Before and after— -기 전(에) and -(으)ㄴ 후(에)

Hi, everyone! Last time, we looked at talking about “when” something happened using -(으)ㄹ 때. This time, let’s take a look at how to talk about the time before or after something happened. To do this, we’ll learn -기 전(에) and -(으)ㄴ 후(에) respectively.

-기 전(에)


When you want to talk about something occurring before something else, you would use -기 전(에). For example, “Before eating lunch, I washed my hands.”


This one is super easy to use! Just add -기 전(에) to the root of any action verb. If you want to use it with a descriptive verb, you will first have to use -아/어지다 to make it an action verb.

점심을 먹기 전에 손을 씻었어요. (Before eating lunch, I washed my hands.)

친구랑 만나기 전에 은행에 가야 돼요. (Before meeting with my friend, I must go to the bank.)

날씨가 너무 추워지기 전에 다시 한 번 한강에서 자전거를 타고 싶어요. (Before the weather gets too cold, I want to ride my bike one more time at the Han River.)

-(으)ㄴ 후(에)


This grammar is used to talk about something occurring after something else. For example, “After eating lunch, I met my friend.”


To use this form, attach -은 후에 to an action verb root ending with a consonant and -ㄴ 후에 to a verb root ending with a vowel. Be careful of irregular verbs!

Also, you can often replace the 후 in this grammar with “뒤” or “다음” with pretty much no change in meaning! While 후 means “after,” 뒤 means “behind,” and 다음 means “next.” They all express a similar concept, so you can see how they might be interchangeable in this context.

점식을 먹은 후에 (뒤에, 다음에), 친구를 만났어요. (After eating lunch, I met my friend.)

샤워를 한 후에 숙제를 했어요. (After taking a shower, I did my homework.)

선주 씨는 대만에 갔다온 다음에 일본 여행 떠났어요. (After going to Taiwan, Seonju left for a trip to Japan.)


As always, happy studying~