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You might have noticed that the indirect quotation forms are a bit long. Koreans tend to think so too and so everyday conversations those forms are not often used. Instead, Koreans prefer to use the contracted indirect quotation forms. While they are the same as the long forms, they are remarkably shorter. Keep in mind these forms are meant to be used in everyday conversations. In formal situations, you have to use the long forms or the direct quotation forms.

One important difference to the regular indirect quotation forms, contracted indirect quotation forms have is the lack of a second verb expressing how the quoted person expressed themselves. So you will not find any verbs like 듣다 (to listen, to hear), 말하다 (to say), 물어보다 (to ask), etc. at the end of a sentence that uses the contracted forms whatsoever.

자기 instead of 저 or 나

When you want to use 저 or 나 inside the quotation of an indirect quotation, you have to use 자기 instead.

An example:

가: 민수 씨가 안 왔어요?

나: 아니요, 하지만 방금 전화했고 늦게 올 거래요.

A: Isn’t Minsu here?

B: No, but he just called and said he’d be late.

How To Use

Like the long form, the contracted indirect quotation is a behemoth in Korean grammar. To properly use it, you will need to learn the contracted equivalent to all forms you had to learn for the long form. As you know, there are different forms which you will have to use depending on the type of sentence and, in the case of quoted imperative phrases, depending on the situation. You will need to take your time to memorize these forms. However, you will notice there is a certain trend in how the forms are contracted, which makes things a lot easier.

Declarative, Contracted Indirect Quotation

The first type of phrase we’ll discuss is the declarative sentence. Like you know you will have to learn a contracted version for all the forms you know for the long form. So you will have to learn forms for the present tense, the past tense and the future tense.

Present Tense

The present tense declarative form of the contracted indirect quotation differs depending on the verb type. You’ll need to memorize three different forms: one form for verbs, one for adjectives and one for nouns.

When you deal with a verb, the form is -(느)ㄴ대요. When the verb ends in a batchim (consonant), you use the form -ㄴ대요. However, when it ends in a vowel (no batchim), you use -는대요. As you might have noticed, the contracted verb form brings another complexity. It looks identical to the -(으)ㄴ/는데요 form at times. Though context will make clear which form is actually used.

Adjectives are a bit easier. For adjectives, you simply use the form -대요. So you needn’t worry over anything like consonants or vowels, you simply attach -대요 to the stem and you are done.

Lastly, there is a form for nouns. With nouns, the form is -(이)래요 and similar to verbs the form depends on whether there is a batchim or not. When the noun ends in a consonant (batchim), you use -이래요. But, when it doesn’t you simply use -래요.

Past Tense

The past tense declarative form of the contracted indirect quotation is a lot simpler compared to the present tense. This is because regardless of the word type the form remains the same: -았/었대요. Here the rule you need to follow is the ‘last vowel’ rule. When the vowel of the last syllable is either ㅏ or ㅗ, you use -았대요. However, when it is any other vowel, you need to use -었대요. Attention: when the verb is the copula verb 이다, the ending is -였대요.

Future Tense

Like the past tense, the future tense declarative form of the contracted indirect quotation has only one form for all word types. That form is -(으)ㄹ 거래요. The rule here is the ‘batchim/no batchim’ rule. When the verb ends in a batchim (consonant), you use -을 거래요, but when it doesn’t the form is -ㄹ 거래요.

Those were all form for declarative sentences you need to know.

Korean Language Bank Overview: Contracted Indirect Quotation - The Declarative Sentence Forms
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Korean Language Bank Overview: Contracted Indirect Quotation – The Declarative Sentence Forms

Interrogative, Contracted Indirect Quotation

Interrogative sentences, meaning questions, have a different form in the long form, so they also have a different form when contracted. The forms also differ depending on the word type. Verbs, adjectives and nouns have all slightly different forms. So you will need to learn three forms in total.

When you are dealing with adjectives, the form for the interrogative sentence is -(으)냬요. Here you have to follow the ‘batchim/no batchim’ rule. When the adjective stem ends in a vowel (no batchim), the form is -냬요. But, if it ends in a consonant (batchim), you use -으냬요.

The interrogative form of indirect quotation for verbs is -냬요. Unlike the long form, there is no difference depending on whether there is a batchim or not. You simply need to attach the form -냬요 to the end of the verb stem.

Lastly, there is a noun form for the interrogative form of the indirect quotation. That form is -(이)냬요. Again this a ‘batchim/no batchim’ rule form. When the verb ends in a vowel, you use the form -냬요. However, when it ends in a consonant, you have to us -이냬요.

Those were all the forms you need to know for the interrogative form of the contracted indirect quotation.

Korean Language Bank Overview: Contracted Indirect Quotation - The Interrogative Sentence Forms
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Korean Language Bank Overview: Contracted Indirect Quotation – The Interrogative Sentence Forms

Suggestive, Contracted Indirect Quotation

There is a special form you use when you are quoting suggestions in the long version, so to no surprise, there is a contracted form as well. You use this form when you are quoting someone that used suggestive forms like -(으)ㄹ래요, -(으)ㄹ까요, -(으)ㅂ시다, etc. When this is the case, you need to use the form -재요. By the way, given the sentence type, only verbs can use this form.

The negative form for the indirect quotation imperative form is -지 말재요.

Korean Language Bank Overview: Contracted Indirect Quotation - The Suggestive Sentence Forms
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Korean Language Bank Overview: Contracted Indirect Quotation – The Suggestive Sentence Forms

Imperative, Contracted Indirect Quotation

There are also special forms for when you are quoting someone when they are giving an order to someone or requesting something. You use this form when you are quoting someone who used forms like -지 마세요, -(으)세요, -아/어 주세요, etc. There are two forms you need to memorize: -아/어 달래요 and -아/어 주래요. There is an important difference between both of these forms, you need to keep in mind:

  1. When you quote someone making a request for himself, you use the form -아/어 달래요.
  2. When you quote someone making a request for someone else, you use the form -아/어 주래요.

The negative form for the indirect quotation imperative form is -지 말래요.

Korean Language Bank Overview: Contracted Indirect Quotation - The Imperative Sentence Forms
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Korean Language Bank Overview: Contracted Indirect Quotation – The Imperative Sentence Forms
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