Korean Numbers: Easy Guide To Learn From 1 To 1 Million

Korean Numbers

Do you want to count in Korean numbers but don’t know where to start? Do the number of words in the Korean language confuse you? Well, don’t worry. In this blog, we got you covered on the Korean numbers and counting system. Anneyeong Chingus (Hi friends)! Eunnie (slang for sister) is back with yet another issue to solve for you guys.

I know the Korean numbers are just playing with your mind, and you don’t seem to get the hang of them. In this blog, I will make the entire explanation super easy for you, and by the end of the lesson, you will be a pro in Korean numbers, so let the learning begin!

Korean numbers are a bit tricky to learn. However, we are here to solve that issue for you. We will teach you to use both native Korean numbers and Sino-Korean numbers easily.

These are the two Korean number systems used in the country that you must learn. It is often what makes learning Korean numbers more challenging for students.

Both of these number systems are equally important to learn, which is why we will discuss them further in the section below.

Get ready!

How To Count In Korean?

Counting in Korean has two main number systems, which is why it seems intimidating to most people but what they do not realize that it is easy to learn all these numbers if one knows the root words.

The use of native Korean numbers and Sino-Korean numbers depends upon the situation. In this blog, we will give you a brief handbook of when to use what number system so that you do not end up using the wrong number system for a certain situation. Using the wrong number system does not necessarily cause any harm or issues to the learners, but it does not leave a nice impression. We will provide you with a lesson about Korean numbers in Hangul and Romanized English. So, if you haven’t learned the Korean alphabet, then you can rely on Romanized English.

However, we suggest learning the Korean alphabet (Hangul) before you start learning vocabulary.

Why? Because each Korean letter has a specific sound that is not present in English, it is essential to learn the Korean alphabet to have an accurate Korean pronunciation and the ability to read Korean. Check our blog to learn the easiest way of learning Hangul!

Romanized Hangul refers to the writing system of hangul characters/words using the English alphabet.

What Are The Two Korean Number Systems?

Korean Numbers Two Systems

There are two systems in the Korean language. Whether counting, collecting money or using numbers, Koreans use these systems in their daily lives. So, it is necessary to learn both systems if you plan a trip to Korea to avoid confusion on when to use which.

1. Native Korean Number System

Use the Native Korean system to indicate the numbers between 1 and 99. This is because, after 99, the objects need to be counted in Sino-Korean Numbers.

Often, combinations with both Native Korean numbers and Sino-Korean numbers can be seen to count, such as when you are telling the time.

For example, when you tell time, you have to use the native Korean numbers to tell the hour and the Sino-Korean numbers to indicate the minutes. Counting in Korean, therefore, often becomes complicated.

But there is a tip! The rule of thumb that will help you master the systems is that you should first use the native numbers. This is because the total number of hours is less than minutes and seconds.

Follow the next explanation:

Telling Time In Korean

To say that the time currently is 1:35 you can say “하나시 삼십오분” (hanasi samsib-obun). I will break down the entire phrase to make it easier for you to follow.

하나 (hana) is the native Korean number for 1, while 삼십오 (samsib-o) is the Sino-Korean number for 35. 시 (si) and 분 (bun) are the words used to measure hours and minutes, respectively.

Thus, by combining all the numbers and their counterwords, it is easy to tell the time in the Korean language. You can try to make other examples o exercise your abilities to answer if someone asks you what time it is. Practice makes perfect!

Before learning about the Sino-Korean system, take some time to learn how to say the numbers in the native system.

Let’s Learn The Native Korean Numbers!

Native Korean numbers are easy to learn and use. The first thing you have to do is learn the Korean numbers from 1 to 10. After that, you will the root words for other numbers. Each Korean number has a specific root word that can be used to write bigger numbers in Korean.

For example, 2 can be added with 10 to make 12: 열둘 (yeoldul), which means ‘twelve’ in Korean. It is formed by combining (yeol) – ten and (dul) two. To make any number in its ten’s form, simply add (yeol) to the word.

Don’t get discouraged if it sounds difficult at first, with practice you will understand very quickly! Let’s move on.

The Korean Age, How Does It Work?

To tell the age, you need to use the native Korean system. As mentioned before, Native Korean numbers have to be used for the items between 1-99, and since an average individual can live until the age of 77, then Koreans use Native Korean numbers for 99.

