Lesson 11: 동안, Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, Years

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Vocabulary

A Quick Note
“For” a certain amount of time (동안)

Korean Hours (시간)
Korean Seconds (초)

Last/Next (지난/다음)

Korean Days (일/날/하루)
Korean Weeks (주)
Korean Months (달/개월)
Korean Years (년)

 This Week/This Month/This Time (이번)

 

 

Vocabulary

Months of the year:
1월 (일월) = January
2월 (이월) = February
3월 (삼월) = March
4월 (사월) = April
5월 (오월) = May
6월 (유월) = June*
7월 (칠월) = July
8월 (팔월) = August
9월 (구월) = September
10월 (시월) = October*
11월 (십일월) = November
12월 (십이월) = December

*June (6월/유월) and October (10월/시월) should actually be 육월 and 십월 but, written like that, they are difficult to pronounce. Because of this, their correct pronunciations are 유월 and 시월 NOT 육월 and 십월.

Click on the English words below to see information and examples of that word in use. You probably won’t be able to understand the grammar within the sentences at this point, but seeing words being used in sentences is very helpful for understanding how they can be used.

A PDF file neatly presenting these words and extra information can be found here.

Nouns:
기회 = chance/opportunity

Common Usages:
기회를 놓치다 = to miss an opportunity
기회를 잡다 = to seize an opportunity
기회를 기다리다 = to wait for an opportunity
기회를 얻다 = to gain/get an opportunity
기회를 노리다 = to aim for an opportunity

Examples:
이것은 저의 마지막 기회예요 = This is my last chance
저는 의견을 말할 기회가 아직 없어요 = I still haven’t had a chance to say my opinion
그는 직업을 바꿀 수 있는 기회를 잡았어요 = He seized the opportunity to change jobs

계획 = plans

Common Usages:
~ㄹ/을 계획이 있다 = to have plans to do (Introduced in Lesson 50)

Example:
저는 내일 계획이 있어요 = I have plans tomorrow
서울에 갈 계획이 있어요 = I have plans to go to Seoul
제가 친구를 만날 계획이 있었지만 친구는 안 왔어요 = I had plans to meet my friend, but he didn’t come
우리가 지난 번에 계획이 없었어요 = We didn’t have plans last time
저는 5일 동안 계획이 없을 거예요 = I won’t have plans for 5 days
저는 그 날에 계획이 있어요 = I have plans on that day
원래 대학교에 갈 계획이 있었지만 수능을 잘 못 봐서 대학교에 갈 수 없었어요 = I had plans to go to university, but I couldn’t get in because I did bad on the SAT test

회사원 = office worker

Notes: If I asked 100 people in Canada what their job is, I would probably only get the answer “office worker” a few times. In Korea however, probably 50% of the people would respond with “office worker.” Many Korean people work for big companies in offices, not all doing the same thing obviously, but I’m not exactly sure what they’re all doing in there. Korea has no real natural resources, so the major industry is just “working and business.”

You will see the suffix “원” attached to different words to refer to people.

Example:
한국에서는 회사원이 진짜 많아요 = There are a lot of office workers in Korea
우리 회사는 새로운 회사원을 찾고 있어요 = Our company is looking for new workers

요리사 = a cook/chef

Notes: You will see the suffix “사” attached to different words that indicate some sort of specialized job. For example: 의사 (doctor), 교사 (teacher), 강사 (instructor)

Example:
요리사들은 음식을 준비해요 = Chefs prepare food
요리사들은 저녁을 부엌에서 준비했어요 = The chefs prepared the dinner in the kitchen

운전사 = a driver

Common Usages:
택시 운전사 = taxi driver
버스 운전사 = bus driver
트럭 운전사 = truck driver

Notes: This is not the same “사” in 요리사.
“기사님” is common when talking to bus and taxi drivers

Example:
버스운전사는 승객들을 버스에 서울역에서 태웠어요 = The bus driver took on riders at Seoul Station

Verbs:
달리다 = to run

Common Usages:

달리기 = running

Notes: “뛰다” is another common way to say “to run”

