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

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 both the PDF lesson notes and the MP3 audio track for this lesson below, and if you want to learn with our various textbooks and workbooks, you can get them on our online bookstore at MyKoreanStore.com. If you have any questions about this lesson, please leave us comments below!

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Go to the Grammar Curriculum page to see all of our grammar lessons.

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

    I know how to write ‘I do,’ but how do I write, ‘I did’?

    • maryam


  • Kim Namjoon

    to say ‘I watched BTS Gayo 17’ in korean would you say
    방탄소년단 가요 십칠 보았어요

    • mxc9219

      봤어요* (don’t know about the rest)

  • Lucie Raeck

    – 고양이 보었어요. 보었어요?
    – 저 고양이예요?
    – 네.
    – 어, 네. 보어요.
    Is that right?

    • mxc9219

      by 보었어요 you mean the verb 보다? 보다 is conjugate as 봐요 in present tense and 봤어요 in past tense.

  • Pia Rxttlxr


  • Nina Söllner

    I am confused.
    잡다. The verb stem is 잡, but why is it 잡아요 in the present tense? I thought I need to focus on the last letter of the stem which is b/p. I would have chosen 잡어요. Please help me, I would be very thankful!

    • disqus_U32PBwPGdp

      if i’m not mistaken, you have to look at the verb stem’s last VOWEL, not letter 🙂 so in this case, the last vowel is ㅏ, and that’s why the ending is 아요.

    • Jonathan

      If the verb stem is end in consonant and has (a) or (o) ..add (a)(yo)..
      But if without (a) or (o)..add (oe)(yo)..

  • chere nicholas

    What is the Korean verb for “to work”, as in my job?

    • 케이라

      일하다 (il-ha-da)

  • mxc9219

    어제 시험 있어어요. 힘들어지만 할 수 있었어요.
    Yesterday I had a test. It was tough but I made it! (I mean I passed)