If you didn’t already know, many countries use different date formats. There are actually lots of variations across the globe.

In South Korea’s case, they use the format of ‘Year/Month/Date’. So for example if you wanted to write June 3rd, 2020, you would write it like so:


So it’s really easy to remember as the month will always come before the date. Once you’re in Korea for awhile, you get used to it really quickly. When referring to the date, you want to use Sino Korean numbers. We won’t go into detail about numbers here, so check out our post here for a good breakdown of the way Korean uses numbers.

Now what if you wanted to use actual Korean to express this same date format? Let’s take a look:

2020년 6월 3일

As you can see, we have some new characters! These are actual counters that are used when referring to the date. Let’s take a look at each one:

년 (nyeon) = year

The Korean language uses this counter when referring to years. This will always be added to the end of a year, and if you wanted to count the number of years, you would say something like:

4년 전에 (sa-nyeon jeon-e) = 4 years ago (전에 means before)

월 (weol) = month

This is the counter used when referring to months. Always add this to the end of months when referring to the date.

일 (il) = day

This is the counter used when referring to days. Always add this to the end of the date of the month.

If you want to learn more about how to count months, years and dates, check out our posts below:

Months in Korean

Counting days in Korean

Good luck with your studies!