Episode from the podcastTalk To Me In Korean

TTMIK Level 5 lesson 7 PDF

Released Monday, 18th April 2011
Good episode? Give it some love!
TTMIK Level 5 Lesson 7 - as soon as ...

In this lesson, we are going to introduce how to say “as soon as” you something or “right after” you do something in Korean.

The key structure you need to learn in order to say this is -자마자 [-ja-ma-ja].

Verb stem + -자마자

보다 [bo-da] = to see
보 + -자마자 = 보자마자 [bo-ja-ma-ja] = As soon as you see/meet/look,

끝나다 [kkeut-na-da] = to finish
끝나 + -자마자 = 끝나자마자 [kkeut-na-ja-ma-ja] = As soon as it finishes/ends

Just like “as soon as + S + V” or “right after + S + V” is not a complete sentence in English, you still need to complete the sentence in Korean by adding other parts. Unlike in English, however, the “tense” is not applied to the -자마자 part.

For example, even when you say something like “As soon as I got there, I realized …” in English, you don’t have to say the “to get” part in the past tense in Korean. The “tense” of the entire sentence is expressed once through the main verb of the sentence.

가자마자 전화를 했어요.
[ga-ja-ma-ja jeon-hwa-reul hae-sseo-yo.]
= As soon as I went there, I made a phone call.

** Note that it’s just “가자마자" and not “갔자마자" - the past tense is expressed only through the “했어요" part, the main and final verb of the sentence.

Sample sentences
1. 집에 오자마자 잠들었어요.
[ji-be o-ja-ma-ja jam-deu-reo-sseo-yo.]
= I fell asleep as soon as I came home.

** 잠들다 = to fall asleep

2. 졸업하자마자 일을 시작할 거예요.
[jo-reop-ha-ja-ma-ja i-reul si-jak-hal geo-ye-yo.]
= I will start working as soon as I graduate.

** 졸업하다 = to graduate
** 일 = work
** 시작하다 = to start

3. 도착하자마자 전화할게요.
[do-chak-ha-ja-ma-ja jeon-hwa-hal-ge-yo.]
= I will call you as soon as I arrive.

** 도착하다 = to arrive
** 전화하다 = to call someone

4. 보자마자 마음에 들었어요.
[bo-ja-ma-ja ma-eu-me deu-reo-sseo-yo.]
= As soon as I saw it, I liked it.

** 보다 = to see, to look
** 마음에 들다 = to like

5. 들어가자마자 다시 나왔어요.
[deu-reo-ga-ja-ma-ja da-si na-wa-sseo-yo.]
= I came outside again right after I went in.

** 들어가다 = to go inside
** 다시 = again
** 나오다 = to come outside
Rate Episode
Do you host or manage this podcast?
Claim and edit this page to your liking.