When you start learning any new language, learning the number system should be one of the first things you learn. After all, if you don’t know the numbers, how would you talk about your age, money, time and date, your height, weight… the list is endless. So in this post, we’re going to give you a complete guide to the Korean number system
50%) originate from Chinese characters, and that’s why we have an entire number system based on Chinese characters.
You may be wondering whether you can just learn one number system and use it for everything. Unfortunately, a simple answer is no. In Korean, each number system has specific uses, so it’s absolutely vital that you learn both number systems and get used to them both as using both number systems is very common in everyday situations.
The main use of Native-Korean numbers is to count things, so to count how many people there are in the room, how many cups of coffee you ordered, or how many books are in your bag, you use native-Korean numbers.
Good thing about Native-Korean numbers is that it’s only used up to 99, and to count numbers above 100, we use Sino-Korean numbers.
1. Numbers 1 to 10
Here are Native-Korean numbers 1 to 10.
2. Numbers 11 to 19
3. Numbers 20 to 99
+ 4 Here are few more examples.
4. How Native-Korean number is used.
The main use of Native-Korean numbers is to count things, so as mentioned before, we can use Native-Korean numbers to count people, objects, animals and so on. However, while we do use Native-Korean numbers to count most things, there are certain things where we may also use Sino-Korean numbers.
Sino-Korean number is used from 0 to large numbers, so when we have to count things above 100 as well as many other things, such as talking about time and money, we use Sino-Korean numbers. Let’s take a look at how we form Sino-Korean numbers
1. Numbers 0 to 99
So 20 is 2 + 10 Here are few more examples.
+ 4 Here are few more examples.
2. 100’s & 1,000’s
To learn how to say the numbers in the 100 and 1,000 range, you just have to learn two more words,
And to form any number in 100 and 1,000 range, we use these words, as well as the numbers for 1 to 10. So to say 2350, it’s
In English, there are specific number words at every 3 digits of 0, so these are:
However in Korean, after thousand, we have a number word at 10,000, and every 4 digits of 0 after that, there are separate number words.
Let’s first focus on the use of 만. Similar to how we formed numbers in 100 and 1,000 range, forming numbers in 10,000 range involves using the word for 만 and the words for smaller numbers. Here’s an example.
is, as you can imagine, not so common in everyday speech, but one of the most common uses of Sino-Korean numbers is to talk about money, and because of how the exchange rate works, ₩100,000,000 only equates to $100,000, so while it is a big number and it’s unlikely to be used too often in everyday speech, we can use it to talk about people’s salaries and to talk about property prices, so use of 억 is not that unusual in Korean.
Here are two numbers using 억 which could describe someone’s annual salary or a property price in Korea.
4. How Sino-Korean number is used.
So in many ways, Sino-Korean numbers have a more broad range of uses as it’s used in many different areas, as well as for anything related to large numbers.
Now that you have learned how to form Korean numbers, why not read the following blog posts to learn more about how these number systems are used?
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