Lesson 52: Quoting in Korean (~ㄴ/는다고)

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Vocabulary
Introduction

Quoting with Verbs: ~ㄴ/는다고
Quoting with Adjectives: ~다고
Quoting with 이다: ~(이)라고
Other Uses of ~ㄴ/는다고

Asking Questions with Quoted Sentences

Using Quoted Sentences with ~는 것

 

Vocabulary

Click on the English word to see information and examples of that word in use. Use these sentences to give yourself a feel for how each word can be used, and maybe even to expose yourself to the grammar that you will be learning shortly.

A PDF file neatly presenting these words and extra information can be found here.

Nouns:
식신 = somebody who eats a lot

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “식씬”

Examples:
저는 식신이라서 뷔페에 자주 가요 = I go to buffets a lot because I am a “식신”
밥을 많이 먹을 수 있는 사람들을 식신이라고 불러요 = People who can eat a lot are called “식신”

길이 = length

Notes: A few adjectives that describe sizes have a similar looking word that represents the noun form of that adjective. For example:

크다 = big
크기 = size (bigness)

길다 = long
길이 = length

넓다 = wide
넓이 = width

Common Usages:
길이를 재다 = to measure the length
길이를 줄이다 = to decrease length
길이를 늘이다 = to increase length

Examples:
이 밧줄의 길이가 짧아요
= The length of this rope is short

이 바지 길이가 길어서 잘라야 해요
= These pants (the length of these pants) are too long so I need to cut them

밧줄의 길이가 너무 부족하다고 했어요
= I said that the length of this rope is not enough (insufficient)

저는 그 밧줄의 길이를 늘여야 된다고 이미 말했어요
= I already said that we need to make the length of that rope longer

밧줄 = rope

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “바쭐”

Common Usages:
밧줄을 감다 = to wind a rope
밧줄을 당기다 = to pull a rope
밧줄을 자르다 = to cut a rope

Examples:
안 쓰는 밧줄을 막대기에 감아 놓았어요
= I coiled the rope that we aren’t using around the rod

이 밧줄의 길이가 몇 센티이냐고 물어봤어요
= I asked how many centimeters this line/rope/string is

저는 그 밧줄의 길이를 늘여야 된다고 이미 말했어요
= I already said that we need to make the length of that rope longer

주인공 = main character, hero

Common Usages:
여주인공 = heroine

Examples:
이 영화의 주인공은 매우 인기가 많은 배우예요
= The main character of this movie is a very popular actor

아무래도 다음 영화에서 주인공이 죽을 것 같아요
= The hero/star/main character will probably die in the next movie

대부분 사람들이 이 영화의 주인공이 아주 잘생겼다고 말해요
= Most people say that the main character of this move is very handsome

소설가 = novelist

Common Usages:

단편소설가 = short story novelist
장편소설가 = “long story” novelist (Korean people use 장편 to refer to the opposite of 단편 – but 장편 (meaning a long story) usually just refers to a regular novel.)

Examples:
소설가의 설명은 아주 섬세해요 = The novelist’s explanation is very delicate

소설가가 되기 위해서는 많은 책을 읽고 공부해야 돼요
= In order to become a novelist, you need to read many books and study

저는 이 소설가가 다른 소설가들보다 월등히 낫다고 생각합니다
= I think this novelist is much better than other novelists

자동차 = automobile, vehicle

Common Usages:
일반자동차 = regular car
대형자동차 = large sized car
소형자동차 = small sized car
자동차보험 = car insurance
자동차사고 = car accident
자동차주차금지 = no parking (of cars)
자동차를 빌리다 = to rent a car

Examples:
저는 자동차를 빌릴 거예요 = I will rent a car

자동차를 사면 자동차 보험을 꼭 들어야 해요
= If you buy a car, you must get car insurance

이 길은 가파르기 때문에 자동차 사고가 많이 나요
= Many car accidents happen on this road because it is steep

1년 전에 자동차 사고를 당한 동료는 건강을 회복하고 다시 출근했어요
= My co-worker that got into a car accident a year ago has recovered his health and has again started coming to work

시식 = samples that supermarkets give out for tasting

Examples:
홈플러스와 같은 대형 마트가 보통 고객들이 먹을 수 있는 시식이 많아요
= Big supermarkets like HomePlus usually prepare samples that their customers can eat

제가 홈플러스에 유일하게 가는 이유는 시식을 먹을 수 있기 때문이에요
= The only reason I go to Homeplus is because I can eat the samples

입력 = input

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “임녁”

Common Usages:
입력신호 = input signal
입력단자 = input terminal
자료를 입력하다 = to input data

