Past Tense Usage – Korean Tense #7

We've done about the present. So, let's start about the past. Like present tense, we'll start with when to use past tense. Like present tense, past tense is not only for the past situations. Past tense form is used for 2 cases.

Past Situations

First of all, it is for the something that happened in the past.

일주일 전에도 똑같았어.
It was same a week ago.

어제 마트에 가서 먹을거리를 사 왔다.
Yesterday, I went to mall to buy foods.

사흘 전 아들이 초등학교에 입학했어요.
3 days ago, my son entered the primary school.

한 달 전에 있었던 일이라 기억이 나지 않습니다.
I cannot remember it because it happened a month ago.

Current Situation


Sometimes, past tense verbs are used to describe current situation. It is used in this way when something happened in the past and the result hasn't changed.

옷이 문에 끼었어.
My clothes is stuck between the door.

In this situation, your clothes is still stuck between the door. It happened a few moments ago, it hasn't changed. That's why 끼었다, the past form of 끼다, is used to describe current situation.

저 지금 버스에 탔어요. 곧 갈 거예요.
I am now in the bus. I'll be there soon.

철수는 오늘 파란 양복을 입었다.
철수 is in blue suits today.

As you can guess, you just rode a bus, and it is not changed. That's why it's 탔어요. 철수 wore blue suits early today and he hasn't changed, so it's 입었다 again.

All Korean verbs aren't used in this form. Usually, wear verbs(입다, 신다, 쓰다, 차다, 끼다, etc.), 타다(ride), 서다(stand), 앉다(sit), 열다(open) can be used for this form.

Descriptive Verbs

Finally, some descriptive verbs are used in past tense form to describe current situation.

그 가방은 많이 낡았다.
That bag is old.

The bag is old now. It doesn't mean "it was once old." Like this, 낡다(old – objects), 늙다(old – people), 잘생기다(handsome), 못 생기다(ugly), 닮다(similar, resemble), 마르다(slim), 찌다(fat), 멀다(far) can be used in this form.

실제로 보면 더 잘 생겼어.
When you meet him in person, he's more handsome.

못 생겼다고 좌절할 이유는 없어.
You don't have to be discouraged for your appearance.

선생님이랑 제자가 많이 닮았네요.
The teacher and the student look really similar.

일이 다 끝나려면 멀었다.
It's far from getting works done.

그렇게 말랐는데 다이어트를 한다고?
She's so slim, but she's on a diet?

나 살 많이 쪘지?
Do I look fat?