We know how to say 1 to 10 in Korean, then do you know how to say 30, 40 and 50? Sino-Korean numerals are easy, you just combine 3, 삼 and 10, 십 together, so it’s 삼십. Native Korean numerals are slightly different, so let’s read them together.
Sino-Korean Native Korean
10 십 열
20 이십 스물 (스무)
30 삼십 서른
40 사십 마흔
50 오십 쉰
60 육십 예순
70 칠십 일흔
80 팔십 여든
90 구십 아흔
100 백 백
1000 천 천
백 and 천 are Sino-Korean numbers, but also used with native Korean numerals. Quick quiz! What is 76 in Korean? Yes, it’s 칠십육 in Sino-Korean and 일흔여섯 in native Korean. How about 41? Correct. 사십일 and 마흔하나. Now are you ready to learn more Korean count words?
살/세 – age(years old)
Korean people often ask questions about age. Even among friends, people use 호칭, such as 오빠, 형 or 언니, 누나 to someone older than yourself.
There are 2 counters used for age, 살 and 세. 살 is used with native Korean numerals and is used in daily conversation. On the other hand, 세 is used with Sino-Korean numerals and for formal occasions, for example on newscast or newspaper articles.
조카 있어요? Do you have a niece/nephew?
여자 조카 두 명 있어요. 한 명은 세 살이고 한 명은 여덟 살이에요. I have 2 nieces. One is 3 years old, the other is 8 years old.
수현 씨 몇 살이에요? How old are you Suhyun?
스물여섯 살이요. I am 26 years old.
정말요? 스무 살인줄 알았어요. Really? You look like a 20 year old.
한국에서는 60세(육십 세) 생일을 환갑이라고 불러요. In Korea if you become 60, it is called 환갑.
(on alcoholic drink labels)
19세(십구 세) 미만 청소년에게 판매 금지 No Drinking Under 19
년 – year(for dates)
년 means year, and this word is from 한자. So this counter is combined with Sino-Korean numerals.
2021년 새해 계획이 뭐야? What is your new year’s resolution for 2021?
아직 2020년 같은데 벌써 2021년이라니! I still feel like it’s 2020.
한국어 얼마나 공부했어요? How long have you studied Korean language?
3년동안 공부했어요. I studied Korean for 3 years.
월 – month(for dates)/개월/달
월 means month, and it is also from 한자. 월 is used to describe dates, and 개월 is the unit for counting the number of months. For example, February is 이월, but 2 months is 이개월. There is another count word for month, it’s 달. 달 means moon, but it also has meaning of month. 달 is combined with native Korean numerals, so 2 months is 두 달. Then shall we read months in Korean together?
Please be aware that June is 유월, not 육월, and October is 시월, not 십월. This is for easier pronunciation. Other than that all you have to do is combine the number with 월.
4월인데 벌써 너무 더워! It’s still April but it’s too hot!
8월에는 얼마나 더 더울까. 에어컨 사야겠다. I would better buy an air conditioner. It will be hotter in August.
오랜만이야! 우리 얼마만에 만나는 거지? Long time no see! When was the last time we met?
작년 10월(시월)에 마지막으로 만났으니까 벌써 6개월이 지났네.
여름 방학에 유럽 여행 간다고 했지? I heard you are going on a trip to Europe during the summer vacation.
응 6월(유월)에 출발해서 3개월 정도 여행할 것 같아. Yes I will depart in June and travel for about 3 months.
일 – day(for dates)
We know how to read year and month in Korean. Now it’s time to learn “day”! 일 means day, as in the period of one day, and it is also the count word for days. It is combined with Sino-Korean numerals.
(Comment to Mika: Please make virtual Kakao Conversation with this)
살아 있니? 3일 동안 연락이 없길래. Are you alive? I haven’t heard from you for three days.
ㅋㅋㅋ 너는 한 달 넘게 사라진 적도 있잖아. 3일 가지고 무슨. Last time you disappeared for one month. No big deal.
앞으로는 1일 1카톡할게. From now on I will send you Kakao messages everyday.
오늘 며칠이지? What day is it today?
오늘 4월 25일. 곧 5월이네. Today is April 25th. May is around the corner.
수현 씨 생일이 언제에요? When is your birthday Suhyun?
제 생일은 10월(시월) 23일이에요.
Now we know how to read dates in Korean! I have a question for you, 생일이 언제에요? Please reply in Korean, do not use digits, use 한글. Thank you for watching, stay tuned for part 3 of Korean Counters.
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