Examples:
이 내용을 핸드폰에 입력해 주세요
= Please input this information into your phone

이 정보를 내일까지 다 입력해 줄 거라고 약속했어요
= I promised that I would input all of this information by tomorrow

제가 회사에서 자료를 입력해서 하루 종일 책상에 앉아 있어야 돼요
= At work I input data so I have to sit at a desk all day

출력 = output

Notes: Just like in English, 출력 can be used to refer to something that is printed or taken out of a machine somehow. For example:

인쇄기가 망가져서 이 서류를 출력하지 못해요
= The printer is broken so we can’t print/output this document

출력해야 할 내용이 있어서 복사기를 먼저 찾아야 해요
= I have something (some contents) that I need to print so I first need to find copier

It can also be used to refer to the power capacity of some machine. For example:

현대 자동차 출력은 첫 번째 출시된 자동차보다 백 배 더 많아요
= The output of modern automobiles is 100 times more of those of the first cars released

현금인출기 = ATM

Common Usages:
현금인출기에서 돈을 뽑다 = to take out money from an ATM

Examples:
현금인출기에서 현금을 뽑으러 은행에 가야 된다고 말할 거예요
= I’m going to say that I need to go to the bank to take out cash from the ATM

시위자 = protester

Examples:
이 길은 시위자들에 의해 막혀 있어요
= This road is blocked because of the protesters

거리에 있었던 사람들이 시위자들이었다
= The people on the street were protesters

회사장은 많은 시위자들로부터 드디어 빠져 나왔어요
= The CEO finally escaped (came out of) the crowd of protestors

시위자들이 소리를 지르기도 하고 가게창문을 깨기도 했어요
= The protestors screamed and also broke store windows too

불만 = complaint, dissatisfaction

Common Usages:
불평불만 = complaint
불만족스럽다 = to be dissatisfied

Examples:
정부에게 불만을 표현하고 싶은 사람이 많은가 봐요
= It looks like there is a lot of people who want to express their complaints towards the government

제가 가장 싫어하는 사람은 하루 종일 불평불만을 하는 사람이에요
= The people I hate the most are the people that complain all day

정각 = on the hour

Examples:
영화가 3시 정각에 시작될 거예요 = The movie will start at 3:00 on the hour
제가 오늘 1시 정각에 도착하겠다고 말했어요 = I said that I will arrive at 1:00 on the hour

Verbs:
돌아서다 = to turn around

This word can be used to indicate that one changes their physical direction. For example:

그 사람에 얼굴을 보기 싫어서 돌아섰어요
= I didn’t want to see that person’s face, so I turned around

싫어하는 사람이 저에 다가와서 그 사람을 피하려고 등을 지고 돌아섰어요
= A person I don’t like was approaching me, so I turned around to avoid him

It can also be used to indicate that one changes their mind or attitude. When used like this, it is often used with 마음. For example:

남자친구와 어제 심하게 싸워서 남자친구에게 마음이 돌아섰어요
= I had a serious fight with my boyfriend yesterday, so I turned my back on him (don’t like him anymore)

늘이다 = to make longer

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “느리다”

Notes: 늘이다 is used when one increases length. 늘리다 is used when increasing width of volume (Another usage of 늘리다 is also the active form of 늘다)

Common Usages:
길이를 늘이다 = to increase the length of

Examples:
저는 그 밧줄의 길이를 늘여야 된다고 이미 말했어요
= I already said that we need to make the length of that rope longer

가리키다 = to point, to indicate

This word is used to indicate that one physically points at something. For example:

제일 좋아하는 여자를 가리킬 거예요 = I will point to the girl that I like the most

길을 잃어서 한 남자에게 방향을 물으니 저기를 가리켰어요 = I got lost so I asked a man to point in the direction

Similarly, it is used to indicate that some form of measurement reader is pointing towards a number. For example:

시계가 1시를 가리켜요 = The clock is pointing at 1:00

상상하다 = to imagine

Common Usages:
상상력 = imagination (imaginative power)

Examples:
아내랑 이혼하는 것을 상상할 수도 없어요
= I can’t even imagine divorcing my wife

제가 이렇게 더러운 도매시장에서 일하는 것을 상상할 수도 없어요
= I can’t even imagine working at a dirty wholesale market like this

저는 모든 나라가 민주주의 국가로 변하는 것을 상상할 수 없다고 말했어요
= I said that I can’t imagine all countries changing to a democratic nation

헌집이든 새집이든 내가 깔아놓은 장판 위에서 누군가 새로운 삶을 시작할 거라고 상상하면 행복해지고 있다
= It doesn’t matter if it’s an old house or a new house, when I imagine that people will start their new life on the floor that I put down, I get happy

심다 = to plant

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “심따”

Common Usages:
꽃을 심다 = to plant flowers
나무를 심다 = to plant a tree

Examples:
그 씨앗을 어디에 심는지 신경을 안 써요
= I don’t care where you plant those seeds

이 장소에서 나무를 심고 싶다고 말했어요
= I said that I want to plant a tree in this location

호우에 의해 올해 농부들은 밭에 옥수수를 심지 못했어
= Farmers couldn’t plant corn this years due to the heavy rain

위로하다 = to console

The noun form of this word (“위로”) translates to “consolation.”