Example:
저는 매우 빨리 달렸어요 = I ran really quickly
저는 1시간 동안 달렸어요 = I ran for one hour
저는 집 안에서 달렸어요 = I ran inside the house
저는 달리기를 제일 빨리 할 수 있어요 = I can run the fastest (the most fast)
그 학생은 모든 학생들보다 더 빨리 달려요 = That student runs faster than any other student
그는 축구선수인 만큼 달리기를 잘해요 = He runs as well as a soccer athlete/player

요리하다 = to cook

The noun form of this word translates to “cooking”

Common Usages:
요리사 = chef

Example:
우리 엄마는 요리를 잘 해요 = Our mom is good at cooking
엄마가 요리한 음식은 너무 맛있어요 = The food my mom cooked is delicious
저의 아내는 자기가 요리한 것을 보통 안 먹어요 = My wife usually doesn’t eat the food she cooks
저의 할머니는 요리를 너무 잘해요 = My grandmother cooks very well

운전하다 = to drive

Common Usages:
운전사 = driver
음주 운전 = drunk driving
운전면허 = driver’s license
국제운전면허 = International driver’s license
운전을 못하다 = to be bad at driving

Example:
트럭을 운전할 수 있어요? = Can you drive a truck?
저는 8시간 동안 운전했어요 = I drove for eight hours
저는 차를 안전히/안전하게 운전했어요 = I drove the car safely
우리 아버지는 차를 항상 안전하게 운전해요= Our dad always drives his car safely
그 고속도로에서 트럭을 운전해서는 안 돼요 = You must not drive a truck on that highway

죽다 = to die

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “죽따”

Common Usages:
죽음 = death
힘들어 죽겠다 = a common saying where people say “ah, it’s so difficult, I’m going to die”
배불러 죽겠다 = a common saying where people say “ah, I’m so full, I’m going to die

Examples:
그 사람은 10년 전에 죽었어요 = That person died 10 years ago
그 사람은 작년에 죽었어요 = That person died last year
그곳에 있었던 사람들은 다 죽었다 = All the people that were there died
그녀는 아이가 죽었다는 사실을 숨겼어요 = She hid (the fact that) her child died

Adjectives:
두렵다 = to be scared

The pronunciation of this word is closer to “두렵따”

두렵다 follows the ㅂ irregular

Notes: 무섭다 and 두렵다 both translate to “scary.” 무섭다 is more typically used to describe the feeling of being scared, usually as it applies to something shocking or something outright scary like snakes or spiders. 두렵다 is more about psychological things in the future, like the fear of death or the fear of tomorrow.

두렵다 and 무섭다 typically describe that something is scary, but it can be used to indicate that you are scared of that thing by using the Subject – Object – Adjective form introduced in Lesson 15.

Example:
그녀를 잃는 것이 두려워요 = I am afraid of losing her
저는 모르는 것이 두려워요 = I am afraid of things that I don’t know (the unknown)
저는 죽는 것이 두려워요 = I am afraid of dying

이상하다 = to be strange

The noun form of this word translates to “abnormality”

Common Usages:
이상해 보이다 = to look strange
이상한 것이 없다 = to be nothing unusual
이상한 느낌 = a strange feeling

Example:
그 건물은 이상해 보여요 = That building looks strange
그는 이상한 남자예요 = He is a strange man
맛이 조금 이상해요 = The taste is a little bit strange
저는 어젯밤 이상한 꿈을 꾸었어요= I had a weird dream last night

Adverbs and Other words:
동안 = for, during, while

Notes: Used to indicate how long something is being done. Often placed after an indication of time.

For example:
10분 동안 = 10 minutes

In this same sense, it can be placed after a noun that describes a time. For example:
방학 동안 = during vacation
수업 시간 동안 = during class time

Also used with ~는 것 (Introduced in Lesson 26) to say “while.” For example:
제가 공부하는 동안 = while I was studying

Example:
저는 30분 동안 공부했어요 = I studied for 30 minutes
저는 공부하는 동안 밥을 먹었어요 = I ate while studying
저는 방학 동안 공부를 많이 했어요 = I studied a lot during vacation
반지를 사려고 두 달 동안 돈을 안 썼어요 = In order to buy a ring, I didn’t spend money for two months
저는 삼일 동안 밥을 안 먹었어요 = I didn’t eat rice for 3 days
텔레비전을 오랫동안 보지 마세요! = Don’t watch TV for a long time!
저는 두 달 동안 한국어 수업을 들었어요 = I took a Korean class for 2 months
저는 10분 동안 걸었어요 = I walked for 10 minutes
저는 1년 동안 영어를 외국에서 공부했어요 = I studied English in a foreign country for 1 year
저는 6개월 동안 여행했어요 = I travelled for 6 months

