Lesson 17 (Beginner 1B L1): Numbers and Dates Redux

Audrey didn't come for this lesson. I think she might be switching to the Wednesday class... even though it's 2 weeks behind. It's a hypothesis for now, but it will be more obvious in the next few weeks.

We spent about the first half of the class finishing up chapter 4, and then starting on chapter 5. We will be learning the past tense in chapter 5, and then after chapter 5, there will be a test.

There is also a vocab quiz in the next lesson on the temporal adverbs (pretty much that's what they are) and the days of the week.


When ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅈ are positioned after the final consonant ㄱ, they are pronounced [ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ ,ㅉ].


  1. 약국 [약꾹]
  2. 학교 [학꾜]
  3. 식당 [식땅]
  4. 책방 [책빵]
  5. 학생 [학쌩]
  6. 극장 [극짱]


1. 날짜와 요일 (Dates and Days)

A. Dates and Numbers, Round 2

We first learnt this in the foundation class. The teacher said that we would learn it again in Chapter 5. Well, today's the day. (Or, well, the day the lesson was held was the day, since now it's past that day.)

Last time, the score was Dates: 1, Students: 0

When we first learnt it, we were all confused. We did not fare much better this round, trying to figure out each other's birthdays, especially when the dates were the 20th, 21st, or 22nd of the month.

An explanation is in order, so I'll try my best.

The sentence for saying the date is: X월 Y일이에요. (X-wol Y-i-ri-e-o.)

월 means month, 일 means day, and 이에요 means is, so a translation would be: It is day Y (of) month X.

However, recall that:

  1. The word for the number one (1) is also 일 (il), exactly the same as the word for "day".
  2. There is a pronunciation rule that says if the next syllable starts with ㅇ, then any batchim from the previous syllable is carried over. (See the pronunciation topic from Chapter 3, covered in the Lesson 14 post.)

If you have a date like the 1st of January (1월 1일), then it becomes 일월 일일이에요, which is pronounced as [이뤌 이리리에요] - i-rol i-ri-ri-e-yo. (In Korean, like Chinese, you call the months by their numbers, so January is the first month, February the second month, and so on, until December which is the twelfth month.)

By itself, it doesn't seem that bad (if you manage to wrap your tongue around that excessive number of "r" sounds tere), but 이 is not just a particle, it is the word for the number two (2) as well. The 2nd of January will sound like [이월 이리리에요] - (i-wol i-ri-ri-e-yo).

This means that in order to correctly parse the correct date, you can't just hear that first syllable and call it a day, you must consider the next syllable as well.

The months of November and December are confusing as well. But to fully appreciate this, you need to understand the counting system in Korean. This follows the Chinese system. Eleven is literally "ten-one"; twelve "ten-two", that is, eleven is 십일 (십 is ten, and 일 is one) and twelve is 십이.

So you end up with 십일월 and 십이월 as the names for November and December. They differ by a single ㄹ (r) sound.

That's just the months part. Now let's look at the days themselves. Remember I said something about 20, 21, and 22?

This system of counting also means that twenty is "two-ten", twenty-one is "two-ten-one", twenty-two is "two-ten-two"... and I think you can see where this is going.

  • 20 is 이십
  • 21 is 이십일
  • 22 is 이십이

Looks fine? Recall the full sentence: X월 Y일이에요.

Let's consider some dates:

  • 20 November: 십일월 이십일이에요. (shi-bi-rol i-shi-bi-ri-e-yo.)
  • 21 December: 십이월 이십일일이에요. (shi-bi-wol i-shi-bi-ri-ri-e-yo.)
  • 22 December: 십이월 이십이일이에요. (shi-bi-wol i-shi-bi-i-ri-e-yo.)

While practising with the vocab cards in class, there was a of confusion when we forgot October is 시월 (pronounced shi-wol. It's a little special, so instead of 십 it's 시). The first thing to my mind was April (사월; sa-wol) and someone else thought March (삼월; sa-mwol).

After today, the score is Dates: 2, Students: 0. The subtle differences really trip me up. It will probably take some time to internalise.

(I long for the day when I will read this post again in the future and laugh at myself, that this was a problem at all.)

B. Days of the Week

We also went over the days of the week. I learnt it before some time back on my own (when I was still taking the Foundation class) by adding it to my Anki deck. It was not covered in class at the time.

It started when I could read enough Hangeul and realised that the Quizlet deck for our class, which is held on Saturdays, says 토요일 (to-yo-il) and I thought... it sounds like Japanese word for Saturday, which is 土曜日 (do-yō-bi). Specifially, 토 (pronounced more like "toe" than the English "to") and 土 (pronounced more like "doe" than... "do") are really similar.

And so I found out back then, that Korean use the same system for naming days of the week as in Japanese, which came from Chinese (though now it's not used in Chinese, we just count the days of the week like we count the months and days of the month).

This simplifies things a lot in terms of what I need to memorise because I still remember my Japanese days of the week - which I learnt close to 15 years ago - thanks to this poem (mnemonic devices do work, silly as they are, or rather, they work because they are silly):

Monday GETS you money, (月曜日; ge-tsu-yō-bi)
Tuesday gets you a CAR, (火曜日; ka-yō-bi)
Wednesday gets you something SWEET, (水曜日; sui-yō-bi)
Thursday MOCKS you, (木曜日; mo-ku-yō-bi)
Friday is the KING of the week, (金曜日; kin-yō-bi)
Saturday gets you DOnuts, (土曜日; do-yō-bi)
Sunday finds your NICHE. (日曜日; ni-chi-yō-bi)

(I am severely irritated by all this transliteration, and am sorely tempted to use IPA, but I guess that would hurt readability... though... that's only if I'm not the one reading it. Since this is more of my notes to myself, it shouldn't matter if I use IPA. 🤔Maybe I should use IPA next time...)

