Mind Your Korean 10: Telling time – 아싸!

Orchid and Liz learn how to tell the time in class while Rooster whiles away time in Dreamland. They now share with you their adventures and misadventures with the Korean language in MYK 십!

Boy, I’d sure like to meet the person who cooked up the way to read time in Korean. Which smart @$S decided to use both pure Korean and Sino-Korean numbers to tell time?! Like life doesn’t already have enough challenges of its own.

The class we had was one of the toughest yet. My eyes started to glaze over and hunger pangs struck with a vengeance. I dunno, it must’ve been the doughnuts I ate, or it could be the side effects from digging into my last reserves of brainpower to digest the lesson. It was tough.

What time is it Mr. Wolf?

In Korean, you read the hour in pure Korean, while the minutes in Sino-Korean. And if it’s in the A.M. you go 오전 (o-jeon) and if it’s in the P.M., it’s 오후 (o-hoo).

Also, 시 = shi means hour, while 분 = boon means minutes.


7.15am = 오전 일곱 십오 이에요 = o-jeon il-gop shi, ship o boon-i-e-yo.

1.30pm = 오후 한 *이에요 = o-hoo han shi, ban-i-e-yo.
*반 is like how Chinese tell the time. In Hokkien it’s “pua”, in Mandarin it’s “pan”, which means half of the hour.

5.40pm = 오후 다섯 사십 이에요 = o-hoo da-seot shi, sa ship boon-i-e-yo.

Do you think you can tell me what 8.45am is?


Here are some verbs that we used a lot in class:

  • 공부해요 = gong-boo-hae-yo = to study
  • 목욕해요 = mo-gyok-hae-yo = to take a bath
  • 쇼핑해요 = syo-ping-hae-yo = to go shopping
  • 숙제해요 = sook-je-hae-yo = to do homework
  • 식사해요 = shik-sa-hae-yo = to have a meal
  • 운동해요 = oon-dong-hae-yo = to exercise
  • 일해요 = il-hae-yo = to work
  • 전화해요 = jeon-hwa-hae-yo = to make a phone call
  • 일어나요 = i-reo-na-yo = to get up

A day in life

Armed with that, you can actually relate – in Korean – what you did in a day. A brief example below:

저는 오전 여덟 시에 일어나요.
여덟 시 십오 분에 운동해요.
아홉 시에 아침 식사해요.
아홉 시 삼십오 분에 목욕해요.
열 시에 자요. ㅎㅎㅎ

Did you understand that? 😛

시험 – 아싸!

Earlier in the class, Teacher taught us how to use the word 아싸 (a-ssa), which is equivalent to the expression “Yesss!” when delighted or happy.

So let’s say you are a huge fan of F.T. Island and are excited to hear that the band will be in Malaysia for a concert. You can go: “아싸!”

And so the class tried out the new expression during the lesson…

Teacher: We have one more class to go before the exam. Exam in Korean is 시험 (shi-heom). There will be a written, oral and listening test. It will be on all the topics we have learned.
Fellow student: Oh…아싸!!
Teacher: No, no, I don’t think you want to say 아싸 when we talk about exams. You must be a very good student. Anyway, after the exam, why don’t we all go and have dinner together?
Fellow student: Ahh, 아싸!!
Teacher: Ha ha, yes, 아싸!

See you in the final class next week :-).

User Review
0 (0 votes)


  1. Tori April 18, 2010
  2. ladida March 15, 2008
  3. Orchid March 13, 2008
  4. Vai Yoong March 13, 2008

Add Comment