= month

Common Usages:
두 달 동안 = for two months
세 달 동안 = for three months
달력 = calendar

Notes: When counting months, you can either use 달 or 개월. When using 달, you must use the pure Korean numbers, and when using 개월, you must use the Sino-Korean numbers. There is no difference in meaning, and both are used frequently

Example:
저는 두 동안 한국어 수업을 들었어요 = I took a Korean class for 2 months
저는 여기에 한 에 세 번 와요 = I come here three times per month
다음 에 한국어를 배우기 시작할 거예요 = I will start learning Korean next month

개월 = month

Notes: When counting months, you can either use 달 or 개월. When using 달, you must use the pure Korean numbers, and when using 개월, you must use the Sino-Korean numbers. There is no

difference in meaning, and both are used frequently

Example:
저는 2개월 동안 한국어 수업을 들었어요 = I took a Korean class for 2 months
저는 6개월 동안 여행했어요 = I traveled for 6 months
우리는 사귄 지 3개월 되었어요 = We have been going out for 3 months

= day

Notes: 날 is used as a stand alone word and not counted. It is used when talking about a specific day by itself.

Examples:
저는 그 날에 갔어요 = I went on that day
저는 그 날에 계획이 있어요 = I have plans on that day
저는 그 날에 선생님이 되었어요 = I became a teacher on that day
우리는 그 날에 시작할 거예요 = We will start on that day

하루 = one day

Common Usages
하루 종일 = all day
하루 동안 = for one day
하루에 세 번 = three times per day
하루에 한 번 = once per day
하룻밤 = one night

Notes: When counting the number of days, you can usually say something like “5일” (five days). However, for a small number of days (one day, two days) there is a special word that corresponds to that number of days. “일 일” to mean “one day” would never be used.

Example:
저는 하루에 3시간 동안 공부해요 = I study for three hours in one day
저는 하루 동안 여행했어요 = I travelled for one day
저는 하루에 4시간 동안 공부해요 = I study for four hours per day
그 학생은 하루 종일 책을 독서할 수 있어요 = That student can read books all day
저는 이 약을 하루에 두 번 먹어요 = I eat (take) this medicine twice per day
저의 게으른 남동생은 하루 종일 아무것도 안 해요 = My lazy brother doesn’t do anything all day
그는 하루 종일 그냥 컴퓨터를 해요 = He just uses the computer all day
모든 학생들은 하루 종일 잤어 = All students slept all day

이틀 = two days

Common Usages
이틀 동안 = for two days
이틀에 한 번 = once per two days

Notes: When counting the number of days, you can usually say something like “5일” (five days). However, for a small number of days (one day, two days) there is a special word that corresponds to that number of days. “이 일” to mean “two days” would be used, but 이틀 would be more common.

Example:
우리는 계곡에 이틀 동안 갈 거예요 = We are going to the valley for two days
저는 이틀 동안 안 잤어요 = I didn’t sleep for two days
우리는 이틀 동안 미국에 있었어요 = We were in America for two days
우리는 이틀 전에 한국에 왔어요 = We came to Korea two days ago
저는 그 친구를 이틀 후에 만날 거예요 = I will meet that friend two days from now

사흘 = three days

Notes: Even though “사” (‘four’) is in the word “사흘,” I assure you that 사흘 means “3 days.” Many Korean people think that “사흘” actually means “four days,” and I have pwned some Korean people by showing them that it actually means “three days” by looking it up in the Korean-Korean dictionary with them.

Example:
저는 사흘 동안 밥을 안 먹었어요 = I didn’t eat rice for 3 days

지난 주 = last week

Notes: 지난 can be placed before some indicators of time to mean “last ….”

There are two similar but different meanings for the word “last” in English. 지난 is used for only ONE of those meanings. 지난 is used to talk about something in the past, as in “last night I went to bed late.” It is not used to talk about the last thing in a sequence. See Lessons 10 and 11 for more information.

