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In the following sentence:

우리가 검사를 해서 문제가 있는 것을 깨달았어요.

근데 검사를 언제 했어요?

(The example is from the following page)

I don't understand why that sentence uses 다 between 있 and 는. If you strip it and make the sentence to the following, I think it is just fine.

우리가 검사를 해서 문제가 있는 것을 깨달았어요.

So what is the purpose of 다 in that sentence and why is it used as such?

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  • I think it stresses the fact that something was discovered, as opposed to just stating that something was discovered – user17915 Nov 19 '19 at 0:38
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Technically, -다는 is the abbreviation of -다고 하는, which is the reason there is 다. -다는, however, is not always the same as -다고 하는 now (Note: 하다 here means 말하다, 생각하다, or their related words).

These are two kinds of adnominal clauses:

A. 문제가 있다는

B. 문제가 있는

In the form of an indirect quotation, "문제가 있다는" modifies 것; however, "문제가 있는" directly modifies it. Because 것 in your sentences is equivalent to 사실 ("the fact"), A and B are semantically the same (reference).

It is important to know that the noun determines which clause can come before it. Let's consider these, too:

C. 저는 친구가 오 것을 느꼈어요.

D. 저는 친구가 온다는 것을 느꼈어요.

E. 저는 친구가 오 것을 봤어요.

F. 저는 친구가 온다는 것을 봤어요. (✘)

G. 저는 친구가 오 얘기를 들었어요. (✘)

H. 저는 친구가 온다는 얘기를 들었어요.

것 for C and D means 사실; 것 for E and F means 모습 (In my opinion, 것 should be avoided to clarify the meaning). C and D are the same in meaning (As a sidenote, "저는 친구가 온다고 느꼈어요." is also correct). It is, nevertheless, incorrect to say "저는 친구가 온다고 하는 것을 느꼈어요.", so the clause in D does not have the real function of an indirect quotation. The clause in your first example sentence closely relates to D because no one would say "... 문제가 있다고 하는 것을 깨달았어요." F and G are incorrect; they show difference between the two kinds. H is the same as "저는 친구가 온다고 하는 얘기를 들었어요."; therefore, H has the clause as an indirect quotation.


Your example sentences sound a bit awkward. Instead of them, I would say:

  • 우리는 검사를 해서 문제를 발견했어요.
  • 우리는 검사로 문제점을 찾았어요.

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