“Wash your hands before you eat.”
“Brush your teeth before going to bed.”

Do you remember being told these things when you were young?

Or perhaps some of you have to tell your children these things as a form of discipline.

In this article, let’s practice expressions that can be used for such instructions.

-전 means “before ~”.

Expressions using the 전(前).

When you want to express “before ~” in Korean, use -전.

The sentence “A before B”.

①학교에 가요.
I go to school.

그 전에 밥을 먹어요.
But first, I eat breakfast.


③학교에 기 전에 밥을 먹어요.
I eat breakfast before school.

It means that the actions occur in the order of ① to ②.

In other words, we talk about “before the action or change takes place”.

How to use “-전”.

To use -전, you need a verb in the noun form.

Av + -기 전

가다 + -기 전 = 가기 전
나가다 + -기 전 = 나가기 전

먹다 + -기 전 = 먹기 전
맺다 + -기 전 = 맺기 전

공부하다 + -기 전 = 공부하기 전
운동하다 + -기 전 = 운동하기 전

Add -기 to the verb stem and place -전 after it.

비가 오기 에 얼른 집에 가요.
Let’s get the hell home before it rains.
우리 집에서는 밥을 먹기 에 기도를 합니다.
In my family, we pray before we eat our food.
밤에 공부하기 에 식사할 거예요.
I plan to eat before studying at night.
운동하기 에 스트레칭을 하면 다치지 않을 겁니다.
Stretching before exercising will prevent injury.

It does not matter whether the word stem has a patchum or not, so it is easy to form sentences.

Try to encourage action with imperatives.

-기 전 is a grammar often used in imperative sentences.

식사하기 에 꼭 손을 씻으세요.
Wash your hands before eating always.
식기 에 얼른 드세요.
Please take it before it cools down.
미용실에 가고 싶으면 가기 에 미리 예약하세요.
If you want to go to a hair salon, make an appointment beforehand before you go.

You can use imperative sentences to urge the other person to do something.

By the way – if you have forgotten 기, let’s review it.

It is not always necessary to use “-기 전”.

There are ways to do it without using verbs.

You can use nouns instead of verbs.

면접 에 다시 한 번 이 자료를 확인하세요.
Please review this document again before the interview.
며칠 에 길거리에서 민경씨를 만났어요.
I met Mr. Mingyong on the street a few days ago.
시험 에 초콜릿을 먹고 당분을 보충하세요.
Eat a piece of chocolate before your exam to replenish your sugar cravings.

“Noun + 전” also makes a similar sentence.

This is probably easier since there is no need to transform the verb.

Expressions such as “how many hours ago” are familiar.

The combination of time and -전 is an essential expression.

2시간 에 점심을 먹었습니다.
I ate lunch two hours ago.
한 달 에 약혼했어요.
We got engaged a month ago.
3년 에 교통사고를 당했습니다.
I was in a car accident 3 years ago.

These expressions will be easy to learn.

It is important to practice by creating your own sentences with various patterns.