Example:
지난 에 저는 계획이 많았어요 = I had a lot of plans last week
그는 그녀를 지난 에 해고했을 것 같아요 = It appears that he fired her last week
저의 여동생은 지난 에 책 두 권을 읽었어요 = My sister read two books last week
지난
말에 뭐 했어요? = What did you do last weekend?
저는 그 영화를 지난 에 봤어요 = I saw that movie last week
지난
에 우리는 아무데도 안 갔어요= We didn’t go anywhere last week
저는 지난 주에 영화를 봤어요 = I saw a movie last week

지난 달 = last month

Example:
저는 지난 에 그 시험을 봤어요 = I took that exam last month
학생은 지난 달보다 더 많이 공부하고 있어요 = The student is studying more than last month

이번 주 = this week

Example:
우리가 이번 에 뭐 할 거예요? = What are we going to do this week?
저는 이번 주에 계획이 없어요 = I have no plans this week

이번 달 = this month

Example:
그녀는 에 애기를 낳을 예정이에요 = She is scheduled to give birth this month
저는 친구를 이번 달에 만날 거예요 = I will meet (that/a) friend this month

다음 주 = next week

Notes: 다음 can be placed before some indicators of time to mean “next”

Example:
학생들은 다음 에 학교에 돌아와요 = The students return to school next week
저는 다음 에 영화를 볼 거예요 = I will see a movie next week
저는 다음 에 캐나다에 갈 거예요 = I will go to Canada next week
저는 다음 에 미국에 갈 거예요 = I will go to the US next week
저는 다음 에 시험 공부를 할 거예요 = Next week, I will study for an exam
다음 주 목요일은 휴가인가? = Is next Thursday a holiday?
아직 간 적이 없어요. 하지만 다음 주에 가 볼 거예요 = I haven’t been there yet. But, I am going (to try) to go next week
우리는 다음 주에 그 문제에 대한 회의를 열 거예요 = We are going to hold a meeting next week about that problem

다음 달 = next month

Example:
다음 은 지금보다 더 춥겠어요 = Next month will be colder than now
다음 달에 한국어를 배우기 시작할 거야 = I will start learning Korean next month

작년 = last year

Example:
작년에 어디서 공부했어요? = Where did you study last year?
저는 작년에 살이 많이 쪘어요 = I gained a lot of weight last year
그는 작년보다 한국어를 훨씬 잘해요 = He is much better at Korean than last year
작년
에 우리 회사의 수입은 200만원이었어요 = Our company’s income last year was 200만 won
제가 작년에 가르친 학생 한 명은 벌써 의사가 되었어요 = One of the students I taught last year has already become a doctor

올해 = this year

Example:
우리는 올해 결혼하고 싶어요 = We want to get married this year
저의 어머니는 올해 한국에 올 것입니다 = My mom will come to Korea this year

내년 = next year

Example:
우리는 내년에 결혼하고 싶어요 = We want to get married next year
저는 내년에 한국에 갈 거예요 = I will go to Korea next year

평생 (동안) = in my whole life

Common Usages:
평생 동안 = throughout my whole life
평생 동반자 = lifelong companion

Example:
저는 평생 동안 하키를 했어요 = I played hockey my whole life

보통 = usually

Notes: This can be used as an adverb, for example:
저는 보통 아침 식사를 안 먹어요 = I usually don’t eat breakfast
피자을 먹으면 저는 콜라를 보통 마셔요 = When/If I eat pizza, I usually drink cola
배우들은 그들의 영화를 보통 좋아하지 않아 = Actors usually don’t like their movies
저는 보통 점심식사로 과일만 먹어요 = I usually only eat fruit for lunch
한국 사람들은 보통 아주 착해요 = Korean people are usually very nice

It can also be used before a noun to mean “typical” or “usual” for example:
그것은 보통 일이에요 = That is (just) typical work

 

For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.

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Introduction

In this lesson, you will build on what you learned in Lesson 10 by learning how to use a variety of different words of time in Korean. Using these words, you will be able to say “I did X for 2 months” or “I didn’t do Y last week.” You will also learn whether you should use the pure Korean or Sino-Korean numbers when using these different words of time.

