Easy Korean Numbers From 1 to 1 Million

Original Post: https://ling-app.com/ko/korean-numbers/

Wanna count in Korean numbers but don’t know where to start from? Do the number words in the Korean language confuse you? Well, don’t worry. In this blog we got you covered about the Korean numbers and counting system. Anneyeong Chingus (Hi friends)! Eunnie (slang for sister) is back with yet another issue to solve for you guys. I know the Korean numbers are just playing with your mind and you don’t seem to get a hang of them. In this blog, I will make the entire thing super easy for you and by the end of the lesson you will be a pro in Korean numbers, so let the learning begin!

Korean numbers are a bit tricky to learn but we solve this issue by helping you so that you can use native Korean numbers and Sino Korean easily. There are two Korean number systems that make it more challenging to learn Korean numbers. Both of these number systems are equally important to learn which is why we will discuss that further in the section below.

Counting In Korean

Counting in Korean has two main number systems and that is why it seems intimidating to most people but what they do not realize is that it is easy to learn all these numbers if one knows the root words.

The use of native Korean numbers and sino Korean numbers depends upon the situation. In this blog, we will give you a brief handbook of when to use what number system so that you do not end up using the wrong number system for a certain situation. Using the wrong number system does not necessarily cause any harm or issues to the learners but it does not leave a nice impression. We will provide you with a lesson about Korean numbers both in Hangul and romanized English. If you haven’t learned Korean alphabets then you can rely on romanized English. However, it is suggested to learn the Korean alphabet.

Each Korean alphabet has a specific sound that is not present in English and therefore to have accurate Korean pronunciation and read Korean, it is important to know the Korean alphabet. Check out our blog on the Korean alphabet to learn Hangul.

Romanized Hangul refers to the writing system of hangul characters/words using the English alphabet.

Two Korean Number Systems

There are two systems in the Korean language for talking about numbers. Be it counting, collecting money, or using numbers in any way, there are two systems in Korea that are used by the Korean people. Both numbers are used in Korea by the Korean people so it is important to learn both types of counting systems.

Native Korean Number System

Native Korean Numbers are used to indicate the numbers between 1 and 99. The native numbers are used to count and talk about the items which are between 1 and 99 mostly because after 99 the objects need to be counted in Sino Korean Numbers.

Often a combination is seen which used both Native Korean numbers and Sino Korean numbers.


To tell time, the hour is told using the native Korean numbers while the minutes are indicated using the Sino Korean numbers. Counting in Korean, therefore, often becomes complicated.

The rule of thumb is to first use native numbers since the total number of hours is lesser than that of minutes and seconds.

Telling Time

To say that the time currently is 1:35 you can say “하나시삼십오 분”. For simplification, I will break down the entire phrase for time. 하나 is the native Korean number for 1 while 삼십오 is the sino Korean number for 35. 시 and 분 are the measure words for hours and minutes.

Thus combining all the numbers and their counter words, it is easy to tell the time in the Korean language. You can also make other examples so that you are quick to tell the time the next time someone asks you about the time at the moment.

Native Korean Numbers

Native Korean numbers are easy to learn and use. It is important to learn 1–10 Korean numbers and then the root words for other numbers. Each Korean number has a specific root word that can be used to write bigger numbers in Korean.


For instance, two can be added with 10 to make 12. 열둘 is 12 in Korean. It is formed by combining and . To make any number in its ten’s form, it is important to add with it.

Korean Age

To tell the age it is important to use the Native Korean system. As mentioned before, Native Korean numbers are generally used for the items between 1–99 and since an average individual gets to live till 77 therefore Koreans use Native Korean numbers for 99.

The native Korean word used to tell about the age is 살. Adding this word after any number indicates that the person is referring to the age of something. For instance, 예순 아홉 살 indicates 69 years. A few more examples include; 서른 일곱 살 (37 years), 마흔 살 (40years) and 넷살 (4 years).

