Lesson 20: Time

Korean Lesson - Time

In this lesson, you will learn how to use native and Sino-Korean numbers to tell the time in Korean. If you need to review these, check out our complete guide to Korean numbers.

Lesson 20: Time


To state the hour in Korean, native Korean numbers are used followed by the word for ‘hour‘ which is 시 [si]. Here are some examples:

Native Korean Number + 시
1 o’clock = 한 시 [han si]
2 o’clock = 두 시 [du si]
3 o’clock = 세 시 [se si]
4 o’clock = 네 시 [ne si]
5 o’clock = 다섯 시 [da-seot si]
10 o’clock = 열 시 [yeol si]
11 o’clock = 열한 시 [yeol-han si]
12 o’clock = 열두 시 [yeol-du si]

*Note the native Korean numbers 1-4 change slightly. 하나 (1) becomes , (two) becomes , (three) becomes , and (4) becomes . So, 1 o’clock is 한 시, not 하나 시, 2 o’clock is 두 시, not 둘 시, and so on.


To state the minutes, Sino Korean numbers are used followed by the word for ‘minute’ which is 분 [bun]. Here are some examples:

Sino-Korean Number + 분
1 minute = 일 분 [il bun]
2 minutes = 이 분 [i bun]
3 minutes = 삼 분 [sam bun]
4 minutes = 사 분 [sa bun]
5 minutes = 오 분 [o bun]
10 minutes = 십 분 [sip bun]
15 minutes = 십오 분 [si-bo bun]
30 minutes = 삼십 분 [sam-sip bun]

Making A Sentence

To make a complete sentence when telling the time, you should add the ending 이에요/예요 [i-e-yo/ye-yo]. If you remember from lesson 1, this ending adds the meaning of ‘equal to’ and so by attaching this ending to the time (for example 다섯 시 십오 분이에요), you are making a full sentence and saying “It’s 5:15.”. Here are some examples:

한 시예요. [han si-ye-yo] = It’s 1:00.
여덟 시예요. [yeo-deol si-ye-yo] = It’s 8:00.
세 시 십 분이에요. [se si sip bu-ni-e-yo] = It’s 3:10.
다섯 시 십오 분이에요. [da-seot si si-bo bu-ni-e-yo] = It’s 5:15.

Example Sentences

Here are some example sentences. If you would like to learn more and some related expressions, check out our complete guide to telling the time in Korean.

몇 시예요? [myeot si-ye-yo?] = What time is it?
두 시 오 분이에요. [du si o bu-ni-e-yo] = It’s 2:05.
네 시 십오 분이에요. [ne si si-bo bu-ni-e-yo] = It’s 4:15.
여섯 시 이십오 분이에요. [yeo-seot si i-si-bo bu-ni-e-yo] = It’s 5:25.
일곱 시 삼십 분이에요. [il-gop si sam-sip bu-ni-e-yo] = It’s 7:30.
아홉 시 사십 분이에요. [a-hop si sa-sip bu-ni-e-yo] = It’s 9:40.
열 시 사십오 분이에요. [yeol si sa-si-bo bu-ni-e-yo] = It’s 10:45.
열한 시 오십 분이에요. [yeol-han si o-sip bu-ni-e-yo] = It’s 11:50.
열두 시 오십오 분이에요. [yeol-du si o-si-bo bu-ni-e-yo] = It’s 12:55.