Past Tense Conjugation – Korean Tense #8

Let's learn how to conjugate verbs for the past tenses. Like always, there are 4 types of conjugations, 았/었어, 았/었다, 았/었어요, 았/었습니다. As all of them start with 어, you should be careful with irregular verbs.

Like always, the choice of 았/었 is determined by vowel harmony. If the character in front of 았/었 has ㅏ or ㅗ, then it should be 았. For the rest, it should be 었.

We'll see each type with 3 examples.

았/었어

어제도 안 왔어.
He didn't come yesterday, too.

어제도 실패였어. 하지만 오늘은 성공할 거야.
I failed again yesterday. But I will succeed today.

3년 전에 여기 살았어.
I lived here 3 years ago.

았/었다

나는 1주일 전 초등학교 친구를 만났다.
A week ago, I met a friend of my elemetary school.

그는 5년 전 미국으로 떠났다.
He went to US 5 years ago.

급한 일 때문에 딸의 졸업식에 참여하지 못했다.
Because of the emergency, I couldn't attend my daughter's graduation ceremony.

았/었어요

다 했어요. 이제 뭐 하면 돼요?
I finished it. Then, what should I do next?

방에는 없었어요. 다른 곳을 찾아 볼게요.
He wasn't there in the room. I will go find him in other places.

오늘 늦게 일어나서 학교에 늦었어요.
As I woke up late, I was late for school.

았/었습니다

1주일 늦기는 했지만 완성했습니다.
It was 1 week late, but I finished it.

저는 전에 평범한 회사원이었습니다.
I was a normal employee.

지난 주에는 일이 많아 피곤했습니다.
As there was a lot of work last week, I was tired.