The native Korean word used to represent age is 살 (sal). Adding this word after any number indicates that the person is referring to the age. For instance, “예순 아홉 살” (yesun ahob sal) means 69 years.

A few more examples include; “서른 일곱 살” (seoleun ilgob sal), which means 37 years old, “마흔 살” (maheun sal) – 40 years old, and “넷살 (nes-sal) meaning 4 years old.

Here is an organized table that will help you learn Native-Korean numbers easily and effortlessly:

Arabic NumeralEnglish NumbersNative Korean Numbers
1One하나 (hana)
2Two둘 (dul)
3Three셋 (set)
4Four넷 (net)
5Five다섯 (daseot)
6Six여섯 (yeoseot)
7Seven일곱 (ilgop)
8Eight여덟 (yeodeol)
9Nine아홉 (ahop)
10Ten열 (yeol)
11Eleven열하나 (yeolhana)
12Twelve열둘 (yeoldul)
13Thirteen열셋 (yeolset)
14Fourteen열넷 (yeolnet)
15Fifteen열다섯 (yeoldaseot)
16Sixteen열여섯 (yeolyeoseot)
17Seventeen열일곱 (yeolilgob)
18Eighteen열여덟 (yeolyeodeol)
19Nineteen열아홉 (yeolahop)
20Twenty스물 (seumul)
30Thirty 서른 (seoreun)
40Forty마흔 (maheun)
50Fifty쉰 (swin)
60Sixty예순 (yesun)
70Seventy일흔 (ilheun)
80Eighty여든 (yeodeun)
90Ninety아흔 (aheun)


2. Sino-Korean Numbers

Now that you have learned the native system, the next system will be easier to grasp. It is different from the previous numbers, but not difficult at all! Besides, you will notice that counting in Korean becomes simple when using the Sino-Korean Numbers.

You are probably wondering what does the word ‘Sino’ means. It is a prefix that generally refers to China or the people of China. This is, in fact, a very interesting point, since the root of this word is the Latin ‘Sinæ‘ (Chinese people), which is believed that refers to the Ch’in Dynasty.

So why are these numbers called ‘Sino-Korean’? Simply because they have roots in Chinese characters, just like many other Korean words. If you walk around Korean streets you will see Chinese characters being used together with hangul. Some places where both writing systems are being used are newspapers, restaurant menus, Buddhist temples, beautiful calligraphy scrolls, or street signs.

Before Hangul was introduced, Korea used Chinese calligraphy but with their own spoken language. In fact, only scholars were able to read the Chinese characters, and therefore King Sejong introduced Hangul to make it easier for people to read and communicate. However, as stated above, the essence of the Chinese characters and language, in general, has been preserved in Korea, starting from the numbers.

The Sino-Korean System can be used to write dates, and days, count years and months, write phone numbers and talk about money.

Let’s see some examples below:

Korean Numbers How To Count Money

How To Count Money?

If you want to count money, remember that you should always use Sino-Korean numbers. 원 (Won) is the Korean currency; therefore, this word should be added after a certain number to indicate that you are counting money.

This example will clear your doubts:

The number 5 in the Sino-Korean system is ‘오’ (o). On the contrary, 5 in the native Korean system is 다섯 (daseot), as you previously learned. So, if I have 5,000 won and want to tell someone how much money I have, I wouldn’t use 다섯 (daseot) at all! Instead, I would say “오천 원 있어요” (ocheon won isseoyo).

Let’s break it down!

(o)Five

(cheon)Thousand

(won) Currency / Korean Won

있어요 (isseoyo) – To have / Be

Korean Numbers Phone

How To Say Your Phone Number?

Sino Korean System can also be used to exchange phone numbers. For example, the number 733-3251 will be written as “칠삼삼-삼이오 일” (chilsamsam-sam-io il), where (chil) indicates 7, (sam) indicates 3, (I) indicates 2, (o) indicates 5, and (il) indicates 1. Using the other system to refer to phone numbers wouldn’t sound natural and fluent.

How To Write The Sino-Korean Numbers?

The same rule that I explained for the native number system also applies to conjugating bigger numbers in the Sino-Korean Number System. One root word is followed by another number to make a bigger number.