Common Usages:

위로금 = money given to console somebody (this is common in Korea)
진심으로 위로하다 = to console from the bottom of one’s heart (sincerely)
위로해 줘서 감사합니다 = thank you for consoling me

Examples:
저의 친구의 아버지가 돌아가셔서 저는 친구를 위로했어요
= My friend’s father passed away so I consoled my friend

제가 힘든 시간을 보내고 있을 때 남자친구는 진심으로 위로해 줘요
= When I am having a hard time, my boyfriend consoles me sincerely

Adjectives:
조그맣다 = to be tiny, to be little

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “조그마타”

Examples:
아빠가 오늘 잡은 물고기가 너무 조그맣다고 했어요
= Dad said that the fish he caught today is/was very tiny

나는 울음을 멈출 수가 없었다. 엄마는 나에게 조그만 선물을 줬다. 바로 내가 작년에 가지고 싶었던 시계였다. 엄마는 내가 작년에 말한 말을 기억하고 있었다.
= I couldn’t stop crying. My mom gave me a small present. It was the watch that I wanted last year. Mom remembered what I said last year.

월등하다 = to be exceptional

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “월뜽하다”

Common Usages:
월등히 = exceptionally
실력이 월등하다 = for one’s skills to be exceptional

Examples:
저는 이 소설가가 다른 소설가들보다 월등히 낫다고 생각합니다
= I think this novelist is much (exceptionally) better than other novelists

그 선수는 다른 선수들에 비해 실력이 월등해서 모든 게임을 이겼어요
= That athlete’s skills are much better than other athletes, so he won all of the games

불만족스럽다 = to be dissatisfied

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “불만족쓰럽따”

Examples:
아무리 일을 열심히 해도 저는 왠지 불만족스러워요
= Regardless of how hard I study, for some reason I am not satisfied

서울 사람들은 서울시 고등학교 교육과정이 불만족스럽다고 말해요
= The people of Seoul say that they are not satisfied with the Seoul high school curriculum

Adverbs and Other Words:
몹시 = heavily/badly/really bad

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “몹씨”

Examples:
저의 몸이 몹시 피곤해요 = My body is really tired

돌아가신 아버지가 몹시 보고 싶어서 어젯밤 많이 울었어요
= I really miss my father who passed away so last night I cried a lot

점차 = gradually/slowly

Examples:
날씨가 점차 추워지고 있어요 = The weather is gradually getting colder
이 상황이 점차 나빠지고 있어요 = This situation is gradually getting worse

지금껏 = until now

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “지금껃”

Notes: You will see a few other words with ~껏attached. Sometimes ~껏 denotes the time “until” the time period indicated. Another example of this is 지금껏.

Other times ~껏 denotes that something is done “as much” as the noun allows for it. Common examples of this are:

마음껏 = as much as one wants
힘껏 = as much as one can (as much as one’s power will allow)

Examples:
지금껏 제가 제일 잘한 일은 제 남편과 결혼한 일이에요
= Until now, the best thing I have done is marry my husband

For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.

 

Introduction

In this lesson, you will learn something that hasn’t been presented at all up to this point. Here, you will learn how to quote people (including yourself) when making sentences. After learning this, you will understand how important it is to know how to quote people in speech, as you will realize how often it comes up. Anyways, here we go, let’s learn how to quote.

 

 

Quoting with Verbs: ~ㄴ/는다고

Quoting in Korean is counter-intuitive for an English speaker. With some Korean knowledge most people would assume that quoting would be done using the ~는 것 principle. For example, if I were going to say:

I know that he likes you

I could use the ~는 것 principle to create this sentence in Korean:

나는 그가 너를 좋아하는 것을 알아 = I know that he likes you

If I changed the word 알다 (to know) to 말하다 (to say), you would think that I could write this:

나는 그가 너를 좋아하는 것을 말했어

However, this is not how quoting is done in Korean. The ordering of quoted sentences is still the same as ~는 것 sentences, but ~는 것 is not used. So, let’s take out ~는 것 in that sentence:

