Quotation

Sometimes, we quote what other people said or wrote. Basically, there are 2 ways of quoting.

Direct quoting: The quote with quotation mark.
He said to me, “I’ll be back tomorrow.”
Indirect quoting: The quote without quotation mark.
He said to me that he would be back tomorrow.

We’ll learn how to quote in those 2 ways.

Direct quotation.

To make a direct quotation, you need to add 라고 after the quote.

“내일 올게.”라고 나한테 이야기했어.
He told me, “I’ll be back tomorrow.”

책에 “한국의 수도는 부산이다.”라고 쓰여져 있었는데 맞아?
One book said that, “The capital of South Korea is Busan.” Is it correct?

When you’re quoting onomatopoeia (sound-mimicking words), you should use 하고 instead of 라고.

그때 “꽝!” 하고 문이 닫혔다.
At that moment, the door closed with a big noise.

“꼬꼬댁” 하고 우는 소리에 잠이 깼다.
I woke up thanks to the cock-a-doodle-doo sound.

This is the end of the direct quotation. It’s simple: add 라고 or 하고 after the sentence.

Indirect quotation.

But indirect quotation is hard. There are many rules.

Let’s check the rules.

First, you should not use relative honorifics. In other words, you should change the -요 or -습니다 ending to -다 ending.

철수는 “제가 하겠습니다”라고 말씀 드린 뒤 일을 시작했다.
철수는 자신이 하겠다고 말씀 드린 뒤 일을 시작했다.
철수 started work after saying “I’ll do it.”

Second, unlike English, the tense in quote doesn’t follow the quoting sentence.

In English, it is a bit odd if we say “He said to me that he will be back tomorrow.”

But in Korean, it’s odd to say “그는 내일 올 것이었다고 이야기했다.”

It should be “그는 내일 올 것이라고 이야기했다.”

Let’s check with the 3 variation of ‘민호 said, “It was/is/will be hard.”‘

민호는 “힘들어.”라고 이야기했다.
민호는 힘들다고 이야기했다. (o)
민호는 힘들었다고 이야기했다. (x)

민호는 “힘들었어.”라고 이야기했다.
민호는 힘들었다고 이야기했다. (o)

민호는 “힘들 거야”라고 이야기했다.
민호는 힘들 거라고 이야기했다. (o)
민호는 힘들 것이었다고 이야기했다. (x)

Third, ending changes according to the sentence type.

As for declaritive and exclamatory sentences, use -다고.
As for interrogative sentences(questions), use -느냐고/-(으)냐고 or -는지/-(으)ㄴ지.
As for imperative sentences(commands, order), use -(으)라고.
As for requesting sentences, use -자고.

민호는 수학을 좋아한다고 이야기했다.
민호 told me that he loves math.

영희가 “와, 가을이다!”라고 말했다.
영희가 가을이다라고 말했다.
영희 told, “Wow, it’s fall.”
-> As you can see, the word “wow” is removed from the sentence.

나는 마이클이 한국어 공부를 열심히 하느냐고/하는지 물었다.
I asked whether Michael was studying Korean hard.

잠깐 여기에 있으라고 했어요.
He told me that I should wait for him here for a moment.

그 친구가 나한테 언젠가 식사 한 번 같이 하자고 하던데?
She told me that we should have a dinner together some day?

As you can see, you can sometimes remove pronouns.

나는 주희에게 “나는 너를 좋아해”라고 이야기했다.
나는 주희에게 (나는 너를) 좋아한다고 이야기했다.
I told 주희 I love you.

As the subject and object are redundant, we can remove them.