Everything about Korean numbers 

 August 17, 2021

By  Smriti

Learning numbers in Korean doesn't require hard fast skills or experience. You can learn them in a span of 30 minutes.

Knowing how to read and pronounce Korean alphabets  is only required for you to master the Korean numbers. 

Unlike the English language there are two sets of numbers called Sino Korean or Native Korean. They're not used interchangeably in fact they have separate cases or conditions when they are used.

Sino Korean numbers are used with things like dates, money, minutes, addresses, phone numbers, and numbers above 100.

Native Korean numbers are used for general counting, like when you're counting out loud, up to 99. It's also used to count people, hours, things, ages, and more.

Sino Korean 

일-1

이-2

삼-3

사-4

오-5

육-6

칠-7

팔-8

구-9

십-10

For numbers 11-19 could be interpreted as 10+1, 10+2 so on and so forth.

십일-11

십이-12

십삼-13

십사-14

십오-15

십육-16

십칠-17

십팔-18

십구-19

For 20 it could be interpreted as 2 times 10.

이십 -20

Rest 21-29 could be interpreted as 2x10+1

이십일-21

이십이-22 

And so on….

For numbers from 30-39 Which could be interpreted as 3x10+1

삼십일-31

삼십이-32

삼십삼 33

And so on 

사십-40

오십-50

육십-60

칠십-70

팔십-80

구십-90

Here we see the difference where 100 is called 백 (baek)

Sino Korean 

Unlike sino Korean words there's no pattern to easily remember the numbers. 

하나-1

둘-2

셋-3

넷-4

다섯-5

여섯-6

일곱-7

여덟-8

아홉-9

열-10

For numbers from 11-19 the numbers would be interpreted as 열 + 하나, 열 둘, 열 셋

열 하나-11

열둘-12

열셋-13

열넷-14

열다섯-15

열여섯-16

열일곱-17

열여덟-18

열아홉-19

For 20 in native Korean we say 스물

For numbers from 21-29 it could be interpreted as 스물 + 하나

스물 하다-21

스물 둘-22

스물 셋-23 

스물 넷-24

 스물다섯-25

스물여섯-26

스물일곱-27

스물여덟’-28

스물아홉-29

서른-30

마흔-40

쉰-50

예순하나-60

일흔-70

여든-80

아흔-90

백-100

천-1,000

만-10,000

십만-100,000

백만-1,000,000  

천만-10,000,000

일억-100,000,000

십억-1,000,000,000

일조-1,000,000,000,000

Usage of Korean numbers used with ordinal numbers

The counter for ordinal numbers is 번째 (beonjjae)

We use Native Korean numbers when using ordinal numbers like “first,” “second,” and “third.”

First, second, third and fourth use the Native Korean words but drop the bottom hangul character.

“First” changes from 헌 to 첫 and adds the counter 번째.

So “first'' in Korean is 첫번째.

“둘 becomes 두번째

셋 Becomes 세번째

넷 Becomes 네번째

After four the rest of the numbers will be as usual and added 번째 (beonjjae) to the end. So “fifth'' would be 다섯번째.

Using Korean numbers to denote time.

Sino Korean numbers are used to denote the number of days. The counter for days is 일

일일 Pronounced as ir-il

  • 이일 1 day
  • 삼일 2 day
  • 사일 3 day

We use Sino Korean numbers for weeks as well. 

The counter for week is 주

  • 일주 1 week
  • 이주 2 week 
  • 삼주 3 week

That’s because the months are just the Sino number + the word for month, which is 월 (wol). Take a look:

  1. January: 일월 (irwol)
  2. February: 이월 (iwol)
  3. March: 섬월 (samwol)
  4. April: 서월 (sawol)
  5. May: 오월 (owol)
  6. June: 유월 (yuwol)
  7. July: 칠월 (chirwol)
  8. August: 팔월 (parwol)
  9. September: 구시월 (guwol)
  10. October: 시월 (siwol)
  11. November: 십일월 (sibirwol)
  12. December: 십이월 (sibiwol)

Counter for year is 년

일년 First year

이년 Second year

For saying specific years you can just use 년 after the year. 

Eg : 2021 년

To say the day, August 15th, 2020 : 2020년 8월 15일.

Using Korean numbers with common counters.

In Korean, 개 (gae) is the most common and general counter to use for non living things.

Here are a few other common counters:

  1. For people-명
  2. For animals-마리
  3. For books-권
  4. For cars, vehicles, and machinery-대
  5. For age-살
  6. For paper-장
  7. For slices-조각
  8. For time/hours-시

So how do you use these counters?

  • 한 마리-1 animal
  • 두개-2 things
  • 스물 살-20 years old
  • 여덟 시-8 o’clock

 

Here are some words to know:

  1. Math-수학
  2. Plus-더하기
  3. Minus-빼기
  4. Multiply-곱하기
  5. Divide-나누기
  6. Point-소수점
  7. Half-반
  8. Equals-와 같다
  9. Total-총액


See also : Nature words vocabulary list in Korean

Ultimate list of fruits in Korean

List of Korean Adverbs


To understand TOPIK Test structure, application process, Levels and Passing scores etc. check these pages:

  1. TOPIK – The Complete Guide & 2. TOPIK Levels and Passing Marks. You can also Practice Online with TOPIK GUIDE Mock Tests.

If you are going to take the TOPIK Test for the first time, or if you want to give your score a boost so that you can pass a higher level, we would strongly advise you to get the Complete Guide to TOPIK – Self-Study Package. It is a digital study package that has everything you need to get a great score in the TOPIK test – all the past TOPIK papers with answer sheets, grammar and vocabulary study material, video tutorials explaining the test structure, strategies to solve them and much more. You can check out more details about this study package HERE.

Thank you.

If you have any suggestions or questions. Comment down below.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>