Korean TOPIK preparation VI – Quotation in Korean. Using the Plain Form to quote speech.

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안녕하세요 여러분!

Here is a post about quotation in preparation for the TOPIK exam.




Direct quotations are pretty straightforward.

Use quotation marks ” ” then place 라고 했어요 at the end of the statement.

e.g. 민호가 “가게에 갔어요” 라고 했어요 – “I went to the shop” said Minho


For indirect quotation, which is more popular in Korean speech, there are a variety of endings for use with the plain style to indicate whether it was a statement, question, etc.



verbs – (느)ㄴ다고 하다

adj. – 다고 하다

nouns / copula – 라고 하다


verbs – 냐고 하다/묻다

nouns/cop – 냐고 하다/묻다


verbs – (으)라고 하다


verbs – 자고 하다

Further info

A little bit of explanation is needed with regards to the declarative form.

The ending is simply put onto the end of the stem, and that stem can indicate tense if required, e.g.

Present – 먹는다고 하다

Past – 먹었다고 하다

Future – 먹겠다고 하다

Example sentences

전이 (자기가) 이 책을 읽는다고 했어요 = Jon said he is reading this book (himself)

전이 (자기가) 이 책을 읽었다고 했어요 = Jon said that he has/had read this book (himself)

전이 (자기가) 이 책을 읽겠다고 했어요 = Jon said that he would read this book (himself)

전이 이 책을 읽냐고 물었어요 = Jon asked whether you are reading this book

전이 이 책을 읽자고 했어요 = Jon suggested that we (should) read this book

전이 이 책을 읽으라고 했어요 = Jon told us to read this book

More examples

수호가 내일 밤 수영을 할 거라고 했어요 – Suho said he will go swimming tomorrow night

브라이안이 텔레비전에 봤다고 했어요 – Brian said that he had seen the TV

민호가 언제 누나에게 전화 하냐고 물었어요 – Minho asked (me) when I called his big sister

우리가 백화점에 가자고 했어요 – He suggested that we go to the department store

음악을 들으라고 했어요 – He told me to listen to the music

잘 했어요?

Did you do well?


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