I'm learning Indirect quotations in the book Korean Grammar in Use, and I know that in the indirect Imperative clauses, we use the structure S + O + (으)라고 하다 as in the following example:

제가 흐엉 씨한테 전화하라고 했어요: I told Huong that I asked her to call me

to the best of my knowledge, in this sentence, 제가 is "I" and is subject, 라고 is "that", 했어요 is "말했어요" (told). This sentence follows the structure S + O + (으)라고 하다 so it is easy for me to understand. But in the example section of the book, I got the following:

제이슨 씨가 오면 식당으로 오라고 전해 주세요: When 제이슨 comes here, (you) please tell him that I asked him to come to the restaurant

In my opinion, the above sentence can be rewritten with the full subject as follows:

너는 제이슨 씨가 오면 제가 식당으로 오라고 전해 주세요

to the best of my knowledge, in this sentence, 너는 is "You" and is subject, 라고 is "that" and 전해 주세요 is "Please give". But because this sentence does not follow the structure S + O + (으)라고 하다 so it's difficult for me to understand. In this sentence, the person who gave out the command "식당으로 오세요" in this sentence was 제가 (I), and 너는 (You) is just the person who narrated that command, so here instead of 라고 전해 주세요, it must be 하고 전해 주세요, right?

Can you help me to understand? Thank you!

  • 1
    You should not use 너 with 해요체; there are other ways to call "you." One of the correct full sentences is 제이슨 씨가 (여기에) 오면 (제이슨 씨가) (제가 있을) 식당으로 오라고 (OO 씨가) 제이슨 씨에게 전해 주세요 when OO is "your first name."
    – Klmo
    Commented Mar 5, 2020 at 13:12
  • @ Klmo: Thank you. So after 라고 we can omit 하다, right? And we can rewrite the full sentence as follows:제이슨 씨가 (여기에) 오면 (제이슨 씨가) (제가 있을) 식당으로 오라고 했다고(OO 씨가) 제이슨 씨에게 전해 주세요, right? And then we will shorten "오라고 했다고(OO 씨가) 제이슨 씨에게 전해 주세요" to "오라고 전해 주세요" to become "제이슨 씨가 오면 식당으로 오라고 전해 주세요", right?
    – Thai Trinh
    Commented Mar 5, 2020 at 15:54
  • No, that is incorrect because the sentence you provided above is not what 제이슨 has said. "...가 ...에게 ...고 전하다" is the basic structure. You may say 제이슨 씨가 (여기에) 오면 (제이슨 씨가) (제가 있을) 식당으로 오라고 제가 말했다고 (OO 씨가) 제이슨 씨에게 전해 주세요 if you wish to use a more complex sentence.
    – Klmo
    Commented Mar 5, 2020 at 16:28
  • 오라고 했다 is shortened as 오랬다, so it is correct to say 제이슨 씨가 오면 제가 식당으로 (제이슨 씨가) 오랬다고 제이슨 씨에게 전해 주세요.
    – Klmo
    Commented Mar 5, 2020 at 17:39
  • Oh, I forgot to mention this: "... 제가 식당으로 오라고 전해 ..." (The third sentence) is incorrect because it is not "I" but Jason who will be told to go to the restaurant. You should care about the connection between a subject and a verb.
    – Klmo
    Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 8:52

2 Answers 2


There are two commands being issued here. One is a direct imperative, the other is an indirect imperative. The indirect one is enclosed within the direct one.

The indirect imperative will "become" direct from the person designated "you" to "Jason". The direct equivalent would be any one of:

와 / 오라 / 이쪽으로 / 와요 / 오세요 / 오시죠 / 오십시오 / 오셔도 돼요

Because this is a command that the listener "you" will give to "Jason", the speaker is going to leave the exact wording up to the listener "you". Hence it is an indirect command, and the ending for indirect imperatives is used: 오라고.

The speaker "I" is also giving a direct command ["tell"] to the listener "you". The "tell" in this case is 전하다 and the use of the "주세요" form is an appropriate level of politeness from the speaker to the listener "you".

In English, "that" is not the correct connective for indirect commands: "to" is the standard. Please tell him to come to the restaurant. The direct command that "you" will give to "Jason" can thus be anything like:

Get over here! / Step into the restaurant please/ / This way please. / Please! [with gesture] / S/He is waiting for you in the restaurant.

Thus the difference between direct and indirect commands in English actually parallels the distinction in Korean.


(Who?)제이슨 씨가... 오면(if comes) - 식당으로(to the restaurant) 오라고(to come) 전해(transmit/convey/pass the message) 주세요 (please).

You are struggling because you think that there is "I" somewhere here. And there is none. The main clause is an imperative one without a subject (say to go to the restaurant). There is no "that I asked him" as such in this sentence.

Regarding "verbSTEM+(으)라고" - it is always like "tell (whoever) TO DO sth". Like 나가라고 해주세요 - tell (whoever) to leave.

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