나는 그가 너를 좋아하?????? 말했어

In quoted sentences, the actual “quoted” part gets conjugated into the plain (or “diary”) form. If you are unfamiliar with the plain form, I suggest you read Lesson 5. Let’s look at a quick table showing the plain form for three common verbs:

Past Tense Present Tense Future Tense
하다 (to do) 했다 한다 하겠다
가다 (to go) 갔다 간다 가겠다
먹다 (to eat) 먹었다 먹는다 먹겠다

You actually conjugate the “quoted” part of a sentence as if it were its own sentence into this form. After the sentence is conjugated to the plain form, you must place “고” at the end of it. For example:

한다고
간다고
먹는다고

Let’s look at the example we were looking at before. Instead of writing this:

나는 그가 너를 좋아하는 것을 말했어

We should write:

나는 그가 너를 좋아한다고 말했어 = I said that he likes you

Notice that 좋아하다 in the quoted portion of the sentence is conjugated to the present tense. This is because the sentence I created was “I said that he likes you.” In other situations, the quoted part of the sentence could be conjugated to the past and future tenses. If we wanted, we could also write:

나는 그가 너를 좋아했다고 말했어 = I said that he liked you
나는 그가 너를 좋아하겠다고 말했어 = I said that he will like you

You can also change the conjugation of the final verb (in these cases “말하다”) to indicate when the quote is said. For example:

나는 그가 너를 좋아한다고 말하고 있어 = I am saying (telling you) that he likes you
나는 그가 너를 좋아한다고 말할 거야 = I will say that he likes you

If you want to indicate to whom this quote is said to, you can attach ~에게/한테/께 to the person being spoken to. For example:

나는 엄마에게 그가 너를 좋아한다고 말할 거야 = I will tell mom that he likes you

Let’s look at another example with the different conjugations of the quoted verb:

선생님은 학생들이 늦게 도착했다고 말했다 = The teacher said that the students arrived late
선생님은 학생들이 늦게 도착한다고 말했다 = The teacher said that the students arrive late
선생님은 학생들이 늦게 도착하겠다고 말했다 = The teacher said that the students will arrive late

Below are many examples of this quoted ending being used with verbs:

저는 밥을 안 먹었다고 말했어요 = I said that I didn’t eat (rice)
나는 너에게 같이 가야 한다고 했어 = I said (to you) that we have to go together
출력이 아직 안 된다고 말했어요 = I said that the output doesn’t work
나는 아빠에게 집에 안 가겠다고 말할 거야 = I’m going to tell my dad that I won’t go home
나는 선생님에게 열심히 공부했다고 말했어 = I told the teacher that I studied hard
저는 오늘 1시 정각에 도착하겠다고 말했어요 = I said that I will arrive at 1:00 on the hour

이 길에 큰 자동차가 운전하면 안 된다고 말했어요
= I said that big vehicles are not allowed to drive on this road

저는 그 밧줄의 길이를 늘여야 된다고 이미 말했어요
= I already said that we need to make the length of that rope longer

현금인출기에서 현금을 뽑으러 은행에 가야 된다고 말할 거예요
= I’m going to say that I need to go to the bank to take out cash from the ATM

You should know by now that Korean people love shortening their sentences. Because ~ㄴ/는다고already indicates that the sentence is quoted, you do not necessarily need to say “말하다” and instead, you can just say “하다.” For example:

그는 공부하지 않았다고 했어요 = He said that he didn’t study
저는 밥을 안 먹었다고 했어요 = I said that I didn’t eat (rice)

Up to now, you have only learned how to quote a clause when it ends in a verb. Let’s look at how we can do this with adjectives.

 

 

 

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Quoting with Adjectives: ~다고

Quoting a clause that ends in an adjective is done just like with verbs, in that the predicating adjective is conjugated using the plain form. However, remember that the plain form conjugation for adjectives in the present tense is different from verbs. In Lesson 5, you learned that the dictionary form of an adjective (that is, the word by itself without changing it at all) is the same as its plain form conjugation. Therefore,

The plain form conjugation of 행복하다 is 행복하다 and not 행복한다
The plan form conjugation of 월등하다 is 월등하다 and not 월등한다

However, remember that the plain form conjugation for adjectives in the past tense (and also future tense) is the same as verbs. Let’s look at some examples of clauses that end with adjectives and are used as a quote in a sentence:

밧줄의 길이가 너무 부족하다고 했어요
= I said that the length of this rope is not enough (insufficient)

아빠가 오늘 잡은 물고기가 너무 조그맣다고 했어요
= Dad said that the fish he caught today is/was very tiny

우리 아빠는 자기가 어렸을 때 너무 행복했다고 했어요
= My dad said that he was very happy when he was younger

