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  5. "The researcher guessed that …

"The researcher guessed that the man couldn't speak Korean."

Translation:연구원은 남자가 한국어를 못한다고 추측했어요.

November 24, 2017



研究員은 男子가 韓國語룰 못한다고 推測했어요.


Can I write 못하다고?


2 things to remember here:

• Korean indirect quotation is not subjected to "time sequencing" as in the English language.

• The quotation is in the present tense.

The form to use for such quote is: VS + (느)ㄴ다고 [main clause].

[VS]-ㄴ다고 - verb ending in vowel

[VS] -는다고 - verb ending in consonant

In the example, Verb is 하다 (abbr. for "speak"). VS is 하 so, the quotation would look:

[...] 하 -ㄴ다고 = [...] 한다고


Also, can I write 할 수 없다고?


From what I understand ~ㄹ/을 수 없다 indicates a permanent state of inability.

못 implies an impossibility by current circumstances.

But 할 수 없다고 is grammatically correct.

~ㄹ/을 수 없다 / 있다 are adjectives (adjectival verbs) so in a present tense, indirect quotations it is just a matter of adding -다고 to Verb stem.

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