The use of pure Korean or Sino-Korean numbers may seem random, but there is a reason for it. Anytime the ‘time’ word is of Chinese origin, the Sino-Korean numbers are used. For example “개월” (month) is counted using Sino-Korean numbers, because “개월” is of Chinese origin and has corresponding Chinese (한자) characters. “달” (also meaning month) is a Korean word, and thus, counted using Korean numbers. A lot of Korean words are of Chinese origin and have corresponding Chinese (한자) characters. You will learn about those later.

This lesson is a little bit less organized than the previous lessons. It was difficult to teach everything in this lesson together because you need to have a mutual understanding of all concepts in order to understand one of them. In order to understand how to use 동안, you need to know how to use 주. But in order to understand how to use 주, you should understand how to use 동안. Around and around we go. Anyways, I made it as simple as possible. After this lesson, any time you learn about other ‘time’ grammar concepts, it should be really easy because this lesson will give you a solid base to work from.

 

 

 

“For” a certain amount of time (동안)

동안 is a very useful word that can be used to indicate how long an action occurs. It is typically placed after a duration of time, for example:

2분 = 2 minutes
2분 동안 = for 2 minutes

10분 = 10 minutes
10분 동안 = for 10 minutes

이틀 = two days
이틀 동안 = for two days

동안 can also be used to indicate that an action occurs “while” another action occurs.  You will learn about that application in Lesson 33 after learning some key grammar points in the lessons to come.

Those can then be added into sentences to indicate how long one does something for. Notice also that no additional particle is added to 동안. One would think that 에 should be added, but it is not.

저는 10분 동안 걸었어요 = I walked for 10 minutes
저는 30분 동안 공부했어요 = I studied for 30 minutes

While the translation of “동안” in these examples is usually “for”, in essence, what you are doing is stating “for that period of time.” Understanding this will help you understand later usages of “동안” in future lessons. For example:

저는 10분 동안 걸었어요 = I walked for (a period of) 10 minutes
저는 30분 동안 공부했어요 = I studied for (a period of) 30 minutes
저는 이틀 동안 안 잤어요 = I didn’t sleep for two days


Remember:

It doesn’t matter if you use the word or the numeral when writing a number. However, typically the word is written when a pure Korean word is used with a counter like 개, 명, 번, 시간, 대, 살, etc. In situations where Sino-Korean numbers are written (for example, in the sentences above) it makes no difference if you write the numeral or the word.

Also remember that the spacing is different depending on if you write a numeral or a word. If writing the word, there should be a space between the number and the word. For example:

저는 십 분 동안 걸었어요

If writing a numeral, it doesn’t matter if you include a space or not. Both are seen as acceptable:

저는 10분 동안 걸었어요
저는 10 분 동안 걸었어요


I want to show you more and more examples of 동안, and I expect you might not want to limit yourself to only “분” (minutes), so lets move on to hours.

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Korean Hours (시간)

Talking about minutes is easy because you always simply use 분. For example:

3시 20분 means “3:20”, and
20분 동안 means “for 20 minutes”

When talking about hours, however, 시 is used when talking about the hour on a clock, whereas 시간 is used when counting hours. Notice the difference between these two sets:

3시 = 3:00
세 시 = Three o’clock

3시간 동안 = for 3 hours
세 시간 동안 = for three hours

Remember that pure Korean numbers are used when talking about hours. I usually write out the Korean word when I’m referring to an amount of hours as in the examples below. For example:

저는 세 시간 동안 잤어요 = I slept for 3 hours
저는 한 시간 동안 달렸어요 = I ran for one hour
저는 여덟 시간 동안 운전했어요 = I drove for eight hours
저는 어제 한 시간 동안 야구를 했어요  = I played baseball for an hour yesterday
저는 어제 두 시간 동안 TV를 봤어요* = I watched TV for two hours yesterday

*Notice that 보다 (to see) is used when watching something. You can also use 보다 when you watch a performance or concert, or similar things. In English “I saw a TV” and “I watched TV” have two different meanings, but Koreans simply say “I see TV.”

At this point you are probably asking saying “Okay, I understand how to say that I have done things for X hours or minutes, but what about if I want to say something like:

I will eat in three hours, or
I ate three hours ago

I will go in 10 minutes, or
I came 10 minutes ago”

You will learn how to create those types of sentences when you learn about 전 and 후 in Lesson 24. For the moment, there is a ton of content in this lesson, so try to focus on what is presented here.

