Korean:how to say 'What are you doing?' in Korean. 뭐/무엇, 무슨


In this journal, we will talk about the common question in life: What are you eating? What are you looking at? The What's on your mind? The What's Being Done? '~고 있다' means doing something. And '뭐/무엇' can be used as 'What'.

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

In this journal, we will talk about the common question in life: What are you eating? What are you looking at? The What's on your mind? The "What's Being Done?

Present Progressive

In Korean: Present Progressive Tense ~고 있다 vs 〜아/어 있다, we mentioned the expression "being... or doing..." which is the present progressive grammar.

"~고 있다" means "doing... or being...".
"뭐/무엇" can be used as "What".

So "What are you eating?" in Korean is 당신은 무엇을 먹고 있습니까? or 당신은 무엇을 먹고 있어요?

It may seem easy, but I often see the expression "what" can be used 뭐, 무엇, and 무슨.
And the present tense can also be used to mean the present progressive tense. Let's talk this in more detail below.

뭐/무엇, 무슨

뭐/무엇

뭐 and 무엇 are both used as pronouns, with the difference being that the particle is usually not used after 뭐 and the 을 is used after 무엇.

For the previous example, 무엇을 먹고 있어요? use 무엇을 , it can be replaced with then become to 뭐 먹고 있어요? , looks much shorter, right?

There are also some questions that are more natural to ask with . For example, if you are asking someone's name, you would use

이름은 뭐예요?

What is your name?

이름은 무엇이에요? will be an unnatural expression.


무슨

무슨 means "what kind of", and it is also often found in interrogative sentences where _ is usually followed by the noun _.

무슨 + Noun

For example,

무슨 일이야?

What happened?

Common Examples

Even though the question is "What are you doing now? which is a present progressive form in English. But it is very common to ask in the present tense in Korea.

In Korean, there are occasions when the present tense can be used to express the meaning of the present progressive, so don't be surprised to see it.
Let's see some examples.

당신은 무엇을 먹고 있어요?

What are you eating?


뭐 보고 있습니까?

What are you looking at?


무슨 생각을 하고 있나요?
무슨 생각을 하세요?

What's on your mind?


뭐 하고 있어요?
뭐 해요?

What are you doing?

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