Level 5 Lesson 19 / to tell someone to do something / Verb + -(으)라고 + Verb

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안녕하세요. ^^ In this lesson, we are looking at how to use the structure “Verb + -(으)라고 + Verb”. Through our previous lessons, we have learned that -(으)라고, -ㄴ/은/는다고, etc are used for quoting what something is called or what someone said. And today, let us look at how -(으)라고 is used after a verb to make an quoted imperative statement. Don’t forget to leave us a comment!

You can view a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here. And after you learn the basics, try writing your own Korean sentences and get corrections from native speakers through HaruKorean, our 1:1 correction service.

  • sae

    how it is exciting to be 1st :D i really like Korean language, and i hope to go there!
    thank u so much indeed!

  • Aras (아라스)


    you say in text;

    먹다 → 먹으라고 하다/말하다/쓰다/듣다/etc.

    so all those things are have the same meaning ?

    먹으라고 하다 = to tell (someone) to eat (something)
    먹으라고 말하다 = to tell (someone) to eat (something)
    먹으라고 쓰다 = to tell (someone) to eat (something)
    먹으라고 듣다 = to tell (someone) to eat (something)

    if not, how can we know which verb is take which one ? (하다 or 말하다 or 쓰다 or 듣다)


    • Felix

      I dont think they mean all the same. For example if you say 먹으라고 듣다 it is like to hear (someone told) to eat something. It doesn’t make much sense here but you choose the last verb depending on the way the quoted information is comunicated for example by someone speaking (말하다) by writing (쓰다) or by you hearing it somewhere (듣다)

      I hope it’s right what I said here…

    • Aras (아라스)

      i know means of verbs, but i cant understand which one we use. bec. there is no explanation on lesson for differences or sample sentences for this situation. if is there no difference (must be i think) ppl only use one of them for all verbs.

      btw thanks for reply mate.

  • jesica

    do you already know the ttmik philipines on facebook? please check it out cause im from phil.

    • http://twitter.com/ever4one Hyunwoo Sun (선현우)

      Yes! We do know about it and we appreciate the fact that it has been made! Thank you!

  • smurf

    안녕하세요 여러분!^^ 저는 말레이시아 사람인데 한국어를 2년 동안 배웠지만 이야기를 길게 아직 잘 못 해요. 저 질문이 있어요. When I listen to the podcast, why is it only half of it? If I want the full version, I have to buy it?
    TTMIK 진짜 좋아요! 선생님들께..정말 감사합니다!^^

    • http://twitter.com/ever4one Hyunwoo Sun (선현우)

      Hi Smurf,

      안녕하세요! The podcast is supposed to be there in full length, not half. You don’t have to pay to listen to the lessons. My guess is that the download was not complete when you downloaded the lesson. ^^

    • smurf

      ahhhh yes!my fault..죄송합니다 선생님>.<I didn't download it but just listen from the player up there..but this problem rises a few times now..sometimes it's fine, sometimes only a part of it can be downloaded. I guess the prob is with me..but anyhow, thanks for the reply 선생님^^and I managed to download full of it.정말 감사합니다^^ 열심히 공부하겠습니다!

  • Samier


    1. 괴물 때리고 말라고 했어요.
    They told us to hit a monster ^^;;;;;


    • Chris

      I think your example actually means “They told us NOT to hit the monster” since you said “때리고 마라고” which means DON”T hit. If you wanna say “They told us to hit the monster”, i guess you’d say “괴물 때리라고 했어요”

    • Samier

      Ohhhhhh!! ^^;;;;

      But I used the verb 말하다 (=to say). Not 마라고 ㅠㅠ;;; Is it still wrong? >-<;;;;

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-de-Vera/1218875669 Chris de Vera

      Oh..i made a mistake in my previous comment. anyway, your sentence is right it’s just that you mispelled something. it’s 괴물 때리라고 말했어요. you just forgot to add the 라 and it’s 말했어, not 말라고 했어요. when i said it means “they told me not to hit the monster”, it’s actually “괴물 때리지 말라고 했어요”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lzj-Hctn/553089384 Lèzéj Hcöìtnå

    감사합니다 선생님들 for a New Lesson!! :)
    I listen to your Lessons Over & over again so I will Remember.
    TTMIK is a Great website to Learn with!! :)
    Take Care!!!

    Greetings from Hawaii!!

  • Tom

    나는 한국말 공부할 때 TTMIK 도와 많이 줘서 감사합니다. 친구가 TTMIK 보라고 했어요. Is that ok? Thanks again!

  • megan

    I’m actually quite confused now after listening to this lesson..what’s the difference between 보라고 했어요 and 본다고 했어요? Isn’t it that 라고 is for nouns and 다고 is for verbs. How come in this lesson, 라고 is followed by verbs?? Please clear my doubts.