 

Korean Seconds ()

When talking about seconds, you need to use the Sino-Korean numbers. When putting a number before “초,” it doesn’t matter if you use the word or the numeral. For example:

1초 = 1 second
일 초 = one second

2초 = 2 seconds
이 초 = 2 seconds

2초 동안 = for 2 seconds
이 초 동안 = for two seconds

Examples in sentences:
저는 2초 동안 달렸어요 = I ran for 2 seconds
저는 그 사람을 10초 동안 만났어요 = I met that person for 10 seconds
1분은 60초입니다 = One minute is sixty seconds

 

Last/Next (지난/다음)

지난 and 다음 are two words that you can use in many situations, including in situations related to time. In Lesson 10, you learned about 마지막, which can be used to refer to the “last” or “final” thing in a sequence. Remember, Korean people use another word when referring to a “previous” (or last) thing, as in: “I saw a movie last (the previous) week.”

In order to refer to a “previous” thing, the word “지난” can be used. I drew a picture to depict the image I have in my head distinguishing 마지막 and 지난. Imagine you are on a six week trip, and you are currently in your fourth week of the trip. You can use “지난” to refer to the previous week, and you can use “마지막” to refer to the final week. (You can refer to them both as “last week” in English). For example:

LastLast

지난 can be added immediately before some words of time (I discuss “some” a little bit later) to refer to a “previous” thing. This often translates to “last,” though. For example:

저는 지난 주에 영화를 봤어요 = I saw a movie last week
저는 지난 주에 캐나다에 갔어요 = I went to Canada last week.
저는 지난 수업을 안 들었어요 = I didn’t go to/attend the last/previous class

In order to say “attend a class,” Korean people say “수업을 듣다,” which literally translates to “listen to/hear a class.” As such, you can see that the particle ~ is attached to “수업” because “the class” is the noun that is being listened to. Korean learners are sometimes confused as to why “~” is not attached to “수업” because they are accustomed to the English way of saying “I didn’t go to the last class”.

Also, note that this sentence is also correct, but is referring to a different class than above:
저는 마지막 수업을 안 들었어요 = I didn’t attend the last class

지난 can be added only before some words of time. For example, you couldn’t say “지난 분/지난 초.” These would mean “last minute/second” as in ‘the last minute/second that just passed – which doesn’t make any sense. Notice that they do not have the meaning of “I handed in my paper at the last minute.” This meaning refers to the last minute in a sequence of minutes; therefore, “마지막” must be used in this case.

시간, however, means “time” in addition to being a counter for “hours.” So, “지난 시간” can be used to mean “last time” (but not “last hour”).

저는 그것을 지난 시간에 배웠어요 = I learned that (thing) last time

You can also use the word 번 to refer to the last “time” something happened.

저는 그것을 지난 번에 배웠어요 = I learned that (thing) last time
우리가 지난 번에 계획이 없었어요 = We didn’t have plans last time
우리는 지난 번에 돼지고기를 먹었어요 = We ate pork last time

다음 is used in the same way as 지난, but it means “next.” For example:

저는 다음 주에 영화를 볼 거예요 = I will see a movie next week
저는 다음 주에 캐나다에 갈 거예요 = I will go to Canada next week

Like above, 다음 can be used with 시간 to mean “next time,” but not “next hour.”

우리는 다음 번에 학교에 갈 거예요 = We will go to school next time
우리는 다음 시간에 학교에 갈 거예요 = We will go to school next time

나는 너를 다음 번에 방문할 거야 = I will visit you next time
나는 너를 다음 시간에 방문할 거야 = I will visit you next time

 

Korean Days (//하루)

Days are very confusing in Korean because there are a few different words you need to be acquainted with. You learned the names of the days of the week in the vocabulary section of another lesson. You should have noticed that every day of the week ends in 일. 일 means “day” but it is never used alone (if it is used alone, it means ‘work’). I’m looking at my Korean calendar now, and see a variety of words ending in “일.” Don’t worry about these words now, just recognize the importance of “일” within them:

총선 = general election
총선 = the day of the general election (election day)
현충 = Memorial day

일 is also the counter for days. You learned in Lesson 10 that you must use pure Korean numbers when counting. When you count days, however, you use Sino-Korean numbers. When putting a number before “일,” it doesn’t matter if you use the word or the numeral.

