Past Simple Tense in Korean


Now that you know how verbs are conjugated in present tense, we think the past tense must follow. Your knowledge is fresh and the process is the same, hence, we won't be making a fraction note on this one. We will cover all three forms of conjugation here.

In English, we have regular verbs and irregular verbs. The former takes ‘d’ or ‘ed’, while the latter involves a change in spelling. We'd like to think the same in Korean. They are all regular because they all end with the same ending- the ㅆ어요, but some are irregular because the verb stem evolves a bit. The latter will be tackled next time. To make it short, the endings -아요, -어요, and -여요 become -았어요-었어요, and -였어요 respectively.

We add 았어요 to verb stems that end with the vowels  and.


 사람은 았어요.                  
That person was good.


지성씨가 항거리에 가았어요 -> 갔어요.       
Jisung went to Hungary.


내가 어제 오았어요 -> 왔어요.                    
I came yesterday.

가았어요 and 오았어요 is contracted into 왔어요 for ease of pronunciation.

We add 었어요 to verb stems that end with vowels other than  and .


아기가 많이 었어요.             
The baby cried a lot.


 돈만 주었어요 ->줬어요.       
Jisung went to Hungary.


바람이 었어요.                
The wind blew.

주었어요 is contracted into 줬어요 for ease of pronunciation.

We add 였어요 to 하다 verbs. However, 하였어요 is automatically contracted into 했어요 for ease of pronunciation.


사랑하
  사랑했어요.           
I loved you.

좋아하
엄마는  반지를 좋아했어요.     
Mom liked that ring.

공부하
어젯밤에 공부를  했어요.              
I didn't study last night.