-자마자 as soon as
August 25, 2009 by tailieutienghan
-자마자 (jamaja) is the grammatical pattern we use to mean “as soon as” in Korean. Just as in English, we usually use this structure along with another verb or clause to complete the sentence. We express the tense through the other part of the sentence, and always attach –자마자 to the verb stem.
Verb stem + -자마자
- 하다 (to do) → 하(다) + -자마자 →
▶ 하자마자 (as soon as + do)
- 먹다 (to eat) → 먹(다) + -자마자 →
▶ 먹자마자 (as soon as + eat)
- 오늘은 집에 가자마자 영화 보러 갈 거야.
(oneul-eun jib-e gajamaja yeonghwa boreo gal geoya.)
“Today, as soon as I get home, I'll go watch a movie.”
- 내일 일 끝나자마자 나한테 연락해.
(naeil il kkeutnajamaja na-hante yeonlakhae.)
“Give me a call as soon as you finish work tomorrow.”
- 너 가자마자 민수가 왔었어.
(neo gajamaja minsu-ga wasseosseo.)
“As soon as you left, Minsu came.”
- 먹자마자 누우면 소화가 안 돼요.
(meokjamaja nuumyeon sohwa-ga an dwaeyo.)
“If you lie down as soon as you eat, you can't digest.”
- 보자마자 갑자기 왜 그렇게 화를 내?
(bojamaja gapjagi wae geureoke hwa-reul nae?)
“Why are you getting mad at me so suddenly as soon as you saw me?”
We often use –자마자 with words such as 바로 (baro, meaning, “right away”), 빨리 (ppalli, meaning, “quickly”), and 곧 (got, meaning, “soon”).
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