안녕, 여러분! Hey, y’all! In this lesson, I want to introduce you to past-tense sentences in Korean. hopefully past-tense ones won’t be super difficult :). Let’s begin!

Verbs
Let’s take a look at a basic present-tense sentence that translates to “I do the homework”:

저는 숙제를 해요 = I do the homework
In previous lessons, we learned how to conjugate the verb 하다 (to do) into this present-tense form. But how do we conjugate this verb if you want to say that you did the homework? It’s actually not incredibly different from the present-tense, actually. You can use this basic formula:

verb stem + 았 / 었 / 였 + 어요

*Note: a verb or adjective stem is just a verb minus the 다. In this case, the verb stem would just be 하.

So let’s say we already did the homework:

하 + 았 / 었 / 였 + 어요 = 했어요
저는 숙제를 했어요 = I did the homework
Essentially, it’s just attaching ㅆ to the end of a present-tense-conjugated verb stem for the most part (if that makes sense lol). Let’s look at some more examples!

1. I went to the hospital yesterday.

가다 = to go
어제 = yesterday
가 + 았 / 었 / 였 + 어요 = 갔어요
어제는 제가 병원에 갔어요 = I went to the hospital yesterday
2. We met our friend at 12 o’clock.

만나다 = to meet
우리 = we / us
만나 + 았 / 었 / 였 + 어요 = 만났어요
열두시에 우리가 친구를 만났어요 = We met our friend at 12 o’clock
3. My older brother called me last week.

부르다 = to call
지난주 = last week (주 alone means “week”)
부르 + 았 / 었 / 였 + 어요 = 불렀어요 (this verb is irregular, so it’s conjugated as shown!)
지난주에 오빠가 저를 불렀어요 = My older brother called me last week
Adjectives
We learned previously that adjectives can be conjugated the same way that verbs are conjugated. You can use the same formula:

adjective stem + 았 / 었 / 였 + 어요

Here are some examples:

1. The dress was really pretty.

예쁘다 = to be pretty
정말 = really
예쁘 + 았 / 었 / 였 + 어요 = 예뻤어요
드레스가 정말 예뻤어요 = The dress was really pretty
2. The necklace was a little expensive

비싸다 = to be expensive
목걸이 = necklace
좀 = a little / a bit
비싸 + 았 / 었 / 였 + 어요 = 비쌌어요
목걸이가 좀 비쌌어요 = The necklace was a little expensive
Questions
In Korean, the simplest way to make a sentence a question is just to add a question mark at the end of it. While in English we have words like “did” and “do” in our questions, Korean doesn’t, so it’s a bit easier! For instance:

숙제를 해요? = Do you do the homework?
Likewise, all we have to do is add a question mark to the end of a past-tense sentence to ask if someone did something:

숙제를 했어요? = Did you do the homework?
어제는 병원에 갔어요? = Did you go to the hospital yesterday?
드레스가 정말 예뻤어요? = Was the dress really pretty?
These sentences are all formal as shown by the 요 at the end of each sentence. Thus, to make them informal, simply drop the 요 (for questions and regular statements alike):

어제는 제가 병원에 갔어.
열두시에 우리가 친구를 만났어.
지난주에 오빠가 저를 불렀어.
드레스가 정말 예뻤어.
목걸이가 좀 비쌌어.
That’s about it for this lesson! 많이 배웠어요? Did you learn a lot? Hope it helped you learn how to talk about your past! Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions if you have any