"하늘에 구름이 꼈어."
Translation:There are clouds in the sky.
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I'm no expert so take this with a grain of salt but they might be related through Hanja - the Hanja equivalent to 그늘 is 陰 which as you can see includes the character 云, an archaic word for 'cloud'. Considering how some radicals in Chinese characters influence how a word is pronounced, this might explain why they sound similar? As for 그림자, the Hanja doesn't seem to resemble either word, but I did find someone claiming that the 그ㄹ part originally meant 'sun' so maybe there's a connection there.
구름이 끼다 is a clausal adjective which literally means (구름이) clouds (끼다) are covering/filling up. So,
하늘에 구름이 껴. clouds are (currently, continuously) filling up the sky => There are 'being' clouds in the sky. (current state)
하늘에 구름이 꼈어. clouds have been (may still be) filling up the sky => There are clouds in the sky. (existing state)
하늘에 구름이 꼈었어. clouds were (no longer are) filling up the sky => There were/had been clouds in the sky. (past state)
(1) It's idiomatic.
~이/가 끼다 (intransitive verb) = be shrouded in; be covered with [ => object complement has to be marked with 이/가.]
"구름이 꼈어." (idiom) = be shrouded in clouds
하늘에 구름이 꼈어. = [Lit.] Over the sky, it is shrouded in clouds
= The sky is shrouded in clouds
=> Clouds shrouded over the sky (by inference)
(2) The sky clouded over / became cloudy or overcast = 하늘이 흐려졌어.
[from 흐려지다 (a reflexive verb) = get cloudy; overcast; bleary...]
끼다 = be shrouded
껴 = is [being] shrouded = is shrouding => current occurence
꼈어 = (is/has been) shrouded => existing (continuing) occurence
꼈었어 = (was) shrouded => past (complete) occurence.
Few points to keep in mind:
▪Time of speech = moment when the statement is made
▪Korean simple past tense implies the event (action/state) happened before the time of speech. It does not necessarily mean the event is complete [ =The completion factor is irrelevant.] => open-ended past tense.
▪Korean 'pluperfect' on the other hand describes a complete event in the past. [The completion factor is guaranteed].