[Grammar] -는 것 -ing

-는 것 is attached to a verb to change a verb into a noun clause like ‘-ing’ or ‘to -‘.

This noun clause can be a subject or an object. For example,

요리하는 것이(=게=거) 어려워요.  Cooking is difficult.
고양이를 키우는 것이 힘들지 않아요.  Having a cat is not that hard.
아이들하고 노는 것이 재미있어요.  It is fun to play with kids. (놀다 + 는 것 : ㄹ drop)
음식을 만드는 것이 재미없어요. It is not fun to make food. (만들다 +는 것 : ㄹ drop)
아침에 꽃에 물을 주는 것이 좋아요. It is good to water flowers in the morning.
약을 먹는 것이 싫어요. I don’t like taking the medicine.
-는 것 is used as a subject in those sentences above.

기타 치는 것을(=걸=거) 좋아해요. I like playing guitar.
공원에 가는 것을 안 좋아해요. I do not like going to the park.
아이들이 수영하는 것을 보고 있어요. I am watching kids swimming.
동생이 숙제하는 것을 도와 줄 거예요.  I will help my sister to do homework.
친구가 웃는 것을 보고 싶어요. I want to see my friend smiling.
-는 것 is used as an object in those sentences above.


것이 can be shortened as , and 것을 can be shortened as . Furthermore, 이 and 을 are often dropped in real conversations, so you will hear just 거.




You can listen to the audio file by clicking here. 

You can study more about the difference between 는 거, -기, -(으)ㅁ by clicking here. 



[Grammar] -기, -는 것, -음 : Nominalization

When you make a noun or noun clause from a verb, there are three ways to make, which are -기, -는 것, -음.

-기 is used for unfinished action or idioms; it often used with emotion adjectives or some action verbs.  These are the adjectives and verbs that are often used with -기.

좋다(good) 이곳은 보석을 보관하기에 좋습니다. This place is good for storage jewelry.
싫다(hate) 혼자 있 싫어요. I don’t like being alone.
쉽다(easy) 집 찾가 쉬웠어요. It was easy to find the house.
어렵다(difficult) 집 찾가 어려웠어요. It was difficult to find the house.
힘들다(difficult) 집 찾가 힘들었어요. It was difficult to find the house.
즐기다(enjoy) 줄타를 즐기는 사람들 People who enjoy rope walking.
좋아하다(like) 식물 기르를 좋아해요. I like growing plants.
싫어하다(hate) 청소하를 싫어합니다. I don’t like cleaning.
두려워하다(scare) 학교 가를 두려워합니다. He was afraid of going to school.
바라다(hope) 모두 무사하기를 바랍니다. I hope everyone is fine.
희망하다(hope) 다시 뵙기를 희망합니다. I wish we can see each other again.
기원하다(hope) 사업이 잘 되시기를 기원합니다. I wish your company’s prosperity.
시작하다(start) 눈이 아프기 시작했습니다. My eyes started aching.
약속하다(promise) 오늘 숙제를 같이 하기로 약속했어요. We promised to do homework together.

As you can see, it is often used with these adjectives and verbs which are mostly related to ‘Emotion’ or ‘Unfinished’.  It is also used for idioms, for example,

– 식은 죽 먹기.  Piece of cake! (Eat cold porridge.)
– 하늘의 별 따기.  Impossible! (Catch a star in the sky.)


-(으)ㅁ is used for finished action or an action that has already happened, so you can add the past tense in front of -음.   These are the adjectives and verbs that are often used with -음.

분명하다(clear) 뭔가를 숨기고 있이 분명하다. He is definitely hiding something.
틀림없다(must be true) 그 사람도 한몫 했음에 틀림없다. She/he must participate too.
드러나다(be exposed) 민수의 이야기가 거짓이 드러났다. Minsu’s story is revealed in a lie.
알려지다(come out) 민수의 이야기가 거짓이 알려졌다. Minsu’s story is revealed in a lie.
밝혀지다(be found) 민수의 이야기가 거짓이 밝혀졌다. Minsu’s story is revealed in a lie.
깨닫다(realize) 이미 늦었음을 깨달았다. I realized it is too late.
알다(know) 범죄를 저질렀음을 알고 있었다. I knew he commit a crime.
주장하다(claim) 환경보호의 중요을 주장했다. He claimed the importance of environmental protection.
알리다(tell) 비가 가을이 왔음을 알려주고 있다. The rain tells us the Fall already has come.

As you can see, it is often used with adjectives or verbs that mostly mean ‘judgement, knowledge, fact, report or finished action’.  We also use 음 to shorten the final sentence of documents, for example,

– 사실과 다르지 않음을 증명합니다. I certify that is authentic.
– 사람을 찾음. Missing! (Looking for a person)


-는 것(-는 거) is more flexible than -기 or -음.  You can use -는 것 instead of -기 or -음 except for fixed grammar like -기에 좋다, -기를 바라다/희망하다/기원하다, -기 시작하다, -기로 (약속)하다, -기만 하다, -기도 하다 etc.

– 집에 혼자 는 것이 싫어요. = 집에 혼자 있기 싫어요.
– 집 찾는 것이 쉬웠어요. = 집 찾기가 쉬웠어요.
– 청소하는 것을 싫어해요. = 청소하기를 싫어해요.
– 뭔가 숨기고 있는 것이 분명해요. = 뭔가 숨기고 있음이 분명해요.
– 범죄를 저지른 것을 알고 있었다. = 범죄를 저질렀음을 알고 있었다.