Korean Numbers // Discover the Two Numbering Systems Used (with Quiz)

An Introduction to Native & Sino-Korean Numbers

Let’s learn the Korean numbers all the way up to (read on to find out just how big that number really is).

If you’re learning another language, numbers are pretty high on the list of important things to know, the same applies for Korean… but there’s a twist.

Learning numbers in Korean might be a bit more tricky than you think.

That’s because there are two different numbering systems in Korean – native Korean and Sino-Korean.

Native Korean numbering originates from Korea, while Sino-Korean numbering derives from China.

Both systems are commonly used, though in different contexts.

For example, when telling the time, the hour is spoken in native Korean, while the minutes are in Sino-Korean! Confusing right?!

It’s a common mistake for language learners to use the wrong numbering system within the wrong context.

So not only do you have to memorise two different systems, which means twice the amount of words to memorise, but you must also learn which system to use for specific situations.

Don’t worry though. Native numbers in Korean only go up to 99 so after that, the numbering system is plain sailing!

We are going to help you nail the numbers with our complete guide to the numbers in Korean.

Counting in Korean | Native Korean Numbers

Counting in Korean | Count Words

Counting in Korean | When to Use Native Numbers

Counting in Korean | Sino-Korean Numbers

Counting in Korean | Big Numbers

Counting in Korean | When to Use Sino-Korean Numbers

BONUS | Quick Quiz

Counting in Korean | FAQ’s

Native Korean Numbers

Let’s start right now with the native numbers in Korean.

We’ll give more explanations below the table.

NumberKoreanRomanisation
1하나[hana]
2[dul]
3[set]
4[net]
5다섯[daseot]
6여섯[yeoseot]
7일곱[ilgop]
8여덟[yeodeol]
9아홉[ahop]
10[yeol]
20스물[seumul]
30서른[seoreun]
40마흔[maheun]
50[swin]
60예순[yesun]
70일흔[ilheun]
80여든[yeodeun]
90아흔[aheun]

When necessary, combine these numbers to create specific double-digit figures.

For example, if you want to express the number 25 in Korean, combine the listed words for 20 and 5.

These are 스물 [seumul] and 다섯 [daseot], so 25 would be 스물다섯 [seumul daseot].

You’ll notice that native numbers stop after a certain point. That’s because they only go up to 99.

For numbers 100 and above, the Sino-Korean numbering system is used.

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63 Korean Words You Never Knew You Knew!

Did you know you already know loads of Korean words and that’s thanks to the inclusion of Korean Loanwords in the language. Here’s our favourites.

Native Korean Numbers for Count Words

The Korean language has many count words or measure words – specific words that indicate a count or measure of a certain object.

In English, this would be like a “sheet” of paper or a “bar” of soap. However, it should be noted Korean has significantly more count words than English.

There are a handful of native numbers in Korean that must be modified when used with a count word.

They are the following:

하나[hana]한 [han]
[dul][du]
[set][sae]
[net][nae]

For example, let’s say that we want to say one car.

The Korean word for “car” is 차 [cha]. Since we are counting the number of cars, we must use a count word.

The count word for “car” in Korean is 대 [dae].

Since we are using a count word, we must modify the number, so 하나 [hana] is changed to 한 [han].

So when everything is combined, “one car” in Korean is translated as 차 한 대 [cha han dae].

In another example, let’s try to say three dogs.

The Korean word for “dog” is 개 [gae]. The relevant count word is 마리 [mari], which is a general counter for animals.

Since a count word is used, we must modify the number – 셋 [set] to 세 [sae].

So when we combine all these words, “three dogs” is translated to “개 세 마리” [gae sae mari].

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170+ Animals in Korean 🐙 The Ultimate Guide for All The Animals!

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When to Use Native Numbers

Use the native numbers to count the following:

  • People
  • Places
  • Age
  • Hours (not minutes)
  • Animals
  • Vehicles
  • Cups
  • Bottles
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Trees
  • Flowers
  • Clothing
  • Houses
  • Boats

This doesn’t cover every single situation where you might use these numbers.

This is only meant to cover the basics, and should give you a general idea of when to use the native Korean numbering system.

In particular, native numbers in Korean are often used to count physical objects, like houses or vehicles.

The Sino-Korean Numbering System

Here is the 2nd number system used in Korean, the Sino-Korean system.

Remember these come from the Chinese language.

If you have studied Chinese before can you see any similarities with the Chinese numbers?

There are quite a few!

The Sino-Korean numbers from 1-100 are:

NumberKoreanRomanisation
1[il]
2[i]
3[sam]
4[sa]
5[o]
6[yuk]
7[chil]
8[pal]
9[gu]
10[ship]
20이십[i-ship]
30삼십[sam-ship]
40사십[sa-ship]
50오십[o-ship]
60육십[yuk-ship]
70칠십[chil-ship]
80팔십[pal-ship]
90구십[gu-ship]
100[baek]

Notice any repetition?

