ou started learning about quoted sentences, and how you can add ~ㄴ/는다고 to indicate that something is said/written/thought. The predicating verb is typically something like 말하다 (to speak), 생각하다 (to think), or some other verb that can indicate that words or thoughts were expressed.

For example, when quoted in the present tense:

아들은 바나나를 좋아한다고 해요 = Our son says that he likes bananas

The same thing can be done with adjectives in the present tense, but remember the different rules for quoting adjectives from Lesson 52 (and more generally for conjugating adjectives in general from Lesson 5). For example:

저의 친구들은 저의 여자 친구가 예쁘다고 해요 = My friends say that my girlfriend is pretty

In both of those situations (with verbs and adjectives), the construction of “~다고 해(요)” can be contracted to ~대(요). See how this abbreviation is done by examining the sentences below, which are adapted to reflect this new grammatical principle:

아들은 바나나를 좋아한대요 = Our son says that he likes bananas
저의 친구들은 저의 여자 친구가 예쁘대요 = My friends say that my girlfriend is pretty

The tense of the quoted clause (the tense of the clause before ~다고 해(요)) is irrelevant. ~대(요) is a contraction of ~다고 해(요), so it doesn’t matter if the part before ~다고 해(요) is 하, 한, 했 or 하겠 . In other words:

한다고 해요 can contract to 한대요
했다고 해요 can contract to 했대요
하겠다고 해요 can contract to 하겠대요

The sentences from before show examples where the quote (regardless of the action within the quote) is made in the present tense to say that something is said. For example:

아들은 바나나를 좋아한대요 = Our son says that he likes bananas
저의 친구들은 저의 여자 친구가 예쁘대요 = My friends say that my girlfriend is pretty

The underlined endings used above are contractions of “~다고 해(요).” Often times, quoted sentences indicate that something was said. For example:

그는 밥을 벌써 먹었다고 했어요 = He said that he already ate
야시장에 가기 싫다고 했어요 = He said that he doesn’t want to go to the night market

In theory, “~다고 했다” (or any of its derivatives like 했어요 or 했어) can be contracted to “~댔다” (or any of its derivatives like 댔어요 or 댔어). For example:

그는 밥을 벌써 먹었댔어요 = He said that he already ate
야시장에 가기 싫댔어요 = He said that he doesn’t want to go to the night market

That being said, even if the speaker wants to indicate that the quote was spoken in the past, it is still common to use the present tense contraction ~대(요). When using these contractions, you are relaying what somebody else has already said. Therefore, by default, the spoken portion of the sentence is already in the past. As a result, even if you use the present tense contraction ~대요, context can indicate that this quote was spoken in the past.

You might be looking at this and thinking “wait a minute, he showed us examples at the beginning of the lesson where the spoken portion of the sentence occurs in the present.” Look at those sentences again:

아들은 바나나를 좋아한대요 = Our son says that he likes bananas

Maybe your son likes bananas now, but when did he say that? In order for you to know that he said it (and to be conveying it as is the purpose of this sentence), you must have heard this in the past.

저의 친구들은 저의 여자 친구가 예쁘대요 = My friends say that my girlfriend is pretty

Maybe your friends say that your girlfriend is pretty now, but when did they say that? In order for you to know that they said it (and to be conveying it as is the purpose of this sentence), you must have heard this in the past. Therefore, although the Korean sentences shown in the present tense shown at the beginning of the lesson are grammatically correct, their English translations could be interpreted into the past or present tense. It doesn’t really matter.

Let’s look at some other examples of this abbreviation:

오빤 점심이 맛있대 = My brother said/says that lunch is delicious
(오빠는 점심이 맛있다고 했어)

학생들은 시험이 너무 어렵대요 = The students said that the exam was too difficult
(학생들은 시험이 너무 어렵다고 했어요)

여자 친구는 여행을 곧 하고 싶대요 = My girlfriend said/says that she wants to go traveling soon
(여자 친구는 여행을 곧 하고 싶다고 했어요)

그 남자는 한국말을 조금만 할 수 있대 = He said/says that he can only speak Korean a little bit
(그 남자는 한국말을 조금만 할 수 있다고 했어)

아버지는 열쇠를 잃어버렸대요 = Dad said that he lost his keys
(아버지는 열쇠를 잃어버렸다고 했어요)

친구는 내일부터 중국어공부를 시작하겠대요 = My friend said that he is going to start studying Chinese from tomorrow
(친구는 내일부터 중국어공부를 시작하겠다고 했어요)

This abbreviation can only be used when you are relaying a quote that was said by another person. For example, it would be unnatural to say something like this:

우리가 가기 전에 나는 배고프대