Do you have a routine that you always follow when you do something?

Or do you have your own rules, such as “I always do this when I do something like this”?

This time, we would like to introduce you to a grammar that you can use to express your own rules.

‘when’ or ‘timing’.

Indicates “when” or “timing” for something to happen.

The -ㄹ 때 indicates the time or timing when things happen.

It’s mean to ‘when’ or ‘timing’.

가다 + 때 = 갈
when going to ~.

덥다 + 때 = 더울
when it is hot.

Together with “ㄹ 때” we will express what is happening or doing.

How to use “-ㄹ 때”.

-ㄹ 때 is combined with verb and adjective stems.

Vst + -(으)ㄹ 때

보다 + -ㄹ 때 = 볼 때
이다 + -ㄹ 때 = 일 때
바쁘다 + -ㄹ 때 = 바쁠 때

웃다 + -ㄹ 때 = 웃을 때
있다 + -ㄹ 때 = 있을 때
귀찮다 + -ㄹ 때 = 귀찮을 때

만들다 + -ㄹ 때 = 만들 때
들다 + -ㄹ 때 = 들을 때
덥다 + -ㄹ 때 = 더울 때
그렇다 + -ㄹ 때 = 그럴 때

※Vst = stem of verbs or adjectives.

No patchum in the stem

병원에 갈 때는 먼저 예약부터 하세요.
When you go to the hospital, make an appointment first.
할머니는 신문을 볼 때 돋보기를 쓰세요.
Grandma uses reading glasses when looking at the newspaper.
고등학생일 때 지역대회에서 우승했습니다.
I won the district tournament when I was in high school.

Words without a patchum in the stem are combined with -ㄹ 때.

Have a patchum in the stem

웃을 때 예쁘고 애교가 많은 친구예요.
He’s cute and affectionate when he smiles.
시간이 있을 때 책을 읽어요.
I read books when I have time.
밥하기가 귀찮을 때 라면을 끓여요.
I boil a ramen noodles, when preparing meals is a hassle.

If the word stem has a patchum, add -을 때.

Cases of irregular changes.


김밥을 만들 때는 참기름이 꼭 필요해요.
You definitely need sesame oil when making kimbap.

When the stem is ㄹ-patchum, is added as is.

Part of ㄷpatchum

그 교수님의 강의를 들을 때 항상 졸려요.
I always feel sleepy when I listen to that professor’s lectures.

When the stem ㄷ patchm becomes ㄹ, use -을 때.

Part of ㅂpatchum

부끄러울 때 사람은 얼굴이 빨개집니다.
People blush when they are embarrassed.

The ㅂ patchum will be 우, so add -ㄹ 때 to it.


그럴 때는 친구한테 물어봐요.
In that case, ask your friends.

The ㅎpatchum drops out and the -ㄹ 때 enters there.

Let’s change the wording a bit and apply it.

Use “-았/었” together if you are talking about the past.

When talking about the past, combine -았/었.

처음 만났을 때가 10년전이에요.
We first met 10 years ago.
면접을 봤을 때는 너무 긴장했습니다.
I was incredibly nervous when I got the interview.
난 중학생이었을 때 키가 크지 않았어요.
I wasn’t tall when I was in middle school.

The sentence pattern is like “-았을 때/었을 때”.

Combinations with nouns can omit sentence patterns.

We use 이다 for nouns, so they become -일 때 or -이었을 때, but this can be omitted.

방학 때는 뭐하면 좋을까요?
What should I do when school is not in session?
난 7살 때 신가폴에서 살았어요.
I lived in Singapore when I was 7 years old.
아침하고 저녁 때 이 역을 드세요.
Take this medicine morning and evening.

The nuance does not change even if the phrase is “noun + 때”, so when it can be omitted, it’s better to expressed in short form.

When combined with other grammars.

-ㄹ 때 can be combined with other grammar.

내가 외출하려고 할 때 항상 비가 와요.
It always rains when I try to go out.
삼겹살을 먹고 싶을 때는 할머니식당에 가요.
When I want to eat samgyeopsal, I go to Halmoni Restaurant.
사람이 많지 않을 때 구경하고 싶어요.
I’d like to see it when it’s not so crowded.

When combined with other grammars like this, the range of expression is expanded.

Let’s start expressing your own personal routines, etc.