[Korean grammar] -다니요? Citing the Speech or Writing of Others

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가: 저분이 우리 회사 사장님이세요.
That person is our company president.
나: 저분이 사장님이시라니요? 택배 아저씨 아니었어요?
He’s the president? Not the deliveryman?

가: 아키라 씨, 늦었는데 이제 가요.
Akira, it’s late, so let’s go.
나: 벌써 가자니요? 이제 11시밖에 안 되었는데요.
You already want to go? It’s just now 11 p.m,

This expression is used when the speaker is surprised by or cannot believe what another person has said. It indicates the speaker’s emotion and feeling of surprise or disbelief while repeating the relevant information. Thus, the form of this expression depends on the type of statement used by the other person. Specifically, the form -니요? is added to the appropriate indirect quotation form of the other person’s statement.




★ For adjectives in the present tense, both -냐니요? and 으냐니요? are acceptabe, while for verbs in the present tense, both -냐니요? and -느냐니요? are acceptable.


가: 은혜 씨가 복권에 당첨되었대요.
I heard Eunhye won the lottery,
나: 복권에 당첨되었다니요? 그게 사실이에요?
She won the lottery? Is that true?

가: 중간시험이 언제인지 아세요?
Do you know when the midterm exams are?
나: 언제 인지 아냐니요? 내일인데 몰랐어요?
When are the exams? They’re tomorrow. You didn’t know that?

가: 회사에 전기세가 많이 나오니까 오후 5시 이후에는 에어컨을 켜지 마세요.
The company’s electric bill is realiy high, so please don’t use the air conditioner after 5 p.m.
나: 5시 이후에 에어컨을 켜지 말라니요? 저녁때도 얼마나 더운데요.
Don’t use the air conditioner after 5 p.m.? But it’s realiy hot in the evening, too.


1. This expression can be used in the form -다니요? not only in the present tense but also in the past and future tenses.
가: 저는그 사람을 몰라요.
나: 그 사람을 모른다니요? 우리 과 친구잖아요.
= 그 사람을 모르다니요?

가: 송주 씨가 병원에 입원했어요.
나: 송주 씨가 병원에 입원했다니요? 갑자기 왜요?
= 송주 씨가 병원에 입원하다니요?

가: 지난달에 용돈이 부족했어요.
나: 지난달에 용돈이 부족했다니요? 어머니가 많이 주셨잖아요.
= 지난달에 용돈이 부족하다니요?

2. This expression can also be used mid-sentence in the form -다니.
가: 윤호 씨가 회사를 그만두었대요.
I heard Yunho quit his job.
나: 정말이요? 윤호 씨가 회사를 그만두었다니 믿을 수가 없어요. 우리 회사에서 오랫동안 일하고 싶다고 했었는데요.
Really? I can’t believe Yunho quit his job. He said he wanted to work here a long time.

가: 내일이면 새해네요.
Tomorrow will be a new year.
나: 벌써 새해라니 시간이 정말 빨리 가는 것 같아요,
(I can’t believe) it’s already the new year, It seems that time really flies.

3. When repeating what the other person just said, the same sentence form used by the other person is also used before -다니요?
가: 민준 씨가 한국에 돌아온대요. (평서문)
Minjun said he’s returning to Korea.〈declarative sentence〉
나: 벌써 돌아온다니요? 영국에 1년 정도 있겠다고 했잖아요. (평서문)
He’s already coming back? (Don’t you recall that) he said he’d be in England for a year.〈declarative citation>

가: 부장님이 오늘 야근하래요. (명령문)
The department head said to work overtime tonight.〈imperative sentence〉
나: 오늘도 야근하라니요? 어제도 했는데 또 하래요? (명령문)
He said to work overtime again tonight? (We) worked overtime last night, and now he is telling us to do it again? <imperative citation>

>> You can click on the title of each grammar below to learn about the other grammars which also cite the Speech or Writing of Others:
01. -다고요?
02. -다고 하던데
03. -다면서요?
04. -다니요?

>> Full of Intermediate grammars: Click here

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