-었었-

Aug. 27th, 2010 02:21 pm
kutsuwamushi: (Default)
[personal profile] kutsuwamushi posting in [community profile] korean_wotd
This suffix is similar to the "past tense" suffix –었-. When used with descriptive verbs, it conveys a more distant feeling than –었-.

옛날엔 날씬했었어요.
I used to be slender.

When used with action verbs, it can mean:

An event that occurred prior to another, past-tense event—that is, if your point of reference is already in the past tense, you can use it to describe an action that happened before that. In this way, it's similar to English past perfect.

전화했을 때 이미 떠났었어.
I had already left when you called.

Or it can be used for actions leading to situations that have been discontinued. Compare the following sentences.

결혼을 했습니다.
I got married (and still am).

결혼을 했었습니다.
I was married before.

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