top of page

(으)ㄴ/는 것 Lesson | Modifying Verbs

안녕하세요 여러분! I'm KoreanStudyJunkie and in this lesson we're gonna learn about how to use 는 것 to modify verb into nouns and also modify nouns with verbs.

(으)ㄴ 것, 는 것, (으)ㄹ 것 can be used in 2 separate ways. Keep in mind throughout this lesson that 것 means thing.

The first way it can be used is to describe a noun with a verb - for example: the person who studies/is studying Korean (한국어를 공부하는 사람). It’s typically translated as “the thing one verbs”. For example: 먹는 것 = the thing one eats/is eating, what one eats

For this usage, you can replace 것 with any other noun to be more specific (as long as it makes sense)

먹는 음식 = the food I eat, the food I’m eating

먹는 음식을 맛있어요 = the food I’m eating is delicious.

The forms change depending on the tense, so this is very Important to know -

Present tense form: just 는 (것)

Past tense: consonant ending - 은 (것) vowel ending - ㄴ (것)

Future tense: consonant ending - 을 (것), vowel ending - ㄹ (것)

Verb stems ending in ㄹ, will drop the ㄹ when adding ~는 것. Ex: 만드는 것 (present tense) | When adding ~을/ㄹ 것, the stem stays the same. 을 is not added. Ex | 만들 것 (future tense)


어제 먹은 음식은 한식이에요. → The food I ate yesterday was Korean food.

(오늘) 먹는 음식은 한식이에요. → The food I’m eating is Korean food.

내일 먹을 음식은 한식이에요. → The food I’ll eat tomorrow is Korean food


~는 것, ~은/ㄴ 것, and ~을/ㄹ 것 form new clauses, so you must attach 이/가 to the clause’s subject if the subject is not the subject of the entire sentence. I.E if there are more than 2 subjects in a sentence.


제가 자주 만나는 사람은 미국사람이에요. The person that I meet often is American.

여자친구는 내가 자주 가는 나라에 가고 있어. My girlfriend is going to the country that I go to often.

Examples of being less specific and just using 것:

지금 마시는 것이 뭐예요? = what is the thing you are drinking now?

지금 먹는 것이 불고기예요. = what I’m eating now is bulgogi.

등산하는 것이 취미예요. = Hiking is (my) hobby.

요즘 공부하는 것은 한국어예요. = The thing I’m studying these days is Korean language.

지금 제가 보는 것이 만화책이에요. = The thing I’m reading right now is a comic book.

The second usage is to turn a verb INTO a noun. 것 in this instance has a meaning closer to “act”. Typically translated as “the act of V-ing” or you can think of it as just adding an -ing to your word.

For example:

먹는 것 = eating, the act of eating

라면을 먹는 것을 좋아해요 = I like eating ramen. (Yes, you can have the 을/를 more than once in these sentences, but not every sentence will use the object particle.) Particles follow the same rules as always.

저는 요리하는 것을 좋아해요. = I like to cook/like cooking

음식을 먹는 것이 제 취미예요 = My hobby is eating food

건강한 음식을 먹는 것은 중요해요. = Eating healthy food is important

When to use 는 것을 vs 는 것이?

It is written like a noun in a sentence and used as a subject or an object.

저는 한국어 공부하는 것이 좋아요. → 주어(subject)

I like studying Korean. (Korean is the subject of the sentence)

나는 등산하는 것이 싫어요. → 주어(subject)

I hate hiking. (Hiking is the subject of a sentence)

→ imagine you are talking about hiking with someone. they say that they love hiking and do it often, and maybe they ask for your opinion on the matter. You might say this: Hiking! I hate it.

저는 한국어 공부하는 것을 좋아해요. → 목적어(object)

I like studying Korean. (Korean is the object - the object of my ‘affection’)

나는 등산하는 것을 싫어해요. → 목적어(object)

I hate hiking. (Hiking is the object of the sentence - the object of my hatred)

한국어 공부하는 것은 힘들어요. → topic of the sentence

Studying Korean is hard . (Studying Korean is the topic)

Slight Form Changes You May See/Use:

V-는 것 can be used as 는 거 and as V-기 (no meaning change)

등산하는 것이 → 등산하기가

요리하는 것을 → 요리하기를

Sidenote: I sometimes change it to 기 or 거 and don’t add a particle whenever I’m unsure which to add

V-는 것이 can also be abbreviated (줄임말) into -는 게 (no meaning change)

요라하는 것이 → 요리하는 게

V-는 것을 can be abbreviated (줄임말) into -는 걸 (no meaning change)

사진 찍는 것을 → 사진 찍는 걸


Confession time: So many people have asked me to make this post over months and months and months and I just.. have dreaded making it. I don’t know why, but I put it off for so long so I just made myself get it over with. I think my procrastination may have come from thinking that I can’t teach this grammar that well, so let me know how I did.

If you liked this lesson, you may also like my Intermediate Korean Grammar book.Up your grammar game this year!

List of grammar covered in this book:

(으)ㄹ 뻔하다 - almost did

(으)ㄹ 만하다 - worth doing

지 말고 - don’t do A, do B

(으)ㄴ/는지 알다/모르다 I know/ don’t know if

(으)ㄴ/는 대신(에) - instead of

(으)ㄴ/는데도 - even though, although

(으)ㄹ 뿐(만) 아니라 - not only this, but also

기는 하지만 - but (also)

(으)ㄴ/는 척하다 - pretend to do

(으)ㄹ지도 모르다 - might, may

(으)ㄹ까 봐(서) - I’m worried about

게 하다 - to make someone do

다가 - and/but then

(으)ㄴ 지 N(Time)이/가 되다/넘다/지나다

Verb + -게 - so that, in order to

더라고요 - I saw/experienced that..

다가는 - if you keep V-ing,..

(느)ㄴ다면 - what If (hypothetical)

(으)ㄹ 정도로 - to the extent

(으)ㄹ 테니까 - since it might..

and a lot more..

You can see the rest of the list by visiting my store at

3,411 views1 comment

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating

this was fantastic answered all my questions. Thank you so much for all your hard work

Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page