[Korean grammar] -더라고요 Expressing Recollection


가: 웨이밍 씨, 또 청소해요?
Wei Ming, are you cleaning up again?
나: 날씨가 더워서 창문을 열어 두니까 먼지가 많이 들어오더라고요.
When I opened the window because of the hot weather, (I witnessed the fact that) a lot of dust came in (the room).

가: 혹시 카일리 씨 봤어요?
Did you happen to see Kylie?
나: 네, 아까 약속이 있다고 급하게 나가더라고요.
Yes, I (personally) saw her leave in a hurry saying she had to meet someone.

This expression is used to express the speaker’s recollection that he or she directly saw, heard, or felt some prior event or action.

• 한국에서 여행을 해 보니까 한국에는 정말 산이 많더라고요.
After traveling around Korea, (I directly saw that) Korea really has a lot of mountains.
• 어제 친구들하고 같이 농구를 했는데 희수 씨가 운동을 정말 잘하더라고요.
Yesterday, I played basketball with some friends, and (I witnessed the fact that) Heesu can really play well.
• 학교 앞에 새로 생긴 커피숍의 커피 맛이 꽤 괜찮더라고요.
(From direct experience, I know that) the coffee at the new coffee shop in front of the school is really good

1. Because this expression refers to something the speaker directly saw or heard, the subject of the sentence cannot be the speaker. That is, the sentence cannot be in the first person.
• 나는 해외로 여행을 가더라고요. (X)
->나는 해외로 여행을 갔어요. (〇)

2. This expression is only used to state something the speaker learned for the first time, not something already known.
• 제 고향은 강이 많더라고요. (X)
->제 고향은 강이 많아요(O)
The fact was previously known by the speaker, so -더라고요 cannot be used.

3. The first person subject can be used when expressing a person’s mood, emotions, or feelings. When the third person is used, the form A+아/어하다 must be used.
• 비가 오면 동생은 우울하더라고요. (X)
->비가 오면 (저는) 우울하더라고요. (〇)
• 그 이야기를 듣고 어머니가 속상하시더라고요. (X)
->그 이야기를 듣고 어머니가 속상해하시더라고요. (〇)

4. While roughly equivalent in meaning to -더군(요) or -더라 this expression carries a slightly stronger sense of emphasis. However, while -더군(요) can be used with both honorific speech and familiar speech styles, -더라 can only be used with familiar speech.
• 남자 친구를 사귀다 보니까 가끔은 속상한 일도 생기더라고요.
= 남자 친구를 사귀다 보니까 가끔은 속상한 일도 생기더군요.
= 남자 친구를 사귀다 보니까 가끔은 속상한 일도 생기더라. 

To refer to things that completed in the past. -았/었더라고요 is used

>> You can click on the title of each grammar below to learn about the other grammars which also express ‘Recollection’:
01 -던
02 -더라고요?
03 -던데요

>> Full of Intermediate grammars: Click here


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