레 => a bug existing in a wall => a bug in a wall

  • 벽에 있는 벌레를 때려 잡았다. -> I slapped a bug on the wall.

있는 대로 집어던지다 => throw things as many as they exist => throw everything around

  • 베개를 있는 대로 집어던졌다. => I threw all pillows around me.

  1. what 는 after verb means and how to use it? what exactly is 는 after verb and why is it useful?

는 after verb connects that verb to a noun following it.

E.g. 웃는 돼지 = A laughing pig

You use 는 after verb because without it, Korean verbs will almost always end the sentence.

E.g. 웃는다 돼지 = I laugh. A pig. (This does not connect the verb laugh and the noun pig.)

You can’t say like 웃는다 돼지 to express a laughing pig because it’s grammatically wrong without 는 after verb.

That’s when you have to add 는 to a verb.

how 있는 works and how to use it properly? also what does it mean if it's not a verb, i don't understand at all?

있는 is only a combination of 는 after verb and the verb 있다.

있다 means there is/are something exsists.

있는 is often used to express that something is at somewhere.


하늘나라에 있는 강아지 = A puppy in heaven

지옥에 있는 고양이 = A cat in hell

(Just random examples)

  • i have questions. can you please explain first 1) what 는 after verb means and how to use it? what exactly is 는 after verb and why is it useful? and can you show me way more full example sentences (not phrases as you wrote) using it?
    – Shah Jacob
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 20:29
  • also, would you mind explaining how 있는 works and how to use it properly? also what does it mean if it's not a verb, i don't understand at all? aside from writing example sentences with 는 as i aked before, would you please mind writing as many examples sentences as you can with 있는 please???
    – Shah Jacob
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 20:31
  • @Shah Jacob I expanded my answer with those points. Sorry if the answer isn’t very helpful. I tried to write the easiest explanation I can come up with.
    – Coconut
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 5:14
  • can i please ask you to write a bunch of example sentences for me? just so i can get used to seeing how 있는 is used? can you write example sentences using that word (nothing too long, just stuff involving like universities or locations like Seoul or NYC or verbs or whatever). i'm just having trouble understanding how you'd actually use it which is why i want to see example sentences
    – Shah Jacob
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 20:44
  • @Shah Jacob You can google it or m.search.naver.com/…
    – Coconut
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 3:16

“는” is mostly attached to verb and adjective, and following by a noun.

E.g. 내가 사랑하(verb)는 오빠(noun)가 너무 잘생겼다. The man whom I love is so handsome.

You can see that “사랑하는 오빠” where “는” is added to “사랑하(다)” which is a verb. “사랑하는 오빠” here means “man whom I love”. By this explanation, you can see that “는” is used when you want to emphasize the meaning of something. Sometimes “는” works as Adjective in English part of speech. Also sometimes “는” works as Pronounce.

More example:

  • 밥을 잘 먹(verb)는 딸(noun)을 보면 나도 행복하다. I’m also happy when I see my child eats well.
  • 공부 잘하(vera)는 학생(noun)한테 상을 줄 거예요. We will reward students who are good at study.

“는” is attached to verb in present tense. There’re also past tense, present tense, and future tense in Korean language. So when you use “는” inside the sentence, the listener could know that you want to talk about what happens in the present tense.

Continue from the present tense about, I want to add that “있는” is usually used with “고 있는” to present the continuous action. Or just “verb(아/어) 있는” to show that the action is happening.

E.g. 밤을 먹고 있는 아이가 내 딸이에요. The one who is eating is my daughter.

  • 저기 멀리 서 있는 사람이 내 아빠예요. The one who stands there is my dad.

There are many cases that “는” is used. “있는/없는”, “noun는”.

I hope that my answer could give you a nice meaning that you want to know.

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