The Date in Korean
Today, we’ll learn how to talk about the date in Korean. I strongly suggest taking a look at Sino-Korean numbers first if you haven’t already, because it’ll help you out a lot with dates. The numbers lessons can be found in the “numbers” tag of this blog.
Okay, let’s get started!
It’s very simple to say the year in Korean. Just add the ending 년.
2020 = 2020년 (이천이십년)
*Note: It’s important to know how to say the numbers in Korean even though the symbols are the same. When reading 2020년 aloud, you wouldn’t say say “twenty twenty 년,” you’d say 이천이십년. This may seem obvious, but it can be tricky to get used to at first.
Months are also very easy! Rather than having a word for each month, just attach 월 to the number that correlates to the month. Again, make sure to say the number in Korean. You wouldn’t say “one 월,” you’d say 일월.
1월 (일왈) - January
2월 (이월) - February
3월 (삼월) - March
4월 (사월) - April
5월 (오월) - May
6월 (유월) - June
7월 (칠월) - July
8월 (팔 월) - August
9월 (구월) - September
10월 (시월) - October
11월 (십일월) - November
12월 (십이월) - December
*You may have noticed that June is 유월 instead of 육월, and October is 시월 instead of 십월. This is for ease of pronuncation. Thank you to @chloeskoreanblog for informing me of this!
Day of the Month
The day of the month is easy as well! Simply add 일, meaning “day,” to the number of the day of the month.
the 15th = 15일 (십오일)
*If you know numbers in Korean, you know that 일 is also the Sino-Korean number one. Just remember that it has a different meaning when used this way.
Day of the Week
Just like in English, days of the week each have their own name in Korean. Notice that the names all end in 요일. In everyday conversation, however, this ending is often left out. This is similar to saying Mon. instead of Monday.
일요일 - Sunday
월요일 - Monday
화요일 - Tuesday
수요일 - Wednesday
목요일 - Thursday
금요일 - Friday
토요일 - Saturday
What date is it?
Now, let’s learn how to ask what the date is. To do this in Korean, you literally say “How many months and how many days are there?”
We know that 월 is used for the month, and 일 is used for the day of the month. Use 몇 for “how many.” For the month, 몇 월 is left as two words. For the day, the words 몇 and 일 combine to form 며칠. Then, we use 이에요, the present tense conjugation of 이다 (to be).
All together, here’s what we have:
몇 월 며칠이에요? - What is the date? (literally “How many months and how many days are there?”)
To make the question specific to today, simply add 오늘, the word for today, to the beginning of the sentence. Use the particle 은 to express that “today” is the subject of the sentence.
오늘은 몇 월 며칠이에요? - What is the date today? (literally “How many months and how many days are there today?”)
Notice that this question does not ask for the day of the week. Since days of the week don’t use numbers, it wouldn’t make sense to say “how many days of the week are there?” To ask for the day of the week, use the following:
무슨 요일이에요? - What day of the week is it?
오늘은 무슨 요일이에요? - What day of the week is it today?
How to Say the Date
Finally, let’s take a look at how to say the date. To answer our question, “몇 월 며칠이에요?,” order the elements of the date from the largest unit to the smallest. Put the year first, then the month, and then the day of the month.
January 15, 2020 = 2020년 1월 15일 (이천이십년 일월 십오일)
Simply saying “2020년 1월 15일” is fine, but you can add 오늘은 to the beginning and 이에요 to the end to be more specific.
Today is January 15, 2020. = 오늘은 2020년 1월 15일이에요.
To answer our question “오늘은 무슨 요일이에요?,” simply add 이에요 to the day of the week.
It is Friday. = 금요일이에요.
Now we know how to say the date in Korean! I hope this helped you out.