Verb: Honorific Past Tense

Few days ago my posting is about past tense form of word.  As we all know Korean communicates in some level of politeness.  Today what I have learned is to form honorific past tense of a word.  It would be helpful to know how to derive the honorific base and infinitive of the word first, check this link to review it.

Similar to previous post on forming past tense of the word, the honorific past tense is derived using the same progression:

  • Base
  • Honorific Base – formed by adding 으시 (consonant ending words) or 시 (vowel ending words) to the base form.
  • Honorific Infinitive – formed by adding ㅓ to the base honorific form therefore 으시 becomes 으셔 and 시 becomes 셔.
  • Past Honorific Base – add ㅆ to the honorific infinitive form 
  • Past Honorific Infinitive – add ㅓ  to the past honorific base
  • Past Honorific Polite  – add 요  to the past honorific infinitive

Now let’s have a sample:

  • Base – let’s use the word 가 (ka) which means go
  • Honorific Base – 가시 (kashi)
  • Honorific Infinitive – 가셔 (kasyeo)
  • Past Honorific Base – 가셨 (kasyeoss) remember final consonant ㅅ and ㅆ are swallowed during pronunciation therefore the honorific infinitive and past honorific base may have the same pronunciation.
  • Past Honorific Infinitive – 가셨어 (ka-syeo-sseo) this already means gone or left
  • Past Honorific Polite  – 가셨어요 (ka-syeo-sseo-yo)

Therefore ‘sat’ which is the past tense of the word ‘sit’ will be 앉으셨어 (an-ju-syeo-seo) add 요 then it becomes honorific polite ending verb 앉으셨어요 (an-ju-syeo–seo-yo).

Verbs: Forming Past Tense

For the longest time, i have been reading and studying Korean words and grammar in present tense.  At this point I finally reached the lesson on past tense.  Forming the past tense of a verb is easy, it’s the infinitive form of the verb + ㅆ to get the verb’s past tense base form.  As we all know base form of the word is not used in a conversation so its has to be in the infinitive form (for intimate conversation) or in the infinitive form + polite ending 요 (yo).

To show how verbs will progress its form to past tense here is a sample:

  • Base Form – 쓰 (ssu) this verb means write
  • Infinitive form – 써 (sseo) rule in deriving infinitive form of  verb ending in ‘ㅡ’ (u sound in English) is to drop it (ㅡ) and add the infinitive marker ㅓ.
  • Past Base Form – 썼 (sseoss) simply add ㅆ after the infinitive marker to get the past base form.
  • Past Infinitive – 썼어 (sseo-sseo) again the past base form cannot be used in a conversation so it is always followed by 어 to get the past infinitive form, this way the word can be used already during intimate conversation (talking to someone younger than you).
  • Past Polite – 썼어요 (sseo-sseo-yo) this is the polite ending.

 Let’s have another example:

오  (ow) is the base form of the word come.  To get the infinitive form of this word, ㅏ (a) should be added, based on the rules on forming infinitive of verbs ending ㅗ, thus 와 (wa).  This is therefore the present tense form which can be used on intimate conversation.  Past tense base form of the word will be 왔 (romanizing the word it becomes wass, ㅅ is normally swallowed or not pronounced if used as final consonant so this will still sound wa).  왔 already means came but since this can’t be used on a normal conversation you have to derive its past infinitive form therefore the word ‘came’ in Korean is 왔어 (wasseo) just add 요 (yo) then you have the polite ending verb 왔어요 (wasseoyo).

I have old postings on deriving the infinitive form of a word check it out here.