There are 2 sets of cardinal numbers when it comes to the Korean language. These are Hangul numbers and Chinese numbers, each used based on different situations.
Note: This article was recently updated on Tuesday 16th of December 2014
To differentiate between the two cases, we have put together a chart in hopes of easing the learning process. Use items in Korean numbers 1-100 and ages of people. Use the Chinese numbers to describe dates, addresses, money, phone numbers, and numbers greater than 100.
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Learning Korean native number system 1-10 will help speed up the learning process, and from there, you can begin to learn Sino Korean numbers, which are the teens numbers 11 through 19. By learning in a strategic manner, you will be able to pick up on things at a much quicker rate. So let’s get started.
The Sino-Korean number system is based primarily on Chinese number system. Both native and sino numerical s are represented combining tens and ones. It is important to be able to make the distinction between both numerical systems.
Generally, you can use either system to count anything, whereas both are seldom used. That being said, oftentimes Sino-Korean words are used to identify ordinal scenarios. Ordinal numbers are words that represent a particular position or rank of a number, such as first, second, or third. Below you will find Hangul numbers 1-10, 11-19, multiples of 10, and multiples of 100.
Learning Korean Numbers 1-10
Numeral |
Korean |
1 |
일(하나) |
2 |
이(둘) |
3 |
삼(셋) |
4 |
사(넷) |
5 |
오(다섯) |
6 |
육(여섯) |
7 |
칠(일곱) |
8 |
팔(여덟) |
9 |
구(아홉) |
10 |
십(열) |
In the above table you will see 2 different sets of numbers in Korean. While the one on the left is the Korean language, the one in parentheses represents the Chinese system.
The Chinese system is used for instances that involve money. In contrast, you use the native Hangul numbers when you want to express an item or a number of things. For instance, if you want 1 drink, you would say 하나 drink instead of일 drink.
Learning Korean Numbers 1-19
After learning the first 10 numbers in Korean, you should then learn Hangul numbers 1-19. This is the easy part. For example, 11 is just like saying “ten one” in Korean. Unlike English, instead of learning additional words, you simply combine them. 16 becomes “six five”.
Numeral |
Korean |
11 |
십일(열하나) |
12 |
십이(열둘) |
13 |
십삼(열셋) |
14 |
십사(열넷) |
15 |
십오(열다섯) |
16 |
십육(열여섯) |
17 |
십칠(열일곱) |
18 |
십팔(열여덟) |
19 |
십구(열아홉) |
Using multiples of ten is slightly different and all that is required is to change the word order. To say the number 40, you simply say “four ten”.
Numeral |
Korean |
20 |
이십(스물) |
30 |
삼십(서른) |
40 |
사십(마흔) |
50 |
오십(쉰) |
60 |
육십(예순) |
70 |
칠십(이른) |
80 |
팔십(여든) |
90 |
구십(아흔) |
Many Korean numerals are pronounced as long vowels however, they can become short vowels if combined with other numerals and nouns.
It is fairly straight forward when combing sino Hangul numbers simply by splitting up the numbers. The chart below should help simplify things:
English | Hangul |
100 | 백 |
200 | 이백 |
1000 | 천 |
10000 | 만 |
100000 | 십만 |
1000000 | 백만 |
100000000 | 억 |
——————————————————————————————————————————————————-So when you learn Korean numbers, remember to differentiate between the two sets of numerical systems. If you start off grouping the numbers in their respective places, you will see just how simple it can be to learn the Korean numerical systems. Remember to pace yourself and to practice these various numbers on a continual basis!
Resources:
Wikihow: Count in Korean – http://www.wikihow.com/Count-to-10-in-Korean
Korean Number System
http://www.koreanfluent.com/cross_cultural/korean_numbers/korean_numbers.htm
This is so cool! Wonderful post.
Hi Tina!
So happy to hear you are finding this post to be helpful. We thought it would be useful to list these numbers. Keep on studying and visit us again!
Couldn’t agree with you more Tina. This is a superb way to learn the Korean numbering system. Very well done!
Happy to know you feel this way Justine.
Hi, I’ve been having a bit of trouble learning these Korean numbers. My question is when should I be using the native Korean number system and when should I use only the Sino number system?
Hi Jacqueline. Here are some basic rules to keep in mind when learning numbers in Korean.
1. Use Korean numbers when you count out loud.
2. The Sino-Korean numbers mainly from 0-9, should be used whenever math is involved, and anytime with addresses, phone numbers, and dates.
3. Sometimes you should use the measure word to determine which of the Korean number systems to use. Measure words refer to when you count objects or things, for example:
- There are 5 cards.
- How many hats did you get? I bought 2 hats.
Hope this helps