In this lesson, let us take a look at the expression -(으)ㄴ/는 김에 [-eun/neun gi-me] and how to use it to say things like “while you are there”, “while I’m at it”, or “since you are going to do it”.
The word 김 [gim] here is a noun that literally means “an opportunity” or “a reason to do something”. It is NOT, however, commonly used on its own to mean “opportunity” or “reason”. It is almost always used in the structure, -(으)ㄴ/는 김에.
-(으)ㄴ/는 김에 [-eun/neun gi-me]
= While you are there
= While you are at it
= While I am there
= Since you are already going to do it
1. You can use -(으)ㄴ/는 김에 when talking about something (usually not originally planned) that you do while you are doing something else, because it’s convenient, effective, or easy that way.
ex) While I was visiting the library, I also stopped by the post office inside it.
2. You can use -(으)ㄴ/는 김에 when you want to ask someone to do something for you while they are going somewhere or while they are already planning to do something.
ex) While you are at it, can you please make one for me, too?
3. You can use -(으)ㄴ/는 김에 when you want to suggest doing something based on the fact that you are already going to do something similar or near to the place where you already are.
You use -(으)ㄴ 김에 in past tense sentences and -는 김에 in present and future tense sentences.
1. 백화점에 가는 김에 [baek-hwa-jeo-me ga-neun gi-me]
= While I am/you are going to the department store,
(** The act of going (= 가다) hasn’t happened yet, so it’s in the present tense “가는".)
+ 영화도 볼 거예요. [yeong-hwa-do bol geo-ye-yo.]
= I’m also going to see a movie.
+ 서점에도 갈까요? [seo-jeo-me-do gal-kka-yo?]
= shall we go to the bookstore, too?
2. 서울에 온 김에 [seo-u-re on gi-me]
= While you are/I am visiting Seoul, Since you/I came to Seoul,
(** The act of coming (= 오다) has already happened, so it’s in the past tense, “온".)
+ 친구들을 만났어요. [chin-gu-deu-reul man-na-sseo-yo.]
= I met some friends.
+ 며칠 더 있을 거예요. [myeo-chil deo i-sseul geo-ye-yo.]
= I’m going to stay for a few more days.
1. 도서관에 가는 김에, 제 책도 반납해 주세요.
[do-seo-gwa-ne ga-neun gi-me, je chaek-do ban-na-pae ju-se-yo.]
= While you are at the library (Since you are going to the library anyway), please return my book, too.
2. 여기 온 김에 커피 마실까요?
[yeo-gi on gi-me keo-pi ma-sil-kka-yo?]
= While we are here, shall we have some coffee?
3. 시작한 김에 제가 끝까지 할게요.
[si-ja-kan gi-me je-ga kkeut-kka-ji hal-ge-yo.]
= While I’m doing it (Since I’ve started it anyway), I’ll finish it (I will do it until it’s finished).
4. 밖에 나간 김에 제 부탁 하나만 들어 주세요.
[ba-kke na-gan gi-me je bu-tak ha-na-man deu-reo ju-se-yo.]
= While you are outside, please do me a favor.
5. 말이 나온 김에, 우리 피자 먹을까요?
[ma-ri na-on gi-me, u-ri pi-ja meo-geul-kka-yo?]
= Speaking of which, shall we have some pizza?