There's a very nice entry on Wiktionary for Sunday that shows the (Classical) Chinese, Japanese, and Korean forms. There's links to the other Japanese days of the week there too.

Now, yes, the pronunciation for Monday and Sunday are rather off from the Japanese for Korean, but it's easy (for me) to recall because I know that Monday is 月, and 月 means "moon", and also "month". Thus its Korean equivalent is simply 월, the word for "month". So Monday is 월요일. Similarly for Sunday, the word for it is 日, which means "sun", and also "day", so Sunday is 일요일.

These are the 2 days of the week that share an obvious same meaning as their respective words in English.

Monday means "day of the moon". I only considered this when I thought how much the French word for Monday (lundi) looks rather much like the French word for "moon" (lune). It's also apparent in Italian, lunedì, and luna. However, for the Romance languages, they derive the word from Latin more directly, but in the Germanic languages it kind of takes a detour.

This is more apparent if you consider the words for Sunday in English/German (Germanic languages), meaning "day of the sun", and French/Italian (Romance languages), where it means "day of the Lord".

Though, this is for this word, English is called the most romantic (is that the right word?) of the Germanic languages for a reason, due to the strong influence of Latin for many words, mostly through French.

Interestingly, Chinese has these two names for Sunday if you are going by the 星期 way of naming days of the week: 星期日 (xīng-qī-rì) and 星期天 (xīng-qī-tiān). Heh, that would be a topic all on its own. Here's a teaser.

In Korean (and Japanese, and some other East Asian languages), the words for Tuesday to Saturday look like they are named after some elements (at one point I think someone told me they were a cycle, like how fire 火 - Tuesday - is beaten by water 水 - Wednesday). But in English they are more directly named after Roman gods.

However, if you dig further, you find that actually, they are all named after said Roman gods, or more specifically, the celestial objects named for those gods!

Phew! That was a rather deep rabbit hole that I dug myself into, but I had fun. But I think that's enough for now! There's still other things to cover.

2. N (Time) 에

This is used to indicate the time that something happens.

You add 에 to a noun (N) that indicates time to indicate that something takes place at a given time.

에 can be translated (for this context of time) as at, on, in, etc.

Time nouns include:

  1. Dates (e.g. on the 9th of September = 9월 9일)
  2. Years (e.g. in 2019 = 2019년)
  3. Months (e.g. in December = 12월)
  4. Days of the week (e.g. on Friday = 금요일)
  5. "Weeks" (e.g. on the weekend 주말, in this week 이번 주)
  6. "Named days" (e.g. on Christmas = 크리스마스)
  7. Time (e.g. at 1 o'clock = 한 시) - this we have not learnt, but will learn in future.

You don't use this particle with the words 어제 (yesterday), 오늘 (today), 내일 (tomorrow). This is like how in English, you don't say "on yesterday, I...", but simply "yesterday, I...".

Some example sentences:

  1. 2월 14일 파티가 있어요. (There is a party on 14th February.)
  2. 월요일 학교에 가요. (I'm going to school on Monday.)
  3. 7월 독일에 가요. (I'm going to Germany in July.)
  4. 이번 주 일해요? (Are you working this week?)
  5. 내일 은행에 가요. (I'm going to the bank tomorrow.)
  6. 다음 주말에 뭐 해요? (다음 주말에는) 친구를 만나요. (What are you doing next weekend? I'm meeting my friend [next weekend].)
    • It's optional to say 다음 주말에는, so you can simply answer 친구를 만나요.
    • 에는 (instead of only 에) is used to indicate a time that was mentioned before.


Korean English
이천 2000
이천이십 2020
이천이십년 the year 2020
일요일 Sunday
월요일 Monday
화요일 Tuesday
수요일 Wednesday
목요일 Thursday
금요일 Friday
토요일 Saturday
일월 January
이월 February
삼월 March
사월 April
오월 May
칠월 July
팔월 August
구월 September
십일월 November
십이월 December
어제 yesterday
오늘 today
내일 tomorrow
지난주 last week
이번 주 this week
다음 주 next week
주말 weekend
지난주말 last weekend
이번 주말 this weekend
다음 주말 next weekend
시험 test
선물 gift
생일 birthday
생일 카드 birthday card
혼자 alone
N하고 with + noun
친구하고 with a friend/friends
같이 [가치] together
약속 [약쏙] appointment; promise
시간 time
사진을 찍다 to take a photo
산책하다 [산채카다] to take a walk
이를 닦다 to brush one's teeth
세수하다 to wash (one's) face
끝나다 [끈나다] to be finished
미안하다 to be sorry
무슨 N what + noun
누구 who
언제 when
며칠 what date
그래서 so


  1. I'm not quite sure what is going on with the spacing for the last week/next week/last weekend/next weekend words.
    1. It looks like "last" (지난) seems to stick to the "week" (주), but "this" (이번) and "next" (다음) do not, so you have 지난주, but 이번 주 and 다음 주. This is from the Quizlet deck. Why are they different?
    2. It gets more confusing because in the handout, they are all written with a space between (i.e. 지난 주). :/

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