[Grammar] Native Korean Numbers

Korean Numbers

In Korean, there are two sets of numbers; The Native Korean Number(NKN) system and The Sino Korean Number(SKN) system.

The Native Korean Number system : counting, time for hour, age etc.

The Sino – Korean Number system : phone numbers, price, date, time for minute and second, transportation such as bus, flight numbers etc.

We are going to learn Native Korean numbers and some counting words in this chapter.

Please look at the image below.


20 : 스물

30 : 서른

40 : 마흔

50 : 쉰

60 : 예순

70 : 일흔

80 : 여든

90 : 아흔

100 : 백(Sino Korean Number)

0 : 공/영(Sino Korean Number)

You can also listen to the pronunciation through the link below.


하나, 둘, 셋, 넷 (1,2,3,4)

다섯, 여섯, 일곱, 여덟(5,6,7,8)

아홉, 열(9,10)

When you count something or people, you should add the counting word such as 개(counting words for objects) after a number. For example, ‘five pen(펜)’ in Korean,

펜(pen) 다섯(five) 개(counting word for item)

In this case, the noun should be in the front of the number.

A Noun + native Korean number + the counting word

Let’s learn more counting words.

* Counting words


As you can see, some numbers(1,2,3,4,20) change the form when it comes with the counting number.

하나 + 개 => 개, 열 개, 스물

+ 개 => 개, 열 개, 스물

+ 개 => 개, 열 개, 스물

+ 개 => 개, 열 개, 스물

스물 + 개 => 스무

Let’s practice with nouns.

1) two people(사람)

2) seven mangoes(망고)

3) five oranges(오렌지)

4) three bears(곰)

5) ten books(책)

6) twenty tickets(표)

The answers are 1) 사람 두 명, 2) 망고 일곱 개, 3) 오렌지 다섯 개, 4) 곰 세 마리, 5) 책 열 권, 6) 표 스무 장

Is it too difficult? Fortunately, The Native Korean Number system only covers 1-99. Above 100, we use The Sino-Korean Number system.

Then, how do we make a sentence? Do you remember ‘있어요/없어요’?

있어요 is “There is~” or “I have~”, 없어요 is “There is no~” or “I don’t have~”. You can review it in my previous post. http://atomic-temporary-59047005.wpcomstaging.com/2013/12/27/%ec%9e%88%ec%96%b4%ec%9a%94%ec%97%86%ec%96%b4%ec%9a%94/

Let’s make some sentences then.

1) There are two apples.

2) There are four bananas.

3) There is a book.

4) I have 9 Chinese friends.

5) There are five cats.

6) I have 8 tickets.

7) There are twenty pictures.

8) There are ten cups.


The answers are

1) 사과가 두 개 있어요.

2) 바나나가 네 개 있어요.

3) 책이 한 권 있어요.

4) 중국 친구가 아홉 명 있어요.

5) 고양이가 다섯 마리 있어요.

6) 표가 여덟 장 있어요.

7) 사진이 스무 장 있어요.

8) 컵이 열 개 있어요.

Do you master The Native Korean Number system? If you have any question, please leave your reply below.


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