There are two ways of pronouncing numbers in Korean. These are:

- Sino-Korean numerals - 일, 이, 삼, ...
- Native Korean numerals - 하나, 둘, 셋, ...

The Sino-Korean numerals are used for dates, minutes and prices.

The native Korean numerals are used for counting, age and hours.

**Sino-Korean Numerals [Dates, Minutes and Prices]**

The key to memorizing the pronunciations of the Sino-Korean numerals is to learn from 1(일) to 10(십), and use these ten numbers as building blocks to learn the rest of the numbers. Here is a list of the first ten numbers:

- 1 = 일
- 2 = 이
- 3 = 삼
- 4 = 사
- 5 = 오
- 6 = 육
- 7 = 칠
- 8 = 팔
- 9 = 구
- 10 = 십

From 11 to 19, what you need to do is say 10(십) first and say the ones' number.

For example,

- 11 = 10 + 1
**→**십 + 일 = 십일

- 12 = 10 + 2
**→**십 + 이 = 십이 - 13 = 10 + 3
**→**십 + 삼 = 십삼 - 17 = 10 + 7
**→**십 + 칠 = 십칠 - 19 = 10 + 9
**→**십 + 구 = 십구

From 20 and onward, it works in the same way. But in addition, 20, 30, ..., 90 are pronounced in the following way:

- 20 = 이 + 십 = 이십 (
*Lit.*two-ten) - 30 = 삼 + 십 = 삼십 (
*Lit.*three-ten) - 50 = 오 + 십 = 오십
- 80 = 팔 + 십 = 팔십
- 90 = 구 + 십 = 구십

Additionally,

- 21 = 이십 + 일 = 이십일 (
*Lit*. two-ten one) - 22 = 이십 + 이 = 이십이
- 32 = 삼십 + 이 = 삼십이
- 45 = 사십 + 오 = 사십오
- 57 = 오십 + 칠 = 오십칠
- 89 = 팔십 + 구 = 팔십구

100 is 백, and 200 is 이백 which literally means 'two-hundred.' Then how do you say 300 as a Sino-Korean numeral? Yes, it's 삼백 (

*Lit.*three-hundred)

- 100 = 백
- 101 = 백일
- 105 = 백오
- 127 = 백이십칠
- 200 = 이백
- 219 = 이백십구
- 324 = 삼백이십사
- 508 = 오백팔
- 731 = 칠백삼십일
- 945 = 구백사십오

1000 is 천, then 2000 is? Yes, it's 이천. Then how do you say 3283 in a Sino-Korean way? It's 삼천이백팔십삼. [

*Lit*. three-thousand two-hundred eight-ten three]

- 1000 = 천
- 1001 = 천일
- 1035 = 천삼십오
- 2427 = 이천사백이십칠
- 8492 = 팔천사백구십이

What is 10000? It's 만. It is not

- 10000 = 만
- 10002 = 만이
- 10034 = 만삼십사
- 20673 = 이만육백칠십삼
- 84832 = 팔만사천팔백삼십이

Now 100000 is 십만 and 200000 is 이십만. At this point, it'd help you understand the naming system of these numbers if you think them in terms of their number of zeros. Here is what I mean:

- 10000 is 만
- 10,0000 is 십만
- 100,0000 is 백만
- 1000,0000 is 천만
- 1,0000,0000 is 억 (NOT
~~만만)~~ - 10,0000,0000 is 십억
- 100,0000,0000 is 백억
- 1000,0000,0000 is 천억
- 1,0000,0000,0000 is 조

You can see that numbers obtain a new name every time they get additional 4 zeros. This is different to English where the name of numbers change after every additional 3 zeros. For example, 'thousand', 'million' and 'billion'.

However, when we write numbers, we follow the international standard in that the comma is placed after every threes. The examples above where the comma is placed after every 4 zeros are for the purpose of easier understanding only. Therefore:

- 만 = 10,000
- 십만 = 100,000 (NOT
~~10,0000~~) - 백만 = 1,000,000 (NOT
~~100,0000~~)

Let's revise what we've learned above:

- 11 = 십일
- 12 = 십이
- 13 = 십삼
- 20 = 이십
- 25 = 이십오
- 30 = 삼십
- 40 = 사십
- 50 = 오십
- 56 = 오십육
- 70 = 칠십
- 80 = 팔십
- 100 = 백
- 101 = 백일
- 107 = 백칠
- 120 = 백이십
- 150 = 백오십
- 200 = 이백
- 202 = 이백이
- 537 = 오백삼십칠 [500 +30 + 7
**→**오백 + 삼십 + 칠 = 오백삼십칠] - 1000 = 천
- 2000 = 이천
- 2500 = 이천오백
- 10000 = 만
- 10500 = 만오백 [10000 + 500
**→**만 + 오백 = 만오백] - 53847 = 오만삼천팔백사십칠 [50000 + 3000 + 800 + 40 + 7
**→**오만 + 삼천 + 팔백 + 사십 + 칠 = 오만삼천팔백사십칠]

The following are the examples of how the Sino-Korean numerals are used for dates, minutes and prices.

