English, among other languagues, uses the same word “When” for two different purposes, namely, i) when you ask questions, and ii) when you say a time-specifying clause.  But in Korean, as with another set of languages, there are two different words for “when” for the two cases.  This may pose a little challenge and cause a very common mistake for some beginners, until the following examples are understood clearly:

i) Interrogative Adverb: To ask questions, just say “언제”:

  • 언제 이걸 다 했어?  When did you do all this?
  • 언제 돌아올 거야?  When will you come back?

ii) Conjunction: To specify the time of action as a subordinate clause in the present tense, add “-ㄹ” or “-을” to the verb stem, and just say “때”:

  • 혼자임을 느낄 때, 나는 바다를 본다 When I feel all alone, I watch the ocean.  [ 느끼-다 to feel => 느끼 + ㄹ  때 = 느낄 때 When (I) feel …. , ]
  • 너 점심 먹을 때, 나한테 얘기해.  같이 먹자.  When you have lunch, tell me.  Let’s eat together.  [ 먹다 to eat => 먹 + 을  때 = 먹을 때 When (you) eat …, ]

In the above examples, “-ㄹ” is the particle (relative clause ending) for the verb stem ending with a vowel, and “-을” for the stem ending with a consonant.  This phonetic rule applies to many other features of Korean particles.  It just makes sense phonetically, because otherwise, the two consonants – the end of verb stem and “ㄹ” – would collide, and you wouldn’t know how to pronounce them, would you?  ^^ 

쓸모없는 useless

생각 thought

겨울 Winter 

바다 sea, ocean 

속으로 into; 속 inside (noun) + 으로 to/towards = 속으로 into 

침몰하다 to sink (boat, ship)

침몰해 버리다 to end up sinking [ (verb)-버리다 to end up … ing ]

(verb)-면 if; 

-면 얼마나 좋을까 How nice would it be if … [ idiomatic ]

누구도  anybody [ used in a negative sentence ]

용서하다 to forgive; 용서할 수 없다 can’t forgive 

마음 heart, mind 

-ㄹ/을 때 when … [ conjunction ]

보다 to look, see, watch 

사랑하다 to love; 사랑하기 어렵다 to be difficult to love [(verb)-기 어렵다 it’s difficult to … ]

기도 prayer; 

답답하다 to be frustrated 

아무도 = 누구도 anybody 

이해하다 to understand; 이해 받다 to be understood; 이해 못 받다 to be not understood 

혼자 alone, by oneself; 혼자이다 to be alone; 혼자임 being alone [ noun form of “혼자이다” ]; 혼자임을 [ accusative particle -을 ] 

느끼다 to feel 

참 really, very, very much 

아름다운 beautiful 

빛 light; [ (noun)+빛 color of (noun) = 빛깔 = 색깔 ]

하늘 sky, heaven 

하느님 the Heaven; 하나님 God 

푸른 blue; 푸르디 푸른 blue and blue [ (adjective)+디 emphatic expression for certain short adjectives ]

  • 붉디 붉은 노을 red and red (crimson red) sky at sunset
  • 맑디 맑은 물 clear and clear (crystal clear) water

누군가 someone; 누군가에게 to someone [ dative ]

꼭 certainly, definitely 

편지 letter 

쓰다 to write; 쓰고 싶다 to wish to write [ (verb)-고 싶다 to wish to … ]

길다 to be long; 길게 long [adverb]

물 water 

흐르다 to flow 

모든 every, all 

사람들 people 

초대하다 to invite; 초대 invitation

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All the photos were taken in Nazaré, Portugal.