How to Say the Date in Korean

Title: How to Say the Date in Korean: A Comprehensive Guide


Learning how to say the date in Korean is an essential skill for anyone interested in the Korean language or planning to visit South Korea. While it may initially seem intimidating, the Korean date system follows a logical structure that, with a little practice, can be easily grasped. In this article, we will explore the various ways to express dates in Korean and provide answers to frequently asked questions to assist you in mastering this aspect of the language.

Understanding the Korean Date System:

1. The Gregorian Calendar:
Korea primarily follows the Gregorian calendar, which means that the year, month, and day are all represented in a similar manner to the Western system. Therefore, the year is expressed using numbers, the month using Korean words, and the day using a combination of numbers and Korean words.

2. Counting Months:
In Korean, the months are counted using native Korean numbers, which differ from the Sino-Korean numbers used for counting years. The Korean word for “month” is “월” (wol), and the first month is referred to as “일월” (ilwol), the second as “이월” (iwol), and so on.

3. Counting Days:
When expressing the day in Korean, cardinal numbers are used. For the first to the ninth day, the respective Korean words are used. From the tenth onwards, the Sino-Korean numbers are utilized. For example, the 10th day is “십일” (sibil), the 20th day is “이십” (isib), and so forth.

Common Date Expressions:

1. Year:
To say the year, simply state the number followed the word “년” (nyeon). For instance, “2023년” (ibbaek-i-issamnyeon) means “year 2023.”

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2. Month:
To express the month, use the native Korean word for the respective month followed the word “월” (wol). For example, January is “1월” (ilwol), and December is “12월” (sip-i-iwol).

3. Day:
To indicate the day, mention the cardinal number followed the word “일” (il), which means “day.” For example, “12일” (sip-i-ib) means “12th day.”

4. Full Date:
To state the full date, combine all the elements mentioned above. For instance, “2023년 1월 12일” (ibbaek-i-issamnyeon ilwol ib-il) means “January 12th, 2023.”


Q1. Is it necessary to include the year when expressing the date in Korean?
A1. While it is common to mention the year in formal contexts, in casual conversations, Koreans often omit the year if it can be understood from the context.

Q2. Are there any differences in date format between South and North Korea?
A2. No, the date format remains the same in both South and North Korea.

Q3. How do Koreans say dates in the past or future?
A3. To indicate that a date is in the past, add the word “지난” (jinan) before the date. Conversely, to express a future date, use the word “다음” (daeum) before the date.

Q4. Are there any special terms for important holidays or events?
A4. Yes, Koreans use specific terms for holidays and events. For instance, “설날” (Seollal) refers to the Lunar New Year, “추석” (Chuseok) denotes the Harvest Festival, and “크리스마스” (Keuriseumaseu) signifies Christmas.


Mastering the skill of saying the date in Korean is essential for effective communication and understanding in the Korean language. By following the guidelines outlined above and practicing regularly, you will become confident in expressing dates accurately. Remember, consistency and immersion in the language will significantly contribute to your progress. So, keep practicing and enjoy your journey towards fluency in Korean!

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