Learn Korean: Verb + 걸 그랬다

Let’s take a look at the Korean sentence pattern Verb + 걸 그랬다. We use this to express regret for not doing something we should have done or opted to do. We feel the consequence of our action or choice now. For example, I had a job interview this morning and my mom suggested that I take the subway which I didn't do because it is jam-packed during rush hour. I took a cab only to find out that there were major road works and I got stuck in heavy traffic. I told myself I should have taken the subway. The main verb is 지하철을 타다 (to take the subway). We take the verb stem and attach if it ends in a vowel and if it ends in a consonant. Then, we add 걸 그랬다. The actual sentence is 지하철 탈 걸 그랬어.

아침 먹을 걸 그랬어.

I should have had breakfast. (now, we can’t have lunch break because of a major offense)

아이폰 살 그랬나?

I should have bought an iPhone. (at least it has better camera quality)

일찍 일어날 걸 그랬어요.

We should have gotten up early. (looks like we're going to miss the flight)