오전, 오후, and 저녁
Do you know when to say 오전, 오후, and저녁 in Korean? These words are the equivalent of A.M. and P.M. in other languages or more accurately- in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. In English, we use A.M. from 12:00 midnight to 11:59 in the morning and we use P.M from 12:00 noon to 11:59 at night. In Korean, we use not only two but five keywords depending on the time of the day. It is a little bit more complex but easy to follow. Let’s take a look.
We use 오후 from 1PM to 6PM but it is often omitted in conversation. So you can say either 5시 or 오후 5시.
We use 저녁 from 7PM to 9PM as in저녁 7시, 저녁 8시, and 저녁 9시.
We use 밤 from 10PM to 12 midnight as in밤 10시,밤 11시, and 밤12시.
When the clock hits 1AM, we say 새벽 until 6 in the morning as in 새벽1시, 새벽2시, 새벽 3시, and so on.
Lastly, from 7AM until around 10 in the morning, we use either 아침 as in아침 7시 or 오전 as in 오전 10시.
That’s it. Just in case you got here by chance and you still don’t know how to tell time in Korean, the numbers are read the Pure-Korean way- 한, 두, 세, and so on.