우리가 같이 먹었을 때 저는 배고프지 않다고 했어요
= When we ate together, I said I wasn’t hungry (I said I’m not hungry)

대부분 사람들이 이 영화의 주인공이 아주 잘생겼다고 말해요
= Most people say that the main character of this move is very handsome

서울 사람들은 서울시 고등학교 교육과정이 불만족스럽다고 말해요
= The people of Seoul say that they are not satisfied with the Seoul high school curriculum

Also remember that있다 and 없다 are adjectives when they are used to indicate that one has, or does not have an object. This means that 있다 and 없다 should be quoted like other adjectives (also remember that ~ㄹ/을 수 있다/없다 falls in this category as well). For example:

학생이 이해할 수 없다고 했어요 = The student said he can’t understand
저는 학교에 갈 수 없다고 했어요 = I said I can’t go to school

그는 다음 주 목요일에 여행할 수 있다고 했어요
= He said that he will be able to travel next Thursday

저는 현금이 없다고 해서 현금인출기에 갔어요
= I said that I don’t have cash, so we went to the ATM

저는 여자 친구에게 같이 가고 싶은 데가 있다고 말했어요
= I told my girlfriend that there is a place that I want to go with her (together)

제가 계속 아무 것도 필요가 없다고 했지만 엄마가 선물을 사 줬어요
= I kept saying that I don’t need anything, but my mom bought me a present

저는 모든 나라가 민주주의 국가로 변하는 것을 상상할 수 없다고 말했어요
= I said that I can’t imagine all countries changing to a democratic nation

Also remember that 싶다 is an adjective as well. Therefore, when quoting 싶다, it should be conjugated as an adjective. For example:

나는 새로운 차를 사고 싶다고 했어 = I said that I want to buy a new car
이 장소에서 나무를 심고 싶다고 말했어요 = I said that I want to plant a tree in this location

Now that we know how to quote verbs and adjectives, let’s look at how we can quote 이다.

 

 

 

Quoting with 이다: ~()라고

Quoting a clause that ends in 이다 is slightly different than quoting verbs and adjectives.

When quoting이다 in the past tense, it is done simply by adding ~고 to the past conjugation of 이다 in the plain form. For example:

그가 선생님이었다 = He was a teacher
그가 선생님이었다고 했어요 = He said he was a teacher

거리에 있었던 사람들이 시위자들이었다 = The people on the street were protesters
경찰관은 거리에 있었던 사람들이 시위자들이었다고 했어요 = The police officer said that the people on the street were protesters

When quoting 이다 in the present tense, 라 replaces 다 when writing “이다.” For example:

그가 의사이고 했어요 (this is incorrect)
그가 의사이고 했어요 = He said he is a doctor

When the noun before 이다 (the noun 이다is attached to) ends in a vowel (as in the example above), “이” can be omitted. For example, both of these are correct:

그가 의사이라고 했어요 = He said he is a doctor
그가 의사고 했어요 = He said he is a doctor

When the noun before 이다 (the noun 이다 is attached to) ends in a consonant, 이다 cannot be omitted. For example:

우리 선생님은 제가 나쁜 학생이다고 했어요 (this is incorrect)
우리 선생님은 제가 나쁜 학생고 했어요 (this is also incorrect)
우리 선생님은 제가 나쁜 학생이라고 했어요 = Our teacher said I am a bad student

An immediate practical application for this is when you want to quote a verb or adjective to the future tense. In Lesson 9, you learned how to use ~ㄹ 것이다 to create a future tense meaning. For example:

나는 내일 친구를 만날 거야 = I will meet my friend tomorrow
저는 내일 학교에 갈 것입니다 = I will go to school tomorrow
저는 영어를 공부할 거예요 = I will study English

When using this form “것” (which is often shortened to “거”) is simply a noun and the conjugating word is 이다. Therefore, you can quote a future tense clause by using this future tense conjugation, and applying the quoting rules of 이다. For example, look at the following sentence:

나는 밥을 먹을 것이다

That clause/sentence can be quoted by adding the appropriate ending to 이다. For example, any of these would be correct:

나는 밥을 먹을 것이라고 했어 = I said that I will eat
나는 밥을 먹을 거이라고 했어 = I said that I will eat
나는 밥을 먹을 거라고 했다 = I said that I will eat

Here are many more examples:
저는 밖에 갈 수 없을 거라고 했어요 = I said I can’t go outside/won’t be able to go outside

저는 우리 가족에게 이 사람이 저의 여자 친구라고 했어요
= I told my family that this person is my girlfriend

나는 너에게 그것이 해야 하는 일이라고 벌써 말했어
= I already told you that that is something you have to do

제가 제일 하고 싶은 것은 밥을 먹는 거라고 했어요
= I said that the thing I want to do most is eat (rice)

제가 제일 좋아하는 여자를 가리킬 거라고 했어요
= I said that I will point to the girl that I like the most

————————————

I would like to take a moment to explain the ambiguity of when “이” in 이다 can be removed when attaching a grammatical principle.

