V + 아/어/여 다오

Since I really love sageuks and “old” Korean, I think it would be fun to occasionally post some grammar points and vocabulary from the dramas and novels I’m currently reading.  I’m not sure how accurate some of these posts might be, so feel free to correct me if I get something wrong!  Most of this is just a summary of stuff I’ve read while browsing Korean language forums and such.

I think I’ll just post a few of my favorite passages from 해를 품은 달 and 성균관 유생들의 나날 as examples of the grammar/vocabulary that I want to write about (nothing spoilery, I promise!)  Without further ado:

“왕인 이 몸에 주술을 걸었다면 넌 능지처참*을 당할 것이다.  말해보아라. 주술을 건 것이냐?”

월이 놀란 눈으로 다시 훤을 돌아보았다.  그의 눈빛이 따뜻하게 웃고 있었다.

“아니면 내 마음이 왜 이런 것이냐?  설명해 다오.  목소리를….., 들려 다오.” 

*능지처참:  death by dismemberment 

– from 해를 품은 달

I cheated a little bit in that 다오 is an example of 하오체 which isn’t exclusively heard in sageuks (it can be heard in contemporary Korean and I’ve read it here and there on the internet but I’m not sure how common it is overall).  It is quite commonly heard in sageuks and gives the dialogue a more “old-fashioned” feel.

It’s pretty easy to tell from context how 다오 is used.  Basically, it’s a semi-informal way of requesting someone to do something.  Examples:

예) 돈 좀 빌려 다오. = Lend me some money.
예) 창문을 조금만 열어 다오. = Open the window a bit.

Two updates in a day?  My oh my.  I hope this means I’ll get back into the habit of blogging regularly.


  1. Hi!! I just took a glance on this grammar in the afternoon when switching my Korean textbooks.
    Your blog is amazing and Nice to meet you ^^


    1. Archana says:

      Thank you! Nice to meet you too. :)


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