Here is a table for you to learn Native-Korean numbers easily and effortlessly:

Sino Korean Numbers

Sino Korean number system is quite different from the Native Korean number system but it is not difficult at all. The word Sino refers to Chinese so the reason why this number system is called Sino Korean is that the Numbers have the root in Chinese characters.

These are also called China System. It was based on Chinese Characters. Even to the day, many people in Korea have various Calligraphy scrolls with Chinese characters written beautifully on them. Counting in Korean becomes easy using Sino-Korean Numbers.

China and Korea share a long history and before the Korean language was introduced and accepted in Korea, Chinese was the language that was widely spoken throughout Korea and many regions. Koreans introduced their own language and started using it but the essence of the Chinese language is not eliminated completely.

Instead in many words, there is a touch of the Chinese language. Therefore besides using the newly introduced version of numbers, Koreans also use Sino Korean numbers for many things. There are different uses of Sino Korean numbers.

Sino Korean System is used to write dates, write about days, count years and months, write phone numbers and talk about money. To talk about or write about these matters, the Sino-Korean number system is used.

Counting Money

Koreans use Sino Korean Numbers to count anything. 원 (Korean won) is the Korean currency and therefore this word should be added after a certain number to indicate that you are counting money. While asking someone for money or telling someone about money, it is important to use the Sino-Korean Numbers.

Giving Phone Numbers

Sino Korean System is used to exchange phone numbers with each other. The phone number 733–3251 will be written as “칠삼삼-삼이오 일” where indicates 7, indicates 3, indicates 2, indicates 5 and indicates 1. Using these Korean words (numbers), talking about phone numbers sounds more natural and fluent.

To indicate the — which is present in the numbers, the Korean word is used. For example, while telling about the abovementioned Korean Number “칠삼삼에삼이오 일” will be used. You should use the sound of “ae” while telling the number which will give the impression that there is a dash between the numbers.

Writing Numbers

The same rule applies to conjugating bigger numbers in Sino-Korean Number System. One root word is followed by another number to make a big number.

Here is a table for you to learn Sino-Korean numbers easily and effortlessly:

Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal numbers are used to show a certain ranking. To tell a certain order of something the ordinal numbers are used. For example to tell about the position of certain people the number words “First, second, and third” are used.

The number word “째” is used to make any number in Korean an ordinal number. “째” should be added with a certain Sino Korean number to make it an Ordinal number.

Here is a table for you to learn Ordinal numbers easily and effortlessly:

Counter Words In the Korean language

Korean numbers have various counterwords to indicate the amount of a certain thing. There are various measure words used in different languages for example Chinese, Korean, and some other examples. It is important to use these measure words if one wants to sound like a native Korean speaker.

Specific words are used with each number to tell what the number is about. These specific Korean counters are important to know about. An important word (measure word) for most inanimate objects is 개 (ge). It is a common counterword and is the first word to be taught because of its versatility.

Here is a table for you to learn some basic counter words and therefore start using them in your everyday life:

Language Tip Of The Day

While taking a picture make sure to use the first three Native Korean numbers since it is a trend to say “Hana, Dul, Sett” before taking a picture. This is a cultural practice of Korean people and especially the new generation so don’t forget to say that when you are taking a picture or selfie with a Korean friend. It is equivalent to saying cheese in the English language.

Wrapping Up

In today’s lesson, you learned how to use Native Korean Numbers and Chinese Numbers. You learned both the Cardinal numbers, Ordinal numbers, and counter words to write with such numbers. Congratulations on being able to count numbers in Korean like a pro. Sharpen your Korean skills by taking courses of language learning from the Ling App by Simya Solutions.

On Ling App, we have many blogs for you to enhance your Korean language learning process. If you liked today’s blog, then don’t forget to check out sentence structure in Korean and telling about hobbies in the Korean language.

If Korean is a new language for you then is important to learn Korean numbers because Korean numbers are used for many purposes. If you are looking for blogs in other languages then fasten your seat belt because the Ling app brings you a roller coaster of learning in a fun and easy way.



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