[Grammar] ~더라(고)

~더라(고) (~deo-ra-go) – I’ve personally experienced/learned/knew/discovered/realised about….

This grammar particle is almost always only attached to express the speaker’s (first person’s) experience, quite similar to [Grammar] ~네.

Therefore, when we add ~더라 at the end, it is only to express the speaker/writer/first person’s perspective/observation/experience/discovery.

When adding (고) at the back of ~더라, the speaker/writer is expressing with some sort of reservations and calmness. ~더라 alone is like an exclamation.

~더라 is very tricky because while it’s used to express first person’s experience, we cannot use it to express first person’s will or action. When we use ~더라, it’s as if saying that we’re an observer.

In other words, because when we process our own thoughts or act out anything, we are not the observer but the one actually involved.

Another thing to note is that ~더라 can only be used to describe the speaker/writer/first person’s emotions and not anyone else.

By adding ~더라 to an emotion like 슬프다 (sad), 기쁘다 (happy), or 걱정되다 (worried), we are referring either to ourselves or the first person in the sentence.

Last but least, we can only use ~더라 in cases where we personally experienced/observed/saw/discovered something first-hand. The speaker/writer/first person has to be physically present in order for ~더라 to be used in any given statements/sentences.

This might seem very confusing but it is commonly used in daily life conversations and blog posts. In a way, because of the many rules of ~더라, it is safe to say that when we see a native Korean using it, he or she is referring to…

1. a personal experience/observation/discovery/finding/lesson

2. personal heartfelt emotions, usually strong

3. it is something completely new to him or her


어젯밤에 다비치 콘서트를 갔는데 다비치가 노래를 진짜 잘 부르더라!
I went to Davichi’s concert yesterday and (I personally experienced that) they sing really very well!

공항에서 안 본지 2년 되는 친구를 만날 때 너무 기쁘더라!
When I (personally) met my friend whom I haven’t seen for 2 years at the airport, I was really happy!

오늘 일기 예보에 들어 날씨가 좋지만 밖으로 나갈 때 너무 덥더라고요.
According to the weather forecast today, the weather will be good but when I went outside, I (personally experienced that) it was really hot.

내 딸은 처음으로 혼자 여행을 가서 공항에서 딸에게 작별을 고하니 정말 걱정되더라고.
It’s my daughter’s first time going on an overseas trip alone so when I bid her goodbye at the airport, I was (personally) very worried (about her).

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