Learn Korean: Verb + 는 사이

Let's take a look at the Korean sentence pattern Verb + 사이. The word 사이 means relationship. We use this to express that our relationship with someone is not to a certain extent. We are not close enough to share a meal together. We may be close but not to the extent of sharing secrets with each other. The manner of relationship can be anything under the sun. For example, I just met someone but he was coming off too strong. He started asking personal questions just like how much money I make. I said We are not close enough to be talking about that (as far as our relationship is concerned). The main verb is 그런 얘기를 나누다 (to talk about such stuff). We take the verb stem and attach if it ends in a vowel and if it ends in a consonant. Then, we add 사이 아니다. The actual sentence is (우리) 그런 얘기를 나눌 사이() 아니에요. The verb in this example is in future tense (나눌). It modifies the noun 사이. It is important to know what tense suits the sentence and how to conjugate a verb into its modifier form.

우리 사랑하는 사이 아니에요.

We don’t love each other. We are not in a romantic relationship.


같이 먹는 사이 아닌데요.

We know each other but we never eat together. We are not that comfortable with each other.


그 남자랑 여행 같이 갈 사이가 아니잖아.

He wanted to go on a trip with but I refused. We are not close enough to be travelling together.