Grammar Lesson 4 Korean

아/어/여 보다,았었/었었/였었,본 적 있다/없다 (to try, done before)

In this lesson, we will learn how to say how to try something, and to say whether we’ve done something before.

AV + 아/어/여 + 보다

1. There isn’t really a verb for ‘to try’ in Korean, instead we conjugate the verb that we are trying to do into present form (아/어/여) and append 보다 as an ending.

먹어봐요. – Try eating it!

그 책을 공부해보세요. – Try studying that book.

AV + 본 적 있다
AV + 본 적 없다

2. When we ask others whether they’ve tried or done something before, we can do it two ways: We can either use ‘아/어/여 보다’ with a question ending, or we can append ‘본 적 있다’ with a question ending. Using [verb] + 본 적 없다 means you haven’t done something before.

한국에 가봤어요? = 한국에 가 본 적 있어요? – Have you been to Korea before? / Have you ever been to Korea?

난 가 본 적 없어요. – I haven’t gone before.

AV + 았었/었었/였었다

3. There is another way to say you’ve done something before, we can either use ‘아/어/여 보다’ in past tense, or use perfect past tense, which is conjugating the verb into past tense, then conjugating that past tense again. In short, it’s verb + 았었다/었었다/였었다.

서을에서 살았었어요. – I’ve lived in Seoul before.

한국에 가봤어요 = 한국에 갔었어요. – I’ve been to Korea before.