In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask “What time is it?” in Korean and how to tell the time in Korean so you can answer this question. You’ll learn the basic Korean words needed to tell the time including the words for ‘minutes’ and ‘hours’, and related expressions you can use when talking about time in Korean. First, let’s take a look at how to say “What time is it?” in Korean.
“What Time Is It?” in Korean
“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 that 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 si-bo 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.
Here are some example sentences showing how to tell the time in Korean:
|What time is it?||몇 시예요?|
|It’s 1 o’clock.||한 시예요.|
|It’s 2:05.||두 시 오 분이에요.|
[du si o bu-ni-e-yo]
|It’s 3:10.||세 시 십 분이에요.|
[se si sip bu-ni-e-yo]
|It’s 4:15.||네 시 십오 분이에요.|
[ne si si-bo bu-ni-e-yo]
|It’s 5:20.||다섯 시 이십 분이에요.|
[da-seot si i-sip bu-ni-e-yo]
|It’s 6:25.||여섯 시 이십오 분이에요.|
[yeo-seot si i-si-bo bu-ni-e-yo]
|It’s 7:30.||일곱 시 삼십 분이에요.|
[il-gop si sam-sip bu-ni-e-yo]
|It’s 8:35.||여덟 시 삼십오 분이에요.|
[yeo-deol si sam-si-bo bu-ni-e-yo]
|It’s 9:40.||아홉 시 사십 분이에요.|
[a-hop si sa-sip bu-ni-e-yo]
|It’s 10:45.||열 시 사십오 분이에요.|
[yeol si sa-si-bo bu-ni-e-yo]
|It’s 11:50||열한 시 오십 분이에요.|
[yeol-han si o-sip bu-ni-e-yo]
|It’s 12:55.||열두 시 오십오 분이에요.|
[yeol-du si o-si-bo bu-ni-e-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 삼십 분 [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].
Korean Time Particle
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].
Here are some useful related expressions you can use when talking about the time in Korean:
|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 식사를 몇 시에 먹었어요?|
|I ate breakfast at 8:45.||아침 식사를 여덟 시 사십오 분에 먹었어요.|
What Time Is It? In Korean – Practice Quiz
See how well you know how to tell the time in Korean with this fun quiz.