First of all, whenever 이다 is attached to a noun that ends in a consonant, “이” should be included when attaching another grammatical principle to 이다. For example, here are some grammatical principles being added to 이다, when added to a noun that ends in a consonant.

You have learned these before:

선생님이고
선생님이면

You haven’t learned these grammatical principles yet, but the concept is still the same:

선생님이거든 (~거든 is introduced in Lesson 91)
선생님이잖아 (~잖아 is introduced in Lesson 90)

When adding any of these grammatical principles to 이다 when it is attached to a noun ending in a vowel, the “이” can be omitted. For example:

의사이고 or 의사고 are both acceptable
의사이면 or 의사면 are both acceptable

의사이거든 or 의사거든 are both acceptable
의사이잖아 or 의사잖아 are both acceptable

In these examples “이” is being omitted because it is blending with the pronunciation of the noun and grammatical principle. When the noun ends in a vowel, your tongue can flow immediately from the noun to the upcoming grammatical principle, and the pronunciation isn’t altered if “이” is included or not. Because of this, including 이 and not including 이 are both seen as correct.

However, if we did the same thing with nouns ending in a consonant, not only can your tongue not flow properly from the noun to the grammatical principle, the pronunciation is significantly different. Therefore, omitting 이 in cases where the noun ends in a consonant would be incorrect.

Try pronouncing “의사이고” and “의사고” and listen to how small the difference is
Try pronouncing “선생님이고” “선생님고” and listen to how large the difference is (and also realize that it is hard to say)

I touched on this way back in Lesson 9 when I first introduced 이다 and its conjugations, as this same idea can be applied to the past tense conjugation of 이다 as well.

When conjugating 이다 to the past tense and then attaching an additional grammatical principle, the pronunciation of “이” can merge with the pronunciation of the grammatical principle if the noun ends in a vowel. For example:

의사였고 (or 의사이었고)
의사였으면 (or 의사이었으면)

의사였거든 (or 의사이었거든)
의사였잖아 (or 의사이었잖아)

However, “이” cannot merge with the pronunciation of an upcoming grammatical principle if the noun ends in a consonant. For example:

선생님이었고 (not 선생님였고 or 선생님었고)
선생님이었으면 (not 선생님였으면 or 선생님었으면)

The same phenomenon happens when we are quoting with 이다. When adding ~(이)라고 to 이다, if the noun ends in a vowel, it can be either:

의사라고 or 의사이라고.

However, if adding ~(이)라고 to 이다 and the noun ends in a consonant, it can only be

선생님이라고 (and not 선생님라고)

Here are tables that I made that break it down depending on if the word ends in a vowel or consonant.

의사 conjugation as Examples
Informal low 의사이야 or 의사야
Informal high 의사이에요 or 의사예요
Plain form 의사이다 or 의사다
Formal high 의사입니다 or 의삽니다
+~고 의사이고 or 의사고
+ ~(으)면 의사이면 or 의사면
Quoted 의사이라고 or 의사라고
Past quoted 의사이었다고 or 의사였다고
Past + ~(으)면 의사이었으면 or 의사였으면

 

학생 conjugation as Examples
Informal low 학생이야
Informal high 학생이에요
Plain form 학생이다
Formal high 학생입니다
+~고 학생이고
+ ~(으)면 학생이면
Quoted 학생이라고
Past quoted 학생이었다고
Past + ~(으)면 학생이었으면

————————————————————

 

Other Uses of ~/는다고

In addition to 말하다, there are many verbs in Korean that prefer to be used with a quoted clause. I’d like to show you a few of them.

1) To think: 생각하다
If one “thinks” something, quoted sentences are used. For example:

저는 그 여자가 별로 안 예쁘다고 생각해요 = I think that girl isn’t that pretty
캐나다와 미국이 비슷하지 않다고 생각합니다 = I think Canada and the US aren’t similar
저는 이 소설가가 다른 소설가들보다 월등히 낫다고 생각합니다 = I think this novelist is much better than other novelists

 

 

2) To believe: 믿다
If one “believes” something, quoted can be used. For example:

저는 우리 팀이 이길 거라고 믿어요 = I believe that our team will win
저는 착하게 산다고 믿어요 = I believe that I live nicely

 

 

