Learning how to tell the time in Korean is incredibly useful. Not only will you be able to ask and answer about the time in Korean, you can also use what you learn to talk about things that happened in the past, things that will happen in the future, and will be able to talk about and make plans. In order to tell the time in Korean, you must know both native and Sino Korean numbers. In this lesson, you will learn how to ask “What time is it?” in Korean, how to tell the time in Korean, and related time expressions. First, let’s take a look at how to ask “What time is it?”.
“What Time Is It?” in Korean
몇 시예요? [myeot si-ye-yo?]
“What time is it?” in Korean is 몇 시예요? [myeot si-ye-yo?]. This is made up of the words 몇, which is one of the ways to say ‘what’ in Korean, 시, which in this context means ‘time’, and ~예요, which is an ending which means ‘is’ in the sense of ‘is equals to’. So, together 몇 시예요? [myeot si-ye-yo?] means “What time is it?” in Korean.
Telling The Time in Korean
To tell the time in Korean when somebody asks 몇 시예요?, you must know native and Sino Korean numbers, the Korean words for ‘hour’ and ‘minute’, and the ending ~이에요/예요.
To state the hour in Korean native Korean numbers are used followed by the word for hour which is 시. For example, ‘5 o’clock’ in Korean is 다섯 시 [da-seot si]. To state the minutes in Korean Sino Korean numbers are used followed by the word for minute which is 분. So, for example, ‘5:15’ in Korean is 다섯 시 십오 분 [da-seot si sip-o bun].
The ending ~이에요/예요 is used when somebody asks you ‘What’s the time?’ (몇 시예요?). The ending ~이에요/예요 means ‘is’ in the sense of ‘is equals to’, so by adding this ending you are saying “It is five fifteen” (다섯 시 십오 분이에요) rather than just “five fifteen” (다섯 시 십오 분). To learn more about the ending ~이에요/예요, check out our lesson about ‘What is it?’ in Korean.
Now that you know how to tell the time in Korean, let’s look at some examples. In the table below, read the sentences and then click on the audio to check how to pronounce these sentences.
|What time is it?||몇 시예요?|
|It’s 1 o’clock.||한 시예요.|
|It’s 2:05.||두 시 오 분이에요.|
[du si o-bun-i-ye-yo]
|It’s 3:10.||세 시 십 분이에요.|
[se si sip-bun-i-ye-yo]
|It’s 4:15.||네 시 십오 분이에요.|
[ne si sip-o-bun-i-ye-yo]
|It’s 5:20.||다섯 시 이십 분이에요.|
[da-seot si i-sip-bun-i-ye-yo]
|It’s 6:25.||여섯 시 이십오 분이에요.|
[yeo-seot si i-sip-o-bun-i-ye-yo]
|It’s 7:30.||일곱 시 삼십 분이에요.|
[il-gop si sam-sip-bun-i-ye-yo]
|It’s 8:35.||여덟 시 삼십오 분이에요.|
[yeo-deol si sam-sip-bun-i-ye-yo]
|It’s 9:40.||아홉 시 사십 분이에요.|
[a-hop si sa-sip-bun-i-ye-yo]
|It’s 10:45.||열 시 사십오 분이에요.|
[yeol si sa-sip-o-bun-i-ye-yo]
|It’s 11:50||열한 시 오십 분이에요.|
[yeol-han si o-sip-bun-i-ye-yo]
|It’s 12:55.||열두 시 오십오 분이에요.|
[yeol-du si o-sip-o-bun-i-ye-yo]
*Note that when using native Korean numbers with counting units, the numbers 1-4 change slightly. 하나 (1) becomes 한, 둘 (two) becomes 두, 셋 (three) becomes 세, and 넷 (4) becomes 네. So, 1 o’clock is 한 시, not 하나 시, 2 o’clock is 두 시, not 둘 시, and so on.
AM and PM Time In Korean
Sometimes you may wish to specify AM or PM in Korean when telling the time. To say AM in Korean, simply put the word 오전 [o-jeon] before the time. 오전 means ‘before noon’ so by adding this before the time you are showing that this time is in the Am. For example, 7:30 AM in Korean is 오전 일곱 시 삼십 분 [o-jeon il-gop si sam-sip bun].
To say PM in Korean, simply put the word 오후 [o-hu] before the time. 오후 means ‘afternoon’ so by adding this before the time you are showing that this time is in the PM. For example, 7:30 PM in Korean is 오후 일곱 시 삼십분 [o-hu il-gop si sam-sip-bun].
If you want to be more specific than just AM or PM when telling the time in Korean, you can use the Korean words for ‘dawn’, ‘morning’, ‘evening’ and ‘night’ and place them in front of the time.
Dawn In Korean
Dawn in Korean is 새벽 [sae-byeok]. You can use this word to refer to AM time between the hours of 12 Am and 6AM. For example, 5 o’clock dawn in Korean is 새벽 다섯 시 [sae-byeok da-seot si].
Morning In Korean
Morning in Korean is 아침 [a-chim]. You can use this word to refer to AM time between the hours of 6 and noon. For example, 10 o’clock in the morning in Korean is 아침 열 시 [a-chim yeol si].
Evening In Korean
Evening in Korean is 저녁 [jeo-nyeok]. You can use this word to refer to PM time between the hours of 6PM and 9PM. For example, 8 o’clock in the evening in Korean is 저녁 여덟 시 [jeo-nyeok yeo-deol si].
Night In Korean
Night in Korean is 밤 [bam]. 밤 is used to refer to PM time between the hours of 9PM and midnight. For example, 11 o’clock at night in Korean is 밤 열한 시 [bam yeol-han si].
Describing A Location In Time In Korean
When you want to talk about the time an event took place in the past (e.g “I got up at 6:30”) or the time of future events or plans (e.g. “Let’s meet at 6:30”), you are describing a location in time and so you must use the location marking particle 에. 에, in this context, is similar to ‘at’ in English when used as a preposition of time.
To use this time particle, simply place 에 after the time in the sentence. For example, “I got up at 7 o’clock” in Korean is 일곱 시에 일어났어요 [il-gop si-e i-reo-na-sseo-yo].
Time In Korean – Example Sentences
Now that you have learned how to ask and tell time in Korean and related time expressions, check out these useful example sentences. Read the sentences and click on audio to check the Korean pronunciation.
|What time is it now?||지금 몇 시예요?|
|It’s 4 o’clock now.||지금 네 시예요.|
|What time shall we meet?||몇 시에 만날까요?|
|Let’s meet at 7 o’clock.||일곱 시에 만나요.|
|What time did you arrive?||몇 시에 도착했어요?|
|I arrived at 10:30.||열 시 삼십 분에 도착했어요.|
|What time does the movie start?||영화가 몇 시에 시작해요?|
|The movie starts at 5:15.||영화가 다섯 시 십오 분에 시작해요.|
|What time do you get up?||몇 시에 일어나요?|
|I get up at 6 o’clock.||여섯 시에 일어나요.|
|What time did you eat breakfast?||아침 식사 몇 시에 먹었어요?|
|I ate breakfast at 8:45.||아침 식사가 여덟 시 사십오 분에 먹었어요.|
Telling The Time In Korean – Practice Quiz
See how well you know how to tell the time in Korean with this fun quiz. You can also try this as an interactive quiz here.
If you’ve not yet learned Korean numbers or you want to refresh your memory so that you comfortably tell the time in Korean, check out our complete guide to native and Sino Korean numbers. You can also find many more time expressions and related vocabulary in our lesson on ‘When’ In Korean. Thanks for reading. What time is it now?