나는 3일 동안 공부했어 = I studied for 3 days
나는 삼 일 동안 공부했어 = I studied for 3 days

나는 3일 동안 학교에 안 갔어 = I didn’t go to school for 3 days
나는 삼 일 동안 학교에 안 갔어 = I didn’t go to school for 3 days

저는 5일 동안 계획이 없을 거예요 = I won’t have plans for 5 days
우리는 6일 동안 만나지 않았어요 = We didn’t meet for 6 days

To make things more confusing, if you are counting days from 1 – 10 there is a word that corresponds to “one day,” another word that corresponds to “2 days,” another word that corresponds to “3 days” etc… The most common of these words is 하루 which means “one day.” 하루 is used much more than 일 일. But 2일 (이 일)/3일 (삼 일)/4일 (사 일)/5일 (오 일)/etc are used more than their corresponding words.

저는 하루 동안 여행했어요 = I traveled for 1 day
저는 사흘 동안 밥을 안 먹었어요 = I didn’t eat rice for 3 days
저는 삼일 동안 밥을 안 먹었어요 = I didn’t eat rice for 3 days
우리는 이틀 동안 미국에 있었어요 = We were in America for two days
우리는 10일 동안 한국에 있을 거예요 = We will be in Korea for ten days


You can also place a (Sino-Korean) number before 일 to refer to a specific day in a month. It seems like it would be easy to confuse when one is talking about the day of a month (3일) and when doing something for a specific period (3일). But, in sentences, these are easily distinguishable:

나는 3일에 수업을 들었어 = I went to class on the 3rd (day of the month)
나는 3일 동안  수업을 들었어 = I went to class for three days

You can refer to a specific day and month by adding #일 after #월:

3월 2일 = March 2nd
5월 25일 = May 25th

저는 8월 15일에 도착할 거예요 = I will arrive on August 15th
저는 이 여권을 1월 2일에 받았어요 = I received my passport on January 2nd


날 is another word that means “day” and can be used as a stand alone word, but not counted. It is used when talking about a specific day by itself. For example:

저는 그 날에 갔어요 = I went on that day
저는 그 날에 계획이 있어요 = I have plans on that day
저는 그 날에 선생님이 되었어요 = I became a teacher on that day
우리는 그 날에 시작할 거예요 = We will start on that day

If you want to talk about doing something on the first/second/third day, you can use 번째 (which you learned in the previous lesson) with 날. For example:

우리는 두 번째 날에 서울에 갔어요 = We went to Seoul on the second day
우리는 둘째 날에 서울에 갔어요 = We went to Seoul on the second day

우리는 세 번째 날에 안 만났어요 = We didn’t meet on the third day
우리는 셋째 날에 안 만났어요 = We didn’t meet on the third day

저는 네 번째 날에 계획이 없어요 = I have no plans on the fourth day
저는 넷째 날에 계획이 없어요 = I have no plans on the fourth day

첫날 is a word that specifically refers to the first day:

저는 첫날에 명동에 갔어요 = I went to 명동 on the first day
저는 첫날에 그 여자를 만났어요 = I met that girl on the first day

 

 

Korean Weeks (주)

Weeks in Korean can be used in sentences just like 일 (day) except that there are no other weird words to worry about. You use Sino-Korean numbers when talking about weeks:

저는 다음 주에 미국에 갈 거예요 = I will go to the US next week
지난 주에 저는 계획이 많았어요 = I had a lot of plans last week

The word “주” can also be used as a counter to counter weeks. When counting weeks, just like when counting days, Sino-Korean numbers are used. When putting a number before “주,” it doesn’t matter if you use the word or the numeral. For example:

저는 2주 동안 한식을 안 먹었어요 = I didn’t eat Korean food for 2 weeks
저는 4주 동안 여자친구를 안 만났어요 = I didn’t meet my girlfriend for 4 weeks

저는 이 주 동안 한식을 안 먹었어요 = I didn’t eat Korean food for two weeks
저는 사 주 동안 여자친구를 안 만났어요 = I didn’t meet my girlfriend for four weeks

