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Lesson 145: ~란

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Vocabulary
Introduction

~(이)란 as an Abbreviation of ~라고 하는 or ~라고 한
~(이)란 as a Way to Explain what Something is

 

 

Vocabulary

Nouns
균 = virus, germ, bacteria (usually as a suffix)
세균 = virus, germ, bacteria (as a word)
휴업 = for a business to be closed temporarily
땀띠 = heat rash
음량 = volume (of sound)
원장 = director of a hospital or similar institute
부정 = dishonestly, illegality
모범 = model, exemplary
대장 = large intestine
승차 = the boarding of a vehicle
분열 = division
불량배 = gang
세포 = cell
체세포 = body cell
감수분열 = meiosis
생식세포 = sex cell
체세포분열 = mitosis
시행착오 = trial and error
원천징수 = withholding tax

Verbs:
조절하다 = to adjust
지불하다 = to pay

Adverbs and Other Words:
곧장 = immediately

 

 

Introduction

You’ve been learning Korean for a while now. It’s been a few years. You pick up a Korean novel and try to read a few paragraphs to see if you can get in some reading practice. All of a sudden, you see a word ending in ~란. Wait, what is this? This looks similar. You feel like you should know what this means. It must be an abbreviation of some kind, but what is being abbreviated?

This is actually a situation that happened to me around 2011. I felt like I knew what the purpose of ~란 was in a sentence just by the way it looked, but I didn’t know exactly what it was. Maybe you had that same situation happen to you? If so, this lesson is for you. Let’s get started.

 

 

~(이)란 as an Abbreviation of ~라고 하는 or ~라고 한

I would like to show you two of the ways that you learned to quote in previous lessons.

1) Quoting 이다 and 아니다:

In Lesson 52, you learned how to quote in Korean. For example:

원장님이 병원에 지금 온다고 했어요
= The head of the hospital said he is coming to the hospital now

In Lesson 52 you also learned that the quoted part of the sentence can actually be used to describe an upcoming noun. For example:

제가 원장님이 병원에 지금 온다고 하는 말을 못 들었어요
= I didn’t hear (the words) that the head of the hospital said he was coming now

You also learned in that lesson that this can also be applied to situations in which 이다 (or 아니다) is being quoted. For example:

그 사람이 의사라고 하는 말을 못 믿어요
= I don’t believe the words/rumors/talks that that person is a doctor

The 하다 in the sentence immediately above represents the action of somebody speaking the quoted phrase. Of course, this speaking could have happened in the past. In order to describe that the words/rumors/talks were something that was previously spoken, you could just as easily attach ~ㄴ/은 to 하다. For example:

If you don’t know why ~ㄴ/은 describes nouns in the past tense, you might want to check out Lesson 26.

그 사람이 의사라고 한 말을 못 믿어요
= I don’t believe the (previously spoken) words/rumors/talks that person is a doctor

 

2) Quoting a command:

In Lesson 54, you learned how to quote commands in Korean. For example:

아빠가 음량을 조절하라고 했어요
= Dad said to adjust the volume

As is described in the previous section, you can use the quoted part of this sentence to describe a noun. These types of sentences look strikingly similar to those talked about in the previous section because they have “~라고 하는” in them. For example:

아빠가 음량을 조절하라고 하는 소리를 못 들었어요
= I didn’t hear (the sound of) dad saying to adjust the volume

The 하다 in the sentence immediately above represents the action of somebody speaking the quoted phrase. Of course, this speaking could have happened in the past. In order to describe that the sound/words was something that was previously spoken, you could just as easily attach ~ㄴ/은 to 하다. For example:

아빠가 음량을 조절하라고 한 소리를 못 들었어요
= I didn’t hear (the sound of) that dad had said to adjust the volume

————

Two types of quoting have been talked about so far – each with a past and present tense form. Therefore, I have shown you four different types of quoting so far.

1) Quoting 이다 (or 아니다) and using it to describe a noun in the present tense
2) Quoting 이다 (or 아니다) and using it to describe a noun in the past tense
3) Quoting a command and using it to describe a noun in the present tense
4) Quoting a command and using it to describe a noun in the past tense

~란 is an abbreviation of ~라고 하는 or ~라고 한 as it is used in any of the four situations above. Let us now take each one and see how 란 can be used to replace ~라고 하는 or ~라고 한.

 

1) Quoting 이다 and using it to describe a noun in the present tense

그 사람이 의사라고 하는 말을 못 믿어요
그 사람이 의사란 말을 못 믿어요
= I don’t believe the words/rumors/talks that that person is a doctor

If the noun that is 이다 (or 아니다) attached to ends in a consonant, 이 is placed between the noun and 라/란:

그 사람이 선생님이라고 하는 말을 못 믿어요
그 사람이 선생님이란 말을 못 믿어요
= I don’t believe the words/rumors/talks that that person is a doctor

 

2) Quoting 이다 (or 아니다) and using it to describe a noun in the past tense

그 사람이 의사라고 한 말을 못 믿어요
그 사람이 의사란 말을 못 믿어요
= I don’t believe the (previously spoken) words/rumors/talks that person is a doctor

If the noun that 이다 attached to ends in a consonant, 이 is placed between the noun and 라/란.

그 사람이 선생님이라고 한 말을 못 믿어요
그 사람이 선생님이란 말을 못 믿어요
= I don’t believe the (previously spoken) words/rumors/talks that person is a teacher

 

3) Quoting a command and using it to describe a noun in the present tense

아빠가 음량을 조절하라고 하는 소리를 못 들었어요
아빠가 음량을 조절하란 소리를 못 들었어요
= = I didn’t hear (the sound of) dad saying to adjust the volume

If the stem of the verb that 라/란 is attached to ends in a consonant, 으 is placed between the stem and 라/란. Notice that this is different than the 이다 sentences because we are adding 으 before 라/란 instead of 이.

