A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Korean Numbers

If you’re a Korean language learner, knowing the numbers in Korean is essential to your success. Numbers are fundamental building blocks of any language. And mastering them will open up a wealth of possibilities for further learning.

Let’s explore all the basic Korean numbers for counting in Hangul that every learner needs to know!

Sino-Korean vs. Native Korean Numbers: What’s the Difference?

Most people know that learners of the language struggle with understanding how the numerical system works in Korean. This is largely because two sets of numerals are used in Korean. Each set has unique features that make it difficult to differentiate between them.

Let’s look at the differences between the two Korean number systems.

Sino-Korean Numbers

The Sino-Korean number system is derived from Chinese characters. These numbers are mainly used for counting items, such as money, dates, time, people, or objects. In addition to this, the Sino-Korean system is also used when counting large amounts of anything that cannot be counted with Native Korean.

It is very important to know that these numbers do not change regardless of the noun they refer to. This means that if you’re using Sino-Korean numbers, you don’t need to add other endings when discussing a certain item or quantity.

Native Korean Numbers

Unlike their counterpart above, native Korean number system is used for describing general quantities of measurements like age and weight. But it’s not for counting items or people!

When using native numerals in sentences, it is important to remember that they must change depending on the noun they refer to. With a little practice, you’ll soon be able to recognize and use number systems with confidence!

The Basics of Korean Numbers

To start, here’s a list of the basic Korean numbers 1-10:

Number Native Korean (Korea System) Sino-Korean (China System)
1 하나 (hana) 일 (il)
2 둘 (dul) 이 (i)
3 셋 (set) 삼 (sam)
4 넷 (net) 사 (sa)
5 다섯 (daseot) 오 (o)
6 여섯 (yeoseot) 육 (yuk)
7 일곱 (ilgop) 칠 (chil)
8 여덟 (yeodeol) 팔 (pal)
9 아홉 (ahop) 구 (gu)
10 열 (yeol) 십 (sip)

Korean languages use a base-10 system, meaning that there are separate words for each number from one to ten. From 11 onward, the same pattern of counting follows.

Here’s the count by 10s with Native and Sino-Korean Numbers:

Number Native Korean (Korea System) Sino-Korean (China System)
20 스물 (seumul) 이십 (eeship)
30 서른 (seoreun) 삼십 (samship)
40 마흔 (maheun) 사십 (saship)
50 쉰 (swin) 오십 (oship)
60 예순 (yesun) 육십 (yukship)
70 일흔 (ilheun) 칠십 (chilship)
80 여든 (yeodeun) 팔십 (palship)
90 아흔 (aheun) 구십 (guship)
100 온 (on) 백 (baek)

Tips to Learn Korean Numbers

Korean numbers can seem intimidating at first glance. But with the right approach, you’ll soon have them memorized and will be able to use them confidently in conversation.

Here are helpful tips that will make learning Korean numbers a breeze.

Memorize the Basics

The basics are the most important part when it comes to learning the numbers in any language. You should start by memorizing the Korean words from 1-10 above.

Once you have these down, you’ll be able to count up to 10 in Korean without any problems. This will give you a great foundation for learning more complicated numbers in the future.

Practice Saying Numbers Out Loud

Once you have memorized the basics, it’s time to practice saying them out loud. This is a vital step because it will help you internalize the pronunciation of each number and become more comfortable speaking in Korean.

Try recording yourself saying each number and then playing it back so you can hear your pronunciation.

Tell Time

Now that you have a good start on your basic number words, it’s time to move on to more complex concepts like telling time! This may seem daunting at first but don’t worry—telling time in Korean is actually quite simple once you understand how their system works.

In Korea, they use a 24-hour clock format which means that every hour of the day is broken down into two 12-hour increments. Try creating visual representations of each hour to help make this easier to remember.

Learn Through Context

Numbers can’t exist on their own. They need to be used in context with other words or phrases in order to make sense.

To understand how numbers are used, try studying examples of them being used in conversations or written texts, such as phone numbers. This will give you a good understanding of how they fit into larger sentences or conversations. And also provide insight into different colloquialisms or slang words related to counting or numeracy that native speakers commonly use.

Utilize Online Resources

The Internet is full of helpful resources that can be used to supplement your studies. One great way to make sure your understanding of Korean numbers stays sharp is by utilizing online quizzes and flashcards specifically designed for learning them!

These tools provide an interactive way for learners to test their knowledge of topics. Additionally, many online tools also provide audio recordings so learners can hear how each number should sound when spoken correctly by a native speaker!

In Conclusion

You’ve now learned how to count in Korean. With a little practice, you’ll be able to use them in everyday conversation before you know it.

Remember, don’t get discouraged if you make mistakes along the way – everyone does when they’re learning something new. The most important thing is that you keep practicing and expanding your knowledge.