The word “주일” can also be used as a counter for weeks. This is acceptable, but it sounds a bit more natural to use “주” as shown above. For example:

저는 2주일 동안 한식을 안 먹었어요 = I didn’t eat Korean food for two weeks
저는 4주일 동안 여자친구를 안 만났어요 = I didn’t meet my girlfriend for four weeks

 

Korean Months (/개월)

First, notice that the names of each month correspond to the number of the month in the calendar For example:

January = 1월
February = 2월
December = 12월

When counting months, you can either use 달 or 개월. When using 달, you must use the pure Korean numbers, and when using 개월, you must use the Sino-Korean numbers. There is no difference in meaning, and both are used frequently. When putting a number before 달, I prefer to write the Korean word. When putting a number before 개월, it doesn’t matter if you use the word or the numeral.

저는 두 달 동안 한국어 수업을 들었어요 = I took a Korean class for 2 months

저는 2개월 동안 한국어 수업을 들었어요 = I took a Korean class for 2 months
저는 이 개월 동안 한국어 수업을 들었어요 = I took a Korean class for 2 months

My Korean grammar teacher told me years ago that ‘동안’ is actually incorporated into the meaning of 달, which would mean that you wouldn’t have to say 동안 after 달. Still, though, most people use 동안 after 달.

 

Korean Years (년)

Years are used just like weeks, which means that you must use the Sino-Korean numbers. When putting a number before “년,” it doesn’t matter if you use the word or the numeral.:

저는 3년 동안 형을 안 만났어요 = I didn’t meet my brother for 3 years
저는 10년 동안 한국어를 공부했어요 = I studied Korean for 10 years

저는 삼 년 동안 형을 안 만났어요 = I didn’t meet my brother for three years
저는 십 년 동안 한국어를 공부했어요 = I studied Korean for ten years

However, if you want to say “last/next year” in Korean, you can’t use “지난/다음 년.” Instead, you must use separate words:

작년 = last year
내년 = next year, for example:

나는 내년에 한국에 갈 거야 = I will go to Korea next year
그 사람은 작년에 죽었어요 = That person died last year

 

 This Week/This Month/This Time (이번)

Finally, you can use 이번 just like 지난/다음 when talking about weeks or months to mean “this week/this month.” You cannot say “이번 년,” instead you must use the separate word “올해.”

저는 이번 주에 계획이 없어요 = I have no plans this week
저의 어머니는 올해 한국에 올 것입니다 = My mom will come to Korea this year
Note here that it is common to see “” omitted from the word “올해.” You can also see in the section above that this is not the case with 작년 and 내년.

You cannot use 이번 when talking about minutes/seconds/hours. “I want to go to school this hour” doesn’t make any sense. But remember, in addition to meaning ‘hour’ 시간 also means “time.” This means that you can, say 이번 시간 to mean “this time,” which is usually used when talking about “this time in class.” For example:

우리는 이번 시간에 많이 배웠어 = We learned a lot this time

In most other cases, it is more natural to use “이번에” instead of “이번 시간:”
나는 너를 이번에 안 만날 거야 = I won’t meet you this time

번 can also be added after 지난/다음 to mean “last/next time”

저는 박물관에 다음 번에 갈 거예요 = I will go to the museum next time
저는 박물관에 지난 번에 갔어요 = I went to the museum last time

 

 

“Per”

When talking about each of these units of time, you can add the particle ~에 to indicate within that unit of time, how much something was done. You can usually translate this to “per” in English. For example:

저는 이 약을 하루에 두 번 먹어요 = I eat (take) this medicine twice per day
저는 그 친구를 1주일에 한 번 만나요 = I meet that friend once per week
저는 여기에 한 달에 세 번 와요 = I come here three times per month
저는 1년에 두 번 미국에 가요 = I go to America twice per year

Almost all the examples in this lesson used 동안. There are other ways you can talk about these time words without using 동안 (for example, “I will go to Canada 3 days from now”). However, this lesson was reaching the 6 page mark, and I didn’t want to overload you more than I already have. I feel like the material in this lesson alone is enough to make your head spin for a while, so I will end it here.

In later lessons, you will learn how to apply the concepts you learned in this lesson to more complicated sentences.

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