    • Chris

      Hello. I can answer your question. -라 can be added after a verb stem to indicate a command/ an imperative action. This is only used towards people of the same age or younger. You can’t add 요to this. It’s quite informal. Because you’re instructing someone to do something and so you wouldn’t really use it towards someone older as that would be quite rude. examples would be 가라! (Go!) 하라! (Do it!) 먹으라 (Eat!).
      So..to answer your question, 보라고 했어요 means “I told him to watch ____” or “I was told to watch ____” . it’s quoting a command. 본다고 했어요 on the other hand means “He/She said he/she saw _____” or “I said I saw ____”. It’s just quoting a declarative statement, not a command. 라고 is for command and 는다고/ㄴ다고 is for declarative statements. both are for quoting. Hope i helped :D

    • megan

      thank you so much^^ it helped a lot!!!! i totally understand now

      hehe, could i ask another question? ^^

      just saw an episode on let’s speak korean and they explained this grammar point –나요..

      what’s the difference between the normal question 집에 가요? and this one 집에 가나요?

      thank you in advance!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-de-Vera/1218875669 Chris de Vera

      Good question but unfortunately, i won’t be able to answer it in much detail. I know though that it is a different verb ending and is usually used for questions. 집에 가요? and 집에 가나요? both mean “Are you going home?” but the -나요 somehow changes the tone of the question. That is all i know. I am still not sure exactly how it changes the tone and when it’s appropriate to use :D

  • 크리스

    Hello. i’m wondering how to indicate the indirect object here? Do i use 에게/한테? Example i want to say “I told Jane to go there”, do i say (i’ll mention the subject just to be clear) “제가 제인에게 저기 가라고 했어요”? Please answer because I’ve always been wondering about this. 감사합니다

  • koreanlover Gaida

    Ohhhh…finally im going to learn korean languge….i really love korea and i hope to go there some day..thats really amazing..thanksss aloooot for making that!!!! really cool!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hee-Lee/100002453367433 Hee Lee

    that woman ,who told you to love her ?/who said he loves her
    그녀 누가 사랑하라고 했어요 ? / 누가 사랑한다고 했어요 ?
    this thing ,who told you to eat that ?/ who said he would eat ?
    이거 누가 먹으라고 했어요 ?/ 누가 먹는다고 했어요 ?

  • zenn

    “너에게는 아무거나 말하지 말라고 했었어요” They told me not to tell you anything.. (I’m really not sure about this haha :p)

  • 샛별

    With the 문장, “효진 씨한테 주라고 했어요”, couldn’t that also mean, “I said to 효진, Give that.” ? If not, how would you say who you said it to?

    Thank you!!

  • Wisal Hojirat

    I noticed that in dramas they usually give up the 하다 part after 라고
    for example :
    “뭐라고 ? ” (what did you say ?)
    “가라고 !” (I said go !)
    “걱정하지 말라고” (I said don’t worry)

    Is this right and can I use it ? (when using 반말 of course)
    수고하셨습니다 , 감사합니다 ^^

  • Susan

    I’m a little confused. Are -(이)라고 and -(으)라고 two compleatly different structures or are they the same?

  • 품바

    하쿠나마타타 걱정 말란 뜻이야
    근심과 걱정 모두 떨쳐버려 욕심 버리면 즐거워져 ♫

  • Cynyee

    누가 가라고 했어요?
    I thought this would be ” who told you that they are going back?”
    by the way, how to say “who told you that they are going back?”
    thank you :)

    • Gui Li

      누가 갈 거라고 했어요?

      I think this is it but I’m not 100% sure. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Seokjin Jin

      It will be better if you mention “they”.

      누가 그 사람들이 돌아갈 거라고 했어요?

    • Gui Li

      I see. Thank you for the correction! :)

  • Claira


    기다리라고 말했어요. (He told me to wait.)

    세 시에 여기에 오라고 했어요. (I told him to come here at 3pm.)

    내일이 이건 끝내라고 말했어요. (He told me to finish this tomorrow.)

    집에 가기 전에 먼저 만나라고 했어요. (They said to meet them first before I go home.)

    울지 말라고 했어요. (I told her not to cry.)

    친구랑 여기 같이 오라고 했어요. (She told me to come with my friend.)

    사무실 가고 그 사람이 찾으라고 했어요. (He told me to go to the office and find the person.)

    휴가가 혼자 가서 조심하라고 말했어요. (She’s going on a vacation alone, so I told her to be careful.)

    감사합니다! :)

  • Dolsanria

    어머니 요리라고 했어요.
    Mother told me to cook.

    선생님들이 숙제 하라고 했어요.
    Teachers told us to do our homework.

  • Winnie Zambo

    1.아침에 커피대신 우유를 마시라고 했어요
    2.우리 아빠가 항상 학교에 가라고 말해 줬어요

  • Francesco Colléter

    아버지가 저안데 놀 멈주라고 그리고 자 했었어요.

    My father told me to stop playing and to go to sleep.

    • Seokjin Jin

      아버지께서 저한테 그만 놀고 자라고 했어요.

  • Eman

    이 드라마를 보라고 말 했어요. 그런데 정말 재미없어요.