How To Say “Yesterday” In Korean

In this article, we’ll teach you how to say “yesterday” in Korean. Read on for more example sentences, ways to say it, associations, and lots of other useful tips!

A girl pointing at an x mark on a calendar

And if you’re interested in learning more essential Korean vocabulary, we’ve got you covered!

“Yesterday” in Korean

The word for “yesterday” in Korean is 어제 (eoje). Short and simple! Though it is not the only word that means yesterday in Korean, it is usually the one used, similar to how the word means in American English.

However, if you want to learn just for fun or in order to impress your Korean friends, there are also two other Korean words with the same meaning that you can use.

First, there is 작일 (jagil). This word derives from Chinese and is typically not used outside of academics. Second, there is the word 어저께 (eojeokke). This word’s meaning and usage don’t differ that much from 어제 (eoje), but you will not often see it being used.

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How to remember “yesterday” in Korean

To remember how to say “yesterday” in Korean, we’ll create an English association for it. This can be any word, phrase, or image that helps you recall the Korean word and its meaning.


yesterday  – eoje | 어제

We ran out of O.J. yesterday. (어제 | eoje)

*80/20 Pareto Principle – The 20% you should learn will give you 80% of the results.

So how can we remember 어제? Easy, it sounds just like O.J. or Orange Juice.

We ran out of O.J. yesterday. (어제 | eoje)

Orange Juice

What associations can you think of to remember 어제 (eoje)? Remember, the more unique or strange the story is, the easier it is to remember.

If you enjoy learning lessons this way, you might find our online structured courses fun, too. The great part about it is it’s designed to help you learn Korean in just 90 days. Interested? Know more about it here.

Sample Sentences

Here are some sentences to help you learn more about the Korean word for yesterday.


어제 한국 돌아왔어요. (eoje hanguk dorawasseoyo.)

     I came back to Korea yesterday.

어제 하루 종일 회의에 있었어요. (eoje haru jongil hoeuie isseosseoyo.)

     I spent all of yesterday in a business meeting.

그때 한 싸움을 바로 어저께 있는 일인듯 기억해요. (geuttae han ssaumeul baro eojeokke inneun irindeut gieokaeyo.)

     I remember that fight like it was yesterday.



어제 아침에 학교 안오고 어디 있었지? (eoje achime hakgyo anogo eodi isseotji?)

     Where were you yesterday morning instead of school?

어제 술 많이 마셔서 오늘 머리 아파. (eoje sul mani masyeoseo oneul meori apa.)

     I drank too much yesterday so now my head hurts.

어제 날씨는 되게 좋았는데 왜 갑자기 비만 오고 있지? (eoje nalssineun doege joanneunde wae gapjagi biman ogo itji?)

     The weather was so good yesterday, why is it suddenly only raining?

미안한데 내 몸은 어제부터 많이 아파서 우리 약속을 미룰 수 있을까? (mianhande nae momeun eojebuteo mani apaseo uri yaksogeul mirul su isseulkka?)

     I’m sorry, but my body has been hurting since yesterday, so is it possible for us to reschedule our plan?

Want more Korean phrases? Click here for a complete list!

A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea and communicating with native speakers will suddenly seem so much easier, and the country won’t appear so foreign to you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?

Wrap Up

Now that you’ve learned the different ways to say “yesterday” in Korean, you can express yourself on everything about the day before. Let us know what you did yesterday in the comments below!

Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

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