Sino-Korean numbers are more cumulative – they tend to build off each other.

For example, the Sino-Korean word for 30 is 삼십 [sam-ship], which is a combination of the words for 3 삼 [sam] and 10 십 [ship].

When necessary, combine these numbers to create specific multi-digit figures.

For example, if you want to express the number 25 in Korean, combine the listed words for 20 and 5.

These are 이십 [i-ship] and 오 [o], so 25 would be 이십오 [i-ship o].

Large Sino-Korean Numbers

Let’s go a tad further and teach you the big numbers in Sino-Korean form:

NumberKoreanRomanisation
1,000[cheon]
10,000[man]
100,000십만[ship-man]
1,000,000백만[baek-man]
10,000,000천만[cheon-man]
100,000,000[eok]
1,000,000,000십억[ship-eok]
10,000,000,000백억[baek-eok]
100,000,000,000천억[cheon-eok]
1,000,000,000,000[jo]

When to Use Sino-Korean Numbers?

Use the Sino-Korean numbers to count the following:

  • Minutes (not hours)
  • Days
  • Weeks
  • Months
  • Years
  • Currency
  • School years
  • Class period
  • Physical distances
  • Floors of a building

Just like before, this doesn’t cover every single situation where you might count in Korean – this is only meant to give you a general idea.

Sino-Korean numbers are most often used in official contexts, such as counting currency or measuring physical distances.

BONUS | Numbers Quiz

OK it’s time to put you to the test with a quick fire 20 question quiz.

Let’s see how many numbers in Korean you really remembered.

Results are immediately shown on this page and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete.

Good luck (and don’t forget to share your score in the comments if you are pleased with it)!

Welcome to our Korean Numbers quiz! Enter your first name and email to begin. Don't worry you can unsubscribe at any time!

First Name
Email
What is 10 in Sino-Korean?
What is 10,000 in Sino-Korean?
What is 2 in Sino-Korean?
What is 70 in Korean?
What is 8 in Korean?
What is 100,000 in Sino-Korean?
What is 1,000 in Sino-Korean?
What is 25 in Korean?
What is 4 in Korean?
What is 1,000,000 in Sino-Korean?
What is 90 in Korean?
Where do Sino Korean Numbers derive from?
What is 7 in Sino-Korean?
What is 1 in Korean?
What is 5 in Sino-Korean?
What is 50 in Korean?
What is 9 in Sino-Korean?
What is 3 in Korean?
What is 20 in Korean?
What is 4 in Sino-Korean?

If you are wondering about how to count in other languages, here you go:

We also mentioned earlier about Korean count words, or measure words. It exists in other languages too:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How to count from 1 to 10 in Korean?

1 to 10 with the native Korean counting system is:

1 – 하나 [hana]

2 – 둘 [dul]

3 – 셋 [set]

4 – 넷 [net]

5 – 다섯 [daseot]

6 – 여섯 [yeoseot]

7 – 일곱 [ilgop]

8 – 여덟 [yeodeol]

9 – 아홉 [ahop]

10 – 열 [yeol]

1 to 10 with the Sino-Korean counting system is:

1 – 일 [il]

2 – 이 [i]

3 – 삼 [sam]

4 – 사 [sa]

5 – 오 [o]

6 – 육 [yuk]

7 – 칠 [chil]

8 – 팔 [pal]

9 – 구 [gu]

10 – 십 [ship]

What is a Sino-Korean number?

Sino-Korean numbering are derived from China.

1 to 10 with the Sino-Korean counting system is:

1 – 일 [il]

2 – 이 [i]

3 – 삼 [sam]

4 – 사 [sa]

5 – 오 [o]

6 – 육 [yuk]

7 – 칠 [chil]

8 – 팔 [pal]

9 – 구 [gu]

10 – 십 [ship]

When should you use Sino-Korean numbering system used?

Sino-Korean numbers are most often used in official contexts, such as counting currency or measuring physical distances.

Sino-Korean numbers are used to count the following:

– Minutes

– Days

– Weeks

– Months

– Years

– Currency

– School years

– Class period

– Physical distances

– Floors of a building

This doesn’t cover every single situation where you might count in Korean – this is only meant to give you a general idea.

Which numbers should I learn, Native or Sino-Korean?

You should learn both.

Natives and Sino-Korean numbers are used on a daily basis, so make sure you learn to count with both systems.

How to say 1,000 in Korean?

1,000 in Korean is 천 [cheon].

How to say 10,000 in Korean?

10,000 in Korean is 만 [man].

How to say ‘a million’ in Korean?

A million in Korean is 십억 [ship-eok].

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