아빠가 돈을 금고에 넣으라고 하는 소리를 못 들었어요
아빠가 돈을 금고에 넣으란 소리를 못 들었어요
= = I didn’t hear (the sound of) dad saying to put the money in the safe

 

4) When a quoted command describes a noun in the past tense:

아빠가 음량을 조절하라고 한 소리를 못 들었어요
아빠가 음량을 조절하란 소리를 못 들었어요
= I didn’t hear (the sound of) that dad had said to adjust the volume

If the stem of the verb that 란 is attached to ends in a consonant, 으 is placed between the stem and 리/란.

아빠가 돈을 금고에 넣으라고 한 소리를 못 들었어요
아빠가 돈을 금고에 넣으란 소리를 못 들었어요
= I didn’t hear (the sound of) that dad had said to put the money in the safe

————

That’s a lot of words that I will summarize for you again: ~란 is an abbreviation of ~라고 하는 or ~라고 한. The “라” may be a result of quoting 이다 or a quoted command. Let’s look at a bunch of examples. I thought about separating them into the “이다” type and the “command” type, but I figure that it would be good practice for you to decipher that on your own.

그 회사가 내일부터 1주일 동안 휴업이란 게 사실이에요
= The word/rumor/speaking that that business is closed tomorrow is true

오늘 비가 올 거라 우산을 가져가란 일기예보를 까먹었어요
= It will rain today, and I forgot about the rain forecast telling us to bring an umbrella

그 여자가 임신한 아이가 남자아이란 것은 제 추측이에요
= It is my guess that the baby that woman is pregnant with is a boy

저의 가장 친한친구가 쌍둥이란 것을 지금까지 몰랐어요
= Until now, I didn’t know that my best friend is (has) a twin

땀띠가 있어서 이 연고를 바르란 아빠의 말을 무시했어요
= I have a heat rash, and I didn’t listen (ignored) the words/advice from my dad to put ointment on it

심부름하고 곧장 집으로 오란 엄마의 말을 기억하고 바로 집으로 갔어요
= I remembered my mom saying that I (should) do the errands and then come immediately home, so I went right home

 

 

~(이)란 as a Way to Explain what Something is

~(이)란 is also used as a way to introduce that somebody is about to explain what something is. For example, if you were to go to a company’s website and the they had this brand new cool technology called “BNCT” that they wanted to explain, the heading of the of the article might be:

BNCT이란?

Immediately below that, the company would be explaining what BNCT is. In these cases, I like to translate ~(이)란 to “what is….” I’ll give you another example.

It is very cheap to ride the subway in Seoul. It costs around 1,200 – 2,000 won depending on how far you go (you can go really far). Still, some people try to cheat the system and duck under (or jump over) the entry gates to get in for free. If you are caught, the fine is 30 times what your fare should have actually been. I don’t really know what the term for this in English would be, but I guess “free-riding” sounds correct. Like in English, there is a term for it in Korean, but it’s not really a word/thing that everybody knows. In Korean, it is called 부정승차 (essentially, riding the car/train illegally). In some train stations, I have seen signs/posters as you walk in that have this as their title:

부정승차란?

Immediately below that would be an explanation of what 부정승차 (free-riding) is. Again, I would translate this to something like “What is free-riding?” I’ll give you another example.

I worked for a school in Korea that was trying to get accredited by an organization called WASC. In order to introduce the organization to the staff members, our principal held a staff meeting, and the first slide just had this on it:

WASC이란?

The slides that followed were an explanation of the organization and how our school would/could get accredited by them.

This usage isn’t exclusively used as a heading/title page for the upcoming explanation of something. It can also be used in sentences, where the speaker usually starts the sentence with something he/she wants to explain, and then finishes the sentence by explaining it. For example:

부정승차란 정해진 요금을 지불하지 않고 대중교통을 이용하는 것을 말한다
= “Free-riding” is the term given to not paying the set fare and using public transportation

Below are many more examples. I apologize for the Science jargon. I like to use examples that are similar to things I have seen in my real life. I’m a Biology teacher and have read some textbooks in Korean, as you can tell. At this point, in Lesson 145, your Korean must be very good and it is possible you might actually need to know the word for Mitosis!

대장균이란 사람들 장 속에 사는 세균을 말한다
= Large intestine bacteria refers to bacteria living inside one’s intestines

감수분열이란 생식세포를 만드는 과정에서 일어나는 세포분열이다
= Meiosis is the cellular division process that creates sex-cells

원천징수영수증이란 번 돈에 대한 세금을 얼마나 냈는지를 증명해주는 서류이다
= A withholding tax receipt is a document that proves/shows how much tax one has paid on the money they earned

모범생이란 부모님과 선생님의 말씀을 잘 듣고 나쁜 행동을 하지 않는 학생을 말한다
= A model student refers to a student who listens to their parents and teachers and doesn’t do anything bad

시행착오란 정확한 해결 방법을 몰라 문제를 해결하기 위해 계속해서 시도하고 반복하는 것을 말한다
= Trial and error refers to when one don’t know the exact solution to a problem, but to keep trying and trying in order to solve it

불량배란 함께 모여다니면서 다른 사람들의 돈을 뺏는 등의 나쁜 행위를 하는 사람들의 무리를 말한다
= A gang refers to a group of people who gather together to steal peoples’ money and do other bad acts

That’s it for this lesson!

Okay, got it! Take me to the next lesson!