**[Dates]**

The order in which the date is written is reversed in Korean. A day of the week comes first, then a month and then a year. [a year = 년, a month = 월, a day of the week = 일]

Notice how the Sino-Korean numerals are used in pronouncing dates.

- 28 Jan 2010 → 2010년 1월 28일 =
**이천십**년**일**월**이십팔**일 - 17/10/2011 → 2011/10/17 = 2011년 10월 17일 =
**이천십일**년**시**월**십칠**일

Note: 10월 is not 십월, but rather 시월. This exception is due to the awkwardness of pronouncing 십월, which is quite cumbersome to pronounce. Therefore 10월 is 시월 for the pronunciation's sake.

**[Minutes]**

The Sino-Korean numerals are also used for 'minutes' but not for 'hours'. The native Korean numerals which are used for pronouncing the number of 'hours' are explained below in the second section of this post.

[an hour, o'clock = 시, a minute(s) = 분, am = 오전, pm = 오후]

- 9:38 am → 오전 9시 38분 = 오전 아홉시
**삼십팔**분 - 6:19 pm → 오후 6시 19분 = 오후 여섯시
**십구**분

**[Prices]**

The Korean currency is called 'won.' Its symbol is '₩', and it's pronounced 원.

- ₩12,800 → 12,800원 =
**만이천팔백**원 - ₩39,130 → 39,130원 =
**삼만구천백삼십**원

마흔 is written twice for 40 and 90. 90 is 아흔 right?

ReplyDeleteThanks for the correction. That was my typo.

ReplyDeleteI found that the first numbers (sino) are used for minutes, dates, prices,... and the second for counting, age, and hours. Is it right??

ReplyDeleteTo Anonymous

ReplyDeleteYes, and I've added some more explanations about them.

Please read the post again for clarification.

For eight 여덟, do you pronounce it 여덜 or 여덥

ReplyDeleteIt's pronounced 여덜.

ReplyDeletehi, month = 달, but then eg is 2010년 1월 28일. Month should be 월 right?

ReplyDeleteYes, a typo.

ReplyDeleteIt should be 월.

달 is used for counting months.

For example,

2 months = 2달 (두달)

5 months = 5달 (다섯달)

Hi. In your last sentence, is it possible to write 학교에 instead of 학교를 ? thank you for everything

ReplyDeleteYes, you can. 학교에 is also fine. When speaking, you'd drop the particle anyway. So you'd say 2달 동안 학교 다니고 2주 동안 방학했어. :)

ReplyDeleteHello, sorry I just had to comment and say thank you for al the effort you put into this blog, it is truly amazing. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much and may God bless you.

ReplyDeleteAlso sorry how do you say 1일. It's not 일일 right?

Hi, you're welcome!

ReplyDelete1일 would be pronounced as 이릴.

May God bless you, too! :-)

2달 동안 학교를 다니고 2주동안 방학을 했다 = I went to school for 2 months and had a break(holidays) for 2 weeks.

ReplyDeleteWhat does '동안' mean?

Hi Alan,

Delete동안 means "over the course of."

Therefore,

2달 동안 means "over the course of 2 months"

2주 동안 means "over the course of 2 weeks"

I'm trying to learn Korean as well and I ran into something strange when I was on Rosetta Stone once...it said something about counting boats and it used what I thought was a counter specific called 척...even if it's not a counter for certain things, I was wondering what it was because when I type it into Google translate it doesn't give me anything that would relate to what the picture was showing.

ReplyDeleteHi Anonymous,

DeleteI can see that you may have found 척 quite confusing, because it's not commonly encountered word even among Koreans unless they specifically talk about it.

Well, 척 is a counter for ships.

So, 2 ships would be 배 두척.

However, for boats, it is more common to use 대 which is also used to count cars.

So, 5 boats would be 보트 다섯대.

20 cars would be 차 스무대.

Hope this helped with your question.

Cheers.