Difference between revisions of "았/었 + 다"

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Revision as of 01:08, 28 April 2011


Adjective/Verb + 았 / 었 + 어요 : This pattern is used for past tense. Note that the ending 어요 can be substituted with a different sentence ending or clause ending, such as 어, 습니다, 죠?, 으니까, etc. But there must be some ending; a word may not end with 았/었.


With adverbs such as 매일, 자주, 항상, etc, the sentence means 'past habit or repetition' rather than 'completion'.

Conjugation Rule

  • If the last vowel in the verb before the ending is a yang vowel (아, 야, 오, 요, 애, 얘, 와, 외, or 왜): 았어요.
  • If the last vowel in the verb before the ending is a yin vowel (어, 여, 우, 유, 에, 예, 워, 위, or 웨): 었어요.
  • If the last vowel in the verb before the ending is a neutral vowel (으, 이, or 의): use the preceding vowel; if it is yang, then 았어요; if it is yin, then 었어요; if there are no non-neutral vowels, use 었어요.
  • One exception: the verb 하다 (or any verb ending in 하다) becomes 했다 or 하였다 (했다 is the contracted form and much more common).

Conjugation Examples

  • 막다 → 막았다
  • 먹다 → 먹었다
  • 가다 → 갔다
  • 오다 → 왔다
  • 주다 → 줬다

Sentence Examples

Korean English Notes
어제 친구와 영화를 봤어요. I saw a movie with my friend yesterday. Polite informal form
강아지와 산책을 했어요. I took a walk with my dog. Polite informal form
점심 먹었어요? Did you have lunch? Polite informal form
차를 샀어요. I bought a car. Polite informal form
친구가 우리 집에 놀러 왔어. My friend came over to my place. Low form
동생은 학교에 갔습니다. My younger brother went to school. Formal form
오늘 아침에 늦게 일어났어. I got up late this morning. Low form
지하철 탔어요? 버스 탔어요? Did you get on the subway or bus? Polite informal form
어제 밤에 철수와 맥주를 마셨어요. I drank beer with Chul-Su last night. Polite informal form
나는 자주 도서관에 갔어요. I often went to the library. Polite informal form


  • Special pronunciation rule?

See Also

  • Related topic or grammar