Here is a table for you to learn Sino-Korean numbers easily and effortlessly;

Numbers English NumbersSino Korean Numbers
1One일 (il)
2Two이 (i)
3Three삼 (sam)
4Four사 (sa)
5Five오 (o)
6Six육 (yuk)
7Seven칠 (chil)
8Eight팔 (pal)
9Nine구 (gu)
10Ten십 (sip)
11Eleven십일 (sibil)
12Twelve십이 (sibi)
13Thirteen십삼 (sipsam)
14Fourteen십사 (sipsa)
15Fifteen십오 (sibo)
16Sixteen십육 (sibyuk)
17Seventeen십칠 (sipchil)
18Eighteen십팔 (sip-pal)
19Nineteen십구 (sipgu)
20Twenty이십 (isip)
30Thirty 삼십 (samsip)
40Forty사십 (sasip)
50Fifty오십 (osip)
60Sixty육십 (yuksip)
70Seventy칠십 (chilsip)
80Eighty팔십(palsip)
90Ninety구십 (gusip)
100One Hundred 백 (baek)
200Two Hundred 이백 (ibaek)
300Three Hundred 삼백 (sambaek)
400Four Hundred 사백 (sabaek)
500Five Hundred 오백 (obaek)
600Six Hundred 육백 (yukbaek)
700Seven Hundred 칠백 (chilbaek)
800Eight Hundred 팔백 (palbaek)
900Nine Hundred 구백 (gubaek)
1000One Thousand천 (cheon)
2000Two Thousand이천 (icheon)
3000Three Thousand삼천 (samcheon)
4000Four Thousand사천 (sacheon)
5000Five Thousand오천 (ocheon)
6000Six Thousand육천 (yukcheon)
7000Seven Thousand칠천 (chilcheon)
8000Eight Thousand팔천 (palcheon)
9000Nine Thousand구천 (gucheon)
10,000Ten Thousand만 (man)
20,000Twenty Thousand이만 (iman)
30,000Thirty Thousand삼만 (samman)
40,000Forty Thousand사만 (saman)
50,000Fifty Thousand오만 (oman)
60,000Sixty Thousand육만 (yungman)
70,000Seventy Thousand칠만 (chilman)
80,000Eighty Thousand팔만 (palman)
90,000Ninety Thousand구만 (guman)
100,000Hundred Thousand십만 (simman)
1,000,000One Million백만 (baengman)
10,000,000Ten Million 천만 (cheonman)
100,000,000Hundred Million 일억 (ireok)
1,000,000,000One Billion십억 (sibeok)
10,000,000,000Ten Billion 백억 (baegeok)

Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal numbers are used when numbering a sequence of something, for example, “first song” would be 첫째 노래 (cheosjjae nolae).

첫째 (cheosjjae) – First
노래 (nolae) – Song

The number word “째” (jjae) is used to make any number in Korean an ordinal number. “째” (jjae) should be added with a Sino-Korean number to convert it into an Ordinal number.

Here is a table for you to learn Ordinal numbers easily and effortlessly;