3) To call something: 부르다
When talking about what an object is “called,” ~을/를 can be attached to the object, and ~(이)라고 can be attached to the word that it is referred to. For example:

사람들은 그 건물을 한국타워라고 불러요
= People call that building “Korea tower”

밥을 많이 먹을 수 있는 사람들을 식신이라고 불러요
= People who can eat a lot are called “식신”

캐나다에서 사람들은 이런 종류의 음식을 푸틴이라고 불러요
= In Canada, people call this type of food “Poutine”

Using this type of sentence is a more natural way to tell somebody what your name is. The common way for foreigners to introduce themselves in Korean would be:

“제 이름은 김의지입니다”

Although correct, it is kind of a direct translation of “my name is…” in English. In Korean, it is more common/natural to introduce yourself using ~(이)라고. In most cases, you add something before your name to describe yourself even more. For example:

안녕하세요, 저는 캐나다에서 온 김의지라고 합니다
= Hi, my name is 김의지, and I come from Canada (I am 김의지, from Canada)

Here is another example. This would be a common way for a high school student to introduce himself/herself:

안녕하세요, 저는 강남고등학교 2학년 3반 김의지라고 합니다
= Hi, my name is 김의지, and I am in class 3, in the second grade of 강남 high school.

 

 

4) To promise: 약속하다
When “promising” to do an action, it is common to add a future tense quoted construction to the action you promise to do. For example:

현금을 내일 주겠다고 약속했다 = I promised to give you (the) cash tomorrow
지금부터 열심히 하겠다고 약속했다 = I promised to work hard from now on
제가 아빠에게 숙제를 다 할 거라고 약속했어요 = I promised dad that I would do all my homework
이 정보를 내일까지 다 입력해 줄 거라고 약속했어요 = I promised that I would input all of this information by tomorrow

 

 

5) Finishing a sentence with 그렇다
In Lesson 23, you learned about 그렇다 and how it can be applied to many situations. Often times you will hear the final word of a sentence with a quote (instead of being 말하다, 하다 or any of the other words specified above) as 그렇다. For example:

오빠가 이거를 안 한다고 말했어
오빠가 이거를 안 한다고 했어
오빠가 이거를 안 한다고 그랬어
= My older brother said he wasn’t going to do this

The three sentences above don’t really need to be distinguished. The use of 그렇다 as the final word is something that I hear often in speech, but I can’t really detect any difference in meaning.

 

 

 

 

Asking Questions with Quoted Sentences

It is also possible to use these quoted conjugations to ask what a person says. For example, if you want to ask what somebody said, you can attach ~(이)라고 to 뭐 (뭐 is introduced in Lesson 22). For example:

뭐라고? = What did you say?

This can be said more formally by putting ~요 at the end of the construction. For example:

뭐라고요? = What did you say?

If you want, you can add 하다 or 말하다 to these as well. For example:

뭐라고 했어요? = What did you say?
뭐라고 말했어요? = What did you say?

These can also be used to ask a person what somebody else said. For example:

아빠가 뭐라고 말했어요? = What did dad say?
의사가 뭐라고 말했어요? = What did the doctor say?

If you are talking to somebody, and you are not sure if you heard them perfectly, you can ask for clarification about what they said. To do this (assuming you heard most of what they said), you can take their sentence and turn it into a quote. The final 말하다 or 하다 is usually not used, and the quoted conjugation ends in the form of a question. For example:

Person 1: 밥을 먹기 싫어 = I don’t want to eat (rice)
Person 2: 밥을 먹기 싫다고? = (You said that) you don’t want to eat (rice)?

Person 1: 저는 내일 캐나다에 갈 거예요 = I’m going to Canada tomorrow
Person 2: 내일 캐나다에 갈 거라고요? = (You said that) you’re going to Canada tomorrow?

You don’t necessarily need to repeat their whole sentence. Depending on the situation (or what you already knew, or what you hear), it might be appropriate to just repeat one or some of the words. For example:

Person 1: 저의 몸이 몹시 피곤해요 = My body is really tired
Person 2: 피곤하다고요? = (You said) tired?

Person 1: 이 상황이 점차 나빠지고 있어요 = This situation is gradually getting worse
Person 2: 나빠지고 있다고요? = (You said) getting worse?

If you were the first person in either of those situations, you could respond to the miss-communication by the second person by just stressing the quoted verb or adjective as a response. For example:

Person 1: 그는 돈이 없다고 했어요 = He said that he doesn’t have money
Person 2: 돈이 있다고? = (Did you say) he has money?
Person 1: 아니요, 다고요 = No, (I said that) he doesn’t have money

One last thing before we finish. I want to talk about a quoted sentence within ~는 것.

