더 past tense ending – Korean Tense #10

In Korean, there is one more grammar system for past tense. It's -더. -더 is used to describe what you felt or saw. -더 ending is usually used in form of -더니, -더라, -던데. -더니 is usually used for reasons, -더라 is for reporting or telling your thoughts/experience, -던데 is for something new to you.

-더라 is used at the end of the sentence and 더니 and 던데 are used in the middle of the sentence. As I said earlier, -더 is for what you saw or felt. So, it is rarely used in written Korean.

더라

마이클이 한국어 공부를 열심히 하더라.
(I saw that) Michael was studying Korean hard.

하루 종일 울고 있던데 무슨 일 있었어?
She was crying all day long, what happened?

요즘 운동 좀 하더니 몸 좋아졌네.
You exercised these days and you became fit.

미국에 가더니 성격이 바뀌었어.
His personality changed after he went to US.

었더

You can use 었 with 더 like -었더 or -았더. As it has 더, it also describes what you saw or felt. However, you are describing something done or changed at the point of speaking it.

철수는 벌써 가던데요?
철수는 벌써 갔던데요?
철수 was already leaving.
철수 already left.

철수는 벌써 가던데요 means 철수 is leaving, so he's in the same place or near you. However, 철수는 벌써 갔던데요? means 철수 left the place and he's not in the place. So, it's hard for you to find him.

1주일 전에 다 했더군.
They finished it a week ago.

애들이 한참 전에 다 먹었더라.
Kids finished eating them long time ago.

In above cases, the work is finished and the food is gone. Finished and still on-going are the main difference between 었더 and 더.

There are two pitfalls for -더 ending.

더니 vs. 었더니

When you use -더니, -었더니 is used for the first person sentence and -더니 is used for the second and third. Let's see with the example.

하나 먹었더니 배가 불러서 그만 먹었어.
하나 먹더니 배가 부르다면서 그만 먹더라고.

I ate one and became full, so I stopped.
She ate one and said she became full and stopped eating.

In the first sentence, 먹었더니 is used. It means that the speaker ate it. In the second sentence, 먹었더니 is used, it means anyone but the speaker ate it.

지우가 또 실패하더니 이상해졌어.
지우 failed again and became odd.

미국에 갔더니 못 보던 것이 있더라고. 그래서 하나 사 왔어.
I went to US and there was something I haven't seen before. So, I bought one brought it here.

더라 for first person.

When you are using -더라 for yourself, it implies that you realized something after an experience.

정신을 차리고 보니 도로 한복판에 서 있더라.
After coming to my senses, I was on the middle of the road.

가방에 넣어 둔 줄 알았는데 주머니 속에 있더라.
I thought I put it in the bag, but it was in the pocket.

So, you cannot simply tell what you saw or felt about yourself with 더라.

However, when you use it for others, it doesn't always have this realization nuance.

어제 하늘이 참 맑더라.
The sky yesterday was really clear.

너 어제 숙제 냈더라.
You hand in the homework yesterday.

In these cases, if you raise the end of sentences, you can add the realization nuance.