Korean Numbers

By: Shannon Wilson

Using numbers while speaking Korean can be somwhat confusing as two systems of numbers, native Korean and Chinese, are used. Most Koreans have a difficult time explaining the proper use of the two systems and describe it as a gut instinct. However, for those of us who are non-native speakers of Korean some explanation is needed. Native Korean Numbers-These are similar to the concept of ordinal numbers in English. They are used mainly for counting items.

1 하나 -ha na
2. 둘 -dool
3. 셋 -set
4. 넷- net
5. 다섯 -da sut
6. 여섯-yu sut
7. 일곱-il gup
8. 여덟-yu dul
9. 아홉-a hope
10. 열-yul
11. 열하나-yul hana
20 스물-s mool
21 스물 하나-s mool ha na
30 서른-su rn
40 마흔-ma hn
50 쉰-schwin
60 예순-yey soon
70 일흔-il hn
80 여든-yu dn
90 아흔-a hn
100 백- beck

1st- 첫째-chut jjay
2nd- 둘째-dool jjay
3rd- 셋째-set jjay
4th- 넷째-net jjay
5th- 다섯째-da sut jjay
6th- 여섯째-yu sut jjay
7th- 일곱째-il gope jjay
8th- 여덟째-yu dul jjay
9th- 아홉째-a hope jjay
10th-열째-yul jjay

Chinese Numbers: These are similar to the concept of cardinal numbers in English. They are used mainly in mathmatics, when designating amounts of money, telephone numbers, page numbers, and the date.

1. 일- ill
2. 이-ee
3. 삼- sahm
4. 사- sah
5. 오- oh
6. 육- yook
7. 칠- chill
8. 팔- pahl
9. 구- goo
10. 십- ship
11. 십일-ship ill
20. 이십-ee ship
21. 이십 일-ee ship ill
30. 삼십-sahm ship
40. 사십-sah ship
50. 오십-oh ship
60. 육십-yook ship
70. 칠십-chill ship
80. 팔십-pahl ship
90. 구십-goo ship

100. 백-beck
101. 백 일-beck il
102. 백 이- beck ee
200. 이 백- ee beck
1000. 천- chun
2000. 이 천- ee chun
10,000. 만-man
100,000. 십 만-ship man
200,000. 이 십 만- ee ship man
1,000,000. 백 만-beck man
2,000,000. 이 백 만-ee beck man

Counting nouns- When you count items in Korean, you must use native Korean numbers 0and the counting noun that is specific to that item. Here are some of the most common counting nouns.

person: 한 사람-hahn sah ram,
분 -boon (this is used when referring to a superior),
놈-nome (this is a derogative form of person).

thing: 개-gae (this is useful when you don't remember the counting word for something as it can be used in place of other counting nouns except of course when referring to people)

Paper: 장-jahng
Book: 권-gwun
The hour (o'clock): 시-she
Hour; time: 시간-she gahn
years of age: 살-sahl
cupful: 잔-jahn
bottle: 병-byoung
car: 대- dae
cars in a train: 량-ryahng

*Counting nouns are very useful. For example, when you are ordering coffee: 커 피 한 잔, 주 세 요. Kupee han jan juseyo. (one cup of coffee, please.)

Telling time: This can be confusing. For the hour use native Korean numbers and for the minutes use Chinese numbers.

minutes: 분: boon
half past: 반: bahn
1:30 한 시 삼십 분 or 한 시 반
1:00- 한 시 - hahn she
1:23- 한 시 이십 삼분-han she ee ship sahm boon

I hope this proves to be helpful. 안영!