Arabic Numerals English Numbers Korean Numbers 
1stFirst첫째 (cheotjae)
2ndSecond둘째 (duljae)
3rdThird셋째 (setjae)
4thFourth넷째 (netjae)
5thFifth다섯째 (daseotjae)
6thSixth여섯째 (yeoseotjae)
7thSeventh일곱째 (ilgopjae)
8thEighth여덟째 (yeodeoljae)
9thNinth아홉째 (ahopjae)
10thTenth열째 (yeoljae)
11thEleventh열한째 (yeolhanjae)
12thTwelfth열둘째 (yeolduljae)
13thThirteenth열셋째 (yeolsetjae)
14thFourteenth열넷째 (yeolnetjae)
15thFifteenth열다섯째 (yeoldaseotjae)
16thSixteenth열여섯째 (yeolyeoseotjae)
17thSeventeenth열일곱째 (yeolilgopjae)
18thEighteenth열여덟째 (yeolyeodeoljae)
19thNineteenth열아홉째 (yeolahopjae)
20thTwentieth스무째 (seumujae)
30thThirtieth서른째 (seoreunjae)
40thFortieth마흔째 (maheunjae)
50thFiftieth쉰째 (swinjae)
60thSixtieth예순째 (yesunjae)
70thSeventieth일흔째 (ilheunjae)
80thEightieth여든째 (yeodeunjae)
90thNinetieth아흔째 (aheunjae)
100thOne Hundredth온째 (onjae)백째 (baekjae)
200thTwo Hundredth이백째 (ibaekjae)
300thThree Hundredth삼백째 (sambaekjae)
400thFour Hundredth사백째 (sabaekjae)
500thFive Hundredth오백째 (obaekjae)
600thSix Hundredth육백째 (yukbaekjae)
700thSeven Hundredth칠백째 (chilbaekjae)
800thEight Hundredth팔백째 (palbaekjae)
900thNine Hundredth구백째 (gubaekjae)
1000thOne Thousandth천째 (cheonjae)
2000thTwo Thousandth이천째 (icheonjae)
3000thThree Thousandth삼천째 (samcheonjae)
4000thFour Thousandth사천째 (sacheonjae)
5000thFive Thousandth오천째 (ocheonjae)
6000thSix Thousandth육천째 (yukcheonjae)
7000thSeven Thousandth칠천째 (chilcheonjae)
8000thEight Thousandth팔천째 (palcheonjae)
9000thNine Thousandth구천째 (gucheonjae)
10000thTen Thousandth만째 (manjae)
20000thTwenty Thousandth이만째 (imanjae)
30000thThirty Thousandth삼만째 (sammanjae)
40000thForty Thousandth사만째 (samanjae)
50000thFifty Thousandth오만째 (omanjae)
60000thSixty Thousandth육만째 (yukmanjae)
70000thSeventy Thousandth칠만째 (chilmanjae)
80000thEighty Thousandth팔만째 (palmanjae)
90000thNinety Thousandth구만째 (gumanjae)
100000thHundred Thousandth십만째 (sipmanjae)
1000000thOne Millionth백만째 (baekmanjae)
10000000th10 Millionth천만째 (cheonmanjae)
100000000th100 Millionth억째 (eokjae)
1000000000000th1 Trillionth조째 (jojae)
Korean Numbers Counter Words

Counter Words In the Korean language

Korean numbers have various counterwords to indicate the amount of a certain thing. There are various measure words used in different languages for example Chinese, Korean, and some other examples.

It is important to use these measure words if one wants to sound like a native Korean speaker.

Specific words are used with each number to tell what the number is about. These specific Korean counters are important to know about.

An important word (measure word) for most inanimate objects is (ge). It is a common counterword and is the first word to be taught because of its versatility.

Here is a table for you to learn some basic counter words and therefore start using them in your everyday life;

ThingsCounter Words
개 (gae)Things
명 (myeong)People
군데 (gunde)Places
사람 (saram)People
분 (bun)people
채 (chae)Houses and buildings
그루 (geuru)Trees and plants
켤레 (kyeolle)Pairs of shoes
가지 (gaji)Types and varieties
조각 (jogak)Slices
장 (jang)Pieces of paper
권 (gwon)Books
벌 (beol)Clothes and Dresses
마리 (mari)Animals
초 (cho)Seconds
분 (bun)Minutes
시간 (sigan)Time period in hours
시 (si)Time
번 (beon)Times
일 (il)Days
주일 (juil)Weeks
주간 (jugan)Weeks
월 (wol)Months
개월 (gaewol)Time period of months
달 (dal)Time Period in months
해 (hae)Years
년 (nyeon)Years
살 (sal)Age
킬로그램 (killogeuraem)Kilograms/ Weight
미터 (miteo)Meters
원 (won)Korean currency
병 (byeong)Bottles
대 (dae)Automobile and machinary

Language Tip Of The Day

While taking a picture make sure to use the first three Native Korean numbers since it is a trend to say “Hana, Dul, Sett” before taking a picture.

This is a cultural practice of Korean people and especially the new generation so don’t forget to say that when you are taking a picture or selfie with a Korean friend. It is equivalent to saying cheese in the English language.

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Start Counting In Korean Now!

Today’s lesson taught you how to use Native Korean Numbers and Chinese Numbers. You learned both the Cardinal numbers, Ordinal numbers, and counter words to write with such numbers.

Congratulations on being able to count numbers in Korean like a pro. Sharpen your Korean skills by taking courses in language learning from the Ling App.

On Ling App, we have many blogs for you to enhance your Korean language learning process. If you liked today’s blog, then don’t forget to check out the sentence structure in Korean and talk about hobbies in the Korean language.

If Korean is a new language for you, then it is important to learn Korean numbers because Korean numbers are used for many purposes.

If you are looking for blogs in other languages, fasten your seat belt because the Ling app brings you a roller coaster of learning fun and easy.

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