28. Numbers Basic

In this lesson, you will learn basics of Korean numbers especially Cardinals.

Korean Cardinal Numbers img

Korean Numbers

Korean language has 2 types of number. One is based on Chinese, Another is based on native Korean. I prefer to call it PURE Korean though. Because that’s how Koreans call it.

How To Use Them

Both are used in different things. It’s not about being formal or not. Koreans use each on different things. You can use whatever you want and native Koreans would understand but of course, it’s not natural much.


Sino Korean Numbers are used for :
Phone numbers, Public Transports(Bus num, Line num), Height, Weight, Address, Years, Months, Minutes, Seconds, Prices, Money. I mean almost things.


Native Korean Numbers are used for :
Hours, Age, Counting a small amount or people.

Sino-Numbers (Chinese Numbers)

Sino-numbers are numbers based on Chinese words. If you’ve learned Japanese and Chinese, you can find the similarity for numbers.


Sino-numbers are quite easy. from 십(10), it shows the digit. So, you can write 1 to 99 only by learning numbers from 1 to 10.


(2) + (10) = (20)
(3) + (100) + (8) + (10) + (9) = (389)


0 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14
십일 십이 십삼 십사
15 16 17 18 19
십오 십육 십칠 십팔 십구
20 30 40 50 60
이십 삼십 사십 오십 육십
70 80 90 100 1000
칠십 팔십 구십


+ = 십이
5 + 7 = 12


Aug 19th 2015


삼만 오천
35,000 won


Phone number
공팔구 일이삼 사오육칠
= For phone number, you must use ‘공’ instead of ‘영’


Bus number
천삼백 다시

Native Korean Numbers

Yes, I’m a Native Korean but I don’t know how to count after 99 in Native Korean because we don’t use native Korean numbers after 100. Even for ages, Koreans count it in Korean numbers and then at some point they mix up and then at some point they just say in Chinese numbers.


To be 100% honest, I looked up for numbers after 40 in Korean numbers. No lie, I have no many chance to say or hear native Korean numbers in real life more than 40. So, I really don’t know. Of course, I will know when I’m older though.


Native Korean numbers are more similar to English.


0 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9
다섯 여섯 일곱 여덟 아홉
10 11 12 13 14
열하나 열둘 열셋 열넷
15 16 17 18 19
열다섯 열여섯 열일곱 열여덟 열아홉
20 30 40 50 60
스물 서른 마흔 예순
70 80 90 100 1000
일흔 여든 아흔 ?


Time : Hour
시 삽십분


22 years old


다섯 마리
5 animals

Number + Noun

If a noun follows a native Korean number after, you must use 한, 두, 세, 네, 스무 instead. You will see this way more often than 하나, 둘, 셋 in a real conversation.


exact 20 becomes ‘스무’ from ‘스물’ but after 20, it’s same. 스물하나… 스물둘…


if the number is too large in native Korean, then Koreans just use the Chinese number system instead. Normally it happens after 20.


1 2 3 4 11
12 13 20 21 22
열두 열세 스무 스물한 스물둘


Time : Hour

1 o’clock


1 person


4 animals



3 years old


Amount (Chinese)
30 persons



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