 

Using Quoted Sentences with ~는 것

Most of the first part of Unit 2 (Lessons 26 – 33) focused on the purposes of ~는 것. In those lessons, you started to see things like this:

내가 가는 것
내가 먹는 것

You may have noticed by now (not on our website, but I’m sure you are supplementing your studies with various resources) that these are sometimes written/said like this:

내가 간다는 것
내가 먹는다는 것

Before we get into what it means – notice how it is written.

The verb that ~는 것 is being added to has been conjugated into the plain form. To refresh your memory, the present tense (for verbs) of this conjugation would be:

가다 = 간다
먹다 = 먹는다

Past tense would be:

가다 = 갔다
먹다 = 먹었다

Future tense would be:

가다 = 가겠다
먹다 = 먹겠다

Adding ~는 것 after any of these plain form conjugations is an abbreviation of a quoted clause.

간다는 것 is abbreviation of 간다고 하는 것
갔다는 것 is an abbreviation of 갔다고 하는 것
가겠다는 것 is an abbreviation of 가겠다고 하는 것

By describing an upcoming noun with a verb that is conjugated (and abbreviated) this way, the clause describing the noun is a quotation, which means that it was once said. It’s better to explain with examples in this case, so let’s look at one:

그가 나를 싫어하는 것을 알아 = I know that he doesn’t like me
그가 나를 싫어한다는 것을 알아 = I know that (it is said that) he doesn’t like me

While the two examples above have a very similar meaning (in both examples, the end result is that the speaker knows that the person does not like him), in the second example, the speaker is pointing out that somebody said “he doesn’t like me”. Specifically who said that clause is ambiguous, and would have to be understood by context. In this case it could be the person himself who said that quote (the person who doesn’t like him) or some other third party. I would never translate that sentence above to the following, but just to show you what I mean:

그가 나를 싫어한다는 것을 알아 = I know that he said that he doesn’t like me
그가 나를 싫어한다는 것을 알아 = I know that somebody said that he doesn’t like me

Nonetheless, as I mentioned earlier, the translation and result of these sentences and the sentence above without a quoted clause is the same, and a separate translation doesn’t necessarily need to be made in English because it is often very hard to accurately describe the situation.

그가 나를 싫어하는 것을 알아 = I know that he doesn’t like me
그가 나를 싫어한다는 것을 알아 = I know that he doesn’t like me

In place of “것” in these cases, it is quite common to find the words “사실” (fact) and“소문” (rumor). These are often used because these are nouns whose meaning inherently implies that something was said. For example:

그 여자가 다른 남자랑 애기가 있다는 소문이 있습니다
= There is a rumor that that woman has a baby with another man

그 여자의 남편이 비서랑 바람을 피운다는 소문이 있어요
= There is a rumor that that woman’s husband is having an affair with his secretary

Instead of:

그 여자의 남편이 비서랑 바람을 피우는 것이 있어요
= There is a rumor that that woman’s husband is having an affair with his secretary

This same principle can be used in the past tense as well (remember to use the plain form):

그녀가 시험에 떨어졌다는 소문을 들었어요 = I heard a rumor that she failed the test
그녀는 아이가 죽었다는 사실을 숨겼어요 = She hid (the fact that) her child died
부장님이 작년에 미국에 갔다는 것을 잊어버렸어요 = I forgot (the fact) that the boss went to America last year

You can actually use this principle in this future tense as well, but fasten your seat belts – because it gets tricky. Remember the best way to conjugate to the future tense. Instead of saying “먹겠다” it is more common to say “먹을 것이다.” Well, in these cases, notice that the final word is “이다”. This means that you need to added the quoted conjugation onto 이다 (which you learned how to do in this lesson).

It would break down like this:

먹을 것 + 이다 + ~라고 하는 것 = 먹을 것이라는 것
or
먹을 거 + 이다 + ~라고 하는 것 = 먹을 거라는 것

For example:

그녀가 곧 결혼할 거라는 사실을 잊어버렸어요 = I forgot (the fact that) that she will be getting married soon
대통령이 한국에서 떠날 거라는 소문이 있다 = There is a rumor that the president will leave Korea soon.

Also remember how to conjugate adjectives using this plain form (in the present tense). Remember once again that, for example, when conjugating verbs, you need to do:

가다 = 간다
먹다 = 먹는다

But with adjectives in the plain form, you just leave them as they are:

행복하다 = 행복하다
예쁘다 = 예쁘다

So, using an adjective before ~ㄴ/는다는 것 would look like this:
너의 여자 친구가 예쁘다는 것을 잊어버렸어 = I forgot (the fact that) that your girlfriend was pretty

That’s it for this lesson!

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