Intermediate Grammar #33: ~더라고요 “I personally witnessed…”

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  • Used to indicate the speaker directly saw, heard, or felt some previous event or action
  • Equivalent to “I personally witnessed…”


  • NO: First-person sentences – this is about something you witnessed
  • BUT: First-person CAN be used when: expressing mood, emotions, or feelings (use A+아/어하다)
  • Use only for things you discovered – not things previously known
  • Similar: ~더군(요) (can be 존댄말 or 반말) but slightly stronger
  • Similar: ~더라 (used only for 반말) but slightly stronger
  • Past (“it had happened”): ~았/었더라고요



  • 과거: ~았/었더라고요
  • 현재: ~더라고요

~더라고요 Work Examples:

  • 내가 금요일에 마지막 수업을 끝냈을때 옆 반에 수업이 벌써 끝났더라고요.
    When I finished my last class I Friday, I personally observed that the next classroom over had already finished.
  • 금요일에 내가 수업을 일찍 끝내면 항상 옆 반 수업은 벌써 끝났더라고요.
    Even if I finish the class early on Fridays, I can personally notice that the next class over always finishes before mine.
  • 또 학교에서 4월의 월급을 적게 줬더라고요.
    And at school, I personally witnessed a decrease in my salary for April.
  • 그리고 가르치는 고등학교의 월급도 작년에 비해 더 적게 주더라고요.
    Also, at the high school where I teach, I personally observed that I’m being given less than last year.
  • 처음 전주대에 왔을때 여러 학생들이 화장실에서 댐배도 피고 꽁초도 버리더라고요.
    When I first came to Jeonju University, I personally witnessed various students smoking in the bathrooms and discarding their cigarette butts there.
  • 요즘 우울한 마음이 생기더라고요.
    I’ve personally noticed that I’m starting to get depressed.
  • 한 수업에 학생들이 항상 내 말을 안 듣더라고요.
    In one class, I’ve personally witnessed that the students constantly pay no attention to what I’m saying.

**These are notes from Korean Grammar in Use: Intermediate. For more in-depth explanations, buy the book.