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Korean grammar - While in action, during - 는 중이다 & 중에

While in action, during - 는 중이다 & 중에

Pattern: Verb stem + 중이다

An action in progress can be expressed utilising the word which literally means 'middle' or 'centre'.

To say a verb is in action we can use the pattern: Verb stem + 중이다.

-- This is similar to the Verb stem + 있다 (present continuous) pattern.

To say while a verb is in action: Verb stem + 중에

To say during a noun use either 중이다 (to be during the noun) or 중에 (during the noun).

Think of this pattern as meaning 'to be in the middle of doing something' or 'in the middle of something happening'.

저는 지금 한국에 가는 중이에요.
I am going (on my way) to Korea now.
그가 그림을 그리는 중에 문득 한 아이디어가 떠올랐어요.
An idea came to mind while he was painting.
식사하는 중에 큰 소리로 말하는 것은 예의가 아니죠.
It is not polite to speak loudly while eating meals (is it?).
그녀는 한국어를 배우는 중에 한국 문화를 이해하게 되었어요.
While she was learning Korean, (she) came to understand Korean culture.
지금 학교에 가는 중이에요?
Are (you) going to school now?
거리를 걷는 중에 예전에 알던 지인을 만났어요.
While walking down the street, (I) met one of my acquaintances (I) used to know.
아직 운전하는 중이에요.
(I'm) still driving.
지금 식사하는 중이세요?
Are (you) having a meal right now?

Using the polite infix in the verb 이다 (to be)

그 기념비는 지금 공사 중이에요.
That monument is under construction.

기념비 means 'monument'

모든 선생님들은 회의 중이에요.
All the teachers are in a meeting.
그 선생님은 강의 중이에요.
That teacher is giving a lecture
의사는 환자랑 상담 중이에요.
The doctor is in the middle of a consultation with a patient
그때 그 어린 아이는 엄마를 찾고 있는 중이었어요.
Meanwhile, the little boy was looking for (his) mother.
제가 그 여자의 눈을 쳐다 봤을 때 그 여자는 말을 하는 중이었어요.
While I was looking at the girl's eyes, the girl was speaking.

쳐다보다 means 'to look' or 'to glance'

요즘 운전을 배우는 중이에요.
(I) am in the middle of learning to drive these days.
앞쪽 도로는 공사 중이기 때문에 차단되었어요.
The road ahead is blocked because it is under construction.

도로 means 'road'

회의 중이에요. 나중에 전화할께요.
(I) am in a meeting. (I) will call (you) later.