Level 1 Lesson 17 / Past Tense / -았/었/였어요 (했어요)

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In this TTMIK lesson, we are looking at the past tense of the Korean language. By knowing how to change your verbs into the past tense, you will be able to talk about what you did yesterday, who you met last week, and etc. If you already understand how to change verbs into the present tense, using the past tense will be a breeze. And if you are still not sure how to use the present tense, don’t worry! We are going to review that in this lesson too. Be sure to ask us any questions you have in the comment box! Thank you!

And after listening to the lesson, practice making your own sample sentences!

Sample question: 어제 뭐 했어요? [eo-je mwo hae-sseo-yo?] “What did you do yesterday?”

You can download a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here.


  • Nina

    바 레 했 어 요!

  • Paweł

    안녕하세요 ^^

    Yesterday I drank green tea. Today I drink black tea.
    어제 저 녹차 마시 었어요. 오늘 저 홍차 마시 어요.
    Yesterday I ate chicken. Today I want to eat a hamburger.
    어제 저 치긴 먹 었어요. 오늘 저 함버거 먹 고싶어요.
    Yesterday I read a newspaper. Today I want to watch TV.
    어제 저 긴문지 읽 었어요. 어 늘 저 델 레 비 전 보 고 싶어요.
    If I was wrong please correct me. 감사합니다.

    • alisu

      I believe the right conjugation for 마시다 is 마셔요 —> 마셨어요.
      and Newspaper=신문 :)

    • https://www.youtube.com/c/mutru Paul 볼

      네. 맞아요. 아주 감사합니다 ^^

  • day

    Hello. I have a question.

    How do you say ‘It was fun’ in Korean?
    I know ‘fun’ is 재미, but 재몄어요 doesn’t sound right to me?

    • D.Zoey

      재미있었어요 =was fun

    • day

      Yeah but i saw someone said 재밌었어요. Is it the same?

    • D.Zoey

      This is present tense. 재미있어요.

      The one i put is equivalent to “was” and is past tense. 재미있었어요

      So the one you mentioned above is incorrect

    • day

      Okay thanks! :D

  • Sam Wainwright

    어제 아보카도 샀어요. 맛있었어요! ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

    In general, I’m having a lot of trouble with spelling. I almost always have to look it up. It’s not enough to just sound things out, you have to remember what the rules are for valid syllables, etc…

  • Krin Canseco

    Hello :) I am quite confused.what do you mean by verb stems with vowels Other than ㅏ or ㅗ are followed by 었어요? And on the present tense lesson,i read that verb stems that do not end with ㅏ or ㅗ are followed by 어요.please help me clarify..감사합니다

    • JooyeonPark

      -아/어요 is present tense, and -았/었/였어요 is for the past tense. :)

  • Zion Mercurio

    어제,나는 한교 갔어요 그리고 밥에 친구랑 밥을 먹었어요. 정말 맛있었어요!

  • Connie

    In one of your examples you’ve made 잡다 into 자아요 for present tense and 잡았어요 for past tense why is that? Shouldn’t it be 잡어요? And 잡었어요? Because the verb stem is other than 아 or 오.

    • http://www.twitter.com/sdcadenza Donnie

      The verb stem vowel is ㅏ. Its about the last vowel in the verb stem, not the last character. Just like how 웃다 is 웃어요 because the last vowel is ㅜ, not because of the ㅅ, which is a consonant.

      So, because the last VOWEL in the verb stem is ㅏ, we get 잡아요 and 잡았어요.

      edit: also ayyyyy our names rhyme.

  • tim

    How come Jeok-da is to write and Sseu da is to write? Can someone clarify for me.

  • Jake

    만녕!

  • Klaudia Klonowska

    어제 대학에 갔어요그리고 한국말 배웄어요. 친구랑 메운밥 먹었어요. 우리는 피곤했어요. 가정에 왔어요 그리고 잤어요.

  • Eugenia Lucchelli

    어제 나는 공부하였어요