Korean: 전에、후에 | ...before/after


전에 and 후에 are often used in everyday life to mean 'before' or 'after'. However, there are some points that need to be noted when using them, especially when they are used with verbs. In this article, we will explain how they are used in different situations.

If you are using Chrome or an Android phone, you can listen to the pronunciation by clicking on the Korean in the table or the Korean in the example sentences in the article!

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

전에 and 후에 are often used in everyday life to mean "before" or "after". However, there are some points that need to be noted when using them, especially when they are used with verbs. In this article, we will explain how they are used in different situations.

전에(before) vs 후에(after)

To indicate "before..." in Korean, you can use "... 전에".
And to say "after... After" in Korean, you can use "... 후에".
means "before" and means "after". is a particle used to connect nouns, pronouns and other words.

After understanding "전에" and "후에", let's see how to apply each of them to a conversation.

전에 | before

Similar expressions such as "leaving work before 6 p.m." or "washing hands before eating" can be expressed as "전에".
If you look closely, "before 6:00 p.m." is the noun "6:00 p.m." with "before", while "before eating" is "before" with "eating" (with an action).
Therefore, the usage can be divided into noun occasion and verb occasion.

Noun occasion

The usage of the noun field is quite simple, similar to the usage of 같다 in Korean: 비슷하다, 같다, 처럼 | similar, like, as. Just add 전에 after the noun.

Noun + 전에

So, the Korean word for "before six o'clock" is "6시 전에".

Before ~ o'clock = ~ 시 전에
금요일 전에

before friday

회의 전에 물을 준비하십시오.

Prepare water before the meeting.

Verb Occasions

When verbs are used in conjunction, only words of noun type can be used in front of , so the verb should be nominalized first.
There is more than one way to nominalize a verb, such as using "verb + ㄴ/은 것" in Korean: Modifying Nouns with Verb, which was introduced earlier. But here is a simpler way to nominalize verbs by using "verb + 기".


Nominalization of verbs

Verb Stem + 기

Let's say
벌다 is a verb meaning "to earn" and 벌기 becomes a noun meaning "earning".
달리다 is the verb "to run", and 달리기 becomes the noun "running".

나의 취미는 달리기입니다.

My hobby is running.

After understanding the use of "기" as a verb nominalization, let's see how to express "before eating" in Korean.
To eat = "밥을 먹다", nominalization = 밥을 먹기, before eating = 밥을 먹기 전.

밥을 먹기 전에 손을 씻으십시오.

Wash your hands before eating.

후에 | after

The usage of 후에 is the same as 전에.
It is also divided into noun occasion and verb occasion.

Noun occasion

The noun is followed by 후에.

Noun + 후에

After 10 minutes = 10 분 후에

테스트는 10 분 후에 시작됩니다.

The test starts after 10 minutes.


Verb occasion

In the case of verb conjugation, the verb must be nominalized before 후 because only words of the noun type can be used.
Unlike 전, verbs are nominalized by using "verb + ㄴ/은".

If the verb stem ends with a vowel or ㄹ, use ㄴ 후에.
If the verb stem ends with a consonant other than ㄹ, use 은 후에.
케이크를 먹은 후에 이를 닦아요.

After eating the cake, I brush my teeth.

Conclusion

  • 전에:before, 후에:after.
  • 전에 grammar: noun + 전에, verb + 기 전에.
  • 후에 grammar: noun + 